Swamp Thing and Solomon Grundy have a long history going back to April of 1979, within DC Comics Presents #8. Their paths have crossed in various comics since ‘79 but I was recently reminded of Grundy’s appearances during Rick Veitch’s Swamp Thing run. In Rick Veitch’s transformative “Infernal Triangles” story arc (Swamp Thing #77-#81) a new plant elemental was ushered into the world to replace Swamp Thing. The story arc featured numerous DC characters, involved crossover appearances, as well as various mentions/references. The covers/comics pictured below do not feature Grundy but they helped launch the ”Infernal Triangles” story arc.
Recently, fellow Swamp Thing fan Alex Galer let me know that Veitch’s arc and Grundy provided more references than I was aware of. As I mentioned at the beginning, ”Infernal Triangles” involved ushering a new plant elemental into the world. Solomon Grundy was an intended host (albeit unwilling and unknowing) to receive the new plant elemental sporling. I’m sure you’re aware by now that the plan didn’t work out with Grundy and the new plant elemental. But, the failed attempt created repercussions that can be found within numerous comics including: Infinity Inc #39 (1987), Infinity Inc #46 (1988), Starman #48 (1998), Starman #49 (1999) and a handful of Swamp Thing books, primarily Swamp Thing #67 “The Wisdom of Solomon” (Series 2) from December 1987. Two books you can add to that list are below.
Alex was rereading the Infinity Inc. series when he discovered the references. They can be found within Infinity Inc. #44 “In the Midst of Death” (Nov 1987) and Infinity Inc. #47 “Outback and Back in Beverly Hills” (Feb 1988). Both references relate to Solomon Grundy’s connection to Rick Veitch’s ”Infernal Triangles” story arc. Within Infinity Inc. #44, Solomon Grundy turned green. He was also summoned by voices. The voices tried to guide him to the new Earth Elemental. Grundy was not happy being green. As we all know, it’s not easy…
In Infinity Inc #44, Grundy can be seen leaving town, in search of the voices in his head. Questions are answered within Swamp Thing #67 “The Wisdom of Solomon.” The cover, seen below, may give the impression that Swamp Thing battled the Hulk. But, its Grundy. In Infinity Inc. #44, Grundy’s skin turned green in preparation for his merger with the Green and the Earth Elemental sprout.
Grundy didn’t make for a good host for either of the Elementals. He delivered a large serving of suffering for our friend Swampy.
Grundy SMASH, like Hulk.
Grundy turned Swamp Thing into “…but pulp” within Swamp Thing #67. By the end of the book Grundy had separated himself from the Earth Elemental sprout by bathing in chemicals. The chemicals returned his skin to its dull grey color. Bruised and battered Swamp Thing learned that the Parliament of Trees set him up. The Parrliament hoped that Grundy woud have killed Swampy. If the Plant Elemental spore had found a home within Grundy, he would have taken over the thrown of Erl King. Swamp Thing would have been no more!
Following Swamp Thing #67, Grundy was back within Infinity Inc. In issue #47 he briefly explained his situation to Jade. He mentioned being green.
As if Alex Galer’s Swamp Thing finds weren’t exciting enough, Infinity Inc #47 also contained a reference to Floronic Man! I’m a nut and completist when it comes to Jason Woodrue as well as Swampy, and I’m excited to add this book to my Woodrue reference list. See the panel from page 5 below.
Swamp Thing mentions and references are some of the most exciting treasures to find while reading comics. Usually references come by way of editor notes, nicknames for Swamp Thing or someone alluding to a past story arc without directly saying, ”Swamp Thing.” Below are some examples.