The season finale of Gotham was eventful for many reasons but be perhaps
most intriguing was the suggestion that a certain Supernatural Batman villain would be joining the fray in Season 4
Will Butch Gilzen actually turn out be Solomon Grundy?
But his real name is Cyrus Gold Barbara Keene and although she shot him point blank in the head, it looks like Mr. Gold is still breathing .
Bruce Wayne taking his frist steps to becoming :The Dark Knight of Gotham City .
Alexander Siddig as Ras Al Ghul .
Young Bruce Wayne has been training with the League of Assassins for a few episodes now but has yet to meet their mysterious and enigmatic leader. That will all change in the finale when Ra’s reveals himself to Bruce in a battle for control of his destiny.
Little is known of the early years of the nearly immortal Ra’s, but it is accepted that he has lived for many centuries due to the Lazarus Pits’ mysterious brews that restore his youth. A brilliant master of strategy and organization, Ra’s al Ghul’s goal is to save the Earth from ecological devastation by destroying most of its population. He recognizes Batman as both a worthy foe and a possible ally—except that Batman cannot accept his dystopian worldview. Batman also shares a love-hate relationship with Ra’s daughter, the beautiful Talia. Ra’s also commands a legion of followers dedicated to bringing his version of an earthly paradise to fruition.
Ra’s al Ghul is an international terrorist and assassin whose ultimate goal is a world in perfect environmental balance. He believes that the best method by which this can be achieved is to eliminate most of humanity. Ra’s usually tries to assault the world’s human populace with a biological weapon, such as a genetically-engineered virus. He is aided in this quest by the Lazarus Pits, reservoirs of rejuvenating chemicals that restore the dying to life; these pits have granted him a lifespan of several hundred years.
He considers Batman his worthiest opponent, and has frequently sought to make the Dark Knight his successor. He is one of the few criminals in Batman’s rogues gallery to have deduced his secret identity as Bruce Wayne. Ra’s usually refers to Batman as ‘Detective’, possibly in recognition of his formidable mental prowess, and the intellectual battles in which they engage, as opposed to Batman’s traditional physical conflict. For his own part, Batman’s opposition to Ra’s is complicated by his love for the villain’s daughter, Talia.
Ra’s is often accompanied by a loyal manservant, Ubu.
As told in Birth of the Demon, Ra’s al Ghul is born over six hundred years before his first appearance in Batman comics, to a tribe of desert nomads somewhere in Arabia, near a city whose inhabitants’ ancestors have journeyed to the Arabian Peninsula from China. Ra’s is interested in science from an early age, and abandons his tribe to live in the city, where he can conduct his scientific research. He becomes a physician and marries a woman named Sora, the love of his life.
Ra’s discovers the secret of the Lazarus Pit and saves a dying prince by lowering him into it. The prince, who is sadistic to begin with, is driven completely insane by the Lazarus Pit. He proceeds to strangle Sora, on whom he has already had his eye for some time. The ruler of the city, unwilling to admit to himself his son’s culpability, declares Ra’s guilty of the crime and sentences him to a slow, tortured death in a cage with Sora’s corpse.
Ra’s is set free by the son of a dying elderly woman, whom Ra’s had earlier examined. The son feels that he owes Ra’s a debt for easing his mother’s suffering during her last few hours. Ra’s and the son head into the desert to seek the tribe of Ra’s birth. Ra’s convinces the head of his tribe, his uncle, to follow Ra’s in his quest for revenge by promising the downfall of the king of the city. By understanding the germ theory of disease hundreds of years before anyone else, Ra’s is able to infect the prince with a deadly virus by sending him contaminated fabrics. When the ruler of the city comes to ask Ra’s to cure the prince again, Ra’s kills both him and his son. Ra’s then leads his tribe to raze the city to the ground and kill all of its inhabitants. Subsequently, Ra’s declares himself the “Demon’s Head.”
Ra’s spends the next several centuries journeying the world. He fights in the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolution and becomes a formidable warrior. During this time, Ra’s, his uncle, and the boy are all using the Lazarus Pits to prolong their lives until an incident in London. Ra’s catches the boy writing his own memoirs in their original language, of which Ra’s has forbidden all records. During a battle, Ra’s kills the boy and flees to a Lazarus Pit, which he uses. When he returns to their home in London, his uncle has vanished with the remnants of their historical records.
Over time, he becomes a master of many forms of combat, notably fencing. He also builds up vast wealth and creates The Demon, a vast international organization. According to Justice League of America (1st series) #94: “It has been whispered in the darkest places for 500 years that a cartel of criminals has slowly sucked its way into the rich veins of the Earth. Many are its names spit from the mouths of men, but most often it is cursed only as …The Demon. It has a leader … a Head.” The League of Assassins, one of the many smaller organizations making up The Demon, is thus sometimes called “The Demon’s Fang” or “Demonfang”.
Powers and Abilities
Lazarus Enhancement: Ra’s al Ghul has lived for several centuries thanks to his use of Lazarus Pits, which he has utilitzed countless times, replenishing his aged, injured, or even dead body. As a side effect to numerous exposures to the pits, his strength, speed, stamina, agility, and durability has been enhanced.
- Longevity: He has extended lifespan through the use of the Lazarus Pit.
- Genius-Level Intellect: Ra’s possesses a genius level intellect with aptitudes in a wide variety of sciences and medicine, particularly in the field of alchemy.
- Leadership: He is the indisputable leader of the League of Assassins, one of the largest and most dangerous organizations of all time, whose agents are willing to sacrifice themselves for their master.
- Master Strategist and Tactician: He is a brilliant tactician, planning his exploits many months even years in advance.
- Master Swordsman
- Master Martial Artist: expertise in at least 100 different fighting styles.
- Medical Science
- Multi-Lingual: He’s able to speak Arabic, French, Greek, Latin, English, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, Urdu, multiple Indian languages and possibly more.
- Vast Resources: Over the centuries, Ra’s has gained many international contacts and a vast fortune.
- Weapon Master: He has more than two centuries of experience using old and modern weapons. When in combat he favors the old-world weapons such as katana, European swords, polearms, and axes.
The father of Ra’s al Ghul, Sensei is considered a highly skilled martial artists having trained a great number of the League of Assassins. After being thought dead following a previous battle with Ra’s, Sensei returned and revealed his true connection with Ra’s. He views his son as a failure who continues to live like a cockroach.
In Batman: Death and the Maidens (2004) by Greg Rucka, it is revealed that while traveling in Russia in the 18th century, Ra’s fathers a child named Nyssa Raatko. Enamored of Ra’s’ romantic stories of her mother, Nyssa sets out to find her father and eventually locates him at his headquarters in North Africa. Impressed by her beauty, her warrior skills, and the fact that “she was able to locate him,” he promotes her to a high position within his organization. Ra’s is so impressed with her abilities that he even allows Nyssa to use his Lazarus Pits; Nyssa finds a means of making the Lazarus Pits reusable (previously, each could only be used once).
Nyssa eventually becomes disillusioned with Ra’s ideals and methods and disassociates herself from her father sometime in the 18th century. Ra’s reluctantly approves this with the idea that she would return to him and that she and/or her children would become his future heirs. To his disappointment, Nyssa refuses to give herself or her family to Ra’s; he retaliates by disowning her. During World War II, Nyssa and her family are sent to a concentration camp, where she is rendered infertile by gruesome Mengele-esque experiments, as the rest of her family is exterminated. Ra’s, who is temporarily allied to the Nazis, abandons her and her family. Nyssa begins plotting her revenge, which comes to fruition years later.
In Robin: One Year Later, it is revealed that Cassandra Cain, the former Batgirl, has assassinated Nyssa and then taken over the League of Assassins.
Talia al Ghul is also Ra’s’ daughter and accompanies him for many years. With the recent loss of her sister, she has apparently taken control of The Demon. In Batman: Son of the Demon (1987), Talia’s mother was said to have been murdered by Qayin, a terrorist, back in the late 1940s. As explained by Talia in Batman: Birth of the Demon (1992), Ra’s had met a woman of mixed Chinese and Arab ancestry at Woodstock. Talia is the result of that union.
Damian Wayne Ra’s grandson, and the son of Talia and Batman. He is also the current Robin.
Ra’s’ only known son. He is born with the name Dusan al Ghul but because he was an albino Ra’s called him “the failed one” and kept him alive only out of pity. Dusan sacrifices his body in order to ensure his father’s life. After his son’s death, Ra’s wishes he had treated Dusan far better as he was the only child who remained loyal to him.
Who is Solomon Grundy?
As a child, Cyrus Gold lived a life of misery and hopelessness. His father, Gold Sr., had moved to Gotham City before Cyrus was born to gain fame and fortune, changing his last name to “Gold” as a sign of things to come. However, this dream of a powerful future very soon diminished, leaving the Gold family in ruin. The elder Gold was reduced to working on the docks on the city, being forced to work in horrible, unregulated working conditions. To add insult to injury, he was regularly mugged by his boss, who forced him to hand over all the gold he had, leaving the Gold family with nothing but crumbs. Hatred filled his heart, and the elder Gold began to use his family as a way to vent off the hate he felt towards his superiors. He regularly beat his wife, Cyrus’ mother, and would abuse his son. The cruelest form of torture he implemented on the young boy was to bury him alive on his birthday; every year the boy would be buried alive in a grave, a way of teaching him that he was less than the dirt that covered him. For years the young Cyrus Gold was maltreated, coming to a head when his mother packed her belongings, kissed him goodbye and abandoned him, caring more about herself than what the monster she married might do to her son. Not long after that, Cyrus sneaked down to the docks to watch his father work. A crate hovered above his father, its weight breaking the chains and rope holding it in place. With a sickening crunch, the crate fell on top of Cyrus Gold’s father, killing him instantly. The man who ran the pier merely scoffed at the incident, kicking the broken body of the older Gold into the waters below the pier.
Now Cyrus Gold, young and helpless, was all alone. Forced to survive on nothing. It was then that he swore to himself to make his own riches and power. He wouldn’t die a pauper like his father did.
Growing up, Cyrus was beaten up by many people and treated with as much hate as his father had given him in his youth. One day, bleeding in a slump after an encounter with a gang of savage bullies and thieves in an area known as Dugan’s Alley, a girl named Pearl, whom Cyrus was close to, found him and prayed for his safety. But the curmudgeon Gold brushed her aside; he had no time or place for a God, let alone believe in the existence of one.
Bleeding, in pain, and near the end of his ropes, a mysterious stranger went up to him and offered Cyrus the deal of a lifetime; he could become rich and powerful….if only he serve him until the day he died. Cyrus Gold shook the stranger’s hand, sealing his fate forever just for the mere chance of gaining the riches his father slaved for for so long.
Cyrus Gold soon became wealthy and powerful, by ways not very honest. He killed the men who abused him and his family when he was young, stealing their riches and becoming a veritable mobster. In an act of rage and wrath, he tracked down his long-departed mother and stabbed her to death. He then dumped her body in the waters of Slaughter Swamp, where many victims would end up as time went on, culminating with the death of Cyrus Gold himself. During this period, Cyrus wed the girl Pearl (although there are clues that suggested that Gold killed her previous husband to be with her) and the two had a little boy and little girl. Initially a happy family, Cyrus became as brash as his father, staying out late, drinking and being verbally abusive, oftentimes in front of the children. After a while of anger and abuse in the marriage, in a fit of rage, Cyrus Gold drowned Pearl.
But Cyrus’ sins would come back to haunt him. A mob formed and chased him into the swamps, ready to avenge their broken families with his slaughter. Gold didn’t want to die by their hands and subsequently stabbed himself through the heart, sinking into the cursed waters of Slaughter Swamp, the very place where he laid to rest a lifetime of victims and killers.
But Cyrus was not yet finished with life.
The deal he had made for life long servitude was shattered, and so was the little humanity he had left. The swamp, filled with unknown acids and chemicals, bonded to the preserving corpse of Cyrus Gold, fusing his body through time with wood, stone and anything else that was unlucky enough to fall into the morbid soup. 50 years after his death, something happened…..something….evil….
In the dead of night, a moaning was heard. The waters rippled and parted as a hideously decayed white hand reached out. That night, from the remains of a selfish and evil man, came a hulking behemoth….one who could never remember himself. Stumbling through the marshes on newly reborn legs, the zombified creature found two criminals hiding in his swamp…his home…his mother….
In a inhuman rage, it slowly and methodically killed the trespassers, then squeezed its huge frame in their clothing as best as it could. Snarling, the beast walked to a derelict homeless shelter, where, his curiosity piking, he managed to speak a few words to the vagrants staying there. He was asked about who he was and where he came from. The newly reborn monster didn’t remember…in fact, he didn’t remember anything from his past human life. But there was one thing he did remember….he was born on a Monday.
The vagrants laughed a bit, and told him that his birthday reminded them of a famous poem. The life and death of a certain Solomon Grundy.
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
That was the end of
The monster took a fancy to the name and adopted it as his own. No longer was he Cyrus Gold, the mere human. Now he was an unstoppable monster….one with a hunger for death, chaos and occasional mutilated corpse. His name now was….Solomon Grundy.
For years since the day he walked out of the rotting waters of Slaughter Swamp, Solomon Grundy has plagued both heroes and villains alike, sometimes in a vendetta. Other times simply because he feels threatened or wants to be left to his own devices. Initially the arch-enemy of the first Green Lantern Alan Scott, Grundy has since been an enemy of all parts of the DC Universe, most famously with the Dynamic Duo (Batman and Robin) and has even traded blows with the Green Arrow. For a while, Grundy was able to overpower the might of Alan Scott, simply due to the heavy amount of wood pulp and fiber that has molded into his body over the decades of being submerged in the waters of Slaughter Swamp. He has also immense super strength that seems to grow with each resurrection and evolution of his character.
While often working alone, Grundy has sometimes been bribed or convinced to join gangs of other super-villains who need extra muscle and has several times been recruited to join the Injustice Society. His last group before the New 52 universal reboot was the Black Lanterns, with the Black Lantern Corps having resurrected his husk of a body to be used against forces on Earth
In a flash of weakness, his past came hurtling back to him, and Cyrus reacted. A woman, trying to help the homeless at a nearby shelter, tried to reach out to the newly re-animated with kind words. She tried to tell him that through God’s words anybody can find help in this world. The vicious Gold snapped at her and attacked, screaming that there is no such thing as God. As he beats her senseless, police arrive and warned him, trying to get him to stop. Frightened by the lights, he attacked an officer, his thoughts a mile a minute. In fear that the light would mean death, and that death would mean being trapped forever in the body of Solomon Grundy. One of the officers shot the raving Cyrus Gold and, bleeding and dazed, he leaped out into oncoming traffic. A truck then hit the desperate man, spreading his re-animated remains all over the street.
Cyrus Gold was dead again. His remains wrapped in several body bags, he was listed off as being unknown and unnamed, his mangled remains put aside to be later dealt with. Slowly, minute by minute, the clock ticked away….closing in on midnight. A janitor, preparing for his late shift, came into the autopsy room, readying himself a mug of coffee and liquor, humming a pleasant tune. Too bad it was the last song he’d ever sing. Deep inside the body bags, the dead Cyrus Gold’s body began to pale, the torn limbs re-assembling. The bags tore apart….and glowing eyes opened. The janitor turned to see a massive white figure, eyes flaring red and chipped teeth gnashing. Snarling, the beast grabbed the worker and rammed his head through a wall, murmuring to himself…”Solomon Grundy….Born on a Monday…”
Solomon Grundy was a simple man in 1898 living in the Slaughter Swamp with his child and wife, Pinney. Due to the low harvest, Pinney had to sleep with Boss Henry to try and bring in a profit for her family.However, it became too much and Solomon had to watch as she stabbed herself in the throat. After pulling Pinney’s body out of the water, Solomon killed Boss Henry and everybody he worked with. After that, he stabbed himself in the stomach and fell into the swamp which is were he established his connection to the Grey.
Powers and Abilities
- Superhuman Strength: Solomon Grundy possesses tremendous strength and stamina, the level of which varies with his different incarnations. Sometimes he can be held by a group of normal humans, on other occasions, even Superman has not been able to defeat him.
- Superhuman Stamina: Grundy can perform physically strenuous tasks for an indeterminate period of time before tiring.
- Mystical Invulnerability: The weird elemental energy that imbues his form with pseudo-life makes him virtually indestructible – he is impervious to bullets, fire, and extreme cold, and can survive indefinitely without food, water, or oxygen. The only thing that has ever been able to hurt him, was the Mist’s special toxins, developed to take out Grundy’s plant tissue body.
- Resurrection: Even when he is destroyed, he has always been reborn sooner or later. The soul of Cyrus Gold enjoys his pseudo-life through Grundy, even though Gold’s whole personality is never present in Grundy’s “life”. Grundy’s personality differs from incarnation to incarnation, but he seems to retain some memories of his experiences from one time to the next.
- Energy Absorption/Manipulation: Grundy has also proven to be able to absorb certain forms of energy and manipulate them at will. This ability has always been subconscious to the point of being accidental, though, but it would suggest that Grundy is even more powerful that he has the intelligence to realize.
- Plant Control: The version of Grundy that ended up on the blue planet gained normal human intelligence, and made contact with the Green, thereby being able to control the planet’s plant life.
Assumed to be on par with Superman’s. Grundy’s upper strength levels have fluctuated depending upon his present incarnation.
Grundy’s below average intellect makes him easy to fool and manipulate. In addition, in Arkham City, he needs electricity funneling devices to continue to function, meaning if his electricity is denied, he will end up being weakened and eventually knocked unconscious. In addition, in the same game, his heart is also his weakness, destroying it would result in him shutting down for good.
. Although accounts of his origins differ, the tale is fairly consistent that he was a Gotham City gentleman of ill repute who came to his death in Slaughter Swamp, and resurrected some years later as a horrible creature. Stories of his origins include:
- The most common origin of Solomon Grundy is that in the late 19th century, a wealthy merchant named Cyrus Gold was murdered and his body disposed of in Slaughter Swamp. He was supernaturally reanimated fifty years later, where parts of his body were actually composed of swamp material.
- Another origin tells that in the year 1895, he was killed in Slaughter Swamp by the pimp of a prostitute. The pimp was trying to blackmail Gold by claiming that he was the father of the prostitute’s unborn child. Gold refused to yield to the blackmail, and thus was bludgeoned over the head and buried in the Swamp where no one would think to look for him. Over the span of fifty years, Gold’s body interacted with the detritus and vegetation of the swamp, resulting in his resurrection.
- The next tale comes from the Parliament of Trees, a high council of Plant Elementals, who tried to turn him into the newest Plant Elemental. However, the process was missing one vital piece, as a Plant Elemental cannot be fully created unless it died in flames first. Since Grundy’s death did not involve fire at all, the process was not complete, and he became a sort of half-functional Plant Elemental.
- Another possibility is given by a mysterious group called the Seven Unknown Men of Slaughter Swamp. They recount the death of a miserly pedophile, Cyrus Gold, at the hands of an enraged mob. However, they also mention that Gold could just as easily have been the innocent victim of a misunderstanding, as Slaughter Swamp is a point in space where time means nothing.The same Unknown Man who tells the tale, punishes another of his group, the Eighth Man: Zor, by dressing him in Cyrus Gold’s clothing and leaving him for the mob to find, implying that Zor (an extremely vain character, notable for attempting several times to overthrow the Universe and for having defeated the Spectre) would later become the first Solomon Grundy
Even millions of miles away from Earth, upon his death Cyrus Gold was resurrected once more in Slaughter Swamp with a strange new level of perception. Noticing that Gotham City had changed much, Gold went to a mobile home, where he killed the owner. Walking to his former house, he had a flashback to his murdering his Uncle John, expressing remorse over it. Suddenly, Cyrus remembered his past as Solomon Grundy, and becomes terrified of dying and becoming Solomon Grundy again. He attacks a woman who offered him help, then assaulting two police officers who try to stop him. In the process, Cyrus is shot through the chest, discovering that he still has no physical heart. Running away, he jumps into the highway, where he is run down and killed. Gold is resurrected as Solomon Grundy again, and flees into the sewers. A week later, he encounters Killer Croc, battling him and eventually breaking his jaw. At dawn of Sunday, Grundy transforms back into Cyrus Gold at the cemetery which holds his tombstone. Here, he is found by the Phantom Stranger, who became aware of his resurrection and change last week. He is unable to help Cyrus in these changes, but had drafted Green Lantern Alan Scott into helping. Though Green Lantern was hesitant to help, the Stranger insisted: there was an unholy night coming, and it would be best if Solomon Grundy were gone before another could claim him for themselves.Grundy and Alan Scott are now on a quest for Grundy’s redemption. It is his mission to find the person who is responsible for killing him the first time… and forgive them. Cyrus discovers shockingly that in a fit of madness, he actually committed suicide in Slaughter Swamp, taking his own life… he is unable to forgive himself, and pass on to the next world. Instead, he receives a Black Lantern Ring and is commanded to RISE.His corpse is destroyed when Bizarro drives it into the sun. With Cyrus Gold in Hell, and Solomon Grundy’s corpse destroyed, the curse on Solomon Grundy is finally broken. He is no more.