Does the DC villain Solomon Grundy have anything in common with the nursery rhyme of the same name? In-universe, was he named after the rhyme for a specific reason, or is that happenstance?
In the original DC Comics multiverse, Solomon Grundy existed on Earth-Two, home of the Justice Society and the All-Star Squadron. His first appearance: All-American Comics #61 (October, 1944)
- It was a coincidence that he is named after a nursery rhyme. His true name was believed to be Cyrus Gold.
- Since his early days, he has had a very limited ability to comprehend anything, though that comes and goes with each resurrection. The only thing he seems to remember is his name and there are times when it is the only thing he can say.
- He has been a consistently durable and difficult foe to beat and even when he's been killed he eventually returns.
In his first appearance, he takes his name from the nursery rhyme of Solomon Grundy after being suggested by a hobo he will murder for his clothing.
Cyrus Gold's corpse was first reanimated in 1944, as a huge shambling figure with almost no memory of its past life. Gold murdered two escaped criminals who were hiding out in the marsh and stole their clothes. He showed up in a hobo camp and when asked about his name, one of the few things he could recall was that he was "born on a Monday." One of the men at the camp mentioned the nursery rhyme character Solomon Grundy, and Gold adopted the moniker.
Strong, vicious, and nearly mindless, Solomon Grundy fell into a life of crime — or perhaps returned to one, according to his scattered residual memories — attracting the attention of the Green Lantern. Grundy proved to be a difficult opponent, unkillable (since he was already dead) and with an inherent resistance to Scott's powers (which could not affect wood, a substance of which Grundy's reassembled body was now largely composed). Their first fight ended when Grundy was hurled under a train.
REF: DC Wikia: Cyrus Gold Entry