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|First appearance||The Flash (vol. 1) #106 (April–May 1959)|
|Created by||John Broome (writer)
Carmine Infantino (artist)
|Team affiliations||Gorilla City
Black Lantern Corps
|Supporting character of||Flash|
Solovar is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Solovar is a sentient gorilla and the progressive leader of a race of gorillas that first appeared as supporting characters of the Flash.
Fictional character biography
For many years, Solovar is the leader of Gorilla City, a hidden city of hyper-intelligent gorillas. Renowned for his wisdom and psychic powers, he is virtually unchallenged, except by the villainous Gorilla Grodd. This rivalry is so great that, after Solovar is captured by humans (playing dumb to keep his identity and origin secret), Grodd follows him to Central City to learn the secrets of Solovar’s force-of-mind powers. He succeeds in this, but the Flash captures him after Solovar escapes and tells the Flash of Grodd.
The Flash helped the gorilla leader escape and became the first human to learn of the city’s existence, and its location. This leads to a rivalry between Grodd and the Flash, as well as an alliance between The Flash and Solovar. Flash helped defeat Grodd many times.
Under Solovar’s guidance, Gorilla City is a technological utopia. Eventually, he decides his people can no longer use their science to hide from the human world. Believing that the world's ecological and political problems cannot be solved by ignoring them, he opens his city's borders to the world and asks for membership in the United Nations. He advocates peace — among the gorillas and with humans — and is behind two diplomatic overtures to the human world. The second tour of the U.S., sadly, is cut short by his assassination by a lethal car bomb. While a mysterious group calling itself the Human Supremacy Movement takes credit for the act, it quickly made clear to the reader that Solovar's assassination at the hands of human racists is in fact a ruse concocted by the Simian Scarlet, a group of gorillas within Gorilla City seeking to overthrow the ruling council. (The manipulators are themselves manipulated by Gorilla Grodd).
Solovar is briefly succeeded by his nephew, Ulgo. With tensions between humans and gorillas rising, the JLA is invited to Gorilla City to assist in a diplomatic mission, only to fall victim to an ambush. In the heat of battle, the gorilla army tests its new weapon on the heroes, a "gorillabomb" that transforms humans into gorillas. While the JLA retreat to their moonbase to find a cure, Prince Ulgo appears before the United Nations to formally declare war on the human race.
However, he promises, there will be no bloodshed in the battle, and he makes his point by detonating a gorillabomb in the auditorium. With the entire UN assembly transformed both mentally and physically into gorillas, the JLA act swiftly to minimize damage and loss of life. Alas, saving the delegates uses up their only chance to change back into humans, and so our transformed heroes must remain in their simian forms until they can find another way to return to normal.
Not that they were allowed much time to do that; as the Martian Manhunter telepathically learns, the gorillas are strategically targeting several places around the globe, including Themyscira (Wonder Woman's homeland), Atlantis (Aquaman's kingdom), Central City, Blüdhaven (a suburb of Batman's Gotham City), Metropolis (where Superman lives, one of the largest cities in the DC Universe), and low Earth orbit (Green Lantern's). The heroes split up and set out to neutralize the gorilla army, end the human-gorilla war, and find a way to return to normal.
Once the JLA have achieved their goals, Ulgo is later succeeded by Solovar's son, Nnamdi.
During the Blackest Night, Barry Allen raced to Gorilla City to seek aid from Solovar, not knowing of his death. Finding the city ravaged, Allen assumed Grodd had attacked, only to discover Solovar had been reanimated as a Black Lantern. Barry managed to temporarily stop him by dragging his corpse through the air at superspeed while leaving it outside the protective aura his body generated when he took passengers, reducing Solovar's Black Lantern self to dust when he could not cope with the friction he was being subjected to.
In other media
- Solovar first appeared in the Challenge of the Super Friends episode "Revenge on Gorilla City" voiced by Michael Rye. When Gorilla Grodd attacks Gorilla City with the Legion of Doom and mesmerizes the citizens, Solovar teleports himself to the Hall of Justice to seek help from the Super Friends.
- Solovar appeared in an episode of Justice League voiced by David Ogden Stiers. This version is depicted as having white fur and black skin. He appears as the chief of security of Gorilla City rather than its king and does not appear to have the psionic powers of his comic book incarnation. He was pursuing Gorilla Grodd to stop him from launching nuclear missiles at the city. With the help of Flash and Green Lantern, he eventually took Grodd back to Gorilla City.
- David Ogden Stiers reprises his role of Solovar in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Dead Reckoning." Solovar was seen fighting Gorilla Grodd's Secret Society when Gorilla Grodd plans to use an artifact stolen from the temple Deadman was living at in order turn all the humans into gorillas.
- Solovar appears in The Flash episode "Attack on Gorilla City, voiced by Keith David. This version is a albino gorilla that is similar to Snowflake. When Flash and his friends are caught trespassing while searching for Harry Wells and accused of being spies, Solovar and his advisor Grodd arrange for Solovar himself to fight Flash in single combat, though Grodd secretly asks Flash to kill Solovar, deceiving him into thinking that he intends to attack Central City. Solovar's superior strength and tactics overwhelm Flash until he cripples Solovar by phasing his hand through his chest, though he does not kill him. Afterwards, Grodd declares himself the new King of Gorilla City and reveals that he has been manipulating events from the beginning in order to exact revenge on human society. In the next episode, "Attack on Central City", he is recruited by Barry to stop Grodd's army by reclaiming his throne in battle. Solovar is persuaded by Flash not to kill Grodd after defeating him in combat. Afterwards, Solovar and his gorillas return to Earth-2 while Flash hands Grodd over to A.R.G.U.S. Solovar was gruff but wise, benevolent, valiant, and honorable. Although he was initially suspicious of Flash and his team, he grew to trust them after seeing Flash's mercy and bows to him for it.
- Solovar features in the video game Justice League Heroes voiced by Nick Jameson. This version is shown to have white fur and gray skin.
- In DC Universe Online, Solovar is mentioned by the Flash in the Gorilla Grodd's Lab instance.
- Solovar mentioned several times in Injustice 2, where it is assumed he was murdered by Gorilla Grodd.
- Flash v.1 #106, 1959
- Justice League of America Annual #3, 1999
- Blackest Night: The Flash #1
- Flashpoint: Grodd of War one-shot
- Solovar entry at Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning website