|First appearance||The Flash (vol. 1) #106 (April–May 1959)|
|Created by||John Broome (writer)|
Carmine Infantino (artist)
|Team affiliations||Gorilla City|
The Flash Family
Black Lantern Corps
|Notable aliases||Lord Solovar, King Solovar, The Forefather|
Speed Force derived evolution
formerly;Undead physiology reanimated as Black Lantern
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 has helped to 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 is 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, however, are themselves being 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 are allowed much time to do this; 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 that he was being subjected to.
The New 52
Solovar, in the new universe, is the founder and first ruler of Gorilla City, regarded as the Forefather of his species. He, his herd and his family had been around during the apex of the Mayan civilization just moments before its abrupt destruction by a metaphysical force. As the Speed Force destroyed the ancient culture in a blare of lightning, that same bolt of energy struck him and a few other apes within the vicinity, creating the first few in a new generation of superintelligent gorillas who would come to found the hidden nation of Gorilla City.
Powers and abilities
Solovar possesses similar physical and mental abilities akin to Gorilla Grodd stemming from the same meteorite that evolved them and the rest of their brethren. Though not as significantly developed as his evil counterpart, Solovar is a gifted mentalist in his own right. As well as an able bodied political activist being king of his own highly advanced civilization and an accomplished diplomat with savvy knowledge of world affairs. Other than that, Solovar like all apes of gorilla city, boasts an accomplished intellect knowing the workarounds of all his nations advanced science and technology. Being a contributing pioneer to its development himself. He also boasts the augmented physical abilities of all Super Apes of his homeland, he also has vastly augmented physical abilities.
During the events of the Blackest Night the deceased king Solovar is reanimated by a Black Power Ring and gifted with all the abilities that come with being a Black Lantern, such as accelerated regeneration, emotional reading and consumption by removing the hearts of the living, simulation of old powers from his previous life and the typical functions allotted by a Power Ring.
Within the DCnU reboot, Solovar was the first among his lineage of apes touched by The Light. Solovar naturally possesses a greater physical and mental constitution greater than humans and most of his fellow apes.
Young Justice tie in comics
Solovar appears in Young Justice #18 "Monkey Business" and #19 "Gorilla Warfare". Solovar lead a troop of gorillas in Bwunda. He and his mate Boka had a son, Nnamdi. In 2008, he, along with most of his troop, was captured by the Brain and Ultra-Humanite. The adult gorillas were surgically enhanced to increase their intelligence. They also received telepathic abilities as a side-effect, a fact they kept secret from their captors. The troop's children were held hostage, forcing the adults to serve their captors at Gorilla City. They were later given Kobra-Venom injections. At Ultra-Humanite's command, Solovar, Gorilla Grodd and several Kobra-Venom enchanced gorillas ambushed the Team and Wolf. They seized the Team and gave them inhibitor collars. They did not catch Miss Martian, or Wolf. Solovar and Grodd brought them to Brain. Via handsigns, he informed Ultra-Humanite and Brain that they could not find Miss Martian. Brain gave them infrared goggles to search for her. Solovar and Grodd found Miss Martian as she woke up, and Grodd demanded her help. Solovar, Grodd, Boka and Primat held a telepathic conference with Miss Martian, during which they explained the history of their troop and Gorilla City, and asked for her team's help to liberate them. Solovar decided to trust M'gann despite her not being the Team's leader as the gorillas had assumed. They returned Miss Martian to the physical world, reuniting her with Wolf. Later, Solovar telepathically sent Grodd confirmation that Miss Martian had rescued the gorilla children. When Robin escaped from captivity in the main hut, Grodd wanted to kill him to prevent him disrupting the gorillas' plan, but Solovar instructed him to adapt instead. Solovar arrived at the main hut after the Brain called for reinforcements against the now free Team, along with Malavar, Djuba, a number of Shadow guards and Miss Martian, who pretended to be his unconscious prisoner. The Team and the gorillas then attacked their captors; Solovar disarmed Monsieur Mallah, and chided Superboy for calling the gorillas monkeys. Facing defeat, the Brain activated the base's self-destruct system, and Gorilla City was swiftly evacuated. Solovar happily reunited with his mate and son at the gorilla's safe haven, reporting that everyone had escaped the city safely. He thought the troop might build its own Gorilla City.
Scooby Doo Team Up
Within the Injustice universe, King Solovar is the kind yet ruthless leader of his society of super apes who, much like Grodd, all share a bitter enmity towards humankind. He sought aid in the international eco-terrorist and master of the League of Assassins, Ra's al Ghul and his family. The two would worked on a means of pruning the population of the human race to a more manageable size via the works of Professor Anthony Ivo.
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 an albino gorilla. 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 is mentioned several times in Injustice 2, having been murdered by Grodd so that he could conquer Gorilla City.
- Solovar appears as a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains, voiced by J.B. Blanc. He first appears in Gorilla City, having deposed Grodd before Lex Luthor and his team arrive seeking Grodd’s aid. It turns out Grodd asked Luthor to meet him there without explaining the situation so as to make sure Solovar couldn’t deduce Grodd’s plan by reading Luthor’s mind. Grodd then attacks, challenging Solovar for the throne. With Luthor’s help, Grodd is victorious and reclaims Gorilla City.
- Flash vol. 1 #106, 1959
- Justice League of America Annual #3, 1999
- Blackest Night: The Flash #1
- The Flash (vol. 4) #14 (February 2013)
- Flash Vol 2 #69 (oct, 1992)
- DC Comics Encyclopedia #1
- Blackest Night: The Flash #1-3 (2010)
- Flashpoint: Grodd of War one-shot
- Eric Goldman Likes the Star Wars [@TheEricGoldman] (8 January 2017). "Oh and the new Grodd storyline will introduce Solovar, voiced by @ImKeithDavid! #TheFlash" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Solovar entry at Flash: Those Who Ride the Lightning website