- "Solomon Grundy. Born on Monday."
- —Butch Gilzean's first words after being revived[src]
Butch Gilzean (born Cyrus Gold) was a former criminal, and was an experienced member of the Gotham City underworld crime system. He was a former underling of Fish Mooney, but later came to be second-in-command under Oswald Cobblepot after being brainwashed by Victor Zsasz to do the latter's bidding. The Galavans later cleared him of his brainwashing and after Cobblepot was deserted and left for dead by his own men, Butch took over as the new leader of Gotham's underworld, but within a couple of months retook his position as Penguin's second-in-command. Months out of jealousy for Penguin's preference over Edward Nygma, he hired mercenaries to take on the alias of the Red Hood Gang in order to stage a rescue for Oswald and win his favor again only to be caught out by Nygma. Sent to a hospital from injuries sustained during the coup, Tabitha Galavan hijacked the ambulance and sent him into hiding. Later on, he and Tabitha began conspiring against the current ruler of Gotham, Barbara Kean, to take control of the underworld themselves. However, Butch was shot by Barbara leaving him comatose in Hospital Brass. Upon his body being dumped into Slaughter Swamp, Butch is revived as Solomon Grundy and befriends Nygma, with no knowledge that he hated him, and the two go to Cherry's place in The Narrows to get money.
Born Cyrus Gold, his name was changed to Butch Gilzean under unknown circumstances.
Growing up alongside fellow Falcone gang member Jimmy Saviano, Butch and Jimmy were delinquents at an early age. One time, the pair robbed a butcher shop, stealing several pounds of meat for their families. Despite a brotherly relationship, Butch withheld several prime cuts from Jimmy, leaving his partner-in-crime clueless that he had received the inferior ground beef.
Working for Fish Mooney
Several years later, Gilzean gained worked as the second in command of Fish Mooney, a part of Carmine Falcone's crime family. Butch and Fish acquired a property used for chicken fighting and turned it into a nightclub which they named Mooney's Nightclub, which they managed to turn into a successful venture over the course of a decade with hard work.
Butch allows Fish's umbrella man, Oswald Cobblepot, to land a couple of blows himself against an employee caught stealing from Mooney named, Raoul. Later, Butch is told by Fish that Bullock threatened her, and while Bullock is untying Gordon, he's knocked out. However, the two Detectives are saved by the timely intervention of Carmine Falcone. Don Falcone entrusts Butch Gilzean of reminding Fish Mooney that she has to ask him before killings cops before releasing the two Detectives.
Butch is present when Fish furiously swears to kill Falcone and wishes that she could make Cobblepot suffer more.
Butch is told by one of Mooney's henchmen to make Falcone's latest lover Natalia undergo an unfortunate accident. As such, he later sets up a mugging.
When Fish auditions singers, she tells Butch to keep looking after the first audition. Butch objects because the girl was pretty, but Fish tells him that she didn't want a pretty girl but a weapon.
When Fish discovers that Cobblepot was still alive, after overcoming a fit of rage, she sends Butch looking for Gordon so she could talk to him. Butch later goes to Barbara Kean's penthouse and holds her hostage. Butch begins harassing her and reveals that Jim did not kill Cobblepot as he was told. Gordon returns home and ends quickly defeats both Gilzean and his associate. He later intercepts a truck belonging to Maroni loaded with weapons worth millions, and shoots both of the employees inside the truck.
Butch and Fish met with Kasyanov and his people to give them a pickup truck and the location of the secret vault where Falcone kept much of his money. Later while the Russians were robbing the vault Butch, who was located nearby, activated the bomb placed under the van, that ends up killing Kasyanov and all his men.
After Fish Mooney had Liza abducted, and Falcone agreed to her terms, Butch was excited and wanted to celebrate. Later, after Falcone confronts them at Fish's nightclub, Butch witnesses Liza killed, and he and Fish are then led are led away to their undetermined fates, after Cobblepot takes the opportunity to mockingly say goodbye to Fish.
Butch Gilzean later manages to free himself and knocks Bob unconscious, then frees Fish Mooney. Butch and Fish later arrive at the nightclub in order to exact revenge on Cobblepot. However, Zsasz arrives with three associates, and there is a gunfight, and Mooney and Gilzean flee. Butch sends Fish out the window to escape while he buys Mooney some time which ends with Gilzean getting wounded by Zsasz.
Working for Oswald Cobblepot
- "They don't know Gotham like I do. I got brains, you ask anyone."
- —Butch Gilzean to Theo Galavan[src]
Butch was later brainwashed by Victor Zsasz, in order for him to work for Oswald Cobblepot.Butch later helps Penguin steal Maroni's alcohol having police officers "confiscate it". They later have a toast together.
Butch later informs Penguin that Maroni had arrived at his club, and couldn't get his mother out in time.
During the events of the Falcone-Maroni Gang War, Butch accompanies Cobblepot when he attempts to kill Falcone in the hospital but are stopped by Gordon. Gordon and Bullock take Falcone, Penguin, and Butch to one of his safehouses, but Fish Mooney and her gang ambush them. Butch is then recruited back to Fish's crew but he is struggling to stand beside her since he is still under Cobblepot's control. After Fish kills Maroni and recaptures Falcone, Bullock, and Gordon who try to escape Cobblepot comes in and shoots the majority of Fish's crew and chases her up to the roof. With Fish and Cobblepot struggling for who gets to control Gotham, Butch arrives holding the two at gunpoint; since his mind is still struggling to choose a side, Butch shoots both Fish and Cobblepot. After realizing what he had just done, Butch rushes over to Fish and apologizes for what he has done. Fish forgives him and assures him she'll be fine, but before either could react, Cobblepot knocks Butch down and pushes Fish over the edge of the roof and into the water below, gaining complete control of Gotham and with Butch now completely at his mercy.
Butch later questions Penguin as to why they're killing mayoral candidates. Penguin tells him about his mother's kidnapping and Butch tells them that they had to find her.
With help from Selina Kyle, Butch is sent by Oswald to recruit the Pike Brothers into committing an arson-based robbery on a building owned by Wayne Enterprises. Cobblepot later cuts off his hand, so that he can go under cover to rescue Gertrud Kapelput from Theo Galavan. Unfortunately, Theo learns of this and has his sister deprogram Butch, causing him to side with them.
Later on, a scraped and hurt Butch returns to Cobblepot, revealing his mother is located at the waterfront. Arriving at the waterfront they discover his mother behind bars. Theo and Tabitha appeared and Cobblepot ordered Butch to shoot them dead, however, due to him being reconditioned to now be loyal to them Butch guns down two bodyguards working for Cobblepot. Although Tabitha unlocks the door to let Gertrud out, she stabs her in the back when she embraces Cobblepot, killing her much to the shock of Butch. Theo orders Butch to kill Cobblepot and dump both of their bodies, but Cobblepot taunts Theo that he won't do the dirty work himself. Theo decides to execute Cobblepot himself, but he stabs Theo in the neck and escapes.
Running the Gotham Underworld
Butch is later visited by Gordon and Bullock who want to know where Penguin is. Butch tells them that he isn't Penguin's lap dog anymore and asks them to leave if they do not have a warrant. They are interrupted when Zsasz arrives with a horde of killers to kill Butch. Zsasz, waiting outside of the diner Butch is in, states that everyone who leaves now will not be harmed whereas everyone who stays will die. This leads to Butch's men deserting, leaving their boss and friend alone. Gordon than ties Butch to the heater, stating that they will leave Butch here for Zsasz if he does not talk. Butch reveals that Galavan orchestrated Penguins attacks and forced him by threatening his mother. Before Butch can reveal more, Zsasz starts his attack. While Bullock and Gordon fight off the attackers, Butch escapes.
Four weeks after Theo Galavan was killed and Oswald Cobblepot ends up on the run, Butch Gilzean started running Oswald's business. After killing one of his underlings with a drill bit attachment where his hand should be, he is then visited by Tabitha Galavan who successfully persuades him to start a partnership with her. Both of them make out as it is secretly watched from the ventilation by Selina Kyle.
Much to Butch and Tabitha's astonishment, they are visited by Oswald after he is released from Arkham Asylum and deemed "sane". Although Tabitha attempts to go in for the kill, Butch stops her. Oswald claims he is a changed man and much to the awe of Butch and Tabitha claims Butch is his "friend", despite everything he put him through. Butch chooses to spare Oswald's life, as he acknowledges that he has lost a lot and that they are now "even". However, he does allow Tabitha to tar and feather Oswald as a punishment, although Oswald leaves Butch's place in high spirits and sees the experience as a joke. Butch's nephew Sonny also works for him and is involved in growing magic mushrooms. Selina Kylie and Bruce Wayne attempt to steal from Sonny.
With only a day into Barbara staying with them, Butch appears to be annoyed and also very unnerved with her, as Barbara seems to be slipping back into insanity. He shared his concerns with Tabitha, although she claimed Barbara is harmless. They are then distracted by the TV when it is revealed Tabitha's brother Theo is alive again and causing chaos in Gotham City.
Deal with Cobblepot
After Tabitha is stabbed and hospitalized by her brother, Butch is at her bedside and pleads with an unconscious Tabitha not to die. Penguin shows up and Butch pulls a gun out on him, believing he intends to kill her. However, Penguin tells Butch that the main one behind their problems is Theo himself. The pair of them form an alliance, and head to Wayne Manor where Theo plans to finish his original mission of killing Bruce Wayne. Penguin distracts Theo before he can kill Bruce, Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth and steps aside, showing Butch armed with a rocket launcher. Butch fires upon Theo, incinerating and killing him. The pair of them then leave.
A day later Butch along with Barbara is at Elijah Van Dahl's mansion watching Oswald display his step-mother Grace's head, much to his discomfort. Later on that evening Butch, Oswald, and Butch's crew plan to kill Hugo Strange for the torture he inflicted on Oswald at Arkham Asylum. As a prison bus embarking from Indian Hill crashes through the streets, Butch and his crew fire upon it, with Butch himself using a minigun. The bus crashes and Oswald's approaches it, thinking Strange is inside. But to the disbelief of Butch, an alive Fish exits and approaches Oswald, causing him to faint. Fish turns to Butch and winks at him, causing him and his gang to flee the scene in horror.
Butch became Oswald's henchman once again, seemingly willing to take orders from him with no apparent issue. Six months following the incident with the prison bus, Butch accompanies Oswald to a press conference at the GCPD precinct, where Oswald accuses the police force of trying to hide the truth from the public, and urged the people of Gotham City to find Fish Mooney. The pair head to a nightclub named The Sirens which is ran by Barbara and a full recovered Tabitha, the latter whom Butch still has feelings for. During a meeting between Oswald, Barbara and Tabitha Butch is sent to the bar and out of the way. There he is approached by Selina and sends her on her way for being too young to be attending the club. When Oswald returns to Butch, he reveals Selina stole his wallet.
Butch and Oswald are called back to the bar as Barbara has been threatened by three mobsters, also her and Tabitha killed both of them and injured one. It turned out Butch hired them as he hoped Tabitha would run to him for protection. Angry, Oswald shot the last remaining mobster in the head and told Tabitha that the only reason he hasn't murdered her in retaliation for killing his mother is because Butch has not given him permission yet.
The following day the pair of them watched a news report on a hostage situation at an abandoned mansion, which Fish is involved with. Both Butch and Oswald rally citizens in Gotham and arrive at the Gotham to take down the monsters. Whilst the angry mob cause a scene outside the mansion much to the anger of Nathaniel Barnes who is trying to keep the situation under control, Oswald sneaks off after getting a tip off from Gordon that Fish is escaping into the woods round the back.
Conspiring against Penguin
After Oswald's successful plot to drive out the monsters of Gotham, he won public approval and as such began running for mayor against current acting mayor Aubrey James. In order to try and make sure Oswald would win the election, Butch began paying off the voting stations. However Oswald's friend Edward Nygma (who he got out of Arkham Asylum to help with the campaign) wanted Oswald to win fairly and show that the people of Gotham did care for him, and took back the money from the voters. When Butch found out he was furious with Edward, feeling he has sabotaged any chance of winning, a revelation which briefly angered Oswald until he found out he had won by a landslide, without cheating. Oswald was thrilled, and proceeded to criticise Butch for not believing in him. As such, Oswald appointed Edward as his chief of staff, much to Butch's dismay and fury.
Feeling like he is yet again being treated like second best, Butch plotted to win back Oswald's approval by creating a second Red Hood Gang and getting them to threaten Oswald during a speech and decapitate the statue of his late mother, which caused Oswald to want revenge on the gang. Butch met up with the gang later upon, but realising that Oswald had worked out where they were hiding out and coming along with his gang and Victor Zsasz in tow, Butch proceeded to betray and gun down the gang members, making Oswald approve of him again for dealing with the people that disgraced his mother. However Edward was not convinced by Butch's ruse. During Oswald's celebration party at The Sirens nightclub, Edward approached Butch and revealed that he wanted to betray Oswald, as he also didn't want to be treated second best. Butch wasn't convinced at first, but finally agreed, especially as he found out that Edward got Zsasz to hold Tabitha captive in the club's kitchen. Butch donned the red hood mask per Edward's instruction and interrupted Oswald's speech to the party guests. He attempted to shoot Oswald with a gun given to him by Edward, only to find it was filled with blanks and that he had been set up. Zsasz shoot and incapacitates Butch, and Edward unmasks him as the traitor. Tabitha manages to get free and helps take down Oswald's crew, and Butch proceeds to attack Edward only to be knocked unconscious by Oswald. Butch is taken into custody and driven to hospital for treatment,but is broken out of the ambulance by Tabitha and hidden away in a safehouse.
When Edward believes Butch is behind the murder of his girlfriend Isabella, he tracks down Butch and kidnaps both him and Tabitha, and proceeds to torture the pair of them. But during the torture session Butch (who has been trying to convince Edward he wasn't behind her murder) makes up false details of the murder, which confirms to Edward that Butch wasn't the one who did it. However it is too late as Tabitha ends up losing her hand in a torture device bought by Edward, and a stunned Edward leaves the scene after Barbara tracks them down. After Edward comes to the conclusion that Oswald killed Isabella out of jealously, he meets Butch, Barbara and Tabitha at the hospital, and forms an alliance to bring down the Penguin. Butch and Tabitha later interrogate Oswald on Nygma's whereabouts. Oswald taunted Butch about how he was no longer as important as he was in the past, and Butch almost shot him until Tabitha reminded him Barbara said not to kill him. Oswald taunted Butch further and Tabitha taunted Oswald about how he did nothing when she killed his mother. Tabitha said they were taking Oswald with them, and Butch knocked Oswald out when he protested, but was dismayed when Tabitha told him he would have to carry Oswald now. They took Oswald to Barbara where she persuaded him to help them find Nygma and started to make him question whether he really loved Nygma, but it was all a ploy as Nygma was there all along. The trio turned Oswald over to him where Nygma took him to the pier, shot him, and Oswald fell into the water.
Growing Distrust in Barbara
Gordon visited Butch and Tabitha and tried to convince them to give up Nygma's location. Tabitha lied that she didn't know where Nygma and Barbara went. After Gordon left, Butch said Tabitha should have given up Nygma, but Tabitha said she can't betray Barbara. Butch scoffed that Barbara always had Tabitha's best interests at heart. Later, Butch was proven right when Tabitha told Barbara she told Gordon where to find Nygma, saying that Barbara promised Tabitha could kill Nygma once he handed over the underworld.
Barbara ranted that she will never be in control as long as the Court of Owls exists, even though she and Tabitha were supposed to be partners. Butch was later surprised when Nygma told them that Oswald had survived, but initially refused to help Nygma kill Oswald since Nygma was the one who shot Oswald. Nygma reminded Butch that they were all working together, so to Oswald, they are all guilty. Barbara agreed with Nygma and formed a new alliance with him. They interrogated Selina Kyle, who knew Oswald was hiding away with her friend, Ivy Pepper. Selina asked for cash to leave town, and a promise that they wouldn't hurt Ivy However, as Selina was about to give away Oswald's location, Barbara shooed Tabitha and Butch away. As they walked away, Butch asked Tabitha how long they would have to put up with Barbara. When the group found Oswald, they were surprised to be joined by Fish Mooney, who absconded with Oswald.
With Fish on the loose, Butch became more desperate to take Barbara and Ncygma out and even suggested Fish could do it for them, but Tabitha said she wasn't ready. They noticed Leslie Thompkins was in the club and Butch went to confront him. Leslie insulted Butch, and he went to physically remove her from the club, but realized too late Leslie had the virus and she viciously assaulted him. Leslie asked to see Barbara and grinder her stiletto heel onto Butch's chest, telling Tabitha to tell Barbara the next time Leslie sees her, she is going to rip her head off of her body. Butch continued to push Tabitha into betraying Barbara by noting that Nygma almost killed them and now Barbara is working with him, saying he knows she cares about her, but what they had is gone. Barbara interrupts them, and says they are about to lent his city. She noticed Nygma is missing and finds out he took Jervis Tetch with him. Barbara raged at Butch and Tabitha, blaming them for letting Nygma kidnap Jervis, and Butch blamed Barbara she trusted Nygma. It didn't take them long to find Nygma, and a gun battle ensued between them and Gordon, who eventually escaped with Harvey and Jervis. Butch and Barbara got into an argument as the trio made plans to go to their safe house. After Barbara stormed off, Butch said he wasn't waiting any longer and told Tabitha that Barbara has broken every promise she made to them. He suggested taking Barbara out at the safe house, and Tabitha agreed. Butch offered to do it himself, but Tabitha said they would do it together, and kissed Butch.
In a Coma
- "He's a gangster, probably got what he deserved."
- —A doctor to her colleague[src]
Barbara confronted Butch outside of the safe house and told him she knew she and Tabitha were plotting against her, but Butch claimed he was working alone. Barbara continued to make fun of Butch, and Butch called her out on taking shots at him because she missed Tabitha's loyalty and strength. Butch subtly pulled out a razor and said that if it helps, Barbara never deserved Tabitha. Barbara shot Butch in the head, and took his prosthetic hand to show Tabitha. Butch survived and remained in a coma in Hospital Brass where a doctor felt he got what deserved for being a mobster, and stated he was Butch Gilzean, but another doctor said that Butch's chart listed his name as Cyrus Gold.
- "Rest in peace, Butch Gilzean, Cyrus Gold. Whoever the hell you are."
- —An orderly, moments before dumping Gilzean's body into the swamp[src]
While the hospital was being cleared out to make room for more patients, two orderlies brought Gilzean's body to Slaughter Swamp and dumped it into it's waters. After they left, the chemicals from Indian Hill that were dumped into Slaughter Swamp revived Butch Gilzean in a zombie-like state while also regenerating his hand. Stumbling upon some people, Butch attacked them when they took action towards him where some of them were knocked out or retreated. Taking the name Solomon Grundy from the song that was playing, he borrowed some clothes and made his way back to Gotham City. Once there, he found an injured Edward Nygma who was still recovering from being frozen in ice. When in the alley, Nygma and Solomon Grundy were having some food they found when the same men showed up to get even with Solomon Grundy. While most of the men either ended up defeated or escaping, Solomon Grundy got fire on his arm as Nygma used nearby water to put it out. While walking in Gotham City, Nygma told Solomon Grundy that they were friends. Upon arriving at Cherry's fight club, Nygma offered to have Solomon Grundy fight in the ring. Cherry accepted, but first had to have Solomon Grundy's fire injury be tended to by her fight club's latest doctor Leslie Thompkins.
Gaining back memories
Tabitha attempts to make Butch remember who he was, and begins smashing him over the head repeatedly. When the plan appears fruitless, a disappointed Tabitha makes her leave, unaware that Butch has managed to gain back his memories moments after she left.
Although somewhat brutish, Butch's tough exterior hides a sentimental and emotional side. This side is revealed when he breaks down in tears over Fish Mooney's death and Tabitha Galavan's sustained injuries and hospitalization. Butch was deeply loyal to Fish, demonstrating more loyalty than usual for a mobster. Even after being kidnapped and tortured into the servitude of Oswald Cobblepot, his sense of loyalty is hard to suppress as he was seen apologizing to Fish after previously shooting her and crying after she was (seemingly) killed by Penguin. Despite being loyal to Penguin, this was only due to the traumatic mental torture he suffered from Zsasz and when Tabitha reversed this process, he betrayed Cobblepot.
With Fish dead and no longer under the control of Penguin, Butch became his own man as he was no longer anyone's stooge and opportunistically took full control of Cobblepot's assets when the latter was incarcerated within Arkham Asylum, becoming the new "King of Gotham", and thus filling the power vacuum that Penguin left in the criminal underworld momentarily. Even with this new and slightly ruthless personality, he showed genuine care regarding Tabitha and allowed her to share his power and was even willing to work with Cobblepot to avenge her when she was injured by her resurrected brother. Butch is commonly underestimated by many people who see him as a thoughtless toady due to his large and violent frame. Though sometimes appearing thuggish dim-witted, he also has a good deal of street smarts and knows Gotham better than most. Part of this may stem from always being a henchman and not needing to use his brains or the mental torture he suffered at the hands of Zsasz. In any case he was intelligent enough to fool Penguin and betray him when he went to save his mother from Theo Galavan.
Unlike many mobsters, Butch is not a vengeful individual as he seemed content enough that Penguin lost a mother and was broken down enough by Strange's doctors in Arkham Asylum when he entered his house, chose not to kill him but instead tar and feather for cutting off Butch's hand, claiming he believed in "an eye for an eye".
Other than Mooney, the one person who Butch truly cares for is Tabitha. Even when she attempted to push him away, he still insists that he loves her and is even willing to put his life on the line to protect her. She eventually reciprocates his feelings.
Powers and abilities
- Resurrection enhanced physiology: After Butch's body was dumped in Slaughter Swamp and exposed to the chemicals from Indian Hill, his physical attributes were greatly enhanced. It also allowed him to live without blood, as Lee stated his heart was no longer beating.
- Superhuman strength: Upon being risen from the dead, Butch became inhumanly strong, being able to easily defeat multiple opponents alone. He is strong enough to tear a person's arm off in a manner of seconds.
- Superhuman durability: Butch's muscle and bone constitution is much denser than a normal human.
- Regeneration: Upon being risen from the dead, Butch's amputated hand had been regenerated.
- Pyrophobia: Following his resurrection, Butch developed a fear of fire after one of the men who attacked him in the alley with a molotov cocktail. When he saw Firefly use her flamethrower, he cowered into a fetal position.
- Butch's medical chart as seen in "Heroes Rise: Heavydirtysoul" reveals his age is 35.
Behind the scenes
- Even though initially appearing as an original character for the first three seasons of the show, the season 3 finale "Heroes Rise: Heavydirtysoul" reveals his birth name as Cyrus Gold. In the DC comics, Cyrus Gold is the alter-ego of the zombie supervillain Solomon Grundy. He first appeared in All-American Comics #61. (1944) and created by Alfred Bester and Paul Reinman where he was the enemy of the Green Lantern Alan Scott before fighting Batman and Superman on different occasions.
- The revelation of Butch as Cyrus Gold makes him the fourth live-action version of the character to appear on television, with the first being in Legends of the Superheroes in which he was portrayed by Mickey Morton. The second was on Smallville, where he was portrayed by John DeSantis. The third being in the second season of Arrow in which he was portrayed by Graham Shiels, although in that depiction he was Cyrus Gold and didn't become Solomon Grundy.
- Butch isn't the first portrayal of Cyrus Gold as a mobster. In The Justice League Animated Series, Cyrus Gold was characterized as a mobster, who was betrayed by his cohorts, killed, and had his body dumped in Slaughter Swamp where he was later revived as Solomon Grundy.