After a one-week hiatus, The Flash is going to return tomorrow with a two-parts event revolving around the return of Gorilla Grodd…and another whole bunch of super-intelligent gorillas. In Attack on Gorilla City, however, there will be (apparently) some sort of a twist, as when Barry and the rest of the team travels to Earth-2 to save Harry Wells from Gorilla City, it turns out Grodd is not the one behind the kidnapping, quite the opposite, he’ll be an ally to them, since he’s trying to stop Solovar, the king of the city voiced by Keith David, from invading Earth-1. Well, judging from the latest promotional material, the huge albino gorilla king will indeed battle The Flash, but we know far too well by now not to trust Grodd and what he says…especially considering who the actual Solovar is in the comics. Just a hint: he’s not a villain (and he’s not albino: that’s an element from the animated series). Let’s see together.
Solovar was an extraterrestrial hyper-intelligent gorilla born in Gorilla City, on planet Calor. Wise and good-hearted, Solovar was also gifted with unique mental powers that made him a powerful telepath, a skill that he used to guide the evolution of his people to a technologically advanced utopia. Eventually, however, he realised that Calor wasn’t a safe environment anymore for his people, as the volcanic activity on the surface was becoming more and more unstable, and he started searching another suitable planet to bring the entire Gorilla City to. When a Green Lantern arrived on Calor to save the planet’s other inhabitants (primitive humanoids) from Dryg, a murderous beast, Solovar used both his powers and the advanced technology he disposed of to follow the hero’s energy trail to his homeplanet: Earth. Finding in the new world a suitable environment for his people, Solovar transported the entire Gorilla City in Africa, in the middle of a forest, chosing to keep it hidden from the planet’s dominant species, the humans: he found out that gorillas on that planet were a non-sentient and not evolved species, so he preferred not to scare humans with his and his people’s presence. Under Solovar’s guidance, Gorilla City kept prospering, away from other civilizations’ sight. A beloved ruler, King Solovar found no opposition in his country…but for one power-hungry gorilla, Grodd, who publicly and privately challenged him. Albeit potentially dangerous, Grodd didn’t represent any immediate threat to Solovar, as the King’s mental powers made him superior to any adversary…but that was something Grodd wanted to fix soon, as he started to investigate on the ruler to learn the secret of his telepathy. One day, while walking in the forest, Solovar was surrounded by human hunters, who shot him with a tranquillizer and brought him to a zoo in Central City, in the USA. Still following his original policy of not scaring the humans, Solovar pretended to be a regular gorilla, never revealing to be intelligent and capable of speaking…until Grodd arrived in Central City as well, still wanting to learn the secret of his powers and claim the throne for himself.
Finding Solovar in the zoo, Grodd was able to steal the Force of Mind from him, rushing to return to Gorilla City and to take control of the gorillas’ army to start a war against the whole world. Solovar couldn’t allow this, so he decided to stop pretending and broke free of the zoo; he looked for Central City’s hero, The Flash, and explained the situation to him, hoping he could trust him, and asked for his help. Since both wanted to protect their people, Solovar and The Flash joined forces, and came back together to Gorilla City. Here, The Flash defeated Grodd by moving faster than the gorilla could think, and later left him to Solovar for judgment; he also promised not to reveal to the world the secret of Gorilla City, and the superhero and the gorilla king parted ways as allies and friends. Grodd was imprisoned and reeducated, but that didn’t work exactly well: when he ended his term, Grodd came back to Gorilla City, just before the marriage of King Solovar and the beautiful Boka (Solovar was widowed, and had a son from a previous marriage, Nnamdi). Wanting to ruin the life of his rival, Grodd used what had remained of his stolen powers to make Boka fall in love with him, so the female gorilla left Solovar the day before marrying him, and married his worst enemy instead. Surely heartbroken, Solovar watched Grodd obtaining the throne thanks to his marriage with Boka, but when the evil gorilla left to conquer Central City, never coming back after being defeated once again by The Flash, Solovar reclaimed his title as king, and resumed guiding his people to a new age. Finally, when the cohabitation with humans looked possible, Solovar decided to completely change his former policy, and to stop using the advanced technology of Gorilla City to hide it from the rest of the world. He opened the city’s borders, and revealed to humans the existence of the hyper-intelligent gorillas. He even formed a political delegation, and travelled to New York City to ask to the United Nations for membership. Starting a diplomatic tour, Solovar became the frontman of inter-species dialogue and alliance, calling for peace between humans and gorillas. Maybe, the time truly had come for the two races to build a better, common future together…if the racist groups from both sides allowed it.
King Solovar is a wise and intelligent gorilla, a skilled leader who only wishes for the best for his people. Not only he possesses the superhuman strenght and durability of his race, but he also wields the Force of Mind, that grants him unique telepathic powers (among which the mind-control Grodd seeks). Strong-willed and determined, Solovar is also adaptable, and when the tide changes he’s also ready to modify his life-long policy to embrace a new way of doing things, always hoping for a brighter future for his people: he’s a king who not only wants to make history, but who’s willing to follow its evolution and to accompany Gorilla City in the inevitable transition to a nation linked to the others on the planet.