Archie Comics: Classic Character Gets Cancer

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Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

Archie comics have always sort of reminded me of what life would be in a perfect world. In this small, self contained universe, nothing "wrong" ever happens and Archie's most dire conflict is whether he wants to ask Veronica or Betty out on a date for Friday night. Recently, however, there seems to be a push to intertwine realism and realistic concepts and situations into Archie's world. By realism, I mean concepts that you and I are likely to deal with in our ordinary lives. The most recent example is the announcement of Geraldine Grundy's battle with cancer, and her subsequent death which will be featured in issue #6 of " Life With Archie."

 Death in comic books is often used as a way to move a story. This year alone we've seen stories that revolve entirely around character deaths. In 2008, we witnessed the death of Batman and this year, DC comics spent the majority of the year telling stories which focused on his resurrection and return in the
Thor #608
Return of Bruce Wayne.  
 
At Marvel, we witnessed the death of the Sentry during SIEGE, and Cable during Second Coming. Each of these deaths were incredible, and occurred during fantastic circumstances. The Sentry's death, for example, was dealt by Thor who summoned all the power of Mjolnir to destroy the Sentry. Thor then proceeded to take Sentry's remains, and throw them into the sun. Sure, the death of the Sentry was interesting and exciting- but it's hard for readers to relate to. I mean, how often do the people you care about die by being thrown into the sun?
== TEASER ==
The death of Ms. Grundy comes at a time where there have been definite changes being made in Archie comics. More frequently we've seen new concepts that have changed the characters in the comics we've grown up with, and as a result, have modernized the publication. In an interview with the New York Times, co-chief executive of Archie Comics Jon Goldwater discussed the many recent changes that have been introduced to Archie comics. "“The goal was to tell stories with important, real-world issues that people deal with like death, financial hardship and marriage issues.” The idea of introducing real world concepts, hardships and struggles into Archie's "perfect" world is indeed a good idea; and the death of Ms. Grundy at the hand of cancer, a common killer, is actually a really good thing. So many of us have been touched by cancer and seen our loved ones pass as a result of the disease, that integrating it into Archie's life and forcing the character to deal with the hardship makes him more relatable and interesting to the reader.

Having grown up reading Archie comics, and frequently sneaking the comics into my Mom's grocery cart, it will be interesting to see how the classic character is affected by cancer and the passing of his former teacher. What do you think? Are you looking forward to the changes we are seeing in Archie?  
#1 Posted by BradBrains (91 posts) - - Show Bio

its weird seeing big storylines in archie like this for sure. but i dont really pay attention

#2 Edited by Psykhophear (251 posts) - - Show Bio

They finally have the balls to kill someone in the Archie Comics. It's about damn time one of the Archie members bites the dust. 
 
RIP Miss Grundy.

#3 Posted by touch37 (56 posts) - - Show Bio

Ms. Grundy?! Noooo! 
Ms. Grundy was the kind of teacher I always wished I could have had, but never got. She was friendly, outgoing, and really cared about the kids she taught. I, I'm gonna have to go now...something in my eye...

#4 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio
@touch37 said:
" Ms. Grundy?! Noooo! 
Ms. Grundy was the kind of teacher I always wished I could have had, but never got. She was friendly, outgoing, and really cared about the kids she taught. I, I'm gonna have to go now...something in my eye... "
  Hmm, must be raining where you live.
#5 Edited by spider-man 2996 (660 posts) - - Show Bio

R.I.P Ms. Grundy

#6 Posted by Illyana Rasputin (2771 posts) - - Show Bio

Poor Ms. Grundy! :( I have had so many loved ones perish from that insidious disease. It's nice, albeit sad, to see a beloved character succumb to an actual illness. I agree with Babs about The Sentry being thrown into the sun. Yes, it is shocking, but when DO we ever lose a loved one from being thrown into the sun?

#7 Posted by JokerJuice (9 posts) - - Show Bio

OHMAN. grundy's gone. Oh well.

#8 Posted by MisterDK (199 posts) - - Show Bio

Don't worry, she'll be back. Much like her son Solomon.

#9 Posted by Baron_Emo (3570 posts) - - Show Bio

This is intriguing. It reminds me of Pleasantville. Introducing a bit of realism into an idealistic world can be more sad than progressive. 

#10 Posted by Jotham (4564 posts) - - Show Bio

Ms. Grundy dying of cancer? WHAT ARE YOU UP TO, ARCHIE COMICS?

#11 Posted by Mtti (24 posts) - - Show Bio

Weird to see this in the Archieverse, haven't read an issue of Jugehead since 1996, don't think they will ressurect her, not the kind of comic to do that, will be interested to see what the outcome would be. By the way what ever happened to the gay character they introduced?

#12 Posted by Darkmount1 (1270 posts) - - Show Bio

I read that New York Times article. This may be one of the best decisions the publisher has made, and who knows-we may get a live-action Archie movie after all this time.
#13 Posted by turoksonofstone (13199 posts) - - Show Bio
@BradBrains said:
" its weird seeing big storylines in archie like this for sure. but i dont really pay attention "
#14 Posted by Midnight Monk (225 posts) - - Show Bio

Atleast it ain't Jughead, where would I be now without Jughead *sniff*
#15 Posted by jakob187 (998 posts) - - Show Bio

Real world issues in Archie Comics? 
 
It's a terrible idea.  The point of Archie Comics has never been to face real-world issues in the perfect world of Archie.  The point of Archie Comics is to have something at the end of the day that you can open up and you KNOW you'll smile by the end of it all.  It's that treat, that present that you want when you have a bad day or want a light-hearted read. 
 
What's next?  Archie has to file bankruptcy, gets Betty knocked up and can't afford it?  In turn, they have to debate the issue of abortion or adoption?  That's not what we read Archie for! 
 
I'm reminded of the old NBC made-for-TV movie that they did.  Jughead was a divorced psychiatrist on that, and while the movie itself was pretty terrible, that one thing reminded me why Archie is a great comic book series:  it's about having fun, enjoying yourself, and getting a laugh while being brought into this incredibly familiar world that has a massive legacy behind it. 
 
Sure, I'm not giving it a chance and that makes me a bad person or whatever, but at the same time, why SHOULD it change?  It's Archie.  Doing this with Archie Comics is along the same lines of making Peanuts have real world issues like cancer and bankruptcy and all the negative crap in the world. 
 
This, put in a plain and simple way, is a travesty.

#16 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

... so THIS is what that whole "Cancerverse" thing was about. 
 
But no, seriously, I can't imagine Archie Comics makes a profit. why not just have it all revealed that it's all Jughead's psychotic delusion from inside a padded cell with the word "Hamburgers" scrawled all over the walls.

#17 Posted by Theodore (3445 posts) - - Show Bio

wow no way

#18 Posted by CATPANEXE (9368 posts) - - Show Bio
@BradBrains said:
" its weird seeing big storylines in archie like this for sure. but i dont really pay attention "
#19 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3549 posts) - - Show Bio

What makes this feel so impactful is that you are next to certain that this death actually means something. It feels as if you are really saying goodbye and they will never be back.
 
I would argue with the idea that death in comics is used to move a story forward. In most comics death is an absolute joke, because you know they will never stay that way. It makes you wonder why they do it at all. It's meaningless. It's a gimmick to move sales and less story. 
 
It wasn't that long ago that Thor was "dead" and Sentry has repeatedly "died". DC does the death gimmick a lot, most famously with the non-death of Superman. I also thin they utterly flopped with the Return of Bruce Wayne by releasing those Road Home books before Bruce actually returned. Not to mention the utter lack of Cassandra after her sudden departure. Marvel comics I think is the absolute worst offender with using death as a gimmick. I don't know what it is, but characterization has just been going downhill at Marvel. They haven't done anything that has impressed me in a long time. Nothing that happens there ever seems to matter.
 
I hardly ever read Archie growing up. I think I maybe read two. Still, I can feel a little impact in this event. I think it's because it's making me remember a relative I had who died from brain cancer a few years back. The only guy was in high spirits to his final day. Flirting with the nurses.

#20 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't see why Archie needs realism, Archie was something I'd read for fun if say my sister bought one of those digest-sized books at the grocery store or something...I was never invested in the characters, and making them all serious sort of defeats the purpose of why I ever read them in the first place...at the same time, I don't read them enough for this to actually affect me and I never bought them with my own money so I may never read a new Archie story anyways

Moderator
#21 Posted by aztek_the_lost (28224 posts) - - Show Bio
@jakob187 said:
" Real world issues in Archie Comics?  It's a terrible idea.  The point of Archie Comics has never been to face real-world issues in the perfect world of Archie.  The point of Archie Comics is to have something at the end of the day that you can open up and you KNOW you'll smile by the end of it all.  It's that treat, that present that you want when you have a bad day or want a light-hearted read.  What's next?  Archie has to file bankruptcy, gets Betty knocked up and can't afford it?  In turn, they have to debate the issue of abortion or adoption?  That's not what we read Archie for!  I'm reminded of the old NBC made-for-TV movie that they did.  Jughead was a divorced psychiatrist on that, and while the movie itself was pretty terrible, that one thing reminded me why Archie is a great comic book series:  it's about having fun, enjoying yourself, and getting a laugh while being brought into this incredibly familiar world that has a massive legacy behind it.  Sure, I'm not giving it a chance and that makes me a bad person or whatever, but at the same time, why SHOULD it change?  It's Archie.  Doing this with Archie Comics is along the same lines of making Peanuts have real world issues like cancer and bankruptcy and all the negative crap in the world.  This, put in a plain and simple way, is a travesty. "
this is the more eloquent version of what I wanted to say
Moderator
#22 Posted by JonesDeini (3620 posts) - - Show Bio

Damn, Ms. Grundy? Shit just go real, folk :-(

#23 Posted by CaptinAwesome (317 posts) - - Show Bio

looking at that picture it did't seem to phase Archie, I mean he has a smile on his face and he still got the girl.

#24 Posted by batmanary (798 posts) - - Show Bio

Well it really has more impact than a death of a superhero because Archie doesn't have death or resurrection and Ms Grundy has been a character that's been present since the 1940s with Archie, and she's a meaningful character rather than an unknown. Killing her off is like having the death of a family member, and while Archie might be unrealistic, at the same time it is, and having realistic issues like cancer being prevalent in the Archie Universe is a big thing, because, they aren't bringing her back. This is it. She's dead. And that's why it's sad at the same time. RIP Ms Grundy

#25 Posted by Mercy_ (92629 posts) - - Show Bio
@MisterDK
Don't worry, she'll be back. Much like her son Solomon.
LMFAO.
Moderator
#26 Posted by batmanary (798 posts) - - Show Bio

This story seems to be set a bit into the future, since everywhere I read it says it explores the futures where Arch marries Betty or Veronica, so I think new stories set in Riverdale High will still have her.

#27 Posted by Marshal Victory (677 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe they could do this story where betty makes a deal with mephisto to bring her back?An her an archie would not be together.Maybe one more day.. oh wait archies cool with in that pic so never mind. I used to read archie when i was growing up.It was never timely or real world edgey.This is just meh. 
#28 Posted by NightFang (9904 posts) - - Show Bio

R.I.P Ms. Grundy.

Online
#29 Posted by HaHaManHV (234 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm actually really shocked that they're going to do this. I mean, props to them. That's actually really powerful and I'm sad to see her go. I've been really impressed with Archie the last few years, they're finding nice ways to stay relevant and become a bigger brand, even if it's just slightly. This is a great step for the company

#30 Posted by HaHaManHV (234 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm actually really shocked that they're going to do this. I mean, props to them. That's actually really powerful and I'm sad to see her go. I've been really impressed with Archie the last few years, they're finding nice ways to stay relevant and become a bigger brand, even if it's just slightly. This is a great step for the company

#31 Posted by X_Woman (64 posts) - - Show Bio

No one in the comics ever stays dead. 
 
I bet they bring her back. 
 
 
#32 Posted by Shadow_Thief (2509 posts) - - Show Bio
@jakob187:  Take a gander at this series Jim Davis did for Garfield
http://www.garfield.com/comics/vault.html?yr=1989&addr=891023
#33 Posted by Prince of Saiyans (2072 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess nothing is simplistic and idealistic anymore. 

#34 Posted by Digifiend (580 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow, I thought the only Archie comics that ever did death storylines was Sonic the Hedgehog.

#35 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

Whaaaaa..??
You mean they dare change Archie's status quo who hasn't been touched upon since the late 30s???

#36 Posted by ComicMan24 (147042 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't see the point in doing this and generally introducing real-life problems and concerns in Archie.

#37 Posted by drabstor (3 posts) - - Show Bio

The death in the comics is something normal. The living beings aren't inmortal (in the most of characters).
But is normal too that they come to life later. For example Jean Grey has died a lot of times an ALWAYS returns, sooner or later, but always returns, OK This is not a good example, She's the Phoenix thar reborns form her ashes.
But other like Colossus, Captain America, Shadowcat, Apocalypsis, Mr. Sinister,  Psylocke, Green Goblin, Xavier, Lady Deathstrike or Cypher have returned from the death or an apparent death.
Someday, Cable, Banshee, Sentry and Nighcrawler will return to the world. 
I only know two characters whose death is forever : Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy.

#38 Posted by jubilee042 (1353 posts) - - Show Bio

sad!

#39 Posted by fedspaz (62 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with the comments that Archie doesn't need realism in it.  Archie has always been an escape from the mayhem, the sad, the pains.  I like the fact that Archie's world is the "perfect" place.  Where all is good, well except for Reggy.  It's nice to escape to that place and just know things are all happy and nice.  Not the place I want to see tragedy... my escape to a nirvana type world has been marred.

#40 Posted by budonkadonk (64 posts) - - Show Bio

Ah, the last bastion for guilt-free escapism has bit the dust. 
#41 Posted by kapitein_zeppos (341 posts) - - Show Bio

Doesn't feel right for an Archie comic.  Hope they don't go overboard with this one.
 
As for comic book death, it's so overused it's becoming boring.  You can only tease the fish so many times by pulling the line at the last moment before he loses interest.  And I wouldn't be surprised that Uncle Ben and Gwen Stacy are ever brought back.
 
"And not only does Gwen rise from the grave, but she gains superpowers and blames Spider-man for her death !!!"

#42 Posted by GraveSp (318 posts) - - Show Bio

The original Question died of cancer so it isn't that big a push for a comic book character to have a  death that people can relate too.

#43 Posted by Aetheldod (51 posts) - - Show Bio

They still make Archie comics???

#44 Posted by welshguy (197 posts) - - Show Bio

Somehow I'm aware of Archie at its most basic level but I'm not sure how seeing as its appears a very American instituion... 
Anyway, realism is all well and good but I read comics/books/watch movies etc. to escape reality, if only for a short time. Reality for me is constantly reminding myself I'm not good at anything, a grandmother suffering from alzheimers and asshole neighbours, fear about the future viability of my business, whether or not that hot chick in the aforementioned grandmother's nursing home is interested in me or not, doubting that I can ever get one single script completed... 
Ah, time to dig out the Dark Knight returns methinks

#45 Posted by RecSpec (9 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't read an Archie comic in about 10 years, but does everything really have to relate to the reader in one way or another?

#46 Posted by Daywing (4443 posts) - - Show Bio
@touch37 said:
" Ms. Grundy?! Noooo! 
Ms. Grundy was the kind of teacher I always wished I could have had, but never got. She was friendly, outgoing, and really cared about the kids she taught. I, I'm gonna have to go now...something in my eye... "
#47 Posted by Renee (10289 posts) - - Show Bio

So sad! :(

#48 Posted by Grim (2079 posts) - - Show Bio
@Daywing said:
" @touch37 said:
" Ms. Grundy?! Noooo! 
Ms. Grundy was the kind of teacher I always wished I could have had, but never got. She was friendly, outgoing, and really cared about the kids she taught. I, I'm gonna have to go now...something in my eye... "
"

#49 Posted by The_TARDIS (8 posts) - - Show Bio

Well guys, it worked for The Question.

#50 Posted by notageek (86 posts) - - Show Bio

bad idea if archie authors start adding real life issues in it then parents wouldnt want their kids to read it

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