Robot 6

RIP Geraldine Grundy

Look up “spinster” in the dictionary and you’ll probably see a picture of Miss Grundy, the longtime homeroom teacher of Archie Andrews and the rest of the Riverdale gang. Everything about her screams “sweet 60 and never been kissed,” from her steel bun to her quasi-Victorian dress down to her sensible shoes. Of course, Miss Grundy was born old, and if anything she improved with age. Compared to her 1940s avatar (a wrinkled crone who worked in a pickle factory before turning to education for a career), her modern incarnation is quite soft and chic.

So it’s particularly poignant that just when she found love—with longtime crush Mr. Weatherbee—Miss Grundy also found out that she was seriously ill, and now we learn that she will shuffle off this mortal coil in issue #6 of Life with Archie magazine. Of course, the magazine is set in a different universe than the monthly comics: It follows the grown-up Archie and the rest of the Riverdale gang after they graduate from college, get married, and launch careers in an Archie-esque version of the real world. Miss Grundy will continue to torment the students of Riverdale High in the regular Archie series.

While it’s big news at the moment, Miss Grundy’s fate was actually foreshadowed in the first issue of Life with Archie, when she tells Mr. Weatherbee that she is gravely ill, and he responds by proposing. Unless the sixth issue is a huge break with the rest of the series, this is a very Riverdale version of cancer. We haven’t see Miss Grundy recover from surgery or spend hours in the infusion room getting chemo; she just works in her garden and looks a bit more haggard than usual.

(Also, Miss Grundy’s illness seems to take place only in the Archie Marries Betty stories, which makes one wonder if some odd version of the butterfly effect is at work: If Archie marries Veronica, does Miss Grundy get to live?)

Incidentally, the news of this sad event totally overshadows something every bit as momentous, and even more continuity-breaking: Jughead’s wedding. In issue #5, he gets hitched to Midge in a triple wedding with Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy, and Mr. Svenson and Miss Beazly.

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6 Comments

I was enjoying some of the aging of the characters, as the wedding issues were a lot of fun (taking somewhat surprising turns).

In reality, if Jughead were to marry, you’d think it would be to someone he hadn’t yet met (in High School).

Unfortunately, these wrappings make the series too insular and implausible. I like the ‘reality’ of this series, but the decisions by the writers are too smug, too close-minded.

In other words, I hope that they’ll consider some other directions in the future. Otherwise, this is too pat for me….

The real reason Jughead’s wedding is momentous is that he managed to marry Midge without Moose clobbering him. Funnily enough, Moose’s first appearance was in a story which revolved around him thinking that Jughead was going after his girlfriend. I have to say, I feel bad for Ethel. All that effort to snag Jughead, and even though he does go for a girl in the end, it isn’t even her.

There’s a bit of the story at the Archie comics blog:

http://www.archiecomics.com/blog/news/2010/12/archie-comics-first-look-world-of-archie-double-digest-3.html

Warning: Image-heavy post. Scroll all the way down. Maybe I was wrong about not seeing the reality of cancer. Anyway, it’s worth a look for the flashback to the younger, sassier Miss Grundy, with her ponytail and her attitude.

I really like Life with Archie: The Married life because it takes the gang into adulthood with all the ups and downs real life has to throw at you. Its sad that Miss Grundy (Mrs Weatherbee) passes but thats part of life and it opens new avenues for this archie Universe that will be interesting.

I’m disgusted at this and a lot of other decisions Archie Comics has been making lately [including putting political figures in the books]. Riverdale used to be a place where real-life issues don’t exist and where the children are in a bit of a time warp- in a place where drugs, sex, and violence doesn’t affect them. Killing off Miss Grundy was cruel, she’s been part of the gang from the beginning.

I think Reggie should have gotten Midge… it’s not as if he didn’t chase her every time Moose was away.

If they really want to change some stuff up, have Moose and Dilton get together.

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