ARCHIE THE GRUESOME

Real Name: Alec Archie (? - see comments)

Identity/Class: Human (World War II era)

Occupation: US military medic;
    former street cleaner

Group Membership: Crazy S.U.E.S. (Specialized Unit, Enhanced Soldiers) (Blue Diamond/Elton Morrow, Bucky/James Barnes, Sgt. Byrd, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Captain Flame/Frank Cortez, Davey Drew, the Fin/Peter Noble, "Flash" Foster, Invisible Man/Leonard Gade, Doug "Jap-Buster" Johnson, Albert "Slow Motion" Jones, Merzah the Mystic, Moon-Man/Larry, Capt. Bob Strong, Jim "Taxi" Taylor, Vagabond/Pat Murphy, Victory Boys/Piotr & others, Young Avenger/Bill Bryon)

Affiliations: The Crazy S.U.E.S., Colonel Wright

Enemies: Big Joe, Joe, Nazi soldiers, Mr. Saxton

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: Alec the Great (see comments), "Arch," "Archie de Gruesome," "Archy the Gruesome," "Fool," "Punk"

Base of Operations: Mobile throughout Europe;
    formerly New York, USA

First Appearance: (as Alec the Great): Joker Comics I#1 (April, 1942);
    (as Archie the Gruesome): Comedy Comics I#10 (June, 1942)

Powers/Abilities: Archie the Gruesome did not possess any superhuman powers but he was quite swift and brave for a man his age and build. He was adept at fisticuffs (especially at using his trademarked "Piston-Punch") and was a very skilled military medic, if a little on the slow-witted side.

Originally in battle, Archie wielded his street-sweeping broom and shovel to "clean up" crime. He also was known to travel at high speeds while using his street cleaning cart as a vehicle.

He apparently suffered from vision issues, as he wore glasses during his military service.

Height: 6'1" (by approximation)
Weight: 195 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Dark brown

History: (Joker Comics I#1/8) - During a fairly typical work day (presumably in April, 1942) cleaning the streets, Alec heard the whistle signalling the time for his noon lunch. Sitting down to read a Captain America comic book on his lunch break, Alec was inspirated by Captain America to become a crime-buster himself. Designing a costume in the comfort of his own home, Alec decided on the codename of Alec the Great.

The next day, as the whistling Alec was cleaning in front of a local museum, he witnessed some goons (including Joe) running outside with a wrapped-up, humanoid figure. At first thinking a statue was simply being removed from the museum, Alec soon learned that the figure was the kidnapped Mr. Saxton, director of the museum. Jumping into action, Alec the Great followed the criminals by using his street-cleaning cart as a vehicle. Arriving at the criminals' waterfront headquarters, Alec, having lost control of his cart, slammed into the criminals' car and was briefly dazed before regaining his senses and confronting the criminals. Successfully kicking a gun out of one criminal's hand and hitting another with his shovel, Alec was nonetheless caught unaware and knocked out. Tied up, Alec witnessed the criminals deciding to hold Mr. Saxton for ransom as he worked on tearing his bounds. Soon escaping, Alec again confronted the criminals, knocking Joe and another out before Mr. Saxton himself pointed a gun at Alec. Saxton then admitted that he had paid Joe and his ally to kidnap him in order to collect from his so-called "friend" Colonel Wright before knocking out Alec and having his goons toss the unconscious Alec into the river. Revived by the cold of the water, Alec saved himself and secretly hitched a ride on the criminals' car as they escaped. Once they had returned to the museum, Alec again confronted the criminals, defeating them and bringing the police and Colonel Wright with him to confront Saxton. Explaining the situation to Colonel Wright, Alec told police that Saxton's goons were outside and later returned to his job as a street cleaner.

(Comedy Comics I#10/3) - One day (presumably in June, 1942), while happily strolling down the street as part of his street-cleaning territory, Alec (now calling himself Archie the Gruesome) was confronted by fellow street cleaner Big Joe, who announced his plans to take over Archie's territory. Reminding Big Joe that his territory was Grover Street, Archie was nonetheless shoved and told that Archie's territory was easier than Grover Street and Big Joe planned to take over the easier territory. Insisting that Big Joe could muscle his way into his territory, Archie removed his street-cleaning uniform to reveal the costume of the heroic Archie the Gruesome. Confronting Big Joe as Archie the Gruesome, Archie was laughed at, with Big Joe remarking on how Archie must think he was some sort of comic book hero, but Archie knocked Big Joe out with one punch and then swept the dust off of the fallen Big Joe. Archie then dumped the unconscious Big Joe into his rolling trash bin and commented on how Captain America would be proud if he could see him.



Later, determined to get revenge on Archie, Big Joe found Archie cleaning his street and pulled a fire alarm in order to get Archie into trouble for a false alarm. As a fire engine rushed to the scene, Archie noticed smoke coming from a building on his cleaning route and donned his costume once more in an attempt to help. Rushing to the building's top floor, Archie found a woman trying to put out a large fire and when the fire engine arrived to see the nearby fire, Archie jumped from the building's top floor with the woman and the duo were safely rescued by the firemen. Becoming locally famous for the rescue, Archie the Gruesome was asked to make a public appearance and Archie commented on how he could entertain the public with his singing voice. In another attempt to make Archie look bad, Big Joe came to the theater to heckle Archie but Archie quickly recognized Joe's voice and beat Big Joe senseless, humiliating Joe by knocking his head into a painting of a female dancer.

The next morning, Archie reveled in the cleanliness of his side of the street while Big Joe fumed at how dirty his Grover Street territory was. Again thinking to humiliate Archie, Big Joe dumped his garbage can along Archie's street and while Archie subsequently re-cleaned his street, Big Joe began dumping more garbage onto another street in Archie's territory. Unfortunately for Big Joe, the mayor witnessed Joe dumping and reprimanded him for not keeping the streets clean while Archie, on the other hand, was reprimanded by the governor. Big Joe returned just in time to see the governor depart as a fuming Archie jumped up and down on his broom in anger.

(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Archie joined the military and was made a medic, shaving off his mustache, donning glasses and joining the costumed unit, the Crazy S.U.E.S. (Specialized Unit, Enhanced Soldiers).

(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#3 (fb)) - On August 13, 1942, Archie accompanied the Crazy S.U.E.S. to Guadalcanal, where he was ordered into a trench by Sgt. Byrd to help treat the injured "Slow-Motion" Jones. Archie aided Jones as his teammate, Captain Flame, began to lose control of his fiery powers. As Captain Flame uncontrollably absorbed the energy of surrounding bombs, Archie and the other S.U.E.S. were ordered to get back.

(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#4 (fb)) - Archie joined the Crazy S.U.E.S. in the Pacific Theater during World War II, where they fought off the Japanese army. When the Vagabond was shot multiple times, Archie was summoned to try and save the Vagabond's life but Vagabond ultimately died. After the Pacific Theater, Captain Flame rejoined the Crazy S.U.E.S. and Archie read a Timely comic book featuring himself while the group flew towards France, unaware that his teammate "Slow-Motion" Jones considered him dumb. He soon parachuted into the Sainte Mere Eglise village and regrouped with the other S.U.E.S. as "Slow-Motion" Jones was trying to reassure the worrying Captain Flame.

(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#5 (fb)) - On July 7, 1944, Archie was with the Crazy S.U.E.S. in Bretteville-sur-Laise, France as the group prepared to advance into the French countryside to battle more German soldiers. After a fierce fight in Paris, Archie and the other Crazy S.U.E.S. rode down the Champs Elysees to a large fanfare.

(All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1 (fb)) - Archie accompanied the Crazy S.U.E.S. into Saarlautern, Germany on December 6, 1944, where he helped hold fire while Captain Flame, the Young Avengers and Sgt. "Slow-Motion" Jones escorted the Victory Boys to the far side of Engelstrasse. When one of the Victory Boys, Piotr, was gravely wounded by a bomb, Archie came to Piotr's aid and the Young Avenger helped Archie tear cloth for bandages as Archie tended to Piotr's wounds. As Piotr's life began fading, the Young Avenger demanded Archie give Piotr morphine but Archie refused. The Young Avenger soon told Archie to fall back across the street as German soldiers neared, assuring Archie that he had done all he could for Piotr.

Comments: Created by an uncredited writer and artist.

While on the cover of Comedy Comics I#10, Archie wore a blue shirt, red trunks & blue pants, he wore a red shirt, blue trunks & yellow pants in the actual issue's story...

While not shown, it seems likely that Archie was with the Crazy S.U.E.S. in France on August 29, 1944 when Captain Flame seemingly died and several of the S.U.E.S. were hit by German soldiers. His identifiable medic helmet was not shown to be on any of the soldiers present during that mission but there was several soldiers there who were not identifiable. Since the All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes mini-series was never completed, it was not clear if Archie survived the war or if he was killed during a Crazy S.U.E.S. mission. Until we know otherwise, I see no reason to assume Archie had died during the War. On the other hand, the mini-series implied that many Golden Age characters who had few comic book appearances had died in battle and Archie did only have a single Golden Age appearance so by that implication, it's also possible Archie did indeed die in combat...

A character identical to "Archie the Gruesome" appears in Joker Comics I#1 (April, 1942) as "Alec the Great." It seems more than a coincidence that the two characters were identical and seems likely they were intended to be the same character, albeit named "Archie the Gruesome" in the second story (Comedy Comics I#10). As such, I've chosen to add the Joker Comics I#1 appearance of "Alec the Great" to this profile and if anything ever comes along to disprove Alec and Archie not being the same character, I will update the profile to reflect this. If they are indeed the same character then perhaps his real name is "Alec Archie," which might suggest the name change between Alec and Archie.

Profile by Proto-Man.

CLARIFICATIONS:
Archie the Gruesome has no known connections to:


Big Joe

Big Joe was a fellow street cleaner who wished to take over Archie's easier cleaning route. When he tried to force his way into Archie's territory, Archie donned his Archie the Gruesome costume and knocked Joe out, dumping him in his trash can. Later attempting revenge on Archie, Big Joe pulled a fire alarm to get Archie in trouble for calling a false alarm but Joe's attempt resulted in the firemen finding an actual fire, in which Archie became locally famous for saving a woman from the fire. Determined to humiliate Archie, Big Joe later that night visited a theater where Archie was making a public appearance and proceeded to heckle Archie until Archie beat Joe senseless and knocked Joe into a painting of a dancing woman. The next morning, Big Joe grumbled while cleaning his side of the streets then decided to get at Archie by dumping his trash onto Archie's newly-cleaned streets. Caught dumping a second load, Big Joe was reprimanded by the mayor then went to check on Archie, finding him being reprimanded as well by the governor. Big Joe then laughed at the angry Archie, who jumped up and down on his broom in a fit of rage.

--Comedy Comics I#10


Colonel Wright

Colonel Wright was a friend of museum director Mr. Saxton, unaware Saxton was planning to hold himself ransom to steal ransom money away from the rich Colonel Wright. Arranging to have himself kidnapped, Saxton had his agents send a message to Colonel Wright demanding ransom money for Saxton's release. Colonel Wright did as he was told and turned over the money to ensure Saxton's safe release but when the heroic Alec the Great later exposed Saxton's crimes, he had Colonel Wright accompany him and revealed to Wright Saxton's crimes as well. Seeing Saxton arrested, the now-angry Colonel Wright admitted he had no sympathy for Saxton.


--Joker Comics I#1/8


Joe

Joe was a thug hired by museum director Mr. Saxton to kidnap him so that he could collect ransom money from his so-called "friend" Colonel Wright. Doing as hired, Joe and his friend kidnapped Mr. Saxton from the museum and held him hostage, arranging to have a message sent to Colonel Wright to collect the ransom money despite the interference of bumbling hero Alec the Great. Assuring Alec's capture, Joe watched over him as his ally collected fifty thousand dollars ransom money but Joe was soon knocked out when Alec freed himself. Saxton himself then knocked out Alec and Joe hurled Alec into the river, only to be knocked out again when a surviving Alec hitched a ride back to the museum to confront Saxton.

--Joker Comics I#1/8


Mr. Saxton

Mr. Saxton was a crooked museum director that had devised a plan to have himself kidnapped for ransom money. Arranging for Joe and another goon to kidnap him from the museum, Saxton was seen being taken from the museum by bumbling hero Alec the Great. Remaining "captured" while the goons acquired the ransom money from Saxton's so-called "friend" Colonel Wright, Saxton watched as Alec attacked the goons in an attempt to rescue Saxton, only to pull a gun on Alec when Alec later escaped the criminals. Revealing his plan to collect his own ransom money, Saxton arranged for Alec to be dumped into the nearby river but Alec survived and followed Saxton and his goons back to the museum. After Saxton entered the museum, Alec revealed himself, defeating the goons and confronting Saxton with both the police and Colonel Wright. Saxton was then arrested.

--Joker Comics I#1/8


images: (without ads)
Comedy Comics I#10, front cover (Archie the Gruesome battling criminals, main image)
Comedy Comics I#10, p16, pan3 (Archie, headshot)
Comedy Comics I#10, p12, pan1 (Archie the Gruesome in his civilian street cleaner uniform)
Comedy Comics I#10, p12, pan8 (Archie the Gruesome sweeping up crime)
Comedy Comics I#10, p13, pan7 (Archie running up a flight of stairs)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1, p6, pan3 (military Archie headshot)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#4, p4, pan4 (Archie in military uniform)
Comedy Comics I#10, p15, pan2 (Big Joe)
Joker Comics I#1, p39, pan7 (Colonel Wright)
Joker Comics I#1, p37, pan7 (Joe)
Joker Comics I#1, p38, pan6 (Mr. Saxton)


Appearances:
Joker Comics I#1 (April, 1942) - "Alec the Great" story - no credits given
Comedy Comics I#10 (June, 1942) - "Archie the Gruesome" story - uncredited writer & artist, Stan Lee (editor)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#1 (August, 2011) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Carmine di Giandomenico (art), Bill Rosemann, Alejandro Arbona (editors)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#3 (October, 2011) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Carmine di Giandomenico (art), Bill Rosemann, Alejandro Arbona (editors)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#4 (November, 2011) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Carmine di Giandomenico (art), Bill Rosemann, Alejandro Arbona (editors)
All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes#5 (December, 2011) - Paul Jenkins (writer), Carmine di Giandomenico (art), Bill Rosemann, Alejandro Arbona (editors)


First Posted: 07/29/2020
Last updated: 08/27/2020

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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