Fans of All-American wholesomeness will get a shock this summer, when comics staple Archie will finally end up with neither Betty nor Veronica, but rather the cold embrace of death. Archie Comics’ publisher has announced it will kill off its lead character in the July 16 issue of the long-running comic.
However, rest assured the enduring title will not disappear from supermarket checkouts nationwide, nor will future issues resort to a Garfield Minus Garfield setup, or feature page after grim page of Jughead drowning his sorrows in cheeseburgers and cheap bourbon. No, Archie will meet his end only in the Life With Archie series, an extended flash-forward that shows the perpetually teenage Archie and his friends as adults. The grown-up Archie will meet his end “sacrificing his own life to save the life of a friend.”
Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater insists “it’s not about the attention-grab of the death, but about telling a great, evocative story that reminds people why this character is important.” In other words, it’s not an attention grab; more like a gentle reach. For attention.
While the character’s demise will bring the Life With Archie story to a close, teenage Archie’s shenanigans will continue as before, blissfully unaware that the grim reaper is lurking just around the corner… watching… waiting…