I used to pick up Archie comics in line at the grocery store with my mom; I was never really a comic book nerd, but they were accessible and fun enough for someone unfamiliar to the nuances of the comic book world. Plus, two of the stars were sassy ladies (never mind that Betty and Veronica were always fighting over a lanky dude with freckles). So, it makes me so sad to learn that the Life with Archie series, a part of the comics that shows Archie's possible futures, one married to Veronica and one married to Betty, is going to be killing off Archie Andrews in an issue this summer.
MTV News reported that Life with Archie #36, which will hit stands on July 16, will merge the two, parallel universe storylines into one, and will KILL ARCHIE. According to Jon Goldwater, the son of John Goldwater, who created the Archie series, his death will not leave readers feel unfulfilled:
It's very heroic, and it's done to save somebody's life. And that is what you would expect of Archie. It is extraordinarily spontaneous. It is not something that one sees coming, or at the issue begins you can feel it, because you can't. It's done with a sudden impact.
The following issue, #37, will take place a year in the future from Archie's death to show how Betty, Veronica, Jughead and the rest of the characters in the Riverdale universe are dealing with the loss of their beloved redhead hero. Ugh.
This news makes me very despondent — I have such vivid memories of loving them so very much. And I'm doubt I'm alone. The whole Archie franchise is definitely replete with nostalgia — after all, Archie and his friends hang out at a soda fountain, which is where most of their turmoil and drama unfolds. But in the past several years, Archie comics have taken a number of risks, adding interracial relationships and even a gay character named Kevin Keller. Archie matured, and so did we.
So thanks, Jon Goldwater, for reminding me of the way that time passes without us noticing. CNN asked Goldwater, "Why, though?" to which he soberly responded, "I think it's the natural conclusion to the Life With Archie series."
Even in a fantasy world, everybody's gotta go some time.
You can see the covers for issues #36 and #37 of Life With Archie here.
Image: Archie Comics