For fans of iconic comic book character Archie Andrews, something big is coming. Everyone’s favorite freckled redhead is set to die in an upcoming issue of Life with Archie, after sacrificing himself for a friend.
However, this doesn’t mean that Archie is gone forever. The Life with Archie series is based upon theoretical future storylines of Archie after graduating from Riverdale High School, where he has been perpetually stuck since 1941. The bumbling teenager held dear by comic fans for decades will still live on in the “present day” comics.
Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater spoke with CNN, explaining why they started the new series.
“Most fans are familiar with Archie as a high schooler, hanging out at Pop’s Chocklit Shop with his friends. ‘Life With Archie’ shows what happens when Archie becomes an adult and starts dealing with grownup issues.”
Each issue of the series is split into two storylines to give readers a look into his future with both Betty and Veronica, but this will change in the summer. “The final issue, however, will show readers Archie’s final fate in both timelines — and they’re the same.”
When asked why kill off Archie Andrews at all, Goldwater said it seemed like a natural conclusion.
“He dies saving the life of a friend, and does it in his usual selfless way. Archie has always been a representation of us — the best of us. Our strengths and our faults.”
Knowing the sensitivity of the event, Goldwater defends the decision.
“This isn’t a random one-off or ‘what-if’ story that we’re doing as a gag. This is the story that we mapped out carefully and with much thought. This is the death of Archie as we see it, and we’re treating it with that same level of gravitas and import. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, and we are being very considerate about it.”
Goldwater hopes that fans will be intrigued by the news and that it will inspire people to pick up the issue this July. “As a company, we are not afraid to take risks. We’re not scared to shake things up to draw attention to the great stories we’re building here at Archie.”
In 2010, Archie Comics introduced the series’ first regular gay character with Kevin Kellar. An issue that showed Kellar kissing another male character was protested against when One Million Moms requested that Life with Archie Issue #16 not be displayed near check-out lines. The issue sold so well that a second print run was ordered.
What do you think about good ol’ Arch biting the dust? Is it truly the natural conclusion and will you be picking up the issue of Life with Archie in July?