The people at Archie Comics just don't give a damn. They unleashed a zombie apocalypse in Riverdale last year, in which two female supporting characters sort of came out of the closet. Now the publisher is killing off their main character. RIP Archie.
Archie Andrews dies a tragic, heroic death in this July's Life With Archie #36. A press release from Archie Comics says:
The iconic comic book character, beloved by millions around the globe for over 70 years, will sacrifice himself heroically while saving the life of a friend in the pages of July's LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36, the final issue in the flash-forward series, which spotlights Archie's adventures after high school and college.
Originally, Life With Archie ran from 1958-1991 and featured longer stories than the other series featuring the happy-go-lucky redhead. The current volume of Life With Archie started in 2010, with the hook that it would focus on two versions of Archie's life as an adult, one where he marries Betty and the other where he's Veronica's husband. So, this flash-forward title isn't the main Archie book. There will be other Archie comics once the titular character passes on in this one, as this quote from publisher/co-CEO Jon Goldwater seems to hint:
"Archie Andrews will die in the future storyline presented in LIFE WITH ARCHIE. This is something we thought about for a long time and it really is the perfect way to cap off this acclaimed story — it also gave us the opportunity to really think about how we'd handle Archie's death. This is what we felt really represented the character, saving the life of a dear friend and showing the world what he stands for."
A meaningful death in a grounded, fictional universe can be a great story. Let's just hope no superhero-style resurrections are in the offing.