Earlier this year, Archie Comics announced that its namesake would die in the culmination of the publisher's alternate reality series, "Life With Archie." Now, just a few short days ahead of the issue arriving in stores, Co-CEO Jon Goldwater has revealed how Mr. Andrews dies, though he's remaining mum on the exact identity of the killer.
Speaking with the AP News, Goldwater says Archie's death is the result of the character leaping to defend his friend Kevin Keller from an assassination attempt. Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character, is a married military veteran in both "Life With Archie" continuities, and a newly-elected senator who ran for office on the platform of gun control.
"The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie," Goldwater told the AP. "He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It's what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years."
Readers who have been following the "Life With Archie" series may wonder how the event works within the boundaries of the series -- each issue presents a chapter from two different timelines/realities; in one, Archie married Betty, and in the other he married Veronica. Speaking with CBR in April, Goldwater explained that in the moment Archie is shot, "that melts away. It's just one big story -- there are no two separate parallel stories. Issue #36 is just one big story of the death of Archie, and there are some really interesting ways in which we handle melding both those storylines into one story."
"Life With Archie" #36, written by Paul Kupperberg, with art by Pat and Tim Kennedy, Fernando Ruiz, Jack Morelli, Rosario PeÃ±a, Gary Martin, Bob Smith and Jim Amash, is on sale July 16. In August, "Life With Archie" #37 concludes the series with a special 'one year later' tale revealing how Riverdale ind its residents have moved on -- or not -- in the wake of Archie's passing.