Back in April, Archie Comics broke the news to the world that they will be killing off their titular character, Archie Andrews, in the final issues of their Life With Archie series, which follows the lives of the Riverdale gang after college. What they should have said was that they were destroying our childhood forever. But we digress.
All we knew about Archie's death was that he would die "saving the life of a friend," and, based on the cover, it would be a very public incident. And now we know exactly how Archie, who has been around since 1941, will meet his demise in the issue, in stores on July 16.
Archie will stop an assassination attempt on his best friend, Kevin Keller, who is also Archie Comics' first openly gay character. Keller first appeared in the comic in 2010, and is now a married military veteran and a newly elected senator who is pushing for better gun control after his husband was involved in a shooting.
Archie will take a bullet for Kevin and ultimately die from the gunshot wound. The identity of the killer remains a mystery for now, but Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO Jon Goldwater did reveal that it's a stalker who is obsessed with taking Keller out.
"The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie," Goldwater tells Mashable. "We wanted to do something that was impactful that would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie is to everyone. That's how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin. He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born."
The following issue of Life with Archie (No. 37) will pick up one year after Archie's death and feature Riverdale honoring their red-headed friend. And obviously, the different versions of Archie will continue appear in various other Archie Comics series. So this isn't really "goodbye," per say. More like "see ya later as a teenager."
Rest in peace, Archie. Hope they have chocolate malts in heaven.