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RIP (in advance) Archie Andrews
April 8, 2014 11:08 AM   Subscribe

36 variant covers of the upcoming issue of Life with Archie commemorate his upcoming death. The penultimate issue (#36) involves Archie "heroically sacrificing his life to save that of a dear friend", with the final issue reflecting on the lives of Riverdale residents one year on.
posted by divabat (84 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
what. the. fuck.
posted by symbioid at 11:10 AM on April 8 [9 favorites]


what
posted by ardgedee at 11:13 AM on April 8


Archie comics have been doing some cool stuff in recent years, like actual passage of time, and alternate timelines where he ended up with Veronica and became rich but unhappy, while in the "Betty universe" they struggle financially but are very happy. I think they still do the Double Digests and the regular stuff where it's all about the soda shop and the beach and nobody ever ages, too.
posted by jbickers at 11:14 AM on April 8 [10 favorites]


April Fools? Twilight Zone?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:15 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Are los bros Hernandez sitting this one out, or were they not asked to contribute? 'Cause if they weren't asked, that's a fucking insult. They are the greatest descendent of the Archie aesthetic, and they deserve a cover more than Allred or Ross (as much as I love them both).
posted by DGStieber at 11:15 AM on April 8 [10 favorites]


@jbickers the whole "Life with Archie" run has been pretty cool. It also had a gay marriage story, and the company was pretty great about the way they handled the pushback.
posted by DGStieber at 11:17 AM on April 8


I imaging they're prepping for the upcoming RoboArchie series.
posted by bondcliff at 11:17 AM on April 8




I went through an Archie phase in the late 80s-early 90s, so I consider myself a lapsed fan, but I'm way behind. This is...what is this exactly? Is this an alternate-universe to a regular "Archie characters as teens" run, or is this supposed to be the actual end of it all?

Does he have to fight Doomsday?
posted by doctornecessiter at 11:18 AM on April 8 [4 favorites]


Hmm...
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:18 AM on April 8


Is this the one where he tries to jump over a shark but fails?
posted by mosk at 11:18 AM on April 8 [3 favorites]


Oh god that Alex Ross cover is terrifying.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:20 AM on April 8 [6 favorites]


Turns out he was just in "Hibernation mode"
posted by hellojed at 11:21 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Does this mean reboot? Because that would be OK.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:21 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]




The Ramón Pérez cover actually has a lot of emotion in it.
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? at 11:22 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


I'd chalk this up to his high consumption of chocolate malteds and hamburger sandwiches.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:23 AM on April 8 [3 favorites]


This strikes me as either wrong or perfect.
posted by koebelin at 11:24 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Don't worry, Archie will be replaced by a guy in a metal Archie suit, an Archie-bot, a younger, radder clone of Archie, and the Archinator, a ruthless killing machine.

Also jesus christ that Alex Ross cover. "This is what you get for messing with the Archies. Betty, Veronica: devour him."
posted by griphus at 11:24 AM on April 8 [19 favorites]


Another interview, talking about retcons:
CNN: What will be the long-term impact of this story?

Goldwater: Well, this is the end. This is how Archie dies in the pages of "Life With Archie." We will not be retconning, reversing or backtracking on this story in terms of "Life With Archie."

The main Archie line, however, telling stories of Archie in high school, will continue. "Afterlife With Archie" [the "Archie" zombie series] will continue, and we will keep on taking risks with different and new interpretations of our characters.

But as far as we see it, this is how Archie dies. That's how we approached this story and how we're treating it.
Afterlife with Archie
posted by divabat at 11:25 AM on April 8 [3 favorites]


I hope his last words are "Jughead still lives."
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:29 AM on April 8 [6 favorites]


Wait... "Afterlife with Archie" is a real thing?

I feel like they've figured out how to monetize self-parody. We're through the looking glass here, people.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:29 AM on April 8 [3 favorites]


I hope his last words are "Jughead still lives."

"NOT BETTY'S BOAT"
posted by doctornecessiter at 11:30 AM on April 8 [24 favorites]


See, the Archie force cocooned Archie in issue 21 and has been masquerading as him since then, so when we bring him back, it won't be Archie at all...
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:31 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


semi-related: Lena Dunham to write 4-part Archie story in 2015

There's also a live-action movie script of Archie being written, though the unexpected success of Afterlife with Archie (apocalyptic zombie stories) has the company thinking about expanding that particular sub-brand more as a movie or TV series.
posted by divabat at 11:32 AM on April 8


Note: Archie died on the way back to his home planet.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:37 AM on April 8 [12 favorites]


How about a Milligan/Morrison-esque comic called "Archie Must Die" wherein the Archietar -- the self-aware aggregate psychic weight of every Archie throughout the comic's history -- emerges at the board meeting where it is decided that Archie will be dying, and begins to cleanse our world of all those who would oppose Archness in its many incarnations.

Eventually, Jugbraxas the Devourer is summoned by the Verbet Sisterhood to oppose him, and they level whole universes in their glorious battle.
posted by griphus at 11:37 AM on April 8 [5 favorites]


Don't worry, Archie will be replaced by a guy in a metal Archie suit, an Archie-bot, a younger, radder clone of Archie, and the Archinator, a ruthless killing machine.

REIGN OF THE ARCHIE-MEN!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:38 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


I prefer the Alan Moore story where Archie meets all his previous incarnations in a sort of meta-verse, and then it ends just before their war with the dimension populated entirely by various Reggie Mantle variants.
posted by kewb at 11:45 AM on April 8


Is the Archie line not selling any more? Is it a money loser now? Because that's the only way this could be real and not some kind of NOT-REALLY-FOOLDYA=HAHAHAHA stunt, like a press release from Ford about how they're killing the F150 pickup.
posted by jfuller at 11:47 AM on April 8


As reading the thread would indicate, Life With Archie is not the main-line Archie.
posted by kmz at 11:50 AM on April 8 [4 favorites]


main-line Archie.

Okay, now I'm imagining him dying from a heroin overdose.

Riverdale is not what it used to be.
posted by doctornecessiter at 11:53 AM on April 8 [2 favorites]


This is...what is this exactly? Is this an alternate-universe to a regular "Archie characters as teens" run, or is this supposed to be the actual end of it all?

Is the Archie line not selling any more? Is it a money loser now? Because that's the only way this could be real and not some kind of NOT-REALLY-FOOLDYA=HAHAHAHA stunt, like a press release from Ford about how they're killing the F150 pickup.

In 2010 there was an event where Archie gets married, and Life With Archie stems from that, following two parallel universes: one where he married Betty, and one where he married Veronica. The series is surprisingly good and mature. This death event will, according to the CEO, be the end of this line. The regular Archie line will continue until the heat death of the universe.

You could think of it as Ultimate Peter Parker's death vs. 616 Peter (uh, also dead, but for different and more temporary reasons). Afterlife with Archie is an unrelated horror mini-series.
posted by Sangermaine at 11:55 AM on April 8 [4 favorites]


I'm sure this time it'll be permanent.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:58 AM on April 8


What is the mainline Archie universe? When my kids were little they devoured enormous quantities of seemingly endless titles, all roughly exactly the same, except for story length. Is there actual Archie continuity?I fear if I look it up there will be.

The depth of things I assumed were shallow amazes me constantly.
posted by umberto at 11:58 AM on April 8


You could think of it as Ultimate Peter Parker's death vs. 616 Peter (uh, also dead, but for different and more temporary reasons). Afterlife with Archie is an unrelated horror mini-series.

This is yet another one of those times when a sentence makes crystal-clear sense to me and I am left wondering whether I've wasted the precious few years we are allotted on this earth.
posted by griphus at 11:59 AM on April 8 [19 favorites]


umberto: " Is there actual Archie continuity?"

Now I want to see a True Detective/Archie crossover where Rust Cohle drunkenly explains to Archie and Jughead that time is a flat circle...
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:03 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


> The regular Archie line will continue until the heat death of the universe.

OK, gotcha. I'll just revert to my previous what-does-it-all-mean questions (why did it have to be Archie that goes on and on and not Uncle Scrooge? and why does it have to be Ray Kurzweil who's going to live forever when it coulda been Carl Barks?)
posted by jfuller at 12:05 PM on April 8


Have you read the Don Rosa Uncle Scrooge? If you haven't, prepare yourself for a delight.
posted by griphus at 12:06 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


Is there actual Archie continuity

Paging Ambush Bug.
posted by The Bellman at 12:09 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


If I spin up a Kickstarter for Jim Davis to kill Garfield, can I count on MetaFilter's participation?
posted by DWRoelands at 12:09 PM on April 8 [4 favorites]


Also, why have I always been so hot for Midge Klump?
posted by umberto at 12:10 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


It fits. Archie was inspired by, and originally based his appearance on, Andy Hardy. With Mickey Rooney passing, it makes sense to have Archie go as well.

Here's a weird piece of trivia I came across a few months ago. Archie's creator, Bob Montana, was the son of Ray Montana. You know, Ray Montana, the Famous Cowboy Banjoist, once the highest-payed banjo player on the vaudeville circuit? The Cowboy Beau Brummel?

I thought you'd be impressed.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:12 PM on April 8 [4 favorites]


Life With Archie stems from that, following two parallel universes: one where he married Betty, and one where he married Veronica.

Suddenly, I am seized with a yearning for a Life With Sluggo.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:14 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


We want to talk about crossovers, how about a horror swerve away from zombies, Riverdale meets Sunnydale?

Archie the Vampire Slayer.
posted by cortex at 12:14 PM on April 8


We want to talk about crossovers, how about a horror swerve away from zombies, Riverdale meets Sunnydale?

Psst.
posted by zamboni at 12:20 PM on April 8 [3 favorites]


With Mickey Rooney passing

You want trivia, Bunny Ultramod? How about the tour that Jaco Pastorius did with Rooney? I'd really like to hear a tape of that.
posted by thelonius at 12:23 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Pfft, if it doesn't tell the story of Archie Andrews struggling metaphorically with his burgeoning womanhood then it doesn't count.
posted by cortex at 12:23 PM on April 8


Now I want to see a True Detective/Archie crossover where Rust Cohle drunkenly explains to Archie and Jughead that time is a flat circle...

Ed Brubaker already did that.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:24 PM on April 8 [3 favorites]


Are los bros Hernandez sitting this one out, or were they not asked to contribute? 'Cause if they weren't asked, that's a fucking insult. They are the greatest descendent of the Archie aesthetic, and they deserve a cover more than Allred or Ross (as much as I love them both).
posted by DGStieber at 2:15 PM on April 8


QFMFT
posted by SPUTNIK at 12:26 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


Will Kiss be at the funeral?
posted by jonmc at 12:27 PM on April 8


Also, my wife teaches high school in a rough part of the Bronx. Her remedial students reading level seems to improve if they read comics, so she buys some for the class. They are very fond of the Archie's. There's also a wealthy area in the North Bronx called Riverdale. Coincidence?
posted by jonmc at 12:30 PM on April 8


I actually had been wondering who the POV character was in this old Walter Baumhofer magazine illo. I'm going to mark the question resolved now and re-use that brain cell for something else. Which is good, because they're dwindling down to a precious few.
posted by jfuller at 12:35 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Superman came back and so did Reed Richards, so maybe Archie will, too.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:52 PM on April 8


griphus: Eventually, Jugbraxas the Devourer is summoned by the Verbet Sisterhood to oppose him, and they level whole universes in their glorious battle.

Nope, sorry: they already did that in the fourteenth Dune sequel.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:56 PM on April 8


Just popping in here to say that Afterlife With Archie is one of the best horror comics written in years, and I say that as someone who thought we reached peak Zombie a few years ago. The Walking Dead wishes it could be as good as Afterlife With Archie is right now.
posted by KingEdRa at 1:24 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


Ten years later Archie reappears during a thunderstorm. Meanwhile, Reggie wakes up from his coma in Arkham Asylum.

"Archie...DARLING."
posted by happyroach at 1:39 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Archies of Dune by Brian Herbert and Veronica Lodge
posted by griphus at 1:41 PM on April 8 [4 favorites]




semi-related: Lena Dunham to write 4-part Archie story in 2015


from that link:



"She's the voice of her generation," Archie co-CEO Jon Goldwater told CBR News. "To have someone like that say, 'Not only am I a fan, I'd love to write something,' it just epitomizes all the hard work we've put in for the last five years.


Weird/funny that he just used that line straight up considering how much it was used/misconstrued re: Dunham when Girls first came out.

Interesting project for her though.
posted by sweetkid at 1:43 PM on April 8


NONE OF THE BRIAN HERBERT RIVERDUNE NOVELS ARE CANON
posted by cortex at 1:45 PM on April 8 [7 favorites]


None of the so-called Dune sequels actually exist. There is only one Dune novel. I will thank the rest of you to cease with your endless pranks about "other Dune novels."
posted by Chrysostom at 2:13 PM on April 8 [2 favorites]


what. the. fucking. fuck.

FIFY
posted by Fists O'Fury at 2:57 PM on April 8


Oh god that Alex Ross cover is terrifying.

It looks like James Cagney got his head clapped in a waffle iron.
posted by Iridic at 3:06 PM on April 8 [5 favorites]


So now I've ended my day typing "life with archie 2010 trade paperback release date" into a search engine, which, while maybe not the absolute last thing I thought I would do when I woke up this morning, certainly would have ranked in the bottom half.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:33 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


It was interesting for me to see the Archiefied version of the Girls promo poster (in the Lena Dunham article), with canon Archie characters occupying similar poses, and notice that even Archie was a hell of a lot better at racial diversity than Girls seem to be.
posted by divabat at 3:51 PM on April 8


"Afterlife With Archie" [the "Archie" zombie series] will continue, and we will keep on taking risks with different and new interpretations of our characters.

But as far as we see it, this is how Archie dies. That's how we approached this story and how we're treating it.


You guys, April Fool was a week ago.
posted by jeather at 3:56 PM on April 8


"Afterlife with Archie" is a real thing?

Yep; I was in the comic store this past weekend and started flipping through it. It looked...well, it looked like they actually took the idea of a zombie apocalypse in Riverdale seriously and went all out with it. When I get back in a comic book store without the kids, I want to have a deeper look.

I haven't read Archie since I was a pre-teen; I think there was something about puberty hitting that made the comics just not resonate with me. But I give them credit for being willing to take a property like Archie and take it in some new and different directions and try things with it.
posted by nubs at 3:59 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Afterlife with Archie is a real thing and it is awesome. Francesco Francavilla does good work.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:02 PM on April 8 [3 favorites]


Archie comics have been doing some cool stuff in recent years, like actual passage of time,

Not cool, just desperate. Like Peanuts or Simpsons all grown up. Classic characters live outside time, that's the whole point.

But, you know, as they said with Elvis and Michael Jackson - good career move.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:21 PM on April 8


I don't understand the Alex Ross cover at all. It's an allusion to some famous comics thing, right? Otherwise, I can't think why the viewer's perspective is as the dead (or at least supine) person, Archie is still there, and Betty and Veronica are smile-snarling as if they're about to pull out the viewer's intestines.
posted by gingerest at 4:41 PM on April 8


Classic characters live outside time, that's the whole point.

You might want to steer clear of Gasoline Alley.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:55 PM on April 8 [4 favorites]


Also Funky Winkerbean, but mostly just for the sake of your emotional health.
posted by cortex at 4:58 PM on April 8 [4 favorites]


Archie comics have been doing some cool stuff in recent years, like actual passage of time,

Not cool, just desperate. Like Peanuts or Simpsons all grown up. Classic characters live outside time, that's the whole point.


No, the point is Archie comics aren't slavishly devoted to continuity. It's only desperate if they're aging and maturing the characters in an attempt to retain an aging and dwindling fanbase.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 5:14 PM on April 8


Also: that Alex Ross cover is the zombie variant.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 5:15 PM on April 8


Firstly, where is Norm Breyfogle?

Secondly, lol wut?
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:37 PM on April 8


The Alex Ross version of Archie himself looks SO much like the Liquid TV version of "Dog-Boy"....
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 5:48 PM on April 8


Yeah, this is like fans being upset at a character dying in a Treehouse Of Horror. "Did you hear the whole family gets turned inside out!? WTF!!!"

A big part of it is that the article linked above, which I'm seeing everywhere, is almost a comedy bit about a reporter not paying attention to the person they're quoting, like:
"Yeah, it's a big issue, and I find it really emotionally satisfying, but keep in mind this is just a spinoff series aimed at older readers," the author says. "Archie will always be alive in the main comic series."

This raises the issue of what will happen to Archie comics now that the beloved character is dead forever and will never be in any comic ever again...
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:13 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Archie dies, fine, but what I want to know is WHO KILLS HIM? Possible suspects: Miss Beazley, Milton, Ethel (she was aiming for Jughead), Sabrina the Teenage Witch (there WAS NO BULLET, he's bleeding from the gut because she used witchy powers to skewer him with mind javelins), Pop Tate who wants to turn the diner into a raw food vegan eatery but he knows Archie would protest and get all the plucky teens onboard and it would all be for NOTHING.

Of course, in the end the real murderer is Hubert Smithers. He did it out of obsessive loyalty for Mr. Lodge, of course.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 7:34 PM on April 8


. . . and then it turns out that due to a bizarre typographical accident, Archie and the whole gang have actually been attending Rivendell High School all this time.

Their being elven rather than human would go a long way to explaining how little they've aged since 1941.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:20 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Definitely Mad Doctor Doom and his army of Grubbers.
posted by murphy slaw at 8:28 PM on April 8


Archie and the whole gang have actually been attending Rivendell High School all this time.

Yeah, I could see the killer being Veronica, then: "In place of Mr. Weatherbee you will set up a Queen. And I shall not be dark, but beautiful and terrible as the Morning and the Night! Fair as the Sea and the Sun and the Snow upon the Mountain! Dreadful as the Storm and the Lightning! Stronger than the foundations of the earth. All shall love me and despair!"
posted by Chrysostom at 8:43 PM on April 8 [1 favorite]


The huge dust-up about Archie supposedly picking Veronica was when I learned, from my smartest comic-reading friend, that none of this is significant.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 5:11 AM on April 9 [1 favorite]


That cover with The Thinker is more Dobie Gillis than Archie. (I like the split 'live/dead' cover by Cliff Chiang.)
posted by LeLiLo at 12:47 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


I don't pretend to understand Archie anymore (and, since Archie Vs The Punisher can you blame me), but at least the franchise is keeping fresh (in ways that won't go horribly wrong).

Archie is weird.
posted by Mezentian at 3:39 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


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