This morning Archie Comics announced that this July would bring the final issue of their popular LIFE WITH ARCHIE series, and with it the death of an iconic comic book character. That’s right, LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36 will see the death of Archie Andrews as he will reportedly lose his life while heroically saving one of his friends. The news surprised not just the comic book world, but countless other media outlets as CNN, Rolling Stone, MTV News, USA Today and many other news affiliates covered the announcement.
The issue will bring an end to a five-year LIFE WITH ARCHIE run that focused on the adult lives of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, Reggie, and the entire Riverdale gang. People around the world have been reading Archie Comics for over seventy years now, and when reports of Archie’s upcoming demise started spreading this morning, it didn’t take long for the story go viral as social media started buzzing and #ArchieRIP began to trend on Twitter.
Archie Comics has seen a sort of resurgence as of late, as the comic book publisher known for it popularity with young readers has started to capture a much larger demographic. Beginning last year with the introduction of their first gay character in Kevin Keller, to the success of the critically acclaimed horror series AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE, the return of Alex Segura as Senior Vice President of Publicity and Marketing in February, the announcement in March of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa as their first ever Chief Creative Officer, and the news of an upcoming Archie series from “Girls” creator Lena Dunham, the long time comic publisher has made their move and appears to be bringing back old fans and winning over new ones.
Below is the official announcement from Archie Comics as well as the variant cover images for Life With Archie #36.
New York, NY (April 8) – Archie Comics, the acclaimed and bestselling comic book publisher that is home to some of the best-known pop culture creations in the world, including Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Josie & The Pussycats, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the hit AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE series, announced the unthinkable today: Legendary comic book character Archie Andrews will die to conclude the hit LIFE WITH ARCHIE comic series.
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
“We’ve been building up to this moment since we launched LIFE WITH ARCHIE five years ago, and knew that any book that was telling the story of Archie’s life as an adult had to also show his final moment,” said Archie Comics Publisher/Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “Archie has and always will represent the best in all of us—he’s a hero, good-hearted, humble and inherently honorable. This story is going to inspire a wide range of reactions because we all feel so close to Archie. Fans will laugh, cry, jump off the edge of their seats and hopefully understand why this comic will go down as one of the most important moments in Archie’s entire history. It’s the biggest story we’ve ever done, and we’re supremely proud of it.”
The story will be available in multiple formats, including an extra-large magazine-size LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36, two comic-sized issues—LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36 and #37—and a trade paperback collecting the entire story, written by regular LIFE WITH ARCHIE writer Paul Kupperberg, with art by Pat & Tim Kennedy and Fernando Ruiz.
While LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36 shows readers Archie’s final moments, #37 leaps a year into the future, showcasing how the remaining members of the Riverdale gang—including Jughead, Betty & Veronica and Reggie—have honored the legacy of their dear friend. Both stories will be collected in the double-sized LIFE WITH ARCHIE #36 magazine and upcoming trade paperback.
In addition to the acclaimed regular LIFE WITH ARCHIE creative team, the two comic book issues—sold exclusively at comic shops in July—will feature a pantheon of artistic luminaries contributing covers to the historic issue, including Francesco Francavilla, Fiona Staples, Ramon Perez, Walt Simonson, Jill Thompson, Mike Allred, Cliff Chiang, Adam Hughes, Tommy Lee Edwards and Alex Ross.