Fans of the Archie comics will be devastated to learn that the freckle-faced hero is being killed off in an upcoming issue.
Since 1941, the Archie comics have chronicled the adventures of teenage Archie Andrews and his friends in the fictional town of Riverdale. But in the the No. 36 issue of "Life with Archie,"due out July 16, Archie dies.
Archie is gunned down after sacrificing himself to save a friend, CBS News has learned. The cover of the issue shows Archie in the arms of his two longtime love interests, Betty and Veronica, as he bleeds from a belly wound.
"We've been building up to this moment since we launched 'Life with Archie' five years ago," Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater, son of Archie creator John Goldwater, said in a statement today.
He said they "knew that any book that was telling the story of Archie's life as an adult had to also show his final moment.""Life with Archie" focuses on Archie's adventures after high school and college. In the past, the series has featured alternate timelines for him and his friends as adults. That includes addressing the eternal love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica that drove most of the comic's plot lines by showing what life would have been like if he married each of them.
Issue No. 37, which jumps a year in the future from Archie's death to show Betty, Veronica and the remaining members of the Riverdale gang mourning and honoring their friend, will close out the "Life" series.
Top comic artists, including Francesco Francavilla, Fiona Staples and Ramon Perez, also contributed alternate covers for the final two stories.
But is this really the end of Archibald Andrews? Judging from the examples of other comic superheroes who have been killed off only to be resurrected, the resilient redhead will be back.