One of comics’ most famous characters is going to die. Archie Andrews, star of his own comic books for more than 60 years, will reportedly die a heroic death in an upcoming issue of Life With Archie…and he never even got to pick between Betty or Veronica.
- Archie first appeared in an anthology series called Pep Comics in 1941. He was inspired by Andy Hardy, a teenager played by the late Mickey Rooney in a popular film series of the era.
- In 1966, to cash in on the popularity of superhero comics like The Fantastic Four, Archie briefly acquired superpowers. He turned into Captain Pureheart and battled villains like The Ice Cube. Unfortunately, fans weren’t too keen on Archie’s new after school job and he quickly went back to being a normal teenager. (Except for a 1994 crossover with the extremely dark vigilante uperhero The Punisher.)
- There’s a debate over whether or not songwriter Jeff Barry originally wrote “Sugar Sugar” for The Monkees. Regardless, it was eventually used for The Archie Show. In the animated program, Archie had his own band (appropriately enough, called “The Archies”) and they performed the song in an episode. In 1969, it became a #1 hit in real-life.
- In 2010, the series debuted its first gay character, a student named Kevin Keller. Kevin’s first issue sold out, the first Archie sellout in years.
- Archie and his pals are currently fighting to stay alive in another spin-off series called Afterlife With Archie. It debuted in 2011 and follows the characters as they attempt to deal with a zombie apocalypse. There’s reportedly a movie adaptation in the works.
- Earlier this year, Archie Comics announced that Lena Dunham, the mind behind HBO’s Girls and a self-professed Archie “fanatic” who even attends fan conventions, would write a four-episode story for the comic. Whether or not he’ll be back from the dead in time for it remains to be seen.