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Archie Andrews, a youthful symbol of Americana for over 75 years, will be killed off in issue 36 of “Life with Archie” by taking a bullet for his gay best friend. Despite considerable media attention, longtime readers of the “Archie” universe are already accustomed to reading the series’ modern, controversial story lines. Here are some of our favorites:
After a lifetime of eating only hotdogs, hamburgers, milkshakes, and pizzas, Jughead is diagnosed with early onset Type II diabetes. An insulin pump is installed in his trademark hat.
World of Archie #211
Principal Waldo Weatherbee, cheerfully referred to as ‘The Bee,’ installs bulletproof lockers in the school’s corridors “to prevent another Central High.”
Archie Americana Series #4
Moose, Riverdale High School’s star quarterback, is pulled from the team following an outburst of erratic behavior. Medical tests reveal signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, explaining his dyslexia and bringing his athletic career to an early close.
Archie’s Funhouse Comics Digest #18
Chuck Clayton, presumed to be trespassing, is murdered by Hiram Lodge outside of his sprawling estate. Lodge avoids imprisonment thanks to Riverdale’s lax “Stand Your Ground” laws.
Archie Double Digest #204
Betty’s access to affordable birth control on her workplace-provided insurance plan is restricted by Pop’s Chock’lit Shop, the nostalgic diner with a firmly conservative owner.
Riverdale High #96
Physical education teacher Coach Floyd is sentenced to 442 years in prison after being convicted on 45 counts of unlawful contact with minors, endangering the welfare of children, and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse after abused members of his bogus charity come forward with accusations. Coach Kleats, head PE teacher, resigns in disgrace after being accused of covering up Flyoyd’s indiscretions.
Reggie and Me #126
Following years of cyberbullying by Reggie Mantle, promising genius Dilton Doiley hangs himself in his science lab. Reggie avoids prosecution by being an athlete.
Betty and Veronica #118
Veronica is defeated in her run for class president after a video of her speaking at a fundraiser is leaked. In her damning remarks, she claims she doesn’t worry about the 47% of Riverdale High School students who “will never do homework” and that these voters will support Midge Klump “no matter what.”
Archie’s Pals n’ Gals Double Digest #138
Cheryl Blossom is expelled from Pembrooke Academy after private, explicit photos of her and Adam Chisholm are leaked onto the internet.
Life with Archie #37
The Archies disband after Archie’s untimely death but cement their legacy as the premiere grunge rock band of the era. Reggie joins the Foo Fighters.
Greg Ott is an actor, writer, and comedian in Chicago. He currently appears in “CHUMS” at the Annoyance Theater and “For Your Condescension” at The Second City’s deMaat Theater. Follow his pictures at instagram.com/gregott.