First, it's true. Comic character Archie Andrews will soon be killed off. But there's a catch, which leads us to believe this is mostly a publicity stunt.
As Henry Hanks writes on the CNN website, "Archie Comics has revealed that beloved character Archie Andrews will die in 'Life with Archie' #36 in July. The 'Life with Archie' series tells stories of future scenarios for Archie and his friends in Riverdale. The present-day Archie stories will not be affected."
The "present-day" stories are the ones of Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica still in high school. Those stories have been with us in comic form since 1941, and will continue.
The CNN story adds:
CNN spoke with Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater (son of Archie creator John Goldwater) about the upcoming issues.
CNN: Can you explain the "Life With Archie" series for the uninitiated?
Goldwater: "Life With Archie" is Archie's future — it gives readers a look into what his life would be like after high school and college, which has never really been explored. Most fans are familiar with Archie as a high schooler, hanging out at Pop's Chocklit Shop with his friends. "Life With Archie" shows what happens when Archie becomes an adult and starts dealing with grownup issues. …
CNN: Why kill Archie [in that series]?
Goldwater: I think it's the natural conclusion to the "Life With Archie" series.
Archie dies as he lived — heroically. He dies saving the life of a friend, and does it in his usual selfless way. Archie has always been a representation of us — the best of us. Our strengths and our faults. …
This isn't a random one-off or "what-if" story that we're doing as a gag. This is the story that we mapped out carefully and with much thought. This is the death of Archie as we see it, and we're treating it with that same level of gravitas and import. It's a once-in-a-lifetime event, and we are being very considerate about it.