How do you kill off a character in a popular series? It is a question that comes up whenever writers decide to kill a fan favorite. On television, the question often results from an actor’s decision to leave a series (eg. the death of Will Gardner on The Good Wife, the death of Henry Blake on MASH). Fictional characters in books rarely have contract disputes with the author, but they do have disputes that may lead the author to contemplate homicide. Arthur Conan Doyle desperately wanted to kill off Sherlock Holmes. “Holmes keeps my mind from better things” Conan Doyle is reputed to have said. J.K. Rowling contemplated killing off Ron Weasley. When asked why, she explained, “Sheer spite.”
Now, Archie Comics has decided to kill off Archie. I never did relate to Archie. I was more a Jughead fan. Still, how do you kill off Archie and continue to have Archie Comics? Apparently, all you have to do is to create multiple series. So Archie will die in Life with Archie #36, which will be released on July 16. But Archie will continue to live in Archie and also presumably in Betty and Veronica and in Jughead and Archie and in, dare I mention, Afterlife with Archie.
But when you read all those other series, in the back of your mind you’ll know that Archie is dead.
Rest in peace, Archie.