Archie Comics narrows down their kill list for "Over the Edge", which is only polite

Archie Comics narrows down their kill list for “Over the Edge”, which is only polite

By Jarrod Jones. Spoilers ahead for Archie #20, obviously.

I can’t help but notice the language Archie Comics is using to describe their life-altering storyline, “Over the Edge”. Pay attention to this segment from an official press release from Archie, posted earlier today:

“The final pages of ARCHIE #20 change everything for the residents of Riverdale – and one of Archie Comics’ most popular characters will face death as the epic OVER THE EDGE storyline heads towards June’s can’t-miss ARCHIE #21.”

“Will face death.” Will faaace death. Not “will embrace death” or “will succumb to death” or “will play macrame with death”. Does anyone really believe that Mark Waid and Pete Woods would ever gonna kill off Archie, Betty, or even Reggie for good?

According to this promo image, it seems at least Mr. Andrews is safe from the Grim Reaper’s conspicuously shiny scythe.

"Over the Edge" kicks off this week, via Archie Comics

Image: Archie Comics

Archie Comics has released a press statement about the events that transpired in Archie #20, which was released earlier today. (Well, that was fast.) It’s obvious that Archie is plenty stoked about their event, which was primed to follow the season finale of the largely well-received Riverdale just last week. (I had… feelings about the show.) But this level of PR enthusiasm feels a bit morbid, considering that what we’re hyping here is likely the violent and abrupt death of one of Archie’s most famous characters.

I mean, don’t get me wrong — Reggie’s a monster, but gleefully promoting what could be his untimely demise? Regardless of how these kids are drawn, they’re still kids, dang it!

Whoever ends up on the chopping block, the events of “Over the Edge” promise to change the Archie gang for a long, long time. Archie writer Mark Waid had this to say: “The gang will not be the same, I promise. These kids did something stupid, and there are consequences. This isn’t some weird, parallel-world offshoot of the Archie universe–it is the Archie universe, and we have a responsibility to make even the craziest parts of it grounded and realistic.

Waid — who once did similarly chaotic (but no less engaging) things to The Flash, lest we forget — says that the “overall tone of the book” will remain the same. So expect the same deliberately embarrassing humor and awkward teen romance to remain in the core books, even though this event will likely end in tragedy.

We’ve done a pretty good job so far of juggling comedy and genuine heartbreak, and no matter what grim trials we visit upon these kids, there’s always going to be some moment where Archie ends up with a paint bucket over his head.”

It’s important to keep perspective on these things, I reckon. Solicits and cover images for Archie #21 and #22 are below.

From Archie Comics: As revealed in the closing moments of the first chapter of OVER THE EDGE by Mark Waid and Pete Woods, the dangerous street race between Archie Andrews and Reggie Mantle crashed into an unexpected bump in the road as Betty Cooper drove towards the two in an attempt to stop them. All three vehicles were sent careening over the edge as the issue leaving the fate of Riverdale’s favorite teenagers hanging in the balance.

The 3-part OVER THE EDGE event launches today in ARCHIE #20. In June, a life-changing phone call will leave Riverdale’s citizens in shock and readers will discover the fate of their favorite characters in ARCHIE #21. July’s ARCHIE #22 will serve as a heartfelt and emotional coda to the event and set up the cast for the future of the series.

ARCHIE #21

A phone call leaves everyone in Riverdale in a state of shock and despair!

Script: Mark Waid
Art: Pete Woods, Jack Morelli
Cover: Pete Woods
Variant Covers: Matthew Dow Smith, Greg Smallwood
On Sale Date: 6/21
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

ARCHIE #22

The end has come for one of Riverdale’s most beloved residents. This is one you’re going to want to buy, keep, and re-read over the years, because we promise it will never leave you.

Script: Mark Waid
Art: Pete Woods, Jack Morelli
Cover: Pete Woods
Variant Cover: Thomas Pitilli, Greg Smallwood
On Sale Date: 7/19
32-page, full color comic
$3.99 U.S.

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