Archie Andrews to Die in Archie Comics Series

PHOTO: Archie Comics will kill off Archie in July.

You all better sit down for this one.

Archie Andrews, the hero of the "Archie" series since 1941 is going to die.

Need a second?

Well, it will be in a future universe, but Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater told CNN that the hero is set to die in an alternate universe in "Life With Archie."

The tragic demise will happen in issue #36, which hits stores July 16. Before you get up in arms, Archie will continue to live in the regular series set in his never-ending high school days.

In the future universe, Archie sacrifices himself to save a friend.

"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," Goldwater told CNN.

The CEO also explained this new series and how it differs from the original.

"'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."

Goldwater continued, "Each issue is normally split into two storylines -- one telling a tale of Archie married to Veronica another with him ending up with Betty. The final issue, however, will show readers Archie's final fate in both timelines -- and they're the same."

Goldwater stressed that this death isn't a "what-if."

"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," he added.

He added that he expects fans to react emotionally to the death.

"We expect some level of shock, outrage and surprise -- followed by understanding," he said. "They'll be handed a piece of comic book history, featuring some of the most well-known characters in the world saying goodbye to an icon ... it's bold, dramatic and best of all, a fitting end to the life of Archie."

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