My younger cousin introduced me to Archie when I was 8 years old and a superhero snob. But I loved the Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E. stories and even joined the Archie Club. Still have my pin and membership card (of course!). I drifted away from time to time through the years but always came back to see my old friends. On stage at the old time radio conventions, I twice played Jughead opposite the original radio Archie, Bob Hastings. Bob also died this month making two Archie deaths. Wow.
Even though I was a Marvel and DC fan from day one, the characters I grew up with there aren't really the same ones I knew anymore. Archie and the gang, in spite of superficial changes, really have always been and still ARE still my old friends.
And today I cried for the loss of one.
And yet I wrote Paul Kupperberg and thanked him for writing such a moving story. When people say this is just a cheap sales gimmick, they don't know Archie like I do.
And yes, I know Archie will be back next month in his perpetual 16 1/2 year old guise, and the following month and the month after that, too. Doesn't matter when the story is as affecting as this. If you ever cared for the Riverdale teens, go out and find a copy of this issue for one of the best comic books you'll read this year.