Archie Comics has been no stranger to death in recent years. The title character Archie Andrews himself was killed off in 2014 ahead of the company’s major reboot. Since then, horror comics like Afterlife With Archie have pitted Archie and friends against a zombie invasion, while the CW’s Riverdale is haunted by a murder mystery. But now, death is coming to the company’s flagship comic, Archie, in a major way. The next story arc, “Over the Edge,” will last three issues and will depict a climactic drag race between Archie and his rival Reggie Mantle — and at least one major Riverdale resident isn’t walking away.
“Up until now, Archie and his pals have led fairly untroubled, normal lives. Suddenly, in one horrifying instant, that all changes when one of the kids looks death in the eye — and death doesn’t blink,” Archie writer Mark Waid tells EW in a statement. “Who will it be? All we can tell you is that you’ll be shocked — and that no one is safe.”
Archie #20 (on sale May 17) will feature Archie and Reggie’s climactic race on the eerily named Dead Man’s Curve. In the follow-up, Archie #21 (out June 21), Riverdale residents receive a shocking phone call, and the identity of the dead character is finally revealed. Although Reggie seems like an obvious suspect for this major death, it’s always possible that his race with Archie could swing out of control and hit someone else. All three issues will be written by Waid and illustrated by Pete Woods and Jack Morelli.
Check out the covers (and variants) for Archie #20 and #21 below. The main Archie #20 cover is illustrated by Woods, with two variants – one by Elliot Fernandez and Joey Vazquez, the next by Greg Smallwood. Woods also did the main cover and Smallwood a variant for Archie #21, with another by Matthew Dow Smith (see that one at the top of the page).