Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Archie #22. Proceed at your own risk!
The three-part “Over the Edge” storyline may be over for Archie, but it certainly left its mark. Way back in March, Archie writer Mark Waid teased that something big was going to go down in this story, that “one of the kids looks death in the eye — and death doesn’t blink.” Over the course of three issues, readers learned that the youngster in question was none other than Betty Cooper, whose car crashed over the edge of a highway when she tried to save her ex-boyfriend Archie from an ill-conceived drag race. Today’s Archie #22 revealed that Betty ultimately survived her accident — but was apparently left paralyzed.
That’s a better result than it could have been, but what’s next for Betty? In an exclusive statement to EW, Waid promises that Betty’s injury will have major ripple effects for both her and Riverdale at large going forward. But as a longtime comic writer, Waid is also well-attuned to the peaks and valleys of continuity. Readers shouldn’t expect a totally different book.
“The whole town of Riverdale has been turned upside-down by Betty Cooper’s fate,” Waid tells EW. “Because Betty truly is ‘the heart of Riverdale,’ her fate has major repercussions. Friends will become enemies, romances will shatter, and, as always, Archie will get his head stuck in a paint bucket at some point. It’s not ALL doom and gloom.”
Next month’s Archie #23 will launch a new arc (Waid has hinted it might be named after his description of Betty, “The Heart of Riverdale”). Archie Comics promises that issue will find the kids of Riverdale High struggling to keep their town together in the wake of this tragedy. Check out an exclusive preview below.