We learned this week that beloved Archie Comics character Archie Andrews will die in an upcoming comic book, ending a decadeslong career in which he bravely exposed the struggles lovable all-American guys face when they have to choose between a super-rich beautiful girl and a not-super-rich beautiful girl.
Archie Comics publisher Jon Goldwater said in a statement: "Archie has and always will represent the best in all of us — he's a hero, good-hearted, humble and inherently honorable."
And like all of us, he will eventually be dead, so I guess Goldwater and his crew figured they might as well speed up the process a bit.
I'm not sure what kills Archie — I assume it's Obamacare — but I'm deeply offended that nobody at Archie Comics consulted me about this ending. Like most Americans, I believe my own vision of how a pop culture narrative should conclude is superior to anything the so-called "creators" of said narrative could ever concoct.
Take the CBS series "How I Met Your Mother." That show's recent finale disappointed many fans, prompting online outrage and a zillion suggestions for a better denouement.
Personally, I felt it should have ended immediately after I stopped watching the series midway through Season 5, with every character dying of disappointment. Either that or the main character — Ted Mosby — should have been eaten by zombies outside his meth lab while Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" played in the background.
(I imagine most of you think this column should have ended right after I used the word "denouement.")
Moving back to Archie, why on earth does the red-haired kid we've always rooted for have to die? In a just world, Jughead would be the one to shuffle off this comic coil, presumably by choking on an absurdly large sandwich, a fitting price to pay for his years of sloth and gluttony.
But it appears the die is cast for young Archie, as his death is already slated to appear this summer in the final issues of the "Life With Archie" series, which looks at the characters' lives after high school and college.
Not asking my opinion is a missed opportunity for Archie's publishers, so to avoid any future comic finale disappointment, I've assembled appropriate conclusions for several of our more popular comic strips. I encourage the writers behind these comics to use my plotlines, as I will declare anything that deviates from them to be a complete and utter artistic failure.
Aquaman: After finally realizing that his so-called "superpower" — the ability to talk to fish — is the stupidest superpower ever created, Aquaman crawls onto an isolated beach, grows weak and is swiftly consumed by sea gulls with low standards.
The Lockhorns: After decades of untold marital misery, Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn finally divorce. Loretta goes with a friend on a tropical vacation and falls in love with a young Taye Diggs, who helps her rediscover her sexuality. Leroy dies of liver disease.
Doonesbury: The once-liberal Mike Doonesbury forms a super PAC and helps get Sarah Palin elected president. Palin issues an executive order banning the Doonesbury comic strip, and Zonker dies of marijuana.
Garfield: America's favorite fat cat succumbs to what's believed to be feline leukemia. Jon Arbuckle starts a campaign to raise awareness of the harmful effects lasagna can have on cats. The final frame shows Odie the dog with a wry grin, laughing maniacally.
Beetle Bailey: Defense cuts lead to the closing of Camp Swampy. Beetle Bailey, Sarge and Gen. Halftrack start new careers working as assistants at Miss Buxley's tech startup.
The Family Circus: Film director M. Night Shyamalan is hired to write the final circular panel of this beloved comic, and we learn that there was no mom and dad, no Dolly, Jeffy or P.J. It was Billy drawing the strip the entire time — AND HE WAS A GHOST!
The Avengers: The superheroes all retire to pursue lucrative movie careers. Thor also makes it big with a popular series of workout videos involving hammers.
Richie Rich: Department of Justice attorneys convict Richie of mortgage fraud, insider trading and tax evasion, relying largely on the testimony of the family's butler, Herbert Arthur Runcible Cadbury. Richie is sent to the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., where he teaches inmates etiquette in exchange for them not killing him.