The worldwide financial collapse was a Sunday school picnic compared to this. Come August, civilization as we know it is coming to an end: Archie Andrews is getting married.
You read that right. After 68 years of keeping not one, but two high school hotties on a string, comics’ most successful player is getting hitched (even the supposedly invulnerable Superman succumbed to Cupid’s arrow and let Lois Lane drag him up the aisle back in 1996). Is nothing sacred?
The news leaked out Wednesday on the Internet and in the official source of all things relating to celebrity gossip, the New York Post, which ran the shocking story under the headline: “BETTY OR VERONICA? ASK ARCH”
Archie Comics’ official blog confirmed the epochal news, digging into its cache of exclamation marks to declare: “ARCHIE ANDREWS IS GETTING MARRIED!”
The blog continues: “The eternal love triangle is the cornerstone of Archie Comics for over 65 years — and the bane of Archie Andrews' existence! In fact, over the years it has not only defined the Betty/Archie/Veronica relationship, but has even threatened to dismantle it a time or 20.”
According to the blog, the six-part story of Archie’s long-delayed passage into adulthood will begin in Issue 600 of his eponymous comic book “Archie.” It will ship on Aug. 12 and be available in comics shops on Sept. 8.
In the story, Archie has finally graduated from Riverdale High School; in fact, he’s five years older and a college graduate. (We told you this was the apocalypse.) He may even have an actual job when he gets engaged.
But to whom? Will it be the elegant Veronica Lodge, daughter of wealth and privilege? Or will it be girl-next-door Betty Cooper?
And who’s going to be best man? It can’t possibly be that wiseacre Reggie, can it? Our money is on Jughead, who still can’t lose that goofy hat he’s been wearing since Bob Montana first drew it on his tousled head way back in 1941.
The folks at Archie Comics aren’t saying. Instead, they’re offering their own list of questions:
Slideshow: New York Comic Con “Now make way for this special story that takes a look at Archie and his friends after they graduate college! What careers will they seek? Will the friends stay in Riverdale or disperse? What would lead Archie to have marriage on his mind? And who would he choose, Veronica or Betty? How will Betty react? How will Veronica react?”
As for the redheaded hero himself, all he is saying on his own blog is: “Jughead thinks I should flip a coin to finally choose between Betty and Veronica. Do you think this is a good idea? –Arch.”
One thing we know for sure. If it’s Veronica, her rich daddy, Hiram Lodge, is going to have a fit. And he can afford a lot of legal help.
Writing the story for Archie Comics is comic book aficionado and movie producer Michael Uslan, who resurrected the Batman movie franchise in 1989. Longtime Archie Comics artist Stan Goldberg will illustrate the tale.
© 2012 MSNBC Interactive