Archie Writer Talks Consequences Of “Over The Edge”

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Several months ago, it was revealed that superstar writer Mark Waid had decided to scrap his originally solicited stories for Archie #20 and the few issues to follow in favor of something with a little more gravitas. As it turned out, that gave way to the “Over the Edge” story arc that saw Archie and Reggie engage in a street race that didn’t end well for one person.

Aside from any alternate universes that may be overrun with zombies, there are normally four characters we believe to be safe, no matter if it be in the comics or on the Riverdale TV series: Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge and Jughead JonesThus, many of us were left thinking that someone such as Reggie or Moose would end up biting the dust.

Well, it so happens that Waid decided to play it anything but safe as Betty became the one to suffer the most coming out of a three-car crash, and has since been left clinging to life. Yes, this is a most shocking turn of events, but here’s the author’s reasoning as to why he did this to such an important character:

“She’s the heart of Riverdale, which not coincidentally is the title of our next arc. One of the biggest reasons we had for telling this story at all was to show our readers — and our characters — just exactly why that is. Betty’s such a giving person that it seems like half the town depends on her, whether it’s to volunteer at the animal shelter or to read to the blind or to deliver meals or to coach Pee Wee soccer and so forth. Now she’s out of action for the foreseeable future, and her absence will create a void that, it’s gonna take the entire gang to fill, if they can.”

Archie Writer Talks Consequences Of "Over The Edge"

But, according to this statement made by Waid, it looks like Betty may very well eventually recover:

“This isn’t new. Serialized drama, especially in comics, is all about perception of change. Archie, like Superman or Batman, is going to change but always revert, in some way, back to his iconic setup. It’s about the journey – the story. That’s what we’ve been saying since we announced the book. So, while Betty will face death, deal with the ramifications of this crash and while we will show how her friends respond to the tragedy, I think it’s safe to say things will shake down and we’ll eventually get back to the status quo people have come to know.

But it’s about the story. It’s about getting there and the journey to and from these dramatic moments. I’m not spoiling anything by saying Betty doesn’t die and that she’ll eventually get better. That’s comics 101. Things change, things swerve back and then change again. But it’s about the story and how we go from here to there.”

Archie #21 is now available in comic shops.