Who Does Archie End Up With in the Comic Books? The Answer Is Grim
"Riverdale" is ending after seven seasons of romance, intrigue, and absolute chaos, and it's still unclear where the show's many couples will end up. Of course, the Archie comics that the series is based on center on the iconic love triangle of Archie, Veronica, and Betty, played in the series by KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, and Lili Reinhart, respectively. The television show has seemed to favor Archie with Veronica, but what does the final season hold? And could Archie's fate in the comics be a clue? Here's what we know about Archie's romantic history.
Does Archie End Up With Betty or Veronica in Archie Comics?
In the comics, Archie is forever caught in a love triangle between Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge. This who-will-he-choose model has persisted through the decades and decades of comic-book issues. But there are some answers in the pages of the original franchise.
First of all, there is a storyline in the Archie comics where Archie gets married. In Issue #600, Archie proposes to and marries Veronica. In subsequent issues, the two plan a gorgeous wedding and welcome a beautiful set of twins. This all seems fine and dandy until Issue #603 . . . when Archie proposes to and marries Betty. Yes, we're suddenly thrust into an alternate universe that shows everything that would happen if Archie were to choose Betty instead. They plan a gorgeous wedding and live happily ever after. In Issue #606, we get the epilogue to this story: Archie snaps out of these visions of the future. None of it happened. It was all just fantasy.
You might argue that the fact that Archie picks Veronica first is telling in and of itself, but that's the most you could say to come to any kind of conclusion. Someone had to go first, and Veronica is clearly the more divisive choice, mostly because Archie and Betty have usually been painted as soulmates. Picking Veronica first was a surefire way to dredge up interest, get people talking, and convince people to buy and read. But with Betty filling in the back half of this story, the reality is that he doesn't pick either one, or he picks both, or however you want to say it. Bottom line: we don't get our answer.
And then, we don't really know how else to sugarcoat it: Archie dies. In 2010, the Archie comics were revived with the title "Life With Archie," and in Issue #37 of this series, Archie sustains a fatal gunshot wound while trying to protect his friend Kevin Keller. According to an "obituary" in The New York Times, his last words to both Betty and Veronica are, "I've always loved you." The original Archie Andrews never really makes his choice. Even as he breathes his final breath and says his final words, he's committed to making us wonder.
But that's not really the end of the story. In 2015, Archie comics came back to life with "New Riverdale," a more modern reimagining and revamping of the Archie universe. And yes, Archie is alive once again, and maybe he'll actually make a choice this time. But comics can run indefinitely, so he never really has to choose. Plus, Betty and Veronica's story — in both comics and on TV — isn't just about which one will end up with Archie but about the enduring friendship they've built together as well.
Unlike a comic book, "Riverdale" does, truly, have to end. We'll see who Archie is standing with during the finale.
The final season of "Riverdale" debuts March 29 on The CW.