Comic Book: Life with Archie: The Married Life

Love or hate...life or death...Betty or Veronica...the end or just the beginning...the road taken or the road not taken...
Dilton Doiley

Life With Archie: The Married Life is an ongoing storyline in Archie Comics. It was launched in its own series in September 2010.

Following on the heels of the Archie Marries Veronica/Betty storylines, the series follows Archie's life post-marriage. Each issue contains one comic set in the timeline in which Archie married Veronica, and one set in the timeline in which he married Betty.

The comics differ from the norm in several ways, being printed in magazine format and having Darker and Edgier storylines, with Soap Opera plot twists and situations. The series came to an end in issue #37 with the death of Archie in both Veronica and Betty universes and the fallout from it.

Not to be confused with Afterlife with Archie, which is a zombie apocalypse comic.

This comic contains examples of:

  • Alternate Continuity: Not only do the two stories display different futures, but Archie Loves Betty sometimes differs from Archie Marries Betty. Most noticeably, Miss Grundy in Archie Loves Betty dies without seeing Archie and Betty become teachers.
  • Alternate Universe: Dilton apparently keeps track of them.
  • Badass Beard: Dilton.
  • Beta Couple:
    • Reggie and whichever of the girls Archie does not marry.
    • Moose and his blind yoga instructor, Ilana.
    • Mr. Weatherbee and Miss Grundy in the Archie Loves Betty stories, until Miss Grundy dies.
    • Jughead and Midge.
      • Or Jughead and Big Ethel.
  • Big Applesauce: Archie and Betty spend some time living in New York City.
  • Big "NO!": Archie screams out this trope in issue #36 as he sees Wendell's gun pointed at Kevin before jumping into the fray and in the line of fire.
  • Book Ends: Issue #36 starts with Archie's chocolate soda getting knocked by the hand of one of his girls and spilled on the table when he was a child... and ends with the shot of chocolate soda spilled on the table as a result of his knocking it onto the table before Taking the Bullet for Kevin.
  • Break the Cutie: Betty undergoes a serious depression after Archie picks Veronica over her. Not even dating Richie Cunningham or Troy Bolton lifts her out of it.
  • Break the Haughty: Veronica undergoes a serious depression after Archie picks Betty over her. It becomes so severe, Mr. Lodge tries bribing Archie to leave Betty for Veronica.
    • Cheryl Blossom is stuck waiting tables. Until she has breast cancer and has to come back to Riverdale.
  • Canon Foreigner: The series gives Reggie an older brother named Oliver who is a journalist in Alaska.
  • Canon Welding: The more fantastical Little Archie stories were canon in the sense that they were being told through the filter of childish imagination and in the sense that they actually happened thanks to Ambrose being a powerful dimensional slider who inadvertently took the gang to alternate realities where their imagination could play out for real.
  • Continuity Porn: Ambrose shows up and discusses the Little Archie stories with Archie. Little Jinx also appears.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Lodge. Sabotaging Archie's marriage to Veronica in one universe and destroying Archie's musical career in revenge for breaking Veronica's heart in the other.
    • Also Fred Mirth.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: Sophie "Soapy" Waters, one of the new students at Riverdale High.
  • Darker and Edgier: In the first issue alone, Moose and Midge break up in order to avoid further Domestic Abuse, Miss Grundy contracts a fatal disease, and the Betty of the Archie Marries Veronica timeline has lost the will to live (as did the Veronica of the Archie Marries Betty timeline). Same goes for some issues leading up to the penultimate issue, as Heteronormative Crusader and busboy Wendell injures Kevin's husband Clay Walker and seeks out for Kevin's life, all the while shooting gay employees in the Southport Mall; and by the time he catches up to Kevin in the Chocklit Shoppe and is prepared to shoot him, Archie jumps into the fray before Taking the Bullet for him, leading to Wendell's arrest.
  • Downer Ending: Archie dies in issue #36.
    • More like a Bittersweet Ending, as Wendell, the busboy who killed Archie and now intends to do the same to Kevin, is stopped by the police and apprehended, but still...
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Archie does this to Betty and Veronica in both universes as he is dying of a bullet wound towards the end of issue #36.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: While the Archie Gets Married storylines resolve to Babies Ever After endings pretty quickly, the Life With Archie series is suggesting that there will be a lot of work to get there.
  • Expendable Alternate Universe: By killing off the Archie of this comic line, Archie Comics got to draw publicity from killing off a 70+ years-old comic character, without actually changing anything in the Archie Prime universe since the original Archie will still be alive and well.
    • Subverted, because the prime universe simply splits in two at the juncture of whether Archie marries Betty or Veronica. Whichever option eventually happens in the prime universe, Archie still has to die because that's the constant between the universes.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Jughead, of course, but Ilana is also drawn like this.
  • Fake-Out Opening: After Reggie is wrongfully arrested for fraud, extortion and bribery in issue #6, issue #7 opens with him behind bars and ranting about how the "lousy coppers" will never get him to talk. Turns out he's not actually in prison, just re-enacting his "prison routines" for Jughead, who points out that "I don't think the three hours you spent sitting on a bench in the Riverdale police station count as hard time, Reg."
  • Famous Last Words: Archie's — "...I've always loved you..." And for an extra arm twister, he says this in front of Betty and Veronica! In both universes!
  • Foreshadowing: The mysterious busboy identified only as Wendell is stalking Kevin and his husband Clay Walker and hates getting his picture taken. This is because he doesn't want to be identified as the Heteronormative Crusader who shot Clay during one of his robberies in Riverdale and is now going on a rampage by shooting down gay employees at the Southport Mall, not voting for Kevin on gun control, and attempting to off him when his plan of rejecting Kevin as senator fails.
  • Fourth Wall Observer: Dilton.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Mr. Lodge, due to the multiverse.
  • The Hero Dies: Archie himself towards the end of the story.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Archie is shot to death saving Kevin Keller from assassination.
  • He's Got a Weapon!: In issue #36, Archie shouts out in panic, "HE'S GOT A GUN!" when he sees Wendell pull out the gun from his pocket in his attempt to shoot down Kevin while unseen.
  • Merging The Branches: Rather than telling the same story twice, the death of Archie is carefully written to make it vague which universe it is taking place in so that it can plausibly be happening in both at the same time.
    • Although not very successfully, as the story showed Mr. Weatherbee's lady friend, Nancy's pregnancy, and Cheryl still recovering from her breast cancer, which only happens in the Betty!verse.
  • Mood Whiplash: Presented itself as a tween magazine with light-hearted articles that didn't sit well with the darker and edgier content of the stories. Eventually such content was dropped.
  • Oh, and X Dies: The fact that Archie was going to die was announced already in April 2014. The details of how and why was then revealed in July.
  • Multiverse: Confirmed as of ish 18.
  • Pair the Spares: Reggie with whichever girl Archie doesn't pick.
  • Piet Plagiarism: Both Jughead and Kevin hold Archie's lifeless body in this way while the former cradles it in his lap as the entire crowd weeps and holds each other close.
  • Previously On
  • Sand In My Eyes: Jughead, when Veronica goes missing.
  • Shout-Out: After Archie marries Veronica, Betty dates a lot of guys who, in her own words, have been "Archie all over again." She name-drops Henry Aldrich, Andy Hardy, Richie Cunningham, Zack Morris and Troy Bolton.
  • Soap Opera Disease: Leads to the death of Miss Grundy.
  • Spiritual Successor: A melodramatic comic titled Life with Archie also ran during the 1960s and '70s, but took place while Archie and his friends were still high schoolers.
  • Supreme Chef: Jughead turns out to be as good at making burgers as he is at eating them, which is really saying something.
  • Take a Third Option: So, is Archie going to end up with Betty or Veronica? Turns out, either one is canon.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: In Issue #36, although it's more like "They Wasted a Perfectly Good Chocolate Soda" towards the end of the issue when Archie dies saving Kevin from assassination.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Although he remains a bit edgy, Reggie is essentially a very nice guy in both stories.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Archie in both scenarios, and, surprisingly, Reggie.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Nancy was suspected to be having pregnancy symptoms around the same time as Midge. But not only was this never mentioned again, she and Chuck were shoved into the background for the remainder of the series.
  • Wham Episode: Issues 10 and 18. And #36.
  • Who Would Want to Watch Us?: Chuck and Nancy make a comic based on their adventures at Riverdale High (named "Smalltown High" in one continuity and "Smalltown Kidz" in the other). In a slight subversion of the trope, everyone thinks it's a great idea and the comic becomes a success.
    • Played somewhat straighter when Reggie gets the idea of a reality show with him and Betty, and Betty asks who'd be interested in watching them.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Ilana looks nothing like she did in her first appearance in Archie #605 — there she had black hair and angular features and wore Cool Shades to illustrate her blindness, while in this series, she has brown hair, softer and rounder features, and is always drawn with Jughead-style Eyes Always Shut.