I'm sorry; you can waste all your tears on Ollie's discovery that Speedy was an addict, or little Bruce Wayne kneeling by his parents lifeless bodies in a dark alley, or that puppy falling out the Iron Ace's plane.
But none of those come close to this cover portrait of tragedy.
Behold, the once mighty Shield. Once his powerful thighs of justice propelled him into action with the force of a 1000 militiamen across the pages of Pepe. Here he stands cowed into eunuch-like thrall to his evil master, The Andrews Thing, his legs clamped together tighter than an over-tucked drag queen. Not content merely to have enslaved him, The Andrews completes the humiliation by forcing the Shield to publicly acknowledge him as Victor Over All and praise his "knockout" beauty. How utterly emasculating.
The fight against crime and America's enemy has been deemed to "gloomy" and is to be expunged from the Archieverse. Sidelined are the murderously grim Hangman and apostatic Dusty, swept aside from crime-fighting action into mind-numbering inaction, brainwashed at the Riverdale Re-Education Camp through hours of forced reading of Archie's 'adventures' in Pep Comics. What human can look upon their empty-minded grinning without revulsion and pity?
And all the while Forsythe P. "Jughead" Jones, Riverdale's Minister of Propaganda, laconically, mirthlessly utters the order to all of you, Archie's new minions: "You vill be one vith our Leader. Und you vill be happy, vether you vant to be or not."
Oh, the comic book irony! The Shield spent so much time and effort focused on protecting America from the fascist forces of the Europe, only to have his own domain overtaken by the fascist forces of Riverdale!
May we all remember this lesson of the Fall of Pep this Independence Day!