The comic book icon Archie Andrews dies saving the life of his gay friend in this week’s installment of “Life with Archie.”
The freckle-faced Archie will be shot when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Kevin Keller, the series” first openly gay character. Andrews’ death, which was announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the series about the grown-ups who once attended Riverdale High.
Archie,” Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO told The Associated Press. “He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.”
Keller’s character joined Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle in the Archie Comics spin-off “Veronica” in 2010. He later appeared in his comic book. In the “Life with Archie” stories, Keller is a newly elected senator advocating gun control reforms after his husband is involved in a shooting.
“We wanted to do something that was impactful that would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie is to everyone,” said Goldwater. “That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin. He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.”
Andrews’ final moments will be detailed in “Life with Archie” No. 36, while issue No. 37 will jump forward a year and focus on the gang honoring the legacy of their red-headed pal, who first appeared in comics in 1941 and went on to become a colorful icon of wholesomeness. Other incarnations of Andrews will continue to live on in Archie Comics series.
The latest issue will be on newstands on July 16.
When he announced plans for issue No. 36 in April, Goldwater said, “We’ve been building up to this moment since we launched ‘Life with Archie’ five years ago, and knew that any book that was telling the story of Archie’s life as an adult had to also show his final moment.
“Archie has and always will represent the best in all of us — he’s a hero, good-hearted, humble and inherently honorable. This story is going to inspire a wide range of reactions because we all feel so close to Archie. Fans will laugh, cry, jump off the edge of their seats and hopefully understand why this comic will go down as one of the most important moments in Archie’s entire history. It’s the biggest story we’ve ever done, and we’re supremely proud of it.”