Archie comic hero killed off


Copy of Comics-Archie Death

AP

HEROS END: Archie in his final moments in the comic, Life with Archie, issue 37, in the July 16 issue. Photo: AP

Derrik Lang

Sapa-AP

NEW YORK: Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend.

The famous freckle-faced comic book icon is meeting his demise in tomorrow’s instalment of Life with Archie when he intervenes in a murder attempt on Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first openly gay character.

Andrews’ death, which was announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the series that focuses on grown-up renditions of Andrews and his Riverdale pals.

“The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie,” said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-chief executive. “He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomises 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 first joined Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle in the Archie Comics spin-off Veronica in 2010.

He later appeared in his own solo title. In Life with Archie, Keller is a married military veteran and newly elected senator who’s pushing for more gun control in Riverdale after his husband was 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.”

Who shot Archie? Goldwater isn’t giving this away, only teasing it’s a stalker who wanted to take Keller down.

Archie’s final moments will be detailed in Life with Archie No 36, while issue No 37 will jump forward a year and focus on the Riverdale gang honouring the legacy of their red-headed pal, who first appeared in comics in 1941 and went on to become a colourful icon of wholesomeness. Other incarnations of Andrews will continue to live on in Archie Comics series.

In recent years, deaths of high-profile comic book characters like Peter “Spider-Man” Parker and Steve “Captain America” Rogers have made headlines and garnered intense reaction from fans. Goldwater notes that Andrews’ death isn’t just a publicity stunt but also a lesson about gun violence and a declaration of diversity in the new age of Archie Comics.

“Archie is not a superhero like all the rest of the comic book characters,” said Goldwater. “He’s human. He’s a person. When you wound him, he bleeds. He knows that. If anything, I think his death is more impactful because of that. We hope by showing how something so violent can happen to Archie, that we can – in some way – learn from him.”


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