Archie Andrews, will commit his last heroic act today. After spending 73 years of debating between Betty and Veronica and bumbling through sticky situations with best friend Jughead, the adult themed series “Life with Archie” will have Archie die as he stops an assassination attempt on his gay best friend, Kevin Keller. Announced in April that the Archie character will die, today readers will be able to experience his final moments.
While the teenage Archie character will still live on in other series, the “Life with Archie” series portrays the character’s final moments – in a very political themed way. Not being the first time to tackle a political issue (previous issues feature gay marriage, cancer, and affordable health care), today’s issue highlights America’s leniency on gun control.
“The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie,” said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO. “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.”
This isn’t the first time that an iconic comic book character has met his demise. Peter “Spider-Man” Parker and Steve “Captain America” Rogers have made headlines and garnered intense reaction from fans in recent years as their characters have also died. Goldwater, however, notes that Andrews’ death is different because he is not a superhero. “Archie […] 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.”
Keller joined the Archie cast in 2010 as the first openly gay character. In “Life with Archie”, Keller is a former military veteran and newly elected senator pushing for gun control after his husband was involved in a shooting.
The following issue (No. 37), will be set one year after today’s issue and reveal how the town honors Archie’s legacy.