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Archie Comics namesake to be shot saving gay friend

Issue marks end of ‘Life with Archie’

  • This photo provided by Archie Comics shows Archie in his final moments of life in the comic book, "Life with Archie," issue 37. Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend. The famous freckle-faced comic book icon will die in the July 16, 2014 installment of "Life with Archie" while intervening in the assassination of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. (AP Photo/Archie Comics)

    This photo provided by Archie Comics shows Archie in his final moments of life in the comic book, "Life with Archie," issue 37. Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend. The famous freckle-faced comic book icon will die in the July 16, 2014 installment of "Life with Archie" while intervening in the assassination of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. (AP Photo/Archie Comics)

  • This photo provided by Archie Comics shows Archie in his final moments of life in a scene from the comic book, "Life with Archie," issue 36. Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend. The famous freckle-faced comic book icon will die in the July 16, 2014 installment of "Life with Archie" while intervening in the assassination of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. (AP Photo/Archie Comics)

    This photo provided by Archie Comics shows Archie in his final moments of life in a scene from the comic book, "Life with Archie," issue 36. Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend. The famous freckle-faced comic book icon will die in the July 16, 2014 installment of "Life with Archie" while intervening in the assassination of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. (AP Photo/Archie Comics)

  • This photo provided by Archie Comics shows the cover of the comic book, "Life with Archie," issue 36. Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend. The famous freckle-faced comic book icon will die in the July 16, 2014 installment of "Life with Archie" while intervening in the assassination of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. (AP Photo/Archie Comics)

    This photo provided by Archie Comics shows the cover of the comic book, "Life with Archie," issue 36. Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend. The famous freckle-faced comic book icon will die in the July 16, 2014 installment of "Life with Archie" while intervening in the assassination of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. (AP Photo/Archie Comics)

  • This photo provided by Archie Comics shows Archie in his final moments of life in the comic book, "Life with Archie," issue 37. Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend. The famous freckle-faced comic book icon will die in the July 16, 2014 installment of "Life with Archie" while intervening in the assassination of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. (AP Photo/Archie Comics)
  • This photo provided by Archie Comics shows Archie in his final moments of life in a scene from the comic book, "Life with Archie," issue 36. Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend. The famous freckle-faced comic book icon will die in the July 16, 2014 installment of "Life with Archie" while intervening in the assassination of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. (AP Photo/Archie Comics)
  • This photo provided by Archie Comics shows the cover of the comic book, "Life with Archie," issue 36. Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet for his gay best friend. The famous freckle-faced comic book icon will die in the July 16, 2014 installment of "Life with Archie" while intervening in the assassination of Kevin Keller, Archie Comics' first openly gay character. (AP Photo/Archie Comics)

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 installment of Life with Archie, when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’s first openly gay character. Andrews’s death, which was first 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-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.”

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,” Goldwater said. “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.”

Andrew Wheeler, who writes about the comic book industry at ComicsAlliance.com, praised the way that Andrews will be killed off. He wrote yesterday that “Archie’s sacrifice isn’t just a moment of heroism; it offers an unambiguous condemnation of America’s lax gun laws” and said that it’s “not surprising to see Archie Comics tackling such a serious issue” because the publisher “doesn’t shy away from risky ideas.”

Who shot Archie? Goldwater isn’t spoiling the killer, only teasing it’s a stalker who wanted to take Keller down.

Andrews’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 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.

Archie Comics has more broadly strived to appeal to modern sensibilities by launching a spin-off series called Afterlife with Archie that envisions a zombie outbreak coming to Riverdale and enlisting Girls creator and star Lena Dunham to write a four-part Archie story set for release next year that chronicles the production of a reality TV show in Riverdale.

Legacy Comments1

more violence....sad

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