Seventy-three years after making his debut in the comics, freckle-faced Archie Andrews is being dramatically killed off in issue 36 of the “Life With Archie” series tomorrow when he ends up taking a bullet for his friend Kevin Keller.
Keller is the first openly gay character in the Archie Comics, and was first introduced in the spinoff series “Veronica”in 2010, before being carried over into “Life with Archie.” He described as a “married military vet and newly elected senator. He is also pushing for more gun control in Riverdale after his husband was involved in a shooting.”
“The way Archie dies is everything you would expect from the character,” stated Archie Comics publisher Jon Goldwater (son of “Archie creator John Goldwater). “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.”
Goldwater also told CNN that they are ending the “Life with Archie series with the following issue (#37) a week later, and will “ not be retconning, reversing or backtracking on this story.” Other incarnations of the Andrews character will continue, however in other Archie series, including the original life in high school (although updated to reflect modern times) as the comic book publisher looks to explore new interpretations of the characters including Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle, etc. The Archie “zombie” series will also go on.
According to Goldwater, the “Archie” series had become stale, with most people “assuming the stories were taking place in the 50’s:"Life With Archie" was meant to bring the characters into the future, depicting what the characters’ lives were be after high school and colleges, something never really explored before.”
In addition to having Archie and gang shown as adults dealing with adult issues, each issue was divided into two storylines, one showing him married to Betty, and the other to Veronica. “The final book however, will show readers Archie's final fate in both timelines, and they're the same, “ Goldwater stated.