Archie Andrews is about to be assassinated. The famous freckle-faced comic book character will die after saving a friend’s life in this week’s installment of Life With Archie, according to a report on Monday by People. But this friend is no Reggie Mantle. Instead, goodhearted Archie will take a bullet for his new pal, Kevin Keller, who’s also Archie Comics' first openly gay character.
Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO, finally leaked details of the life-ending event, saying said the circumstances surrounding the famous character’s death will be “everything that you would expect of Archie.” Goldwater also added that the tragic demise of the comic book icon offers a serious lesson about gun violence. "We hope by showing how something so violent can happen to Archie, that we can – in some way – learn from him,” he said.
Archie's final moments will be detailed in Life with Archie No. 36, and the following issue will feature a memorial to the legendary character. Archie’s first comic book appearance dates back to 1941.
Rolling Stone posted an image of a heroic Archie right before he takes the fatal bullet, and it looks like a terrifying demise for the Riverdale hero. While the Archie character has been around for 75 years, he never grew old. Fans followed Andrews and his wholesome gang -- Jughead Jones, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, and Reggie Mantle – for decades, but the character of Kevin Keller was only recently introduced, in 2010 in a Veronica spin-off comic series. Keller’s solo comic book title nabbed the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book in 2013
In addition to a life played out in comic books, the Archie character was the subject of a radio show, a syndicated comic strip, a 1970s Saturday morning cartoon, and a TV movie. His “band” even recorded real record albums. (Does “Sugar, Sugar” ring a bell?) Nearly 75 years after his debut, may he rest in peace.
The sure-to-be collectible Life With Archie No. 36 comic book will be available on newsstands on July 16.