Archie Andrews, the famous freckle-faced comic book icon, will die in a heroic way. According to the Associated Press Monday, Archie will be shot saving his gay best friend in Wednesday’s installment of “Life with Archie.” The death of the comic book hero was first announced back in April.
Archie’s heroism will be displayed when he takes the bullet meant for Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first openly gay character. Keller was first introduced in 2010 in the Archie Comics spin-off “Veronica”. He joined the cast of characters that include Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle. Not only is Keller’s character openly gay, but he is also a military veteran and newly elected Politician who is pushing for more gun control in the fictional town of Riverdale after the shooting of his husband. The assassination attempt on his life is connected to his push for gun control.
The death of Archie will be symbolic because he will die doing something the character has been known for. Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO told the AP, “The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie. 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.”
Archie’s demise will be a sad moment for fans of the comic series, as it will mark the conclusion of the series focused on the grown-up version of the Riverdale gang. It will also mark the beginning of a new Riverdale. Goldwater said Archie dying saving Keller will have more of an impact because it “would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie is to everyone.”
The introduction of Keller in the Archie Comics was monumental because sexuality was explored and a connection was made to real world social conflicts. Keller has overcome and still deals with social challenges that have made him a complex and relatable character. He has dealt with being gay in the military and he also deals with being a gay politician. His character alone raises the issues of same-sex marriage and gun control; two issues that are dominate today’s political and social atmospheres.