Comic books are taking a political turn toward the serious. In two days, comic book star of Life With Archie, Archie Andrews, is going to die. Wednesday, the freckled hero will be shot down thwarting an assassination attempt on his best friend, newly elected Sen. Kevin Keller, over the gun rights issue.
“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.”
“[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.”
The first gay character in the Archie Comics series, Keller debuted in the spinoff, Veronica in 2010, alongside traditionally known characters such as Veronica Lodge, Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper. Keller later even carried his own, separate comic. Now, lead character Archie will lay down his life to save him.
“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. 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.”
Archie’s death was initially declared last April and will conclude the series. While Goldwater isn’t offering any spoilers, he does throw readers a nugget by stating the killer is a stalker of Keller’s looking to take him down over the gun rights issues raised by Keller in the wake of his husband’s shooting incident. Life with Archie No. 36 will illustrate Archie’s final moments. No. 37 will follow the issue and intends to jump one year down the road showing longtime Archie characters paying tribute to Andrews’ legacy. The final issue aims to also make large statements regarding gun control — an extremely large, hot-button issue around the country right now.
“Archie is not a superhero like all the rest of the comic book characters. 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.”
Goldwater emphasized that Archie’s passing is not simply a publicity stunt, but a teachable moment regarding gun violence, diversity, and humanity, hailing a new era in Archie Comics.
Archie debuted in 1941 and has developed as a character of distinguished integrity over the greater part of 75 years. His character will, however, continue to thrive in the Archie Comics series through previous incarnations.
H/T ABC News.