Archie will die. Beloved comic book icon Archie Andrews will take a bullet for his gay best friend in the 36th issue of Life With Archie, publisher/CEO Jon Goldwater announced Monday, July 14.
The Associated Press first reported the news of Archie's imminent demise, revealing that the comic's freckle-faced protagonist would die after intervening in the assassination attempt of his pal, Kevin Keller. The issue will feature the heroic and tragic moment, while its aftermath will be chronicled in the 37th issue.
"The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie," Goldwater said in a statement. A scene of Archie's final moments was shared by Archie Comics—the heroic attempt features the character charging at a gunman, while pushing Keller aside, while bystanders—including a cop—react in fear.
"He dies heroically," Goldwater added. "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 Comics published its first issue in 1958 and follows the lives of its title character and his pals, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle, as well as his romantic interests, Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge among many other students at Riverdale High School. In 2013, Life With Archie won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book.
Keller's character, a married military vet and new senator, seeks stricter gun control laws in the series, after his husband Clay is the victim of 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 continued of Archie's death. "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."
Added the publisher, "We hope by showing how something so violent can happen to Archie, that we can—in some way—learn from him."