ARCHIE ANDREWS, WHO LOVED BETTY & VERONICA, DIES AT 73

Friday, July 18, 2014

Rest in peace, Archie Andrews (1941-2014).

The redhead from Riverdale dies in issue No. 36 of “Life With Archie,” which arrives in comic stores Wednesday. Archie throws himself in the path of a gunman who is threatening his friends, including the openly gay senator Kevin Keller. The assailant is not a fan of two of Keller’s core issues: gay rights and gun control. Archie’s last words to Betty and Veronica, as they stand over his body, are, “I’ve always loved you.”



Jon Goldwater, the publisher and a chief executive of Archie Comics, says “Life With Archie” has allowed the company to tell stories not possible in the regular Archie series, like Keller’s getting married, Cheryl Blossom coping with breast cancer, and now gun violence. “I think fans like that we have a point of view and I’m not afraid to articulate that point of view through our characters,” he said.

As comic book fans know, death is not necessarily an absolute ending, especially for superheroes. While Archie is no superhero, his back story is a bit fanciful. This series’ focus is on Archie as an adult, not the eternal teenager whose adventures continue in “Archie,” and explored two possible futures for him: in one, he is married to Betty, in the other, Veronica. Until now, each story has had equal space and fairly separate story lines. In this issue, Paul Kupperberg has written a tale that could fit either future by dodging most of the meandering subplots and keeping Archie’s leading ladies out of the action until nearly the end.

Issue No. 37 of “Life With Archie,” which jumps forward a year after Archie’s death, is to arrive in comic stores on July 23, 2014.

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