Archie, the much-loved iconic American comic book character, will be killed off this week after he saves his gay friend, Kevin Keller, from a gunman.
Archie’s death takes place in Issue 36 of Life with Archie, which offers an alternative universe storyline in which the characters are all grown up and deal with more serious topics.
In the issue, Archie will step into the path of a bullet to thwart the attempted assassination of Keller, who’s become a senator supporting gun control laws.
“The death of Archie is the biggest story in Archie Comics history – and a major milestone for comics, period,” said Archie Comics Publisher/Co-CEO Jon Goldwater.
“Life with Archie presents a possible future for the character, and this issue is a fitting end to that story. Archie dies as he lived – a hero, representing the best in all of us,” he said.
Archie’s fans needn’t fret too much about the tragic murder however; the perpetually teenage redhead will live on in other Archie titles.
Keller was introduced into the iconic American comic strip in 2010 as its first gay character. In 2011, he was given his own comic book title. The character’s same-sex wedding issue in 2012 was a sell out.
Goldwater described Keller as “the most important new character in Archie lore since Archie, Betty and Veronica, Jughead and Reggie.”
Comics featuring the freckly faced Archie Andrews and his friends were first launched in the 1940s.