The end of Archie: Iconic comic book character will die saving gay friend

After nearly 75 years with Veronica and Betty and Reggie and Jughead, Archie Andrews will die this week. And he will die saving his gay friend from an assassin’s bullet.Screen shot 2014-07-14 at 11.09.52 AM

Archie Comics officials announced in April that the “Life with Archie” series about the gang from Riverdale would end this year with Archie Andrews’ death. Archie Comics Publisher and CEO Jon Goldwater told AP Archie will die in Wednesday’s installment of “Life with Archie” and that 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.”

Kevin Keller, the first gay character in the Archie Comics world, was first introduced in 2010 in the Archies Comic spinoff “Veronica.” He appeared later in a solo title, and then in the “Life with Archie” series, Kevin Keller is a married military veteran and newly-elected senator who is pushing for more gun control in Riverdale after his husband is involved in a shooting. Goldwater wouldn’t say who it is that pulls the trigger and ends up shooting Archie, only that it is a stalker who wanted to take down Keller.

Goldwater said Archie will die in “Life with Archie” No. 26, and that issue No. 37 will jump forward a year to tell the story of the rest of the gang remembering Archie. Goldwater said that the comic’s authors “wanted to do something that was impactful that would rally resonate with the world and bring home how important Archie is to everyone. … Metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.”

—  Tammye Nash

Gay Archie Comics character gets a spinoff

A year ago, Archie Comics introduced its first gay character in the pages of Veronica. Remember? As it turns out, Kevin Keller was such a hit that he’s getting his own spinoff. GLAAD posted this piece on the new comic that’s slated for a June release.

Of course, whenever we hear about comics and gay, we always run to Zeus’ Richard Neal for his thoughts. And why not? He’s clearly the go-to gay for all things within those comic book universes. When asked what he thought about the spin-off, Neal had this to say via Twitter (but not all at once):

Making a political statement for press and sales is common. Writer Dan Parent however has made openly gay Kevin a very real part of the fun, comedic and kid-friendly Archie Universe. Kevin’s own storyline about his struggles at school and coming out to his parents proves Archie Comics commitment to being relevant to today’s youth readership.


—  Rich Lopez