While all the details haven’t been released, it is believed that Archie will jump in front of a bullet in order to prevent an assassination attempt on his best friend, Kevin Keller. Keller is a gay, married military veteran who is also a newly-elected senator. His character has been pushing for stricter gun control laws in Riverdale since his husband was involved in a shooting.
“Life With Archie” #36 will almost certainly become a collectors item as soon as it hits comic book store shelves on July 16.
In recent years, several high-profile comic book superheroes have died in storylines, only to return in another comic book iteration of the character or to be resurrected altogether by supernatural forces. While Archie is expected to die in a heroic manner, authors promise that he won’t be returning in the current series.
“This isn't a story we're going to retcon a few weeks from now,” explained Jon Goldwater, publisher and co-CEO Archie Comics “This happened. This is the conclusion to the 'Life With Archie' story and timeline, and it will allow us as a company and the world to take a moment to look at Archie's life as a whole and recognize him as one of the most important characters -- not in just comics -- but in popular culture.”
While the series will continue, focusing on how Archie’s friends (Jughead, Betty and Veronica) handle their friend's death, Archie fans needn’t worry about having to live an Archie-free life for long.
Archie will be dying only in this particular Archie series. The freckled-face, eternal teenager will remain alive and well in other Archie comic editions. The Archie Comics lineup currently has 9 other titles in publication. This included the flagship title “Archie,” which has been in print since 1942. So, if he hadn’t been shot, it’s entirely possible he may have eventually died of old age.
Archie dies as he lived – heroically,” said Goldwater. “He dies saving the life of a friend, and does it in his usual selfless way. Archie has always been a representation of us -- the best of us. Our strengths and our faults.”