It's the end of the line for Archie Andrews.
In this week's "Life With Archie" #36, the Archie Comics namesake will die taking a bullet for his best friend Kevin Keller, according to what Archie publisher and co-CEO Jon Goldwater tells the Associated Press. The penultimate issue of "Life With Archie," which follows the students of Riverdale as grown-up adults, sees Archie dying in the process of thwarting an assassination attempt against the openly gay Keller, a military veteran and newly elected senator pushing for stricter gun control in Riverdale.
"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," said Goldwater. "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."
Archie's death was first announced in April, though the exact specifics of how he would die remained a mystery. Now, with days to go before the comic hits stands, we know the how — but we don't know the who. The identity of Archie's assassin remains unknown, as does the aftermath of Archie's death. The final issue of "Life With Archie," issue #37, will fast-forward a year in time to see how Archie's friends are handling and honoring his passing.
"The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie," said Goldwater. "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."
"Life With Archie" #36 arrives this Wednesday, July 16.