Archie to die thwarting assassination of gay comics character

AP is reporting that Archie, the beloved red-haired comic book character, will meet his maker this coming Wednesday when he dives in front of a bullet to save the comic strip’s first gay character, Kevin Keller, who is now a US Senator.

Archie Comics has already revealed some of the end-moment snapshots:

death-of-archie

AP has a few more of the images.

The gay in me says “yeah!” While the writer in me says “oy.” One of the things they teach you early on in writing-land is not to follow a story line just because it’s something that “could” happen in real life.  The potential reality of it doesn’t necessarily stop something from coming across as canned, phony, too much.

While I’m all for mainstreaming the gay rights movement, and it doesn’t get any more mainstream than Archie dying for his gay friend, somehow Archie throwing himself in front of a bullet to stop the assassination of his gay senator bff strikes me as a bit late-era-Fonzie-esque.

Fonzie_jumps_the_shark

Then again, I don’t read comic books (though I did as a kid). I have adult friends here in America who do (and adult French people love comic books). So maybe I’m missing the nuance of how “Archie” a move this really is.

And in the end, if tons of Archie fans learn the lesson that “gay is good,” I’m not being the one who stands up and says “no.

Though I might say “meh.”

What do you think? Is this a big deal?


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  • Mike_H

    As a long-time comics reader and collector, I’ve actually read several of the “Kevin Keller” comics in the Archie Universe. There’s absolutely nothing poor, sad, or helpless about the way they portray him in the Archies comics. He’s likable, forthright, and has the same kind of dating problems that Archie, Betty, Veronica, and the gang have. If anything, he’s a bit too perfect — athletic, smart, and community-minded.

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  • UncleBucky

    As I understand, this story arc is separated in time from the regular Archie story arc. So, we will still see him and them as teenagers, and the teen Archie will not die. But he will, or rather he does die in the overall story arc.

  • Kevin117

    What people will learn is, gay is a gimmick people can use to sell crap.

    Not good at all.

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  • Marco Luxe

    Any word on the assasin’s motive?

  • LasloPratt

    I think the real news here is that anyone still pays any attention to Archie.

  • Bluestocking

    That’s one of the reasons why I suspect that despite the denials, this is another publicity stunt along the lines of “Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty” which doesn’t really resolve anything and leaves the door open.

    That being said, I admit that I have a bit of a hard time understanding how “Archie” manages to stay alive given that it’s so sanitized and is no longer really relevant to what most people’s lives are like now. Hell, most of the people whose lives actually were something like that when they were teenagers are heading into retirement!

  • GeorgeMokray

    Archie’s story has been morphed in a number of different ways recently. He was in two different versions of his future where he married Veronica and another where he married Betty. He’s been fighting zombies in another. There’s the “adult” version in which he will sacrifice himself for his friend and there’s also the Archie that we grew up with. Lotsa Archie’s for lotsa folks.

  • Lawerence Collins

    I couldn’t disagree more! I think this could be huge. Besides I’m sure it’s sending rage throughout all of the haters in the GOP.

  • jdblog325

    I agree with John – kinda MEH – I’ll go a step further and say that it’s kinda RIDICULOUS.

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  • http://hunteratrandom.blogspot.com/ rmthunter

    I wouldn’t get too worked up about this — DC started the Earth 2 universe by killing off Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Guess what — they came back.

  • crazymonkeylady

    Am I the only one thinking “Oh, great. A brave and allegedly selfless Hetrosexual ‘hero’ gives it all up for the poor sad helpless gay guy”? Yea. Pretty sure that’s a bad thought, though.

  • Jim Olson

    Yeah, The local NBC affiliate just missed this nuance.

  • FLL

    This plot line might sound overly serious at first, but I think “Life with Archie” is the adult version of the Archie comics. This is not a storyline in the teen version of the Archie comics, in which Archie is still alive and will presumably remain so.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It was an interesting direction to take the comic, but mostly they seem to have been struggling for relevance and new gimmicks to attract readers who, nowadays, are used to Ronald Moore and Neil Gaiman comics.

    I think the shark jump is the appropriate metaphor here.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And where every single statement by a character is ended with an exclamation point. Not just occasionally for emphasis, but ALWAYS.

    Long, long ago I used to read comic books, but the day I noticed that little detail, I couldn’t un-see it…

  • Indigo

    Exactly.

  • AVR

    Life With Archie is a limited-run story with two variations, where in one version of the “future” adult Archie marries Betty and in the other he marries Veronica. Taking a bullet for gay friend Kevin is completely in character, in either version.

    This doesn’t affect the ongoing main series of Archie, permanent teenager having wacky adventures in high school, which will continue to have minimal continuity and never kills off main characters.

  • Indigo

    It’s okay. He’ll be back in another issue, the whole episode will be encapsulated and put on the shelf for collectors. Don’t take your copy out of the cellophane wrapper . . . it’s going to be worth a whole buncha money someday, ya know!

    Comic books and movie spin-offs these days are going through an interesting narrative shift anyhow, Batman’s psychotic, Superman is suicidal, Spider Man’s a twink and if Green Arrow isn’t gay, what is he?

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