Life With Archie Addresses Gun Crime in Penultimate Issue

Time and time again, it seems, Archie are the ones who want to step up and try and address some of the twistier aspects of politics. Having shown a keen interest in offering progression to their cosy 1950s suburbia over the last few years especially, their series ‘Life With Archie’ has been offering an unexpectedly involving and mature look at gun control in America. Spoilers after the image.

Archie Andrews

The series offers an alternate future in which the Archie characters defy comics and actually age up in time – seeing the characters get jobs, fall in love, get married and live adult lives. With the introduction of Kevin Keller to the storyline came a particularly ‘controversial’ story, as the character got married to his husband Clay – who was later shot  whilst trying to prevent a robbery.

That storyline has remained in the story ever since, as Keller moved into politics on an anti-gun campaign. And that’s where the penultimate issue of the series, released this week, will come into play. In the issue, Archie will step in the way of a bullet meant for Kevin, and die. It’s a pretty shocking way for the company to kill off even an alternate-reality version of their eponymous hero, especially in the current climate in which there is a shooting almost every other week in America.

With the story starting with a gay marriage (already controversial enough for some) and now leading to an assassination, this has been a long-term storyline which Archie Comics have refused to spoil too far ahead of time. Due to solicitations they’ve been forced to reveal parts of the story – and they did enjoy a big press release when they first announced the ‘death of Archie’ part of the comic to the papers. But for the most part they’ve hidden this thing from readers, and let the story come first. That alone is pretty daring, even without looking at the content of the series.

Following this month’s issue, by Paul Kupperberg and artists Fernando Ruiz, Pat and Tim Kennedy, Jack Morelli, Rosario Peña, Gary Martin, Bob Smith and Jim Amash, the final issue will see the cast then dealing with Archie’s passing one year on from his death. The characters will look back on his life (and loves, no doubt), the series will draw to a close with issue #37.

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