US comic icon Archie dies saving gay friend

The 2013 New York Comic Con at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre October 13. Archie Comics has announced the death of its iconic character Archie Andrews in the new issue, ahead of this year's Comic Con in San Diego. — AFP pic
The 2013 New York Comic Con at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre October 13. Archie Comics has announced the death of its iconic character Archie Andrews in the new issue, ahead of this year's Comic Con in San Diego. — AFP pic

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LOS ANGELES, July 15 — US comic book character Archie Andrews will die this week taking a bullet intended for a gay friend, publishers said yesterday, calling it a fitting turning point for the iconic brand.

In the new issue tomorrow of “Life with Archie,” the famous red-head saves the life of newly-elected Senator Kevin Keller, introduced as the first openly gay character in the comic in 2010.

“The Death of Archie is the biggest story in Archie Comics history — and a major milestone for comics, period,” said Archie Comics publisher Jon Goldwater in a press release.

“Archie dies as he lived — a hero, representing the best in all of us” added the co-chairman of Archie Comics, the long-running comic book series best known for its wholesome all-American teenage characters.

He added: “The fact that he's saving Kevin ... is a metaphor for the rebirth this company has experienced over the last five years. This is truly a new Archie Comics: unafraid, daring, progressive and on the cusp of greatness.”

The announcement, in a press release published on comic news website Comicosity, comes ahead of the Comic-Con International conference in San Diego, the top US annual gathering of all things comic-related.

The Archie comics, launched in the 1940s and popular with generations of US youngsters, follow the fortunes of high school students Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead in the fictional town of Riverdale. — AFP

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