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Death of a High School Hero

Riverdale’s ‘average Joe hero’ will meet his demise this week, when Archie Andrews dies in issue 36 of the comic book “Life with Archie.”

For those of you not following the series, the writers have created two parallel storylines, one where Archie marries Veronica Lodge and one where Archie marries Betty Cooper. Both possible fates come together in the latest offering when the freckled-faced do-gooder jumps in front of a bullet intended for his openly gay friend, senator Kevin Keller.

The recent mini series has delved into a number of mature topics, including themes of racism, homosexuality and infidelity. Some have compared it to a soap opera, with melodramatic plot lines, while still attempting to tackle issues that would not have been suitable for younger audiences. The new storyline will conclude with issue 37. The final comic will be set one year after the death of it’s title character.

The world has enjoyed over 70 years of Archie comics. This is the first time a lead character has been killed off in the Archie series, but not the first for comic heroes. Marvel and DC comics are famous for killing their superheroes and then resurrecting them in subsequent editions of their comic books. The most notable was Superman, who died at the hands of Doomsday in 1992. His death spawned a host of new characters, with Superman finally returning in the series Reign of the Supermen, this time with long hair. Oooohhh…

While Archie may not be brought back to life through a complicated regeneration matrix like his super counterpart, his character will live on in the high school adventure/romance series we all grew up on. He’ll be back tormenting Mr. Weatherbee and sharing soda pops with his two favourite gals before you can say: “Archie Andrews, where are you?”

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