Archie to die saving gay friend


I haven’t read any comic books since I was a kid. And that would be 60-65 years ago. Quite a while. But I had a peculiar reaction to a CNN story a few minutes ago. They announced that Archie Andrews would be killed off in this week’s comic installment. Archie, of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Reggie, is going to die taking a bullet to save a gay friend.

Gay friend. Gun violence. Murder. Things sure have changed since I knew Archie and friends in the “Happy Days” world that was Riverdale in the 1950s.

I felt hurt, shocked, and very sad. I might even have shed a tear. An era is over. Another childhood friend is gone.

18 thoughts on “Archie to die saving gay friend

    1. It’s not like it’s GI Joe or some superhero or some johnny-come-lately character. It’s ARCHIE! This is like killing off Mickey Mouse or Popeye or Dagwood.

      1. They ‘killed off’ Superman once, and Batman too if memory serves. The only thing I could think at the time was something like, “Jeez, have sales dropped off THAT much?!?!” I know it’s been a long time, but I don’t remember the Archie comics having an ‘other-worldly’ or ‘super-tech’ angle that could be used to ‘resurrect’ him. Or was there? 😕

        1. Not that I recall. It was just a bunch of high school kids growing up in Anytown USA. But it sounds like that changed a lot over the years, that the kids have become adults, have gay friends, and encounter gun violence. I dunno, maybe now they have the means to resurrect him.

  1. Always liked comic books as a kid. Strangely, I seldom actually bought a new one myself, but I had a stack and traded them actively for many years. I must’ve bought a base number to get started, but I know I seldom had a dime to spare for one. Action heroes, horror comics, Disney characters (always found Scrooge McDuck particularly interesting, probably for the same reason I was a fan of Rocky and Bullwinkle on the boob tube), war comics, and of course, the supernatural. Captain Marvel was one of the most interesting action protagonists. He was less “super” than Superman, and more humble, I thought. Billy Batson was his alter-image, as I recall. I read somewhere that for some strange reason Captain Marvel was modeled on the actor, Fred MacMurray.

    Others I recall were The Atom (tiny but strong), Flash Gordon, Green Lantern, Submariner (swam really fast, face like a ship’s prow), Batman and Robin of course, The Incredible Hulk, The Heap (any relation? Swamp thing that looked like a pile of algae.), and another favorite, Plastic Man. The art in these things was something to be treasured. The perspective and consistency was just amazing, proof that the imagination can produce any camera angle.

    My guess on the Archie thing is that paper comics are dying and the artist(s) are figuring they might as well make a political statement in the process. R.I.P., comic books.

      1. Oh So like the super heroes? Alternative universes? ( so out of it on this one.)
        Not smart to kill off the goose that lays golden eggs, I guess.
        Must be a new market they are after? This is an attempt to get people to buy as collectors’ item?
        All I can see is some people are determined to suck the FUN out of every single thing.

        1. Seriously, must all the comic book characters meet violent ends? Archie was a light, fun comic. Why not leave it at that? You’re right about sales, though. I’ll bet they’re counting on making big bucks from this special “double sized commemorative issue.” Commemorating Archie’s death? Really?

  2. How sad; Archie and his comics were a big thing for me growing up, too. Some things should be exempt from contemporary realities. Guess not. It will be hard to hear ‘Sugar Sugar’ on oldies stations from now on. 🙁

    1. Archie and the gang, as I remember them, were happy, innocent kids. It’s a shame they couldn’t have been left that way. Must even fictional characters grow up, grow old, grow coarse and streetwise, face guns, etc.?

  3. In a way I was lucky emigrating to Australia from England in 1951 I suddenly became exposed to American Comics, strangely Australians didn’t seem to go for the English comic books that I grew up with, so no more Beano or Billy Bunter it was now Superman, The Phantom et al and of course Archie and Blondie (why was it called Blondie not Dagwood?).

    I must admit I loved comics, I suppose I still do; I read the comic strips in newspapers first, there’s something to put a smile on the dial before reading all the glum disheartening news that assails us each time we pick up a paper.

    1. I always wondered too — why Blondie, not Dagwood.

      I quit following all of them in the late ’50s, and was only vaguely aware that the superheroes live on.

  4. Another sacrifice to political correctness and social engineering. On the other hand, the ‘creative’ community has shown little creativity in the last 30 years, depending instead on reviving and reworking ‘classics’ to suit current culture. Is it any wonder that the box office is down by 25 percent from its previous year? And continues to fall? Personally, I’d love it if they would just start creating something new instead of re-engineering previous works. It’s hackery at its worst in my opinion.

    1. I don’t pay much attention to movies. Hadn’t realized they were down. It may well be because there are more and more alternatives for entertainment these days. TV is losing out. The print industry is failing. Everything is changing. But you have a point about creativity. Look TV’s shift away from good scripted programming and toward cheesy reality shows (they’re cheaper, too). As for comics, I don’t know. Are there any truly new ones being created? Are comics even a viable medium anymore (except for collectors)?

... and that's my two cents