LifeWithArchie_36_FEATUREUnited States:  Archie Andrew, the comic book icon popular among youth for close to three-quarters of a century will die taking a bullet to save his gay best friend.

The famous freckle-faced American character will die when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first openly gay character.

The scheduled July 16 installment of ‘Life with Archie’ Andrew’s death was first announced in April. It will mark the end of the series that focuses on grown-up renditions of Andrews and his friends in Riverdale town.

“The way in which Archie dies is everything that you would expect of Archie,” said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO.

“He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us. It’s what Archie has come to represent over the past almost 75 years.”

Keller’s character first joined Veronica Lodge, Betty Cooper, Jughead Jones and Reggie Mantle in 2010 and later appeared in his own solo title.

In the issue ‘Life with Archie,’ Keller is a married military veteran and a newly elected senator who is pushing for more gun control in Riverdale after his husband was involved in a shooting incident.

“We wanted to do something that was impactful that would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie is to everyone,” said Goldwater.

“That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin. He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.” added Goldwater.

Archie’s final moments will be detailed in ‘Life with Archie’ No. 36, while issue No. 37 will focus on the Riverdale gang honoring the legacy of their red-headed friend who first appeared in comics in 1941 and went on to become a colorful icon.

Event though the non-super hero Archie character and his friends are American, it finds resonance among youth of all culture, especially among the English speaking countries of Asia for the gang’s day to day rendition of high school years and disconnect between teenagers and their parents.

So popular was the comic in Asia that creators of Archie began regarding its movement towards a more diverse comic strip by introducing in the early 2000′s, Raj Patel, a character of Indian descent who befriends Archie.