In the past few years, several beloved comic book characters have met their demise in a particularly tumultuous story arc, much to the heartbreak — or sometimes, vexation — of fans. Most recently, Archie Andrews, the freckle-faced, redheaded star of the Archie comic book series, died taking a bullet in a new issue of Life With Archie.
Though news of his death was announced in April, readers didn’t get to learn the circumstances surrounding the incident until early July. Archie joins a long list of major comic book characters to meet a tragic fate. Here are six shocking comic book deaths.
1. Archie Andrews
Archie, who made his comic book debut 73 years ago, dies when he jumps in front of a bullet for his friend, the openly gay Sen. Kevin Keller, who is pushing for increased gun control in their city of Riverdale. “Its really not sad. Actually it’s inspirational,” Archie Comics publisher Jon Goldwater said of the death. “Because Archie does what you would want Archie to do. He takes the bullet for his friend, and he would do that for anybody.”
The issue, No. 36 in Life With Archie – which follows Archie and the rest of his gang later in life — is out July 16 and is the second to last of the entire series. The last issue will jump forward a year and focus on paying tribute to the character. Still, fans should be comforted to know that Archie will live on in other Archie Comics series.