Well, that was unexpected:
Archie Andrews, a staple of American comics since 1941, will die in Wednesday’s issue of Life with Archie. And he’ll say goodbye to the series with one last act of heroism: Archie will take a bullet meant for best friend Kevin Keller, the first openly gay character in his comic universe. In doing so, he’ll foil an assassination attempt against Keller and, according to the story’s creators, give rise to greater understanding and tolerance in his fictional town of Riverdale. The final issue arrives as many Americans continue to work tirelessly on behalf of gay rights and to extend marriage equality across the US.
“He dies selflessly,” said Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO, speaking to the Associated Press. “He dies in the manner that epitomizes not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us.”
That’s a little dark for a comic book about teen romance and hamburgers, but OK. I hope the creators would agree that dying selflessly for a friend would still qualify as a noble act regardless of the friend’s sexual orientation, race, religion, or gender.
Wednesday’s finale finds Keller as a newly elected senator fighting for tighter gun-control laws. The gun epidemic comes to Keller’s attention after his husband is shot trying to thwart an in-progress robbery.
Yikes. When did Archie Comics become a branch of the Democratic Party? This is an example of someone totally failing to understand the nature of a problem. Note that it is a “gun epidemic” that comes to his attention, not a “violence epidemic” or an “armed robbery epidemic.” In any case, the presumed solution is to have tighter gun-control laws. Such laws, obviously, would increase the costs of getting guns.
Increasing the cost of guns leads marginal gun consumers to go without. Who is the marginal gun consumer? Is it someone who is planning on robbing a liquor store? Not unless his kung fu is really good. It’s someone who doesn’t expect to use his gun. It’s the person who lives in a safe neighbourhood and feels that the security of owning a gun only slightly outweighs the cost of getting one. How exactly was that person’s gun the cause of Keller’s husband’s shooting?
Oh well, Archie Comics are just delivering what their consumers want:
Kevin Keller was introduced to Riverdale in Veronica issue 202 almost four years ago. That issue proved so popular that Archie Comics needed to order a reprint — the first in its 70-year history.
If lionizing the political class while demonizing guns is what sells magazines, capitalists will provide.