Superheroes die all the time, but Archie isn’t one of them.
Nevertheless, some controversy was drawn this past week when in the most recent edition of the “Life with Archie” comic series, the comic book icon was shot and killed defending his friend Kevin Keller, a gay Senator, and proponent of gun control.
The comic is available at Stone Alley Books and Collectibles on Seminary Street, and owner Ben Stomberg tells WGIL don’t worry — Archie still isn’t going away for good.
“This is the ‘Life with Archie’ series, which takes place in the future, when Archie is an adult, and he’s married to either Betty or Veronica, depending on the story you’re reading,” Stomberg said. “He has kids now. He’s older. He’s more mature. It’s a different Archie than the kid who’s just wandering around from malt shop to malt shop.”
Stomberg tells WGIL he feels it was a good way to ultimately end the series, and is a way to give the public pause.
“I was a little bit surprised that they were going to involve Kevin Keller in this way,” Stomberg said. “But, as I think about it, it seems appropriate, and it kind of addresses in the story some things in society that maybe we should be addressing ourselves. If it makes people think a little bit, that’s great, too.”
Stomberg says people shouldn’t be too shocked in general by the concept of a comic book character dying, since it’s happened to “Superman” and “Wolverine” among others in the past.
While the edition is drawing controversy,Stomberg tells WGIL it’s also drawing business.
“Archie comics in general, we still sell them at Stone Alley, but they’re not nearly as popular as they used to be. The ‘Betty & Veronica’ titles are more popular with younger girls. For the most part, Archie comics are sold as nostalgia pieces. But, the death of Archie, the moment that came out, a lot of people were calling, wanting to buy the issue or reserve the issue — not our normal customers, but older customers who remember Archie from his glory days.”
Stomberg says there will be one more “Life with Archie” comic out in the coming days following up on Archie’s death, then it will be done. The original “Archie” comics series, he says, will continue on.