Archie to die saving his gay friend
Famous Comic character Archie to die saving his gay friendArchie Comics

The famous red-headed comic book character Archie Andrews will die taking a bullet intended for a gay friend, which the publishers described as a "fitting turning point" for the iconic character.

In the Wednesday's episode of "Life with Archie", the eponymous hero will die trying to save Kevin Keller, the comic's first gay character, The Verge reported.

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

"He dies heroically. He dies selflessly. He dies in the manner that epitomises 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."

In the Wednesday's finale, fans will see Keller as a newly elected senator fighting for tighter gun-control laws.

Archie Comics isn't revealing the assassin's identity, until it is printed. However, the following issue will jump ahead one year and show fans how Archie's friends and Riverdale honour the comic icon after his heroic death.

"Archie is not a superhero like all the rest of the comic book characters. If anything, I think his death is more impactful because of that. We hope by showing how something so violent can happen to Archie that we can — in some way— learn from him," said Goldwater.

Jonathan Merrifield, a longtime Archie fan who hosts the Riverdale Podcast told ABC News: "I think Archie Comics has taken a lot of risks in recent years, and this is the biggest risk they've taken yet. If it shakes things up a little bit, and people end up checking it out and seeing what's going on in Archie Comics, it will be a risk that was smartly taken."

Archie became popular with US teenagers in the 1940s - known as the "Golden Age" of comics. It followed the fortunes of high school students Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead in the fictional town of Riverdale.