Home/Rod Dreher/Archie Andrews: Death By Homophobia

Archie Andrews: Death By Homophobia

A Facebook friend writes:

I used to read Archie when I was a kid. I think I speak for all of us when I say that his ending went pretty much as we all expected… he dies saving his gay friend from a hate crime assassination attempt.

Seriously, this happens today in the comic universe:

The character’s impending death comes in Wednesday’s installment of “Life with Archie,” a spin-off series that centers on grown-up renditions of Archie and his Riverdale pals. It brings a bold conclusion to Archie Comics’ four-year-old modern makeover of the squeaky-clean, all-American character.

Freckle-faced Archie will meet his demise when he intervenes in an assassination attempt on senator Kevin Keller, Archie Comics’ first openly gay character, who’s pushing for more gun control in Riverdale. Archie’s death, which was first announced in April, will mark the conclusion of the “Life with Archie” series.

“I think Archie Comics has taken a lot of risks in recent years, and this is the biggest risk they’ve taken yet,” said Jonathan Merrifield, a longtime Archie fan who hosts the Riverdale Podcast about all things Archie. “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 Andrews, killed by a homophobic gun nut. Right. More from the story:

Jon Goldwater, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO, defended Archie’s demise being a lesson about gun violence and diversity.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I don’t agree,” said Goldwater. “I think Riverdale is a place where everyone should feel welcome and safe. From my point of view, I’m proud of the stance we’ve taken here, and I don’t think it’s overtly political on any level.”

Nope, nothing overtly political here. Hey, since I was last in Riverdale, they’ve got teen lesbians, one of whom is a “fierce Latina.”

Seems like everybody is gay in pop culture today. In 2011, a Gallup poll found that Americans on average believe that 25 percent of the country is gay or lesbian. Yesterday, a new survey of nearly 35,000 adult Americans by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came out. Guess what?:

Based on the 2013 NHIS data, 96.6% of adults identified as straight, 1.6% identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7% identified as bisexual. The remaining 1.1% of adults identified as ‘‘something else,’’ stated ‘‘I don’t know the answer,’’ or refused to provide an answer.

Nope, nothing political in any way, shape, or form about the media campaign over the last decade or so. Keep moving, folks, nothing to see here.

Seriously, it is a fascinating question how two percent of the population can have had such a tectonic effect on a culture, and in such a short time. Two percent of the population with 100 percent of the news and entertainment media on its side can make a cultural revolution. They just did. If this isn’t confirmation of sociologist James Davison Hunter’s theory that true change happens through networks of elites and their institutions working with a common purpose, I don’t know what is.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

leave a comment

Latest Articles