A quiet milestone in Archie comics, Erik takes a look at the first gay character in Riverdale.
Credits & Solicit Info:
(W/A) Dan Parent 'Isn't It Bromantic?' There's a new hunk in town and Veronica has her sights set on him. She latches on to Kevin, but despite her increasingly persistent attempts to get his attention, he's just not interested! Jughead takes advantage of the situation and uses them both in his quest to play Veronica for a fool. In the end, will Jughead turn out to be the real dunce? Cover price $2.99.
It seems in recent years characters who are homosexual have appeared everywhere in media. From Kurt in Glee to Batwoman in DC Comics, there has been a definite increase in gay characters. Recently, Archie Comics introduced a gay character in Veronica #202.
Kevin Keller is the new kid in town. He immediately befriends Jughead, and is the object of one of Veronica's crushes. Veronica tries everything she can to woo Kevin, but she doesn't realize that he's gay. After telling Jughead about his homosexuality, Jughead convinces Kevin not to tell Veronica, just so Jughead can enjoy watching Veronica go crazy trying to get Kevin to notice her.
This goes on for the rest of issue, Veronica tries everything she can to get Kevin, but Kevin just doesn't notice. Halfway through the issue Betty realizes Kevin's gay but also doesn't tell Veronica, so that she gets Archie all to herself.
Kevin and Jughead seem to be separated at birth, they both like to eat, and they both read comics. However, towards the end of the issue, Kevin finally breaks down and tells Veronica that he's gay. After realizing that Jughead was using him, Kevin leaves with Veronica and they become friends.
What I really liked about this issue, was that they didn't make a huge deal about Kevin's sexuality. Sure they used it for jokes, but they didn't really make it an after school special. They also made Kevin a character that one could like in the long run.
What makes this issue so important, is the fact that this is the first gay character in an Archie title. This character doesn't seem like a stereotype either. He seems to be a normal person. Sure they used the fact he was gay as the driving part of the issue, but it wasn't really about him, it was about Veronica. I applaud Archie comics for bringing this character to their books.
Kevin Keller is hopefully not the last gay character to be introduced into an all ages book. I hope that other companies follow Archie Comics lead, and show homosexuals in such a way that they can be seen as much the same as everyone else.
Review by: Erik Galston