It remains to be seen whether iconic comic book character Archie will finally marry Betty or Veronica, but Archie’s pal Kevin will soon be tying the knot — with another man!
Kevin Keller, introduced last year in an issue of Veronica, became the comic book series’ first gay character and an instant hit with readers. His debut issue sold out in record time, prompting the first ever reprinting in Archie history.
The comic’s upcoming same-sex marriage is predicted to break further new ground.
“It will be the first gay marriage depicted in an Archie Comics publication, and among the first depicted in mainstream comic books in general,” reports The Advocate.
Critics have praised the Archie comics for addressing issues surrounding gay teenagers. Through Kevin, the series will also explore gays in the military. An Archie Comics press release revealed that Kevin serves in the military after high school and returns to hometown Riverdale as a decorated war hero.
His wedding will appear in a January 2012 issue of Life With Archie, a spin-off series that follows the central characters as twenty-something adults.
“Kevin is the all-American teenager who just happens to be gay,” said Dan Parent, who created Kevin. “We wanted it to be an important factor, yet it doesnít completely define him either. The reaction from the Riverdale gang is basically a non-reaction, because Riverdale is an accepting and tolerant community where itís OK to be gay.”
Presenting strong, well-rounded LGBT characters like Kevin is an important step toward acceptance and tolerance in the real world, too. Archie‘s decision to run a storyline about same-sex marriage reflects growing support for LGBT equality amid ever-increasing mainstream visibility. Hopefully, readers will embrace Kevin’s marriage as much as his coming out.
So who’s the lucky guy wedding this comic book catch, anyway? For now, the publishers are keeping the identity of Kevin’s “Mr. Right” a secret.
Image credit: Joelk75 (Creative Commons)