It may well be true, as a character once quipped in Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy, that “Jughead is the king of Queen Archie’s world,” but Kevin Keller is changing all that. In a big way.
Kevin—Riverdale’s first out-and-proud gay teen—began life as a subplot in September 2010’s Veronica #202, where he was a misdirected love interest for the titular princess. The popularity of that issue led to a current miniseries for Kevin, focusing on his life before he arrived in Riverdale, including his struggles in junior high and his old circle of friends. A surprisingly popular character with the brand’s teen demographic, the blond hunk finally gets his own series, Kevin Keller, in February of 2012. Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive of Archie Comics, explains to The New York Times, “He’s proven to be incredibly popular… We’re just so proud of the success of Kevin and the fact that he adds a new dynamic to Riverdale.” A series of young-adult novels featuring Kevin is also under discussion.
Meanwhile Dan Parent, the artist-writer responsible for creating Riverdale High’s popular gay class president assures readers that it won’t all be school dances and good times with gal-pal Veronica. For starters, Kevin’s military veteran father would like for his son to follow in his footsteps. Says Parent, “There’s some adversity he’ll have to deal with.”