If you’d asked me a couple years ago whether I thought I’d ever be writing about a gay character headlining in Archie comics, I probably would have said “Yeah, well, eventually. Maybe in another decade or so,” but a four-part miniseries featuring the “origin story” of Kevin Keller is set to begin release in June, and according to Comic Book Resources the miniseries is basically a test run to see if Kevin’s popularity (his debut issue prompted the very first reprint of a sold out issue in Archie history) can support a full on-going series.
But, as Robot 6 points out, the more interesting news of the story may be what Archie comics are hinting at with the second issue of Kevin Keller.
In a story by cartoonist Dan Parent, Veronica helps Kevin’s family plan a birthday party for his father. It’s a simple enough premise in which Veronica learns more about Kevin while he comes to realize that, of all the places he’s lived — he’s a military brat — Riverdale has come to feel like home…
[The cover is] a nice moment of love and acceptance between father and son that’s difficult not to view in a larger context, that of the heated and prolonged debate over gays and lesbians serving in the military, and the recent repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
Whether or not Archie means the subtext (and we certainly hope they do), we can’t help but note that Kevin isn’t the only long awaited gay army brat comic book character with a high ranking dad… this is Batwoman’s origin as well. Her recent award winning run in Detective Comics didn’t just hint at military acceptance/unacceptance of LGBTQ soldiers, it butted right up against it when Kate Kane (huh, coincidental initials as well) was discharged from the army for refusing to lie about her sexuality, and lost the ability to follow in bother her father and mother’s footsteps as soldiers and diplomats.
Oh, speaking of things I would not have expected if you’d asked me about them at an earlier moment: Batwoman, after being delayed twice for more than six months, finally comes out in September, four months after Archie debuts Kevin Keller.
(via Robot 6.)