Gay men in the army, gay marriage, interracial marriage—these are all hot button issues that have riled up intense debate in the U.S. (In Canada, this is the norm so no one really cares. Kidding. Sort of.)
But one of America’s most well-known comics had been and will continue to tackle all of these issues—with one character. Who knew the long-running all-American Archie series could be so political and progressive?
The cover of the January 2012 edition of Life With Archie, in which Archie’s gay friend Kevin Keller gets married to his African American boyfriend, has just been released (shown above).
It will be the first gay wedding to be depicted in an Archie comic. (The plot was originally announced in September.) Readers will learn how Kevin met his fiancé, Clay Walker, in a military hospital after being wounded while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Kevin, who was introduced to readers in an issue of Veronica in September 2010, was the first openly gay character to be a part of the Riverdale gang in the 70-year history of the comic.
Due to the overwhelming success of the character (the Veronica issue sold out, prompting a second printing—a first in the comic’s history), he also had a four-issue miniseries this year, which explored his relationship with his military father and his life during high school.
Archie Comics will be launching a monthly comic about Kevin In February 2012.