I've never been an avid Archie reader, but for a comic to have one of the longest publishing runs in the industry (since 1939) you've got to give some props to that kind of longevity. We all know that comic book characters are essentially static archetypes. Any kind of aging in comics always seems to be accelerated from 12 to 18 and profoundly slowed after that. I'm pretty sure that Lois Lane has been 29 for a good 70 years now.
So it's no surprise that Archie characters are slow to change. Archie will always be the bumbling adorkable he always is, Jughead will always be the side-kick comic relief, and Veronica will always be chasing the boys. So the thought of any kind of dramatic cultural shift happening in Archie is pretty far-fetched (they even tried to get Archie to FINALLY get married, but that ended up being a big publicity stunt dream sequence). So when I heard about Archie getting a gay character added to the cast, I was highly skeptical.
But low and behold, Kevin Keller, the only gay in the village (of Mamaroneck, where the series is set), is a reality.
Catch previews of the issue after the jump: