Comic books have always played an important role in the gay community - all of those superheroes hiding their secret identities and then thriving the most when they can throw off the disguise. So Kevin Keller, the new comic book miniseries led by a gay character, may not be incredibly groundbreaking. Kevin, a character from Archie Comics, was the first gay teenager to come out in Riverdale, and he's getting a backstory in the new, four-part miniseries.
Kevin actually debuted in the Archie comics last year, but the writers have experienced such success with his character they were inspired to give fans more about Kevin.
Kevin is what The Seattle Times calls a "no-big-deal gay." The character, the son of a military official, is not defined by being gay, and apparently the miniseries doesn't revolve around his coming-out story.
Being gay does, however, play a role in Kevin's story. In the first entry in the series, he has a pretty receptive audience for his coming-out.
Where "the gay" comes into play is the story of Kevin coming out, and it's a scenario that would be the envy of many gay teens. His parents are understanding and don't freak out. His Army-officer father even affirms: "I'll always love you, no matter what. ... You're the best son a father could have." The only hint of difficulty is a veiled warning from Col. Keller to Kevin about the latter's plans for joining the military.
The co-CEO of Archie Comics, Jon Goldwater, has heralded the Kevin Keller series as a major development for the brand. In an interview with The New York Post from March, he said, "This is the most important book this company has released in 70 years."
Kevin Keller No. 1 debuted on June 15. Three more issues will follow.