Man, Archie Comics are all about the progressive plot developments lately. Riverdale not only gave a shout-out to interracial dating this week via Archie #608, but also announced the arrival of its first openly gay character. And no, it isn’t Jughead. Or Mr. Weatherbee.

Veronica Lodge’s milkshake has been bringing all the boys to the yard for more than half a century, but chiseled cutie Kevin Keller, who will make his debut in Veronica #202 in September, does not like her In That Way. (Seriously, Veronica. The boy is gorgeous, polite and has perfect hair. Of course he’s not straight. Didn’t you see Clueless?) After Veronica’s flirting reaches epic levels, Kevin matter-of-factly tells Jughead (!) that he’s gay, so his indifference isn’t necessarily a slam against the town’s richest keyboard player.

Yeah, this development would have been way more awesome in 1991. But late as it may be, the addition of an openly gay, male character is major for an Archie comic book. From what I can tell, Kevin seems to be perfectly comfortable with being out, and there’s no Very Special Issue drama attached to his sexuality.

I’m sure somebody has their knickers in a twist about this, but I can’t see why. Archie Comics’ vision of adolescence is generally so sanitized you could clean your kitchen counters with it. It’s not like anybody’s gonna be cavorting in a hot tub, though I’d be pleasantly surprised if the editors showed Kevin occasionally going on a regular date, just like everybody else at Riverdale High.

While it’s usually extremely satisfying to see Karma kick Veronica in the ass, I feel a little badly for her this time around. Kevin Keller is easily one of the most crush-worthy boys to land in Riverdale, so his … unavailability is really gonna sting. On the other hand, some chap in Miss Grundy’s 3rd period geometry class just might have the best year ever — and we are so not mad at him.

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