When you think of Archie Comics, you probably think of an old-fashioned soda shop, where the beautiful Betty and Veronica are inexplicably fighting over awkward redhead Archie Andrews. But the series is being brought into the 21st century with the addition of a gay character.
The cover of the latest issue of Veronica, released in stores today, promotes the “hot new guy” at Riverdale High, Kevin Keller. But he’s certainly not Veronica’s new boyfriend. Kevin’s plot revolves around Veronica’s romantic interest in him. “It’s nothing against her,” he tells Jughead when he refuses her advances. “I’m gay.” Instead of telling her about his sexuality, Jughead seizes the moment and plays a prank on Veronica, making her think he’s just not interested.
Aside from social issues, the comics have been trying to keep up with the times, even producing Twilight and Jersey Shore parodies. Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive officer of Archie Comics, told The Daily Beast the response has been mostly positive, with any canceled subscriptions made up by subscribers who signed up because of Kevin’s addition.