Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rainbows in Riverdale

I admit it, I bought the damn Archie comics series where Archie marries Veronica, then Betty, then nobody. I won't spoil the six-comic set for you, but basically it turned out to be a number of "what if" scenarios for our favorite red-haired teen. What can I say? I'm a sucker for romance, and growing up I loved the Archie comics. I bought these six mainly as keepsakes and curiosity. When I first read the news of Archie's nuptials, my first thought was, "Well, I guess that three-way isn't happening." So you can see how I've matured since my childhood.

Archie comics, on the other hand, have greatly matured and gotten with the time. My friend, I/R writer Nona Wesley, pointed out to me not long ago that one issue featured Archie in an interracial romance with Valerie from the Pussycats - she was over the moon to see it. A big leap indeed, but I think none is greater than the one they're about to take.

Riverdale is getting a gay character. Yep. I just read on BeliefNet that a future ish of Veronica will introduce Kevin, the first "out" gay teen to join the Archie gang (notice I say "out," because I'm still on the fence about Reggie). According to the article, the plot seems fairly cut and dry. Kevin, by all appearances, is the perfect guy, so naturally Veronica wants to sink her claws into him. Yet, he's not interested...hmmm.

I, for one, cheer Archie Comics for taking this bold step into new territory. I don't know what the future holds for Kevin, if this is a one-off appearance or if he'll figure into future story lines. Will his sexuality be a bone of contention, or will it never be mentioned again? Will he get a boyfriend, too - of course, that would mean introducing another gay character into the mix, or else having Jughead straddle the fence. Hey, think about it. Jughead never liked the girls much anyway - maybe the Archie folks had a plan for him all along.

I am curious, however, to see how the general reaction to this plays out. In addition to the multitude of imprints Archie Comics puts out, a long time ago they used to publish Christian comic books through Spire. What I remember about that series was basically everybody in the Archie gang was "saved" and every week some strange kid would come school and sin. I don't even know if you can find those comics anymore, but I'll be curious to see if Pat Robertson starts bitching about this.

We will see, I suppose. Say, Kevin and Moose might make a cute couple, you think?

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