By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com January 05 2012 6:40 PM ET
A much-anticipated event in the comics world is upon us — the wedding of Kevin Keller, gay pal of Archie Andrews.
It was announced a few months ago that Kevin’s wedding would be featured in Life With Archie, a title that projects the future of Archie and his high school friends. The issue with Kevin’s nuptials was released Wednesday.
In the comic, Kevin marries Clay Walker, an African-American doctor he met while undergoing rehab for injuries he received while serving in the armed forces; Kevin has emulated his father, a military officer, by becoming a soldier. The issue portrays the friendship Kevin and Clay struck up in the hospital and the romance that developed as a result of a chance meeting afterward.
Kevin, introduced to the Archie universe a year ago, is also getting his own title portraying his high school life in the town of Riverdale, and officials with Archie Comics have said his dating life will figure in the series, as would any straight character’s.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation praised Archie Comics for featuring Kevin so prominently. “With Riverdale being a picture perfect image of the reality we live in, it is important for readers to see the diversity of American life reflected in this idealistic universe,” GLAAD entertainment media strategist Max Gouttebroze writes on the group’s blog. “Kevin, a charismatic and loved character, gives readers an image they can look up to and relate to. His prominence as an LGBT character, his dating life, the depiction of his wedding and his military career are important images for comic book readers across the country who are fans of the series.”