Archie Comics’ gay pal Kevin Keller is getting married.
In a first for mainstream comic books, gay marriage will be the storyline in the January edition of the “Life with Archie” series, as the characters of fictional Riverdale gather for the wedding of Kevin and his partner.
Readers will learn that Kevin meets his future husband, Clay, in a military hospital after being wounded while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
“Kevin followed in his father’s footsteps and is returning to Riverdale as a war hero, but that’s not all — It’s Kevin’s wedding day!” Archie Comics said, in a release.
Kevin was introduced to Archie fans in 2010, becoming the first gay character in the series’ 70 year history.
His instant popularity with fans led to that sold-out comic becoming the first in the publisher’s history to go into a second printing, triggering a four-issue spin-off last summer — the series, told in flashbacks, revealed Kevin’s struggles and triumphs through middle and high school.
In July, Archie Comics announced that Kevin’s character would have his own monthly comic book starting in February 2012.
“He’s proven to be incredibly popular,” said Jon Goldwater, co-chief executive of Archie Comics. “We’re just so proud of the success of Kevin and the fact that he adds a new dynamic to Riverdale.”
“I think it’s great that the reality of America’s loving couples are being portrayed in as many places as possible,” said Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, in a September interview with Fox News.
“We all want to be part of family and community – that’s what marriage is about,” Wolfson said. “Gay people share the same dreams.”
Archie Comics’ Dan Parent was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in 2011 for creating Kevin.