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Archie’s going to a wedding — a gay wedding.
Last year, Archie Comics, the comic industry’s embodiment of wholesome Americana, crossed an important bridge when it introduced its first gay character, Kevin Keller. In Life With Archie no. 16, available for purchase today, it takes an even bigger leap by featuring Keller’s same-sex marriage. And to boot: Keller is a soldier injured in Iraq who meets his partner, an African-American doctor, while recuperating in the hospital.
The action takes place in the alternate future series Life With Archie, established last year as a way for Archie Comics to update the stories while still preserving the classic characters Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and the rest of the Riverdale High gang. The series depicts the teenagers in their 20s and alternates between a timeline where Archie married good girl Betty and another in which he married scheming rich girl Veronica.
Archie Comics CEO Jonathan Goldwater, whose father created the series in 1941, told CNN, “Riverdale, Archie and the gang are set in high school, and we ran a risk, unless we reflect what’s going on with kids today in the real world, of becoming irrelevant.”
The series introduced Keller in 2010 to some controversy but strong sales. The character headlined a four-issue miniseries in 2011 that sold out. Keller is getting his own solo series starting in February 2012 that will see the character get elected president of Riverdale High School and face the challenge of being an openly gay teen. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) praised the storyline and nominated Keller’s creator Dan Parent for an award in 2011.
The Life With Archie story recounts Keller’s post-high school life, following him from his decision to join the army like his father to his deployment in Iraq to his romance with his husband, Clay Walker.
See their wedding scene below:
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