cover image Kevin Keller

Kevin Keller

Dan Parent. Archie, $19.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-879794-93-1

For decades, the Archie line marked its territory with a certain timelessness and remained staid in its depiction of Riverdale and its inhabitants. But times have changed and hunky new student Kevin Keller’s on the scene to help usher the gang at Riverdale High into the 21st century. A former army brat, Kevin fits right in, especially with Veronica, and brings something new by being the first gay character in the line’s history. That narrative move could have proven a stereotypical disaster, but writer/artist Parent crafts Kevin as a full-on character with a great deal of heart and instant likability while sidestepping obvious tropes. This volume is rounded with considerable back-story explaining just who Kevin is, where he comes from, and what he’s endured up to this point in his life, and that makes all the difference in getting readers on the guy’s side. He is simply a nice kid, and at its heart that’s what this story is really all about, rendering the whole gay angle clearly present but a decided non-issue. Fun from start to finish, this volume is highly recommended as a gateway into the contemporary world of Archie for newcomers and the returning curious. (Feb.)