Archie’s most famous gay youth, Kevin Keller, is set to kiss a boy for the first time and it’s all thanks to anti-gay group One Million Moms (OMM).
In an interview with the Washington Post, series writer and artist Dan Parent reported that when Kevin and his boyfriend Devon kiss at a local diner, a woman clearly patterned after the group is very offended by the gesture and loudly lets them know it.
Kevin himself is somewhat used to such scenes—but fellow teen Veronica records the incident and uploads it to Riverdale’s version of YouTube, which “starts a bit of a debate.”
A parent cited One Million Moms’ protest of Life with Archie issue #16 as his inspiration. The cover of the issue featured Kevin marrying another man, and an outraged OMM pressured ‘Toys “R” Us’ into not displaying the comic near its checkout aisles; the end result was the issue actually selling out, a rarity for the comic company.
Kevin’s debut appearance, in “Veronica” #202, was so popular it resulted in the comic getting a second printing, the first ever in Archie Comics history.
The fact that Kevin is shown engaged in a kiss at all is unusual for an Archie Comics title. Despite being in a perpetual love triangle, even Archie himself rarely gets any on-panel action, instead just being shown with lipstick prints on his face afterward.
Issue #10 will be on comic book stands August 7; if OMM stages any kind of protest, fans are advised to pre-order in case the issue sells out again.
In a similar vein, when the National Organization for Marriage boycotted Starbucks due to the chain’s support of marriage equality, the company’s stocks jumped a full $1.41 on the first day alone.