Archie’s released a press statement playing up their previously announced plans to give their new gay character Kevin Keller his own miniseries, as well as the attention Kevin’s gotten:
Of particular interest is the following line:
The mini-series will also be part of a pilot to decide if Kevin Keller will carry on with his very own ongoing series in the future.
With Kevin, Archie seems to be using a tactic more often seen with DC and Marvel, giving new characters their own miniseries to star in or giving them their own title. Unlike DC and Marvel, Archie’s usually limited newly created characters to appearing only in ensemble titles alongside the established characters (“Pals ‘n’ Gals,” “Archie & Friends,” etc.). DC and Marvel, on the other hand, have often given new characters their own miniseries, tryouts like Archie’s done with Kevin, or even their own solo series off the bat.
The last time I can recall that Archie’s done something like this for a newer character was also with the last secondary character who’s had any lasting presence (beyond sporadic cameos), Cheryl Blossom. (Of course Archie’s introduced newer supporting characters since then, but Cheryl’s probably the last secondary character to be created who’s had a lasting presence.)
Cheryl was introduced in “Betty and Veronica” (first series) #320 in 1982, as a rival of both Betty and Veronica. She’s basically a bustier, snobbier redheaded version of Veronica, complete with Veronica’s level of wealth/prestige. Cheryl kept a minimal presence in the rest of the 80s, but made a major comeback in the 90s, complete with gaining her own short-lived solo title. Since then, Cheryl’s had a steady presence in Betty and Veronica stories (she’s currently appearing as the antagonist in a Betty and Veronica storyline about “BFFs,” or “Best Friends Forever”). So perhaps a similar level of presence might be in store for Kevin…