Veronica #207 (Kevin Keller #1)
Written by: Dan Parent
Art by: Dan Parent
This is the first issue in a four-issue miniseries running in “Veronica” about Kevin Keller, Archie’s recently-added gay character. Besides that Kevin seems to be considered a Veronica-related supporting character, I assume it’s also to avoid newsstands not wanting to add an extra short-term comic. Thus, the dual-numbers on the cover, similar to Marvel’s temporary-renumbering schemes (and what DC will probably do once “Action Comics” reaches issue #1000).
Anyway, this issue (per the miniseries overall; yes SPOILERS AHEAD) tells Kevin’s backstory. We learn how Kevin came out to his friends and family, as well as his past as an “army brat,” with his father being a now-retired US Army colonel. Kevin’s also interested in joining the military, along with pursuing a journalism career; from his description, I gather he wants to be some sort of war correspondent. All of these points seemed well done, and without feeling saccharine or too preachy. Kevin is matter-of-fact about his sexuality, and proud of himself/his goals in life, as are his family and friends.
We also see more instances of Riverdale’s location being inferred as somewhere in New York State. Kevin mentions having formerly lived in “Bricktown” and “Honesdale.” Bricktown is a small city in New Jersey, while Honesdale is a town in northeastern Pennsylvania, near the New York state line.
The framing story, about Kevin and Jughead competing in a pie-eating contest while Col. Keller takes part in Riverdale’s Fourth of July parade, comes as many US cities hold their gay pride celebrations, as well as the upcoming July 4th holiday. Not bad timing…
Taking a cue from DC and Marvel, this comic comes with a variant cover, a “classic” Archie-style cover (with Kevin dressed as Archie did in the 50s/60s, bow tie and all).
I look forward to seeing what the next three issues bring…