According to a piece on the Bleeding Cool website, Archie Comics, probably the most socially-conservative comic book company in the market, is going to be addressing the subject of gays in the military.
Yes, that Archie.
Even back when I regually bought and read comics, I rarely read Archie Comics. They just weren't my thing. But I came to appreciate the fact that they were there. The Archie comics are aimed at an audience the big comics publishers pretty much ignore, and the stories they do, lighthearted humor and wholesome teen comedy, have become increasingly out of place in the grim 'n' gritty world of the super-heroes.
Archie's relentless pursuit of wholesome Family-Friendly humor has given the company a reputation for being reactionary at worst, and fuddy-duddyish at best. To some extent, this reputation is justified; but the artists, writers and editorial staff at Archie have still always striven to keep up with contemporary trends in pop culture and styles so that even if the basic jokes are as corny as they were fifty years ago, the clothes the characters wear, the way they talk, and most important of all, the things they are interested in are as up-to-date as possible.
I recent years, Archie Comics has pushed the envelope in areas that would have been unthinkable in decades past. Last year, it published a story in which Archie dated a black girl and exchanged the first interracial kiss. A couple months later, they published another story introducing Riverdale High's first openly gay student. The character, Kevin Keller, proved so popular that the company gave him his own title.
The first issue of Kevin Keller will be coming out next week, (if that's the phrase I want to use). And issue #2 will touch on the subject of gays in the military.
No sooner have they introduced Riverdale’s first openly gay character, then given him his own book, now Kevin Keller wants to sign up to the US Military Academy, following in his father Colonel Keller’s footsteps. When asking his father if he should change his mind, considering the issues involved, he’s told “On the contrary! I don’t want to stop you. It takes a special person to serve their country. Someone with heart and courage!!
The cover shows Kevin, arm in arm with a clean-cut veteran soldier under an American flag, proudly stating, "Dad, you're my hero!"
Maybe it's a Sign of the Apocalypse. I take it as a sign that even a conservative outfit like Archie Comics realizes that gays are not antithetical to American Values, but can and do contribute to them; and should be allowed to be a part of our American Society.
The kids these days understand that. Archie understands that. Maybe someday more will understand that as well. And maybe Archie Comics' acceptance of Kevin is a sign that DADT truly is dead; or at least that its days are numbered.