We received a press release from Archie Comics yesterday announcing that VERONICA #202 will introduce Riverdale High’s first openly-gay character, Kevin Keller, in a story titled “Isn’t it Bromantic?” The issue sees America’s favorite girl brunette, Veronica, pursuing Mr. Keller and him trying to let her down gently regarding his disinterest. The chase borne from misunderstanding ratchets up in hilarity after Kevin defeats Jughead in a burger eating contest, making Veronica fall even harder for him. Kevin Keller’s introduction is a conscious effort by Archie Comics (as stated by its CEO, Jon Goldwater) to keep Archie reflective of teens’ modern world and to make Riverdale current and inclusive.
I’m going to skip the discussion of how this reflects the changing times and bring up a very relevant problem I have with this storyline. Something I simply can’t suspend my disbelief over. What girl on planet Earth crushes on a guy after he’s won an eating contest? I mean, MAYBE after she’s known him for a while, but… no, not even. It’s like winning an award for dirtiest bathroom or filthiest laundry. An accomplishment? Maybe. Something to brag about to anybody but your buddies? Absolutely not. All the ladies in the Comic Vine community chime in here. Would you honestly be that attracted to a guy who’s just sucked down 10 Whoppers and probably gotten every sort of ketchup, mustard and mayo on his shirt?
Then again, I recall seeing something about that Japanese Kobayashi dude who wins all the hot dog eating contests getting a lot of groupies, so what I do know? Anyway, see for yourself in VERONICA #202, which hits on September 1.