For the first time in the many decades that Archie has been in publication, the Archie spinoff comic series Veronica has introduced an openly gay character.

Issue No. 202 of the popular comic runs a plot line where the titular Veronica is romantically pursuing a new character, only to find out he’s gay.

The comic fleshes out the character in all the usual quirks and twists an Archie storyline usually takes, without placing much emphasis on the character’s sexual orientation.

Jay Bardyla, owner of Happy Harbor Comics, isn’t surprised about this step forward in cultural sensitivity.

“There’s not really any stereotypical markers, he’s just a guy that digs other guys,” said Bardyla.

The reaction of the characters is the most telling, according to Bardyla.

“Even though this is the first openly gay character in the Archie universe, (the characters) are intimately familiar with who gay people are. No one seems to be taken aback by it. They just take it in stride.”

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