Comics – We Need to Talk About Kevin

Riverdale-4.jpg
Writer: Michael Grassi
Art: Joe Eisma
Colors: Andre Szymanowicz
Letters: John Workman
Original Publication: Riverdale, No. 4
Cover Date: August, 2017
On-Sale Date: July 5, 2017
Length: 20 pages

Kevin narrates this story. As we see him get ready for his day, he gives us his stats like in a dating profile (6’2″, around 165 pounds, body type: toned, single/looking). As he brings his dad a cup of High Point at the kitchen table, we see a story on the front page of the Riverdale Register about a lion escaping from the Riverdale Zoo (this isn’t relevant to the story at all).

Kevin laments he’s the only openly gay person in Riverdale. He then goes through various people that he knows that he has varying degrees of certainty of being gay.

He has Betty (his “best friend”) over at his house. They pig out on takeout from Pop’s, and he talks about his loneliness. Betty hopes he doesn’t go cruising, and she names some of his favorite places: a truck stop, the mall bathroom, and Fox Forest. He claims he gave up cruising for Lent and forever. Kevin laments Betty “doesn’t get it”.

In the student lounge at Riverdale High School, Kevin is browsing profiles on a gay dating app called Sup. Veronica gives him some shit about being a “smartphone addict” but then notices the guys. Kevin’s been having no luck, so Veronica wants to see his profile. He has a rather dorky picture of himself. She endorses him doing this, but she wants access to his account for one day to do “a little jeuging“. She promises he’ll be dating the man of his dreams in no time. We learn that’s Wolverine.

Veronica finds Archie mowing the lawn at home and, in a pretty hilarious exchange, gets him to take off his shirt. Well, he merely lifts it to show off his abs, and she takes a pic with a phone (hers? Kevin’s?).

Veronica’s plan works. Kevin has a date with “a total dreamboat from Greendale” at Pop’s. While waiting for him to arrive, Kevin pounds back fries and milkshakes and/or soda floats.

The guy, Forest, finally shows up – and promptly leaves when he discovers Kevin isn’t a redhead as in his profile. Kevin calls for the check.

On another day, Kevin relates this to Betty and Veronica in…the school cafeteria, I guess. Betty suggests taking a break from online dating. Kevin’s convinced he’ll die a virgin. Veronica brings up the gay bar that Kevin had mentioned to her, which is just outside town. Kevin has tried to get into Innuendo but has always failed. He insists he’s not going clubbing. Veronica mentions being able to get into the Pyramid in East Village and dancing with Chloe Sevigny. Based on this experience, she believes Kevin can get into Innuendo. Betty knows who can help.

Reggie wants to know what the “three squares” want with a fake ID. Veronica and Betty explain. In the interest of helping get Kevin laid, Reggie offers to make him an ID on the house. Veronica wants IDs for herself and Betty as well. Betty asks what they’re going to do at a gay bar. Veronica says dance and get glitter everywhere.

As they arrive at Innuendo, Kevin is filled with dread. Veronica gives him a pep talk. Betty, dressed in overalls and looking vaguely like a lumberjack, remarks she feels underdressed. They present their IDs to the bouncer. Veronica whispers something to him. He lets them in and tells them to enjoy their night. Kevin asks Betty how Veronica did that. Betty says they’ll never know.

In the club, Kevin dances between Betty and Veronica as the latter two sing along to “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay” by Whitney Houston. When they get to “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, Betty notices Kevin is gone. He’s at the bar, ordering a Shirley Temple. What a square. Dude, you have a fake ID. Order a Dirty Shirley, at least.

The girls come over. Veronica wants him to meet guys. Kevin says this isn’t “[his] scene”. Veronica insists he try, and Betty at least wants him to dance with them. Kevin says taking off his shirt and dancing with strangers is not him (but apparently cruising is – or at least was). Kevin has never felt more alone. He leaves but tells the girls to stay and have fun; he’s going home to watch The Broken Hearts Club.

It’s a lie. Kevin goes cruising in Fox Forest. He’s met closeted and married guys here before – as well as some on the football team. Ever since Jason’s murder, he never lingers too long anymore.

When Kevin returns home, his dad’s watching TV. Kevin’s cover had been that he was sleeping over at Betty’s, but he immediately tells the truth about sneaking into the gay bar (but not about the cruising). They talk about it. Kevin confesses he has “this sinking feeling” that he’ll “be alone forever”.

His dad tells “kiddo” that he’s not gonna be alone. This makes Kevin happy. His dad also mentions Kevin moving to New York for his Broadway career, but I can’t tell if he’s serious or not. Kevin takes the remote from his dad’s hand and asks him if he’d rather watch Barefoot Contessa or The Great British Bake Off. His dad notices glitter just fell out of his hair.

So Kevin goes back to his normal daily routine, embracing the single life and giving up on meeting a guy.

Kevin has Betty and Veronica, after all, and he tells them to save him a seat in Biology while he grabs a book from his locker.

He grabs his Biology book from his locker, and the bell rings. He realizes he’s late, slams his locker shut, and runs toward class, papers flying out of his bookbag. Someone runs into him and knocks him to the floor. As Kevin picks up his papers, he tells the guy to watch where he’s going – and then takes notice of him.

The guy, a blond named Devin that just transferred from London, offers Kevin his Biology book and asks him to show him to Biology class.

This was a pretty nice story. My headcanon is Betty and Veronica got drunk at the club and made out on the dance floor.

After the story are six pages of (very) short character profiles of Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and Josie; a cover gallery for this issue and the Road to Riverdale trades; and the cover of the next issue.

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Author: markmooreauthor

I love watching anime and superhero movies, and I love playing video games. I also write fan fiction and original fiction.

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