Pullbox Reviews: Going to the Chapel – A shotgun wedding you don’t wanna miss

As the police swarm the chapel, conflicted bride Emily must make a fateful choice — go through with her wedding, or team up with the Bad Elvis Gang to evade the bonds of holy matrimony. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, playing both sides isn’t as easy as it looks…

On the night that Jesse proposed to Emily, he couldn’t have grasped the chain of events that would lead up to a hostage crisis in a church, just a year later. Sure, in hindsight he might’ve found a clue or two, but in the beginning he had no idea that his blushing bride had a bit of a past. When the Bad Elvis Gang burst onto the scene (who the hell robs a chapel?), the groom could do nothing but hunker down and wait for his moment to knight up and save the day. With Sheriff Walter Reagan outside and the chapel surrounded, Jesse’s prospects for wedded bliss are looking a little shaky, and the honeymoon might have to be put on hold.

David Pepose is a jerk.

I mean that in the best possible way… I’ve met the man on multiple occasions at conventions, and have had the chance to chat with him. I’ve interviewed him and Team Spencer & Locke. I’ve read his aforementioned breakaway hit- series 1 & 2- multiple times (reviews here), and I got a head start on this current outing when I grabbed up the first issue at C2E2 in Chicago. By this point, you’d think that I’d be pretty sure of what to expect from the guy….

But he just can’t seem to pick a lane!

Where Spencer & Locke was a full on piece of fan-service, fed by a hefty dose of psychological twists & sinister themes, Going to the Chapel is a near-farcical heist caper. It’s Ocean’s 11, where the rogue’s gallery is just this side of competent and their intended victims are a jaded group of malcontents unimpressed with the dire threat of their situation.

I will say one thing for Pepose… The guy doesn’t sit still or settle into a comfort zone. His stories are peppered with characters of all shapes, sizes, and psychological diagnoses. I went back in this issue and tried to find a throw away background character serving as a place holder, but I couldn’t. Pepose wastes no space in his story for anyone who doesn’t serve a purpose… okay, except maybe for that one guy, but I could be wrong. He might be waiting to make his mark in issue 3.

The artistic team in charge of lighting up the visuals is Gavin Guidry, Liz Kramer, & Ariana Maher. Guidry has taken hold of Pepose’s story & given it form and function. Again, there really isn’t anyone just sort of hanging out in the backgrounds here… everyone is doing something even if it doesn’t happen to have anything to do with the story proper. He’s also gone to lengths to make sure that everyone is distinct, and that facial expressions tell as much about what’s happening as the dialogue. For her part, Liz Kramer has made sure that everything happening in the panels is bright and cheery- it is Emily’s wedding day, after all. Finally, Ariana Maher’s lettering does its job with neither excess nor lack. The dialogue is shown clearly, not overshadowing the artwork or taking up too much space. There is a bit of creativity in the sound effects… call me simple, but I like it when the artist and letterer uses more than just “POW” or “SLAM”, and actually incorporates the effect into the image.

Going to the Chapel is a blast, on its first and second readings, and has all of the entertainment value of a Hollywood motion picture without that one guy who keeps getting up to go to the bathroom (seriously, fella, get yourself sorted out or sit closer to the end of the row). So far, it’s all about the fun, with no dark twists or turns. Pick it up and give it a look for yourself.

Final Score: 10+

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