Review - Going to the Chapel #1 (@ActionLabDanger)

"I'm about to ruin my life."

For some people, marriage is one of the most important decisions of their lives. For others, it's just another day. In Going to the Chapel #1 from Action Lab Danger Zone, it's a little bit of both to different characters involved. The issue is written by David Pepose, illustrated by Gavin Guidry, colored by Elizabeth Kramer and lettered by Ariana Maher (with Colin Bell).

It was the wedding from Hell, and that was before the bank robbers showed up. What do a conflicted bride, her dysfunctional family, a gang of Elvis-themed crooks, and one relentless sheriff have in common? They're all about to discover love is the ultimate hostage situation.

Pepose is juggling quite a lot of storylines in the first issue, yet he manages to interweave them with one another somewhat effortlessly. The centerpiece of the issue is the impending wedding between Emily and Jesse and Pepose was wise to infuse some uncertainty into the proceedings on the part of one of them. That uncertainty beautifully accelerates the plot by the end of the issue, as it only adds to the chaos when the robbers show up to the church in hopes of a big score. Pepose really fleshes out Emily's side of the family in a way that both humanizes the day somewhat as well as provides context for the crime itself. The twist at the end of the issue is sort of a culmination of every character's mindset throughout the issue and Pepose coalesces the characters together in a believable way.

Guidry's artwork provides plenty of unique looks at the characters, with Emily's family in particular drawn in a way that allows each of their personalities to stand out from one another. Emily is drawn with very expressive facial expressions that help the reader better understand her reluctance to go through with the wedding, while her father looks sufficiently oblivious because of his immense wealth. Guidry does some interesting work with perspectives with one page getting closer and closer to a character over successive panels to provide more context for the crime of the moment. One thing that does feel a little confusing is the setting; Guidry draws the issue as if they're near Las Vegas, although the setting is determined to be (fictional?) Rockford County. The colors by Kramer are very bold and bright in a way that resonates with the supposed cheerfulness of the day.

Going to the Chapel #1 is an entertaining and fun start to a new series. Emily has her doubts about marriage, Jesse is all in and Tom (along with the Bad Elvis Gang) has his eyes set on a couple of prizes. Pepose's script is entertaining and chock full of amusing dialogue. Guidry's artwork is effective at ensuring the reader know who's who and what's what. Going to the Chapel #1 looks to have a few more twists and turns up its sleeve as the series progresses.

Going to the Chapel #1 is available September 4.