Well it looks like reviewing weekly titles is not my strong suit so let’s catch up before the final issue of Shotgun Wedding releases. Now I definitely enjoyed the first issue, enough to come back and read the next two, but there’s something familiar about it. It’s not Kill Bill before you shout that from your lungs. I know, weddings and assassins makes everyone think of that movie, but I actually just rewatched most of the two films this week and no, it’s not that. It does scream screenplay though and maybe that’s why it feels familiar. The pacing is that of a buck forty-five film rather than a four-part comic. That’s not to say that the comic isn’t successful in this form, but it is pulling at the *gutters for a bigger playground.
In the second issue, Chloe our violent mentally disturbed ex-fiancé of Mike discovers via an associate of hers that he’s attempting to get married again. As with the first issue, there are two parts of the story: the present and the past. In the past story line we actually learn a little about Chloe and Mike’s relationship as they’re on a mission to kill a target that sells women and children into sex slavery until they die. Dude is fucked up for sure, but he also knows they’re coming and gets the drop on them. He tortures Chloe and Mike of course until coming up with an offer for Chloe. He’s invested money into knowing about her and has learned how much she likes to kill. Mike on the other hand, he knows will never talk and die for his country. Chloe is asked to do odd jobs for the man known as “The Turk” and once the government finds out about her extracurricular killings he’ll protect her… oh and Mike gets to live.
In the third issue the wedding is in full swing and Chloe and her four associates are stopping in to make things interesting. Chloe had the chance to kill Mike already, but that wasn’t good enough for her. No she had to let him know it was her. In the past story line for this issue we see how Mike and his new fiancée Denise meet and you begin to understand how Mike was able to move on and attempt marriage again. Frankly if my crazy ex had murder my father on my wedding day after I didn’t show up… well I would probably just do the courthouse thing or causal dating.
What I thought was interesting was that you do actually feel bad for Chloe. She makes a terrible choice just to save Mike and it’s possibly the reason he shuns her later. We don’t 100% know why he broke up with her which is part of the reason I keep coming back to the story. Chloe’s associates also bring some interest to the world as it shows its depth. They look like badass characters and their “deal” isn’t 100% explained either, other than they all work for The Turk and two of them plan on killing Chloe after she takes out Mike.
The writing is sharp and the story is always on the move. In that sense I can see why it’s weekly, but I think the book would have been just as successful as a monthly mini as well. Especially when it seems like the advertising behind it being a weekly was just a blurb one time. It’s why weekly books just don’t work anymore, there’s never enough press behind them and they end up getting shafted and deserve better.
The art is the reason this book is so entertaining. The story is well-plotted and the dialogue is kind of typical to the genre, but the art makes everything pop. Chloe’s new look makes her look deranged and you can see that she’s aged compared to her replacement Denise. As for the rest of the characters no two are alike. When the wedding guests are show there is a diverse crowd represented with young and old, average and peculiar looking people. We’ve all been or had weddings so we know that there’s always a mixed bunch of people and that’s perfect represented here.
As for the action in the series, Edward Pun makes it look easy. Now the writing gets some credit here for sure because I can think of a bunch of comic writers that direct the illustrator to draw the beginning of the fight and the ending, but rarely anything in-between other than poses for them to put talk bubbles by. William Harms could have done that, but instead he lets Pun run with it and produce some awesome action scenes.
I like action based stories in my comics. It’s part of the reason I enjoyed what 12 Gauge Comics was doing with their all action titles so Shotgun Wedding is a welcomed surprised; especially being that it’s from Top Cow’s Minotaur Press imprint. At this point if you missed out on the series you have some catching up to do, but I would say that it’s worth the time, effort and money to invest. Sure you may want to wait until next week to snatch up all four issues or give yourself a heads start and build that excitement some. Either way, check this series out if you love pure action stories playing out on your comic pages.
Writer: William Harms Artist: Edward Pun Publisher: Top Cow/Minotaur Press Price: $3.99 each Release Date: 4/9 – 4/16/14 Format: Mini-Series, Print/Digital
*Gutters = The blank area between comic panels