Reviews

Comic Review – Fight Club 2 #1

  • Writer: Chuck Palahniuk
  • Art: Cameron Stewart
  • Colors: Dave Stewart
  • Letters: Nate Piekos of Blambot
  • Publisher: Dark Horse
  • Release Date: May 27th, 2015

fight club 2 issue 1 cover

See Jack’s inevitable sequel…

Not that the end of the original Fight Club necessarily left itself open to a sequel. As fans of the book and later on the film know, it could have gone either way really. Once the protagonist took it upon himself to rid himself of ‘Tyler Durden’ he could have quite happily lived the rest of his life psychotic-extra-personality free.

But…

But.

But by the end of both the book (and film version) of Fight Club, Project Mayhem and the legend of Tyler Durden had grown bigger than even the protagonist realized. And ‘killing’ him off wasn’t necessarily going to be as simple as just acknowledging a mental disorder and taking some pills. Whether the narrator wanted to admit it or not, even shooting oneself in the head doesn’t keep the story from going on these days.

Which leads us to Fight Club 2, the comic book sequel written by original creator Chuck Palahniuk and accompanied by artwork from Cameron Stewart.

We rejoin our narrator’s story already in progress as he makes a go of being a regular family man with a job and a wife and a son who may or may not collect feces and be experimenting with homemade bombs. These days the protagonist calls himself Sebastian and is married to good ol’ Marla, who may look like any other successful housewife but is still crashing support groups for diseases she’s never had and longing for the days when Tyler Durden made her swoon.

She isn’t the only one longing for the days of Tyler Durden and fight club and Project Mayhem, either. While poor Sebastian is trying to keep his family happy and keep his sanity in check, the rest of the world seems to be plotting against him. Members of the Project are still floating around, still acknowledging him as Tyler, still plotting and planning while Sebastian is none-the-wiser. In fact, while poor schlubby Sebastian is getting his face beat in and his manhood trounced on, the not-quite-as-gone-as-he’s-supposed-to-be Tyler Durden is sleeping with his wife, plotting assassinations, and causing as much property damage as he can.

It may take place years later, but Fight Club 2 seems to pick up right where its predecessor left off. The protagonist is still a man who can’t seem to get his act together. He’s so wrapped up in the day-to-day struggle of being normal that he is completely missing what is going on around him. His wife is miserable, his kid is weird, his job is terrible, and when he’s not paying attention his alternate personality is taking over his life and trying to take over the world. The only difference now is that Tyler Durden is much sneakier about how and when he shows himself so Sebastian can’t catch on and try to stop him.

Fight Club 2 issue 1 page

By the end of the first issue, however, it’s obvious that Tyler is just about done with all of the hiding. He’s planning bigger and badder things and his soft, wimpy, ‘normal’ side is getting in the way. There may not be a slow build-up in Fight Club 2 to the big reveal for Sebastian that Tyler Durden is just as alive and kicking as he ever was. Things escalate quickly until a telling nightmare, exploding house, and potential death that will hit very close to home may bring Sebastian and Tyler once more into the same arena.

Chuck Palahniuk is a master storyteller with a distinctive, disjointed, stream-of-consciousness style that lends itself well to a visual format. It may take two or three readings to truly grasp what is going on in each panel, and to make sure you didn’t miss something important, but once you’ve got the gist of it you can see how the jumping around in time and place, interruptions of thought and dialogue, and awkward text give the story just the right feeling of jitteriness it needs. The narrator is crazy, no matter how many pills he takes or sessions he has with his therapist. By the end of reading this first issue in Fight Club 2, you’ll feel a little crazy too.


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Melissa Voelker

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