Fight Club 2
by Chuck Palahniuk (author), Cameron Stewart (illustrator) and David Mack (illustrator)
Dark Horse Comics
2016, 256 pages, 6.9 x 10.5 x 0.9 inches
Let's talk about Fight Club. This movie rocked me, and introduced me to the incredible and controversial work of Chuck Palahniuk. Now the concept of a sequel does seem a little out of sorts to the counter culture message of the original, but honestly, who hasn't been wondering how things turned out for Marla and the Narrator after he stuck a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger? Did they find their happily ever after? No, of course they didn't, thus the sequel.
The Narrator finally gets a name, Sebastian…it's not a great name, but it fits given the current state of his life. Marla's bored, Sebastian is in a drug-induced fog, Tyler Durden is raging behind the scenes trying to get back in control, and project mayhem is causing more chaos than ever. Then things get weird.
If you've only seen the movie you probably won't dig this. Actually Palahniuk's anticipation of the fanbase's dislike for the comic becomes an actual plot point. Things get meta to say the least. The comic builds off of not just the novel, but Palahniuk's work and reputation since the film came out. It's very fitting of Palahniuk, and I think fans of his will really enjoy it, but be clear this is not a blockbuster directed by David Fincher and starring Brad Pitt or Ed Norton.
What I found really unique was that this story could only be told in comic form. Tyler's antics, and his fight to control the narrative couldn't be contained by text in a novel. And things get far too self-referential for any film goer – I found myself having to go back a page or two on several occasions to make sure I didn't miss anything. Images are strategically placed over dialogue, narration bubbles obstruct characters. The design of the comic itself adds to the feeling that this is a war over the story itself. Is Sebastian in control? Is Tyler? Is Palahniuk? I found myself engaged and thinking about it long after I finished reading. It's heady and not for a casual comic reader, but if you're looking for a punch to the cerebral cortex, definitely pick this up. I want you to read this as hard as you can.
– JP LeRoux