In the original Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk, the no named main character is plagued by an alternate personality named Tyler Durden. Tyler Durden seeks to bring anarchy to the entire world, and uses his terrorist group, Project Mayhem, to try and complete this mission.
This no named character has to try and stop this alternate personality. He does so with a bullet through the face and psychiatric treatment.
Fight Club 2 is the sequel to the famed 1996 novel Fight Club and picks up 10-years after the events of the book. Our no named protagonist now has a name – Sebastian, and he is unhappily married to Marla Singer, his love interest from the original novel. Sebastian is heavily medicated which is meant to keep his alternate personality from manifesting.
Fight Club 2 is complicated. It is complicated in a way that might leave you scratching your head, you might need to re-read this one. The plot for the most part is about Sebastian and Marla Singer trying to save their son that was kidnapped. Kidnapped by none other than Tyler Durden.
However, the kidnapping scenario may seem fairly straightforward, but it is not. Along with the kidnapping their is a meta narrative that involves the author Chuck Palahniuk being a character in his own story, and Tyler Durden being more than just a split personality and rather a living idea.
From what appears to be drawing inspiration from famed U.K. scribes Grant Morrison and Alan Moore. This comic book addresses the concept that ideas can exist beyond our own heads.
In Morrison’s series Animal Man, he wrote himself into the comic as a character. In Moore’s comic Promethea, the main protagonist is a living idea that changes with each new person who reads and embodies the material.
Tyler Durden in this comic isn’t just a personality; he is a living idea. An idea that can transfer from person to person. As for the Fight Club, it has become more than just a novel and a movie, there have been countless imitations. Many of these imitations are less violent: cooking club, book club, baking club, art club etc… This is addressed within the Fight Club 2 comic series and trade paperback.
Chuck Palahniuk has written himself as a character into this comic. A character who while existing within the comic book is also in the process of writing it. He is hanging out with the women of his writer’s group and is struggling to create a compelling sequel that people want to actually read. In fact, he speaks to his own characters and tells them if they can’t decide what to do next then they should speak to him later in the story for guidance. This is a bit surreal, and weird to read.
These head games that the author plays will either be seen as a positive or negative by readers of the series. People who have the patience and the intellect to read some of Morrison’s work like The Invisibles and The Filth will probably be drawn to this series. However, readers who like a more straightforward narrative, that requires less thinking and less head scratching, may be turned off.
Palahniuk takes big chances on this comic, some of which I’m not always sure work. He retcons parts of his own book. In the book, Sebastian meets Tyler on the beach; in the movie they meet on a flight. In the comic it is determined that Tyler and Sebastian have known each other since they were kids. In fact, Tyler Durden was responsible for the murder of Sebastian’s parents.
Comic book readers have come to expect these sorts of things which happen frequently in Marvel and DC comic books, but non- comic readers coming to Fight Club 2 as fans of the book may look at this unfavorably.
This is not the only retcon of the Fight Club universe. Characters believed to be dead from the book make a comeback. This will either get fans excited to see their favorite characters on the comic book page, or bitter and upset that Palahniuk is totally re-writing the mythos of his beloved novel.
Artwise it is good, David Mack does covers and Cameron Stewart does interiors. When I found out that Stewart was first doing the interiors I was admittedly a little nervous. His drawing has a very fun and light hearted nature to it. He is talented, but the original Fight Club was a dark story. He wasn’t the first person I thought of for this title.
It works though, because Fight Club 2 isn’t nearly as dark in tone. In fact it is totally out there and crazy. It is comedic in many ways. Especially the moments involving the Rambo esque grade schoolers suffering from progeria. Stewart does a good job of portraying these characters in all their absurdity.
Fight Club 2 is a good, but not great comic book. There was high hopes for this to be amazing especially being the sequel to such a beloved book. However, the story gets really meta at certain moments which can and will be a turnoff to some readers. Also, Fight Club 2 retcons things from the previous book that for some die hard fans may be a problem. Overall, reading this I enjoyed this title, but I’m not entirely sure it was a necessary or even a wanted sequel by myself or fans.
- Art was good at capturing the humorous parts of the story
- Story was interesting and weird
- A new Fight Club story
- Meta narrative could be confusing to some
- Retcons previous events in the first book