“FIGHT CLUB 2” (Comic Book Review)Book and Comic Reviews,Books/Art/Culture,News Svetlana Fedotov
In this era of sequels, prequels, and re-makes, many are left wondering if every big franchise really needs to be revisited and forced to birth another media-frenzied child when the original was perfect all on its own. While some, like MAD MAX: FURY ROAD, successfully float to the top and rake in that sweet fandom money, others, such as POLTERGEIST, crash-and-burn before they even left the launch pad.
So of course, when a FIGHT CLUB 2 comic was announced from Dark Horse several months ago, no one really knew what to expect. Now that the date of its release has finally reached us (the comic hit shelves today), FIGHT CLUB 2 has surprisingly lived up to the hype. Full of more surprises than a Cracker Jack box, it’s a great expansion of an already strange universe. Of course, with Chuck Palahniuk back at the helm of the work, it’s hard not to like it.
The comic focuses on our nameless protagonist from the first book, though this time, he has adopted the name Sebastian. Ten years after the events of FIGHT CLUB, Sebastian has settled down, married Marla, and had a child, a boy affectionately known as Junior. Sebastian spends his days going to work and popping pills to calm his other personality while Marla continues crashing support groups to vent her frustrations. Unfortunately for Sebastian, she’s been venting about him and, in attempt to bring back his wild side, has been filling his pills with sugar. As his carefully constructed world slowly falls apart, the reader quickly learns that it’s not just Marla who’s wanted Tyler back and while Sebastian struggles to find his place in the world, others are working just as hard to break him out of it.
In classic Palahniuk style, there are layers upon layers to explore as the story gets rolling. The most obvious, of course, is Sebastian’s fall right back into the life he had tried so hard to fight in the original story. His marriage to Marla, their child, his house, his pills, his job, hell, the fact that he has a name, are all the things that he (or Tyler) once believed to be the bane of a free mind. It’s as much as a testament to our obsession with normalcy as it was in the first FIGHT CLUB except this time, we get to see how much one man fights to keep it.
Another interesting aspect is Palahniuk’s choice to make Sebastian a father. He has stated that he chose to give him a son as a point of reflection to Sebastian for shunning his own father so much in the original book; that we all fail our children and no one gets it right (though perhaps it is to Sebastian’s credit that he never gave his son a proper name.) Also, like the first FIGHT CLUB, it is recommended that the reader re-read the first issue after it’s finished to catch the hidden eggs that can only be understood after the issue is over.
The art by Cameron Stewart is just as good as the writing, and that’s saying something. A lot like the writing itself, it’s not only about the proper form and function of how people exist in the panels of illustration, but about the subtle art put into the panels themselves. One benign scene of Sebastian mowing his lawn was made a touch more sinister with the addition of a gravestone like fence added in the foreground. Obviously signaling his death in mediocrity, it leaves a strong impression over the entire work. That’s just a small example; from tattoos to graffiti to the overlay of rose petals and pills over several of the pages, there are secrets and subtleties spilling from every page. A tightly written work with no wasted space, FIGHT CLUB 2 will have you grasping for more.