‘Fight Club 2:’ Advance Hardcover Review

Fight Club, the book and subsequent film, were staples of my youth and one of the cornerstones on which I based my current tastes in art. Both were masterpieces, one solely for its existence and overall awesomeness, and the other for taking something so strong and adding to its mythos is a unique and incredible way. I’ve loved the work of Chuck Palahniuk for years. I’ve read all of his books (most of them multiple times), seen the film adaptations, and marveled at his genius. My reverence for his work and my worship of the comics medium made the announcement of a sequel to Fight Club as a comic one of the greatest ideas I’ve ever heard. Now, having finished its run, the entire hardcover edition of Palahniuk’s first foray into comics exists for all to see.

Tyler lives, once again. And now, it’s up to Sebastian (or Jack, or the Narrator, depending on perspective) to stop him. Now married to Marla Singer and with a child, Sebastian’s life has spun into a dull, grey world full of pills, monotony, and a single mission to keep Tyler Durden at bay. Like that’s gonna help. The return of Tyler spirals everything out of control, and now Sebastian has to stop Tyler, no matter what it takes.

It has everything that fans of Fight Club could want: mayhem, destruction, fighting, and Tyler Durden. It’s a beautiful and fractured story that has so much going for it. The problem is, it might have too much going.

Before I get into some of less positive aspects of the series, I really want to commend Palahniuk and the team here for finding a unique way to bring a classic into a new medium and make the most of it. It has so much of the trademark genius of Chuck Palahniuk, and some of those ideas don’t quite seem to translate into the comics medium. The plot felt disjointed at points, like there were small parts that were cut out. And while I commend the idea of this also being meta in its own way (Palahniuk and fellow novelist Chelsea Cain, who helped push him to do this as a comic, appear several times.), it didn’t hit well for me.

With no disrespect intended for either Cameron or Dave Stewart, it was surprising to see that the art was the highlight of the series. The series looks incredible, and with the exception of some of the more risky tricks employed, it had the gritty and almost surreal visual atmosphere that would be expected of Fight Club.

It feels like I’m being a bit harsh on this series, but I truly had major hope for Fight Club 2, and it didn’t live up to the expectations put in place.  I love this franchise, I love this author, and while it wasn’t perfect, it was important. In its own way, Fight Club 2 is almost as important as its predecessor. 

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