Fight the future.
You ever have one of those days where your entire life seems to wind up and take a swing at you? Sebastian is having one of those days, and his life’s name is Tyler Durden. Having located his son, he’s prepared to impersonate his other half to prepare for whatever new calamity Tyler has in store for the world. Marla has also managed to get to the castle with her friends, and we are poised for an epic showdown. With everyone in one place, in many pieces and with shifting goals in hand, this issue extends the promise of quite the explosive finish.
This issue brings everything together in one place. We’re seeing the cliff just before we fling ourselves off of it. Palahniuk even brings himself more into the fray; all of the disparate pieces are jumping onto the seesaw, and we’re about to see what is going to be launched into the air. Much like the zombie-like virus that infects ants and makes them get eaten so that it can propagate, Tyler is a disease that affects the mind, but it’s different in that it seems to have sentience and the ability to move through generations. This brings into question our will and our mind. What is really in our control, and what parts of our mind are jerking us about like a puppet on strings? Survival is the highest priority of any organism, so Tyler is really just following the most prime biological directive. He just happens to do so by removing anyone who may be a threat to him now or in the future. Tyler has to think ten of fifteen steps ahead of everyone, as he’s never sure what his simpler half will do, and so we see that Sebastian becomes a victim as much of organization as anything. This, of course, leads to my favorite confluence of storylines in this issue, when the probability waves collapse pretty much on top of his head. It’s kinda brilliant and makes a good deal of the twists and turns make a whole lot more sense.
The visuals are once again spot on in conveying the story. The added fun of laying things “over” the page continues, showing the willingness to play with the medium a bit to underscore various points. Just when we want to know more, “something” gets in our way, be it pills or rose petals or any one of a hundred things that can sidetrack us. It’s been a rather brilliant mechanism that has been used throughout and Ifell will have a large impact in the finale. Cameron Stewart has done a fantastic job of bringing these twisted characters to life, and the moments of violence are at once cathartic and horrendous. There’s no adding romantic notions of fighting; it’s violent, real, and there are most definitely consequences. This is the good kind of thing to see, where people get up after a punch but it affects them, not two superheroes pummeling away at each other for days and pushing an unrealistic idea of what a fight really looks like. This is meant to be a sucker punch to the gut, and it certainly hits the mark.
We’ve got one more issue in this sequel, and it promises to be as mind shattering as the original. I have a feeling that reading the final issue will open up all sorts of things that we’ll have to go back through the run and reread once the final revelations are made. Can’t. Wait.
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