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‘Fight Club 2:’ Advance Trade Paperback Review

Chuck Palahniuk is one of the most brilliant and prolific writers of this era, with several major novels to his name and some of the most thought-provoking and occasionally terrifying stories that have been written. While it’s not my favorite of his novels, Palahniuk will likely always be remembered for Fight Club, his opus about mental illness, chaos, and toxic masculinity, among other things. The film adaptation, despite being a bomb during its release, is a cult favorite, and Palahniuk’s work, while controversial, has been more and more interesting as time has followed.

The idea of a sequel to a book that caused so much chatter was surprising, and a format change from novel to comic book was even more so. But thanks to talks from a few Oregon-based creators that have become friends, this road was taken, and with artist Cameron Stewart, a journey begun. While this series has been out for awhile, this new volume contain the entire ten-issue series, a Free Comic Book Day issue, and a brand new rationalization from Palahniuk himself regarding this book, the property as a whole, and everything contained within.

I’ve written about this series before regarding my reticence towards it. I love the work of Chuck Palahniuk. I’ve read most of his books several times, with Fight Club being among them. I’ve seen the film multiple times and read this comic book series multiple times. It’s a fascinating transition, and one that I think was well worth it. Palahniuk, as a comic book script writer, tries some incredible things, and teaming with a superb talent like Cameron Stewart has really brought it to life.

Let’s start with Palahniuk. This is truly an odd world to write in, and while the concept of “Sebastian” as an older man with a family, a life, and a new existence – still under the thumb of Tyler Durden – is fascinating, I think, like so much of this book, it just barely misses the mark.

The story picks up a decade after the events of the original novel, with Sebastian and Project Mayhem having run their course. Now, he’s a decade older, heavily medicated, and living a dull existence with Marla Singer and their child. This life seems to suit Sebastian, but a depressed and desperate Marla decides that the now vacant and lifeless life she’s living with the love of her life is no longer worth it and makes the change to take Sebastian off his meds without his knowledge for him – which, of course, opens the door back up for Tyler Durden to emerge from his slumber and take back the world he tries to remake in his image. This turn brings the world of Fight Club back to life in a way that is both familiar and completely chaotic, in the best way.

The art follows the same feeling as the plot itself. It’s gorgeous, with Dave Stewart joining Cameron Stewart to make an authentically great-looking book and giving a lot of life and energy to a story that needs it to thrive. It also took some risks, notably with some of the object work that crosses the occasional panel and ones that don’t feel like they entirely worked. That being said, trying something new should never be judged too harshly.

The plot is trademark Palahniuk, with the unique twists and turns that only he can create and some great artwork that gets drawn away from for some visual tricks. It’s worth a read, for many reasons, and fans, like myself, of Palahniuk’s work should absolutely read and enjoy this. It’s not perfect, but it’s good, and while it can’t live up to the myth of its predecessor, it’s a worthy entry into the lore of this world and one that can still be built upon in the future.

Creative Team: Chuck Palahniuk (writer), Cameron Stewart (art), Dave Stewart (colors), Nate Piekos (letters), David Mack (cover and chapter break art)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.

Russ Pirozek, Fanbase Press Contributor



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