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Fight Club 2 #1

    Ian Jane

  • Fight Club 2 #1

    Fight Club 2 #1
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: May 27th, 2105.
    Written: Chuck Palahniuk
    Art by: Cameron Stewart
    Purchase From Amazon

    A comic book sequel to a fantastic book that was turned into a pretty great movie may seem like a good idea, or at least a recipe for a best seller. Cash in on the pre-existing audience that loved the movie and pique the interested of the scores of people who read the book and take their money - it makes sense. It would have been easy to cash that check and half-ass things. But you know what? If this first issue is anything to go by, Dark Horse didn't do that. They did things right, beginning with bringing Chuck Palahniuk, the man who wrote Fight Club, on board to pen the follow up.

    Which brings us to this comic, a comic that introduces us to a guy named Sebastian. The narration tells us he was poised to become the next Genghis Khan but that he took the easy way out. Now he drives a sedan and pops pills to maintain his supposed happiness. He shows up at a flower and the beaten, bruised man behind the counter hands him the bouquet but refuses to take his money. He comes home and finds the babysitter freaked out on the phone with the cops - Junior, the unforeseen consequence of sport fucking - is having a time out. His wife, Marla, is out… somewhere. A support group for people suffering from progeria syndrome. She unloads on a bunch of kids who look like senior citizens, complaining about her marriage unaware that 'Sebastian' has found her and is sitting in the back listening to her complain about him, his pill popping specifically. Through this tirade we learn what happened, how he wound up in the nuthouse and she popped out that kid. She misses the crazy man she fell in love with nine years ago but he doesn't stick around to hear that part. Instead he hits a bar, where a bruised and beaten bartender addresses him as Mr. Durden. He drinks his water, not booze but water, and wishes for a do-over, a way to get everything that's polluted his head out of his head.

    He comes home, meets Marla, and takes his pill unaware that she's replaced the dope in the capsule with sugar. He mows the lawn and hits a pile of dog shit. They don't own a dog. His son yells out at him from the window and rats out the neighbor, Mr. Coffey, for throwing it over the fence. Flashbacks - drugs, rough sex, fighting, therapy, an affair and a car bomb - like the graffiti Sebastian passes in an alley way so plainly states, “Tyler Durden lives.”

    Palahniuk's writing is as sharp and frequently acerbic here as it ever was and while Fight Club isn't a book or a movie that really ever called out for a sequel, this follow up shows plenty of promise. Yes, there are a few predictable quips - we don't need the Ikea references and part of the flashback where we get that almost feels like an unnecessary attempt to tap into the original's manifesto - but the whole 'fuck the world' attitude remains the same, just as it should. The dialogue, the way in which the story points out the mundane ritual of the everyday suburban life so many fall prey to only to find themselves, like Sebastian, popping pills and seeing a shrink, is poignant and beautifully bitter and in this regard, we're off to a decent start. Sebastian's past will quite obviously come back to haunt him but whether or not that'll be a good thing remains to be seen. Palahniuk has set things up in interesting ways, interesting enough that you'll want to come back for the next issue.

    Cameron Stewart's art suits the story nicely. There's good detail here, strong line work and a sort of quick, sketchy feel that is appropriate enough but that doesn't skimp on polish. It's not overcooked but it's not unrealistic either. There's some interesting and creative things done with the panel lay out and 'pill placement' throughout that intentionally cover some of the dialogue to interesting effect, making you question, as you read it, the importance of what's being said. Plenty of food for thought here. Issue two has the potential to build off of all of this and deliver a worthy sequel to a work that didn't need it in the first place. When you think about it, that's fairly high praise.

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