FIGHT CLUB 2 #1 . (8.5 out of 10) Written by Chuck Palahniuk . Art by Cameron Stewart . Published by Dark Horse Comics. Release Date: May 27, 2015
A decade and a half later, Chuck Palahniuk's 'Fight Club' still raises questions. Will a sequel finally answer them? In the wake of the recent financial collapse—as well as our growing tech obsession—Fight Club’s original ideas on corporate culture and consumerism are still relevant now more than ever. We're still very much immersed in a culture where our things do end up owning us, and we're not willing to live without our Starbucks skinny lattes, our IKEA furniture, and our smartphones.
In 2015, 'Fight Club' speaks to some more so, and that famous catchphrase (The one you shouldn't talk about) continues to echo through the annals of pop culture and our political sphere. The underlying themes of rebellion sparked something inside of a generation that wasn't willing to kowtow to the pernicious powers that be. What began as a means to let off some steam and to feel alive, 'Fight Club' quickly spiraled into a lost generation of men seeking something more than nihilism. Minor spoilers ahead.
The first issue begins ten years later where the now named narrator Sebastian and his partner Marla celebrating their ninth wedding anniversary although it is not much of a celebration. Sebastian has become a shell, taking pills to keep the destructive alter ego Tyler at bay, which in turns is making him a lousy father and a worse lover. Marla, going through the motions at the same support groups where they first met, vents her frustrations concerning their almost nonexistent sex life. Obviously, something has to change.
'Fight Club 2' carries on the tone and feel of the original while exploring new territory. This holds true whether you identify as a fan of the novel or the movie. There is a lot of overview and setup within these pages. This may make some readers feel that this opening is slow, but it is necessary to remember that this is part one of a ten part series. It's a slow burn, but the great character work will almost certainly payoff as the story progresses.
Cameron Stewart truly outdoes himself on every level in this book. His work is stellar and experimental. His pacing is fast but manages to linger on all the right moments. His character work exposes the ugly characters Palahniuk is known for, by lingering on their imperfections. And, his layouts here are stunning. Massive page spreads that defy what you already know about comic books provide surreal transitions between scenes. Career defining work here.
Palahniuk's unabashedly harsh and compulsively readable prose work amazingly well in the 'comic book' medium. The narrative lends itself well to this format. While some might have thought, this is your life and it's ending one cash-grab sequel at a time. Palahniuk proves that Jack's ever growing sense of doubt is straight up fodder. Chuck is a versatile author whose use of language translates well in any forum and does not do a disservice to what came before. On Saturday, May 2, Dark Horse Comics Free Comic Book Day Sampler includes a 14-page sample of 'Fight Club 2' and the first issue hits comic stands and online on May 27th.
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