Chuck Palahniuk (w), Cameron Stewart (a), Dave Stewart (c)
“Fictional characters can survive their readers.” Fight Club has a way of presenting something that has always been there and making you see it for the first time, in this case, it’s the power of fictional characters. As the issue reminds you, it wasn’t long after Fight Club came to theaters that news began to spread about a rise in underground boxing clubs and fashion trends shifted rapidly back to the grungy, thrift-store influences that had just passed a few years earlier. So is Tyler Durden an idea that can transcend the bounds of fiction? Chuck Palahniuk makes you wonder.
Fight Club 2 returns us to the first story’s central characters, Marla Singer and Sebastian (Ed Norton’s “Jack”-character for those who remember the movie). Their marriage is falling apart as Tyler Durden returns. Durden’s goal? Transcendence, passing from Sebastian to the couple’s missing child. After all, ideas give birth to people, not the other way around. Tyler is seeking to escape the mortal coil of Sebastian’s subconscious to find new life in his young son.
Deciding to continue the Fight Club story was ambitious, even ill-advised. If you’re looking to revisit the first book or movie… this isn’t for you. Fight Club 2 is perfect for the individual who says, “I loved the first story but I’m ready to move beyond.” As the boxing group Fight Club gave way to social terrorist-organization Project Mayhem, Project Mayhem has given way to Rize or Die, a developing army loyal to Tyler. Where Tyler preached abandoning the material world in order to truly live, we see him now existing almost solely as an intangible idea that infects as much as it influences. Everything is taken a step further, forcing the reader to stop and ask themselves if they’re going to continue in this new direction. From nuclear warheads to resurrection, this story goes well beyond what it used to be.
For those who decide they are onboard with Palahniuk’s vision, the story is an exciting continuance that leaves the reader excited not only for the next issue, but the upcoming third installment. The only downside for the title is it’s very hard to follow from issue-to-issue. What makes the story good is the philosophical side, the one that leaves you rethinking the world around you or reimagining the characters you’ve known for years. It’s not like picking up an issue of Amazing Spiderman and remembering, “Oh, yeah, Spidey had just run out of web fluid and was about to fall to his ‘death’.” To really enjoy what you’re reading, you have to revisit previous issues. It’s a bit inaccessible to people who didn’t jump on from the beginning and makes waiting for the collection a better idea. If you have the time to track down the back issues, though, it’s an amazing consecutive read and worth it just to further your collection of David Mack’s cover art.