Review: Fight Club 2 Hardcover

Written by DropDeadSmed

27009

As a depressed, misanthrope, with a budding working class messiah complex, plagued by periods of insomnia, the original Fight Club felt like it was written just for me. I thought it was amazing. The ending was like the ending of a good porno, in that it left me with no desire to see what happens next. So when I heard about Fight Club 2, I was skeptical. For some reason flashes of the Matrix sequels ran through my brain and I began to feel ill. Luckily, it’s not all bad. Palahniuk still seems to be having fun while writing these characters and that comes through as you read.

Life goes on. Even after fight club. The story begins with our main character, Sebastian (aka Tyler Durden). After a stay in a mental hospital he’s now living the lifestyle he attempted to destroy in the original. Married to Marla, living in a modest suburban home with their son, Sebastian is living in fear of himself. He sees a shrink. He’s a flaccid, medicated zombie and worst of all — he’s boring.

Marla starts going to support groups again. She still smokes cigs, even in a room full of children suffering from the genetic disorder known as progeria. Marla misses the excitement and extremes Tyler Durden brought to her life. She’s sexually and spiritually frustrated. Marla feels her marriage is dying of atrophy. So she begins replacing Sebastian’s meds with placebos. Crazy seems to run in this family. Their son Junior is exhibiting interests in such extracurricular activities as how to make soap and high grade explosives. While the Sebastian persona sleeps, Tyler works. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away here but let’s just say things really begin to escalate. Tyler Durden isn’t just building a peasant army to fuck with credit card companies, this time around he’s building a global empire of destruction and chaos.

Making this particular story into a graphic novel instead of a live action film or purely a novel seems like an appropriate choice. I can’t imagine how you would film an army of assault-rifle carrying progeria sufferers attacking a fortified mansion full of armed cult members in real life (yeah, that actually happens). Palahniuk’s writing style lends itself nicely to a comic book flow. Cameron Stewart does a great job with the artwork. The panels pop, there is a nice contrast between the dull grey Sebastian and the more vibrant explosive psyche of Tyler Durden.

In today’s world of ISIS beheading videos and Donald Trump tweets, Fight Club 2 had to really up the ante to even come as close to how subversive and impactful the original was in the ’90s. This story didn’t blow my mind quite like the first Fight Club did. It’s missing the visceral sucker punch to the soul I was looking for. It lacks novelty and the filthy dive bar coolness of the first. Maybe it tries a little too hard? By the end it’s more of a cathartic satire on the legacy of Fight Club and Palahniuk’s success rather than an actual straight up sequel. Fight Club 2 may never match the significance and success of its predecessor. However, the uber meta ending, Palahniuk’s sense of humor and getting to spend time with my dream woman Marla. still made this a worthwhile read for me.

Rating: 7/10