The first pages of Fight Club 2’s latest issue reiterates a fact that many may be reluctant to accept: This is a comic book and Palahniuk isn’t afraid to adopt the appropriate conventions when necessary. Where Angel Face’s appearance and Tyler Durden’s reach hint at the more fantastical elements, the return of Fight Club’s most tragic figure seems to solidify this tendency. However, in fostering some relatively more outlandish variables, Palahniuk takes a few steps back, peering into the three-fold adaptation that has now defined the legacy of Fight Club.
As Sebastian approaches Durden’s castle, he descends deeper into his own past, compromising his already frail reality. Ruined holidays, a constant stream of war-driven news, and, of course, the gradual whispers of Tyler push the protagonist into a deeper state of sedation. However, his actualization may have come a bit too late, as his other half’s pension for destruction has reached the brink of cataclysm. Meanwhile, Marla and company have been removed from the warzone, but discovers her son is utterly complacent in Tyler’s machinations.
Junior hasn’t had much time to flourish, as only quick glimpses into his conversations with Tyler have been given. Still, the previous issue insisted that Junior is less of prodigy and more of a vessel; he is a second coming that can continue where Durden left off, should Sebastian prevail. This is reaffirmed as he considers his supposed, actual father with a childish apathy, Sebastian’s presence likened to that of being grounded and thus prohibited from fashioning IEDs. Junior and Sebastian’s troubled past yield a generational narrative that would have made the original Fight Club a little too bloated.
Cameron Stewart’s dreamscapes make another appearance in this installment and hint at a subsequent episode that will only grow more bizarre. Televisions gradually replace the innumerable tombstones that hoarded the funeral of Sebastian’s parents, emitting a white noise that can almost be heard through each panel. Stewart masterfully treads the line between an apocalyptic vision and a childhood nightmare, meshing both near the issue’s climax.
The trajectory of Fight Club 2 is still, thankfully, left unclear. This journey to Sebastian’s enlightenment has ironically plummeted us further into darkness, and Palahniuk guides us in the best way possible.
WICKED RATING: 8.5/10