As penultimate installment emerges, Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club 2 begins to bear a bit more cohesion than previously suggested. Even then, it can still be hard to follow some of the motivations at play, but then again, it’s likely that this near-final issue posits that Tyler is quite a bit more than some mental parasite plaguing Sebastian’s family tree from year one. Instead, it’s made quite clear that Tyler is chaos itself; Marla’s brief kidnapper/escort makes clear early on that Durden seeks to orchestrate something not unlike the Poe’s Red Death or Charles Manson’s prophetical race war.
Still, at times it feels like something personal is lost in its grandeur. The scale is nice and fits the vehicle of a comic book nicely, but the intimacy of the novel appears greatly overshadowed, at least in this instance. Although, harkening back to Fight Club 2’s prequel is a moot point; if the last few issues have established anything, it is that this tale is far from its origins. Not too thematically distant, mind you, but enough to cease comparison.
A little lackluster, Palahniuk does an unparalleled job at illustrating cataclysm. For example, one scene finds Sebastian and his followers pushed into an underground bunker eerily reminiscent of the climax in Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle. Waiting for the apocalypse to initiate, Tyler Durden’s visage flickers across a massive screen, dictating a gospel apparently more pressing than any pre-existing religious text. This notion Tyler spawning religion is prodded at a bit more imaginative, as one humorous panel presents Tyler, Sebastian and Marla as the key players of the Old Testament’s first book. Seemingly, Tyler’s statements are only outclassed by those of a very soft spoken, characterized Palahniuk.
One sour point comes in the confrontation between Sebastian and Junior. Only lasting a few panes, a confrontation that seems to build throughout the entirety of the series feels a bit glossed over. Given, it’s still very likely that the final installment will see a large amount of hostility and reconciliation between the central family come to head, this moment felt prime. However, it also defies expectation, which has become a staple of this outing. Unfortunately, one can’t shake the feeling of a missed opportunity.
Perhaps the weakest installment, this issue still built a steady bridge to the final piece. It’s nowhere near enough of a reprieve to suggest the series is waning, but it is still a lower point. Maybe in retrospect of Fight Club 2’s conclusion, this episode will feel less transitional.
WICKED RATING: (6.5 / 10)