Perhaps needless to say, Fight Club 2 is a bit convoluted. At times, it’s easy to question why this tale was segmented into separate issues. Sometimes the episodic structure just doesn’t really work. Case in point, Issue Eight.
However, just like the paranoia Sebastian suffers, it’s presumed Chuck Palahniuk might be taking us for a reality-warping ride more jarring than something like Enter the Void. Palahniuk, briefly characterized a few issues back, makes a significantly larger presence here. Reiterating the confusion, the fictionalized Palahniuk “gives up” at the issue’s onset, admitting that there really isn’t much of a way this can conclude happily. Upon the first read, it’s a bit muddy, but the second go-at-it compounds both the story’s stakes and dark comedy.
Marla and her Magic Wand-backed child guerillas begin their raid upon Tyler Durden’s estate, spurring a combat scene as difficult to watch as it is hysterical. The plight (and ultimate fight) of the terminally ill children is another piece of Fight Club 2 that insists upon its current medium. There are, at times, moments of sadness equivalent to the most emotionally grueling segments of Palahniuk’s original work are quickly juxtaposed by the ridiculousness of the battle. Anything but a comic would shed at least part of the impact this imagery conveys.
One page in particular, save the incredible spread of Marla done in the vain of issue one, stands out amongst. A dying tree littered by oversized and deflated sperm cells documents Sebastian’s troubled ancestry. Tyler Durden feels, in this instance, as fleshed out as he may be. It’s painful to see it come to head, however, it’s at least doing so in a fashion that gives the character justice. Here, perhaps more than ever, Tyler moves beyond simply being the enemy inside, but also the misanthropic constant. He is a creature with a loose omniscience more deranged than any Bundy, Dahmer or Bates. Most chilling is the mildly enticing explanation for Tyler’s nature; he strives to give the world a mulligan. A mulligan, perhaps slightly geared towards the house of Durden.
Issue Eight isn’t quite the best, but it does verge on the most exciting. Two more episodes suggest that any falling action may be minute as one’s worst expectations seem to be the trend. Still, if Palahniuk has refined anything over his corpus, it’s his ability to f**k with us.
WICKED RATING: 7/10