Face front, space monkeys: We’re a third of the way through Fight Club 2, and each issue I find more and more things I love about it, whether it’s consciously making fun of itself or whether it’s bringing things back from the first one to pay them off. This comic could have been an easy cash grab, but you can tell Palahniuk and Stewart are really pouring themselves into the work. Issue 4 splits pretty evenly between Marla and one of her friends from the progeria support group traveling around to themed clubs to try and find her son, before figuring out the best place to hide is plain sight--like conflict zones in Somalia. The back half of the issue is Sebastian trying to fit in again as a space monkey on soap duty and trying to find his first fight, which is also one of his last ones.
Fight Club 2 has really shone in terms of character work with Sebastian and Marla. If this were a lesser series, it would be an action-packed, plot-driven thrill ride to try and rescue their son. Instead, the series takes time to make jokes about “Bite Club” and “Pint Club” and “Quilt Club”, and it goes full meta when Marla shows up at “Write Klub.” It’s an excellent commentary by Palahniuk and Stewart about the world that they live in versus the very fictional world they create, where Palahniuk himself interacts with Marla at his writing group, where he and some very well-to-do women sit around drinking wine--and yet, there’s still a free, needle-filled couch in their front lawn. In every issue, while we still follow the main story, Palahniuk and Stewart run right up to the line of metafiction that we expect them to cross, and they toss a thumb over their shoulder at the line and basically say, “Get a load of this, huh?”
Stewart’s art is a standout again this month. On the first page alone he pulls off a great illustration of Sebastian lording over video game characters like a god, with the video game in the foreground in soft focus; he works in a double page map splash page (one of my very favorite kind of things), and his work during the fight at the end is just brutal. Plus, it leads into one of the very best meta final page splashes I’ve ever seen, a good sign that this is blood-soaked mayhem for the whole family.
This book has been a delight every month, and I mean that in the most disgusting, metafictional, violent, truly Fight Club kind of way. It’s everything I loved about the book, everything I loved about the movie, and almost everything I love about comics, mixed up, shook up, electroshocked, punched in the face, and published monthly. If you’re not reading it, you’re gonna be pissed at yourself as it continues to be amazing and all your friends stop inviting you out because you’re clearly not the cool one in the group.
Fight Club 2 #4 Writer: Chuck Palahniuk Artist: Cameron Stewart Colorist: Dave Stewart Lettering & Design: Nate Piekos of Blambot Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 8/26/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital