Chuck Palahniuk continues his abstract sequel to Fight Club, although the pacing works a little less in issue #2. The previous issue established the idea that The Narrator (now going as Balthazar) is still dogged by Tyler Durden, who gets him (them?) laid while his (their?) wife waits at home. #2 picks up right where we left off.
It’s hard to talk about this issue without spoiling everything, but we learn a little more about the woman Tyler took to bed and how she might know more about the plot than even our protagonist. It’s more setup than anything; nudging our anti-hero toward a growing plot. What I’m saying is: the pacing is more deliberate. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I was hoping the concept espoused in the solicits (Tyler must team up with the Narrator) would start to become more concrete here. Perhaps the fragmented (at times confusing) storytelling is partially to blame.
But that’s not all, folks! We see the continuation of the subplot revolving around a mysterious painting that mesmerizes people en masse. We witness how powerful the sorcery truly is and that there are clearly warring sides involved. How Tyler fits in has yet to be seen, but we’re given enough information to go on for now.
Palahniuk’s work usually has a flair for the fantastic. That being said, this magical painting seems to be one of his most outlandish flourishes. It’s another bold step in this series that makes every page a surprise.
Cameron Stewart is given even more room to show off in this issue. Whether it’s drawing a supernatural portal or the pained, chubby expression of the Narrator, Stewart’s confident linework excels at illustrating whatever diverse insanity Chuck throws at us.
While this second issue is more a continuation of the previous issue’s scenes, the razor-sharp insanity on display is worth following.