The next issue of Fight Club is here after mixed reviews of the first issue from the masses. Despite being heavily medicated for ten years, Marla has begun cutting Sebastian’s prescription to bring out his inner Durden and now it could that be the reason for their house burning down and the possible death of their son. Is it good?
Fight Club 2 #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
Palahniuk was able to dazzle us with nostalgia in the first issue, but it’s going to take more than old references to create a quality series. This issue picks up with Sebastian and Marla dealing with the fire incident and more trips to therapy and support group sessions. The creative team is sticking with their edgy and artistic story-telling style, but they relaxed with the superficial images. However, it seems like the emphasis is being put on the presentation of the plot rather than its progression.
This issue begins to explore a time period even before the original novel, delving back into Sebastian’s childhood and making connections between then and his current psychosis which will surely be appreciated by any former Fight Club aficionado. There are definitely some good moments within the issue, including some of Sebastian’s background, moments of his interaction with Marla, and the cliffhanger of the last page. Unfortunately Chuck’s captivatingly artistic and dramatic style is starting to feel more like filler.
I mean let’s face it. Comics are wonderful, but the majority of series must choose between focusing their efforts on the aesthetic value or committing to a thorough storyline. The beauty of Fight Club was that it was excellently written and the movie was able to incorporate both visuals and storyline. A comic however doesn’t have the capacity to really incorporate both of those aspects to its set standards. I’m worried that Chuck is trying to bite off more than he can chew. After such a pivotal novel and movie, a follow-up that would do the original justice is going to be hard for a writer working with a new medium and I think this issue shows hints of that.
As for the characters, even with the ten year gap this doesn’t feel like a realistic portrayal of Marla. She’s very emotional, but in a more stable way than we’re used to seeing her and at times she seems more put together than Sebastian. At this point in the series, I don’t like either character and that makes it hard to really enjoy the series as a whole. I need more from Marla and Sebastian individually and that means it’s going to have to cut into the edginess of the panel presentation.
Is It Good?
Overall it’s still an entertaining issue, but I see holes within the series looming in the distance. Palahniuk went into this with a ridiculously high bar and it’s time we lower it to a realistic level.