Fight Club 2 #9
Writer: Chuck Palahniuk
Artist: Cameron Stewart
Lettering: Dave Stewart
Publisher: Dark Horse
Nearing the fruition of Tyler Durden's masterplan, Sebastian is forced to confront Tyler in various ways while his henchmen prepare for the coming doomsday. As Sebastian and Marla finally reconnect, they are presented with a situation where neither they or the writers can escape unscathed.
First off, I love this series. It's visceral, grotesque, meta, insightful and sometimes insane, and I love it. Chuck Palahniuk with his in-your-face style of writing is sometimes a bit too on the nose, but the underlying theme and story he's telling always come out on top. That his writing allows you to read and understand the various levels of commentary he's pushing is a true accomplishment, though at times it leaves something to be desired for your imagination. All in all, I expect nothing less than insanity from this series and now nearing the end of this run, this mix of self-referential writing and large-scale plot make for escapism at it's finest.
The overall story of this book is the continuation of a couple of ideas that are beginning to merge together. Whether it's the meta-humor of Chuck and his writing team answering the phone to deliver plot points and script or the actual story of one man dealing with a very serious mental illness, Palahniuk handles all of this very well. We follow Sebastian on a desperate mission to find his son, while getting revelations about his character development. As Sebastian begins to mimic his Tyler Durden personality, he soon comes to the realization that Tyler is not simply a suit to put on, but a force to be dealt with.
We are given huge steps in the Sebastian/Tyler relationship here, showing the work that Tyler has done even before starting the first fight club, to put him on this path and ultimately promote Tyler's agenda to a global scale. The story has its moments of clarity and insanity, but I feel that the mix of these two notions only further promote the theme of dealing with severe mental disorders and the effects that this has on the people around you.
I won't spoil any of the reveals we are given in this book, but I will say that while sometimes the developments of characters and plot are heavy-handed, it serves the end-goal of telling the story well, while also giving us real understanding of the broken personalities at work.
Now, moving onto the artwork for this book, I personally believe that the best work is done here. Cameron Stewart beautifully paints dreadful scenarios and visually promotes some of the mentioned themes present in this series. Whether it's the hyper-realistic rose petals we find scattered on a page, or pills that are blocking out text from characters, we're thrown into a world of madness, displaying some of the psyches we are meant to inhabit and grasp.
The violence and gore of this book are some of the best of the series, with set pieces that have true movement, even in non-action scenes. We, as the reader, move from page to page, or idea to idea, seamlessly, with the absurdity of the story colliding with a gorgeous color palette to showcase the delusion and idea that is Tyler Durden.
Whether it's the dark grey tones in a panel where Sebastian is encountering some of the more dull aspects of himself, or the pure white colors, mixed with light tan and yellow to promote the God-complex of Tyler, we are constantly visually interested. I found myself, even in times where the story was a bit too meta or self-referential for my taste, thinking that the art of this book continues to push beautiful work from page to page.
Overall this book is great. While it delves deeper into the world-breaking idea of writers actually calling characters to deliver dialogue and scenes, it also gives us real insight into our main character of the book, who is deeply flawed and dealing with real issues. While other issues in this series have dealt more with the main plot, I feel that this is the first issue that has delivered upon the character that is Tyler Durden; the virus that he is and the fear that he represents. The brilliance of this story isn't the violence, or meta-nature of this story-arc, it's the mirror that it puts in front of us, making us think about the real life consequences of mental illness and how it effects the ones you love.
My score: 8/10 Read this damn book.