The first six pages of Chuck Palahniuk’s comic book sequel to the 1996 book Fight Club were released to Playboy last Thursday and the story seems promising, but the direction has left me wanting more.
Since the news broke I’ve reread the book, and re-watched the film, both with and without director David Fincher’s and Palahniuk’s commentary. Two things really struck me during my viewing. The first being that a comic book for the second installment of the story just made sense; the cinematography, the set design, the lighting, the wardrobe, the biting one-liners, would all translate effectively in comic form. Even before Palahniuk fell in with the Portland comic writing scene, his narrative had a style very similar to the comic medium. The second was at the very end of the director’s commentary when Palahniuk stated that he couldn’t think of anything less fun than writing a part two to a book he had already written; yet here we are and ironically enough, plain old family values may have drove him to it.
Fight Club 2 takes places a decade later, Marla Singer and the narrator, who now goes by the name Sebastian, are married, with a son who has taken to making gun powder in his room. Both are miserable. Sebastian is addicted to painkillers and medicinal marijuana and Marla becomes more relatable with age, she is bored with her marital life, desperately wanted to reclaim her youthful, destructive, devil may care days.
There’s no telling where part two can end up or what mayhem will ensue but what we do know is that Palahniuk’s main story line will center on Sebastian and his son. The author shared with USA Today that the father/son dynamic was such an influential theme in Fight Club and Palahniuk felt the desire to revisit that relationship through the eyes of the father in his sequel. While the narrator and Marla playing house is an amusing concept, I’m left wondering where the remnants of what made the original Fight Club story so great will come in to play. The story was a response to 1990s consumer culture, it resonated with so many that felt they had been cheated, tricked in to the traps of adulthood, the 9-5 grind and false promise of happiness through material wealth. Consumer culture is more prevalent than ever. What is sorely missing is a voice like Palahniuk’s poignant philosophical commentary. In that vein, I am interested to find out what turn project Mayhem has taken in Tyler’s absence and if Palahniuk will take on modern day materialism and the current cultural climate.
Palahniuk has hinted in interviews that readers may find out more about Tyler Durden’s origins, which leads me to wonder if the 10 comic series will take cues from Dexter’s Dark Passenger from the popular series by Jeff Lindsay. Cameron Stewart illustrated the series, it is published by Dark Horse Comics and issue #1 will be released on May 27, 2015.
Excerpt from Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk, illustrated by Cameron Stewart and originally published on Playboy.com.