Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk's tale of masculinity's place in society has been told over various forms of media. From his novel in 1996 to David Fincher's film adaption in 1999 and now the story carries on in the 2015 comic book Fight Club 2 by the same author.
Fight Club 2 is fascinating. It answers questions that you didn't even know you were asking. Upon reflection of the original tale of the Narrator (who we learn is named "Sebastian") and his special friend Tyler Durden. In the novel we are asked who is Tyler Durden? Now, it seems as though we are asked who is Tyler Durden at 40?
The tale picks up years after the what I thought was the destruction of Project Mayham. Sebastian has appeared to have some what moved on with his life, marrying Marla, having a child and being heavily medicated to keep those old fighting habits subdued. We see a man trying to live a "regular" life. However, neither we or the character is entirely sure if its the life he wants for himself. Despite all the medication, Tyler Durden, his alter ego, is lurking somewhere in his mind and planning for a better brighter day.
Turns out nobody is really happy with the medically induced pretend normal life. Their son is creating gun powder from fertilizer and Marla is tampering with Sebastian's medications so that Tyler can...um...take care of her properly. As a result of her actions she is slowing reintroducing Tyler to the world.
I was taken aback by Cameron Stewart's art. In fact, the art is jarring. When the idea of a graphic novel of the Fight Club sequel comes to mind, one would think gritty, dark and raw. That's not what you would find here. Instead we are given bright and almost cartoonish works of art. While again this art isn't what one might imagine, it actually complements the story very well. Having this style of art present in the comic does free the story from the film; the characters don't have to look like Edward Norton or Brad Pitt and frankly it shouldn't. Let's not forget one of the earlier scenes where we find Marla in a support group surrounded by dying children. It's already a dark moment therefore the art doesn't need to be dark. The cartoonish element adds its own kind of darkness with out depressing you.
Stewart's art also expresses how medication can impact one's senses in way that would not work if told in other mediums. The art gives the illusion of a bottle of pills spilling over the art and cover parts of the art and dialogue. Creating the character's point of view of how his medication was blocking him from understanding his reality.
Of course , mixed into the art is writer Chuck Palahniuk. His signature writing is so present in this book, his book. While we are very used to reading his prose, it translates well into the graphic format. The attitude that was present in the first novel is very much alive, kicking and screaming at the borders of page. Marla's carnal desperation and loneliness, Sebastian's emptiness and frustration, their son's curiosity and Tyler's lust for a revolution could be characters of there own. They are filled with oxygen and blood and sweat and salty tears. Mixed together it is the perfect mixture of chaos and explosive storytelling that has me bound like a hungry savage waiting in the dark of a not too distant basement, waiting for the next bare knuckle hit of an issue.