Fight Club is probably one of my top twenty favorite films of all-time, but I need to come clean… I’ve never read the entire book. What I read was entertaining enough, but it didn’t seem too different from the film adaptation and when my copy was due back at the library, I never had the urge to check it out again.
Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I started reading this comic book with the knowledge that it is a sequel to the book, not the movie. I guess I expected it to be a little confusing, but the story seems to flow very fluidly for those of us that have not read the source material.
When we pick back up with the narrator (now renamed “Sebastian” by Tyler Durden), we see that he is now locked into an unhappy marriage with Marla and they have a child that doesn’t seem to get much of their attention, which allows him to pursue his own Durden-esque tendencies. Sebastian is now on prescription meds to keep his imaginary friend from using him again and Marla is a bored housewife, missing the thrill of being married to a madman.
Tyler Durden’s influence on society is prevalent on the nightly news and it appears that Sebastian rarely needs to pay for goods and services due to the fact that Fight Club and Project Mayhem are alive and well.
My take on all of this is that the story seems incomplete, yet promising. At this point, I am more curious about where it will go than I am satisfied with the story but I am happy that Chuck Palahniuk chose comic books as the medium to revisit these characters. It seems like releasing a novel would cheapen the source material and a new movie could never recapture the lightning in a bottle that David Fincher was able to harness so well. Plus, it allows for some visuals that would never be able to fly under the banner of the MPAA.
Even though the book and the film were released nineteen years ago and sixteen years ago respectively, this story still remains relevant. Images of Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden can now be seen spray painted on buildings and news of underground fight clubs are often reported. Plus, the satirical view of consumerism hits home, now more than ever, as society seems to be continually fascinated by the newest, shiniest electronics.
Now, I’m sure that there are as many people cynical about this sequel as there are excited. It could definitely be construed as a cash grab to line the pockets of Mr. Palahniuk and Dark Horse Comics. In fact, when I plopped this comic on the store counter, the store clerk provided a grimace and said, “Why the hell are you buying this? This sequel is such a dumb idea.”
My answer to him pretty much sums it all up: “Sometimes it’s good to check in with old friends.”