My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In this current issue, Sebastian Narrator arrives at the old Paper Street house bruised & battered. He joins the other men waiting on the porch to be accepted into Project Mayhem. After a few days of erratic sleep & fragmented advice from the other recruits, Sebastian submits to Tyler’s influence & re-enters HQ as a returning hero.
Readers will get a few more noteworthy clues as to the workings of Project Mayhem, Tyler’s influence & his dreams for Sebastian’s son. (Who, from what we’ve seen, is already aware of some of his other daddy’s ideas.) When Sebastian asserts that his son will choose him over the world, I thought to myself, Oh, sweetie, you clearly haven’t read Diary. Or Snuff. Which brings me to my next point–there are plenty of repeating motifs & characters that place us firmly in Palahniukland (progeria from Haunted, crashing plane opener from Survivor, never-ending locker room trivia from everything but especially Snuff).
That’s all well & good, but what I’d like to know is where we’re going with this story & just how much of it I can take seriously. Tyler’s non-canon Ream of Consciousness at the end of this issue is part advice on artistic discipline, part techno paranoia, all of which is fitting–until I get to point #15, which reads in part,
How you are in executing this homework assignment (read: crowd marketing the comic through social media) predicts how you perform in life. Will you be someone who mere consumes the narrative or someone who actively expands and participates in it? Do you express yourself fully and effectively, or do you purchase a surrogate means of expression made by some machine, a commoditized gesture which reduces your most intimate human interactions to empty rituals?
I don’t know if the irony lies the comic creators seriously trying to inspire ‘rebellion’ from a piece of marketing or them writing a passive-aggressive fuck you in their ‘call to arms.’
I guess the only way to find out is to keep reading. And with Tyler back in control of S’s life, things are bound to get more interesting.