Off the Shelf: Fight Club #2, issue #4

Fight Club 2 #4Fight Club 2 #4 by Chuck Palahniuk
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Tyler comes for Marla, but this time she’s not up for any of his games. With one of her friends from the progeria group, she heads off on her own search for Junior, a winding journey that includes a visit to Chuck Palahniuk’s own writing group. After stumbling across a militant-like Quilt Club, Marla & the progeria support group decide to march off to war in distant countries, looking for any trail Rize or Die has left behind. (Yeah, by the way, Fight Club is part of a PMC now called Rize or Die.) Sebastian Narrator works like a good little monkey back at the Paper St. house & meets up with Angel Face, who has 10 years of seething resentment to pay back.

Last issue, I was growing increasingly frustrated because I didn’t know how seriously I was supposed to take the tone of FC2. This issue finally gave me some answers. I had been dreading Palahniuk’s appearance in his own story because creator cameos can really come off wrong. While I’m not yet sure what exactly his purpose is, Palahniuk-the-character is also not entirely in charge of the story if Marla’s reaction is any indication. (She appears when Palahniuk says so, but won’t say the words he’s written for her.) Around this time, the readers are also clued in on another mystery: the dead Robert Paulson has appeared on Palahniuk’s porch & is ghost-calling other characters. So as far as I’m concerned, all bets on this being a serious story are off.

The Make-A-Wish sequence where the progeria kids ask to be sent to war zones all over the world is touched with Palahniuk’s familiar insightful weirdness. Hopefully, it’s also an indication we’re ramping up for some action. While I’m sure that this sequel will be seen as an ambitious attempt to tell this story, the serialized format does not seem to suit the author’s style. Readers familiar with his other stories know that there’s always a big payoff in the end, but all of the stylistic stuff in between–the weird facts, the repetitive descriptions, the odd conversations–all have to accumulate in order to lead to the action. The comic format seems to stall or cut out the build-up & it seems like the story is moving in fits and starts.

This issue is the one that won my attention back so I’ll continue reading. Just a few more weeks until the next issue!

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