My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Sebastian Narrator survives his near-fatal art vandalization project & Tyler is not happy. Tyler tries to convince Dr. Wrong to aid in a schizo murder/suicide, where T takes enough pills so S will overdose. (But wait, you say, that will kill Tyler too! Wait for the plot twist. . .) The good doctor suddenly grows a conscience & tells Sebastian the truth, showing him numerous therapy session that he’s recorded. Every moment that follows is a struggle in earnest for Sebastian to remain in control. Marla & her sidekick survive the Rize or Die attack & Progeria Girl reveals herself to be Chloe from the original novel. The two catch up & Chloe enlists her support group friends to track where Junior might be through municipal surveillance. Also, Tyler is a fucking meme & he’s not happy about that, even though it allows him to switch “hosts”. (More on that soon.)
Ok, guys, we’re getting somewhere. Dr. Wrong throws a nice wrench into the works & Sebastian’s indecision about who to listen to adds some much needed tension. We also get a few more hints as to why Robert Paulson might be alive as well as a plot loophole that allows S a chance to continue without having Tyler in his head. Cameron Stewart’s panels during the “conspiracy” explanation are more examples of the interesting ways he uses his art to convey Palahniuk’s words. The idea that Tyler manipulates men in order to breed a generation to house him will have readers reconsidering S’s statements in the first book but the surprise is somewhat undone by the other numerous details that have already been rewritten to accommodate this sequel.
The reveal of Chloe’s identity is actually kind of enjoyable to me. When Marla realizes who she is & gives her a hug, there’s a nice warmth & sincerity that stands out amidst the weirdness & mind games. I also love the way Stewart draws Junior. His big brown eyes & guileless face are both cute & unsettling. When he calmly tells Marla that he was speaking to “Nobody” about manufacturing explosives, the panel showing his face is creepy. As if to highlight what this artist was going for, there’s an alternate cover on the back of the comic done in a Family Circus style. Nice one, guys.