cover image Fight Club 2

Fight Club 2

Chuck Palahniuk, Cameron Stewart, and Dave Stewart. Dark Horse, $29.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-61655-945-8

Since igniting Project Mayhem 10 years ago, the dangerously anarchic personality called Tyler Durden has been submerged into the narrator (now named Sebastian) with pills, a mundane job, and a life of textbook suburban domesticity. That state is shattered when Sebastian's wife's sexual needs lead her to cut his prescription dosages, unwittingly freeing Tyler to once more foment the violent misery that he so excels at. What unfolds is a lysergic tapestry of apparent kidnapping, examinations of whether we define ideas or vice versa, and a host of other ideas that coalesce to finally make sense, only to again yank the rug out from under the reader before veering into confusingly meta territory. Palahniuk's ultra-dark original novel and its subsequent film adaptation have become cult landmarks and perhaps should not have been revisited, but he and artist Cameron Stewart (Batman) do their best with it, slathering this sequel with solid artwork. Dave Stewart's rich colors evoke the pharmaceuticals ingested by the protagonist. The surfeit of ideas proves too much for the narrative and the whole endeavor collapses under its own conceptual bloat%E2%80%94something Palahniuk himself discusses when he appears in the last part of the story. It's a beautiful but ultimately frustrating journey. (June)