Review – Fight Club 3 #2 (Dark Horse)

Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Chuck Palahniuk
Artist: Cameron Stewart
Colours: McCaig
Release Date: 27th February 2019

The ambiguity continues in issue #2 of Dark Horse’s Fight Club 3, and I’m sad to say that’s not necessarily a good thing on this occasion.

Things starts off great with a hilarious take on the agony aunt columns in true Tyler Durden style. The character of Miss Information regales us with a tale of how to score free pizza and pokes fun at the definition of a micro-aggression in a way you’d only expect from the man who brought snowflake to the English language.

However, after such a strong opening things take a very bold and brave detour into the realm of pure metaphor. We see the supposed Nazi war criminal from issue one recreating another parallel to the Holocaust, with the masses dropping their phones, shoes and bags to walk through the weirdly magical painting frame, transporting them to some form of paradise.

Seeing the collection of shoes and belongings was a powerful way of reminding us of the atrocities of the concentration camps and the belongings of their victims left to gather dust, but it’s still very unclear what the point of these scenes are. Is it solely metaphor, or has the story begun to transcend reality entirely and shift into some sort of magical world?

Our protagonist and his new mistress are equally mysterious. It seems the Mistress Steph has history with Tyler and the “Rise or Die” movement from volume 2, and she clearly has a bone to pick with our man. Also, during the process of following him she was head-hunter by another figure eerily similar to a young Balthazar who has his own agenda in mind which Tyler has his own unknown interests in.

There are many parts of Fight Club 3 which have the potential to deliver another classic story and a great addition to the established canon.  For example, Cameron Stewart’s artwork still manages to be simultaneously beautiful and disturbing. Putting those little touches into the background help provide a sense of satirical dark humour to slot in between stark reminders of real truths and atrocities.  In fact, the drawings do most of the talking here, which I still stand by as being an interesting method when done correctly.

Unfortunately, Palahniuk’s writing seems to have taken a dip into the absurd.  Well, half of it has. I really like the idea of a new movement and new young figurehead at odds with Tyler. In a way it plays off the current political yo-yoing of the public, with people jumping from left to right every 4/8 years depending on the popularity of a particular figurehead. But this whole Nazi side plot, for me, is becoming a bit much. Don’t get me wrong, it was an interesting enough side piece in the first issue. A little experimentation like Chuck did with the zombie Robert Paulson or inserting himself into the story in volume 2, but now it seems much of the story will build around this magical painting frame and it seems like too much of a jump into the obscure even for Fight Club.

I still have hope that this will turn out to be yet another one of Chuck’s genius plot devices, once more creating a glorious meta stick in the eye of the reader, but that hasn’t happened yet. For the moment it just feels like it’s slowing the pace of the whole issue down and only giving us the briefest glimpse at the main plot. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this series manages to return dizzy heights of its predecessors.

Rating: 3/5.

The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy

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