Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Chuck Palahniuk
Artist: Cameron Stewart
Release Date: 27th March 2019
“We’re a generation of men raised by women. I’m wondering if another woman is really what we need”, chuckled Tyler to the narrator in the original novel. And now as we reach the third issue of Dark Horse’s Fight Club 3, it feels like we’re finally starting to get an answer to that musing.
It was a comment about the generation of broken homes that emerged after the grin-and-bear-it times of the ‘50s. What happens when those kids whose father’s abandoned them find their own families? What happens when the kids come of age to finally respond to their deadbeat, identity crisis-filled fathers?
Three issues in and it seems like the real tone of Fight Club 3 is starting to emerge. The narrator has discovered a new movement, risen from the ashes of ‘Rise or die’, and with its own outlook on world domination and recreation. Like the cancerous gentrification of modern day cities, this new millennial Fight Club is picking the finest of the crop to survive in their new world, scoring up their own homicidal like-based system which feels like an apocalyptic Instagram. Our hero confronts the new head honcho while his family get ready to move, Marla feels the draw of male attention that her husband is no longer giving her, and Junior wanders off into dangerous waters. This brings out a somewhat surprising side to the usually nihilistic Tyler Durden. Here, he gets protective.
It feels like the penny is finally start to drop here, and after two issues of finding its feet, Fight Club 3 is now coherent enough to become pretty damn enjoyable. In his own way Fight Club 3 seems like a response to how some readers would interpret the first sequel. While Palahniuk revelled in poking fun at the legion of fans the first time round (with his blatantly meta side-plot which saw him struggling to please them so much he had to insert himself into the story), this takes the complete opposite turn. Rather than talk too much he chooses not to say a word, once again eliciting the same anger in his readers that Fight Club itself is supposed to cathartically release.
The art of Cameron Stewart is still the high point of the series, sticking to the aged representation of the well-known cast of characters with added violence and, thankfully, a little less magical ambiguity. This issue focuses more on the main story and less on the weird magical doorways (which I’m sure will have a payoff down the line but which still irk me in a major way.
The dull green and greys and funny thought bubbles of the narrator serve to paint the dull world with the same theme the writing portrays. A world close to ours in some way, but one in which the characters do away with the binds of conformity – or at least have done in the past – and now find themselves sliding back into the meat grinder of modernity and the responsibilities that come with it.
It’s a philosophical thought experiment played out by the archetypes of a well-known storyline. If our generation seeks to destroy their fathers, how would they choose to react to the instinct of protecting their own offspring when it comes down to it? Would the break the mould or are they doomed to become the absentee fathers they despise so much? Only time will tell in the next few issues.
The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
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