I haven’t read a comic book since I was a kid. But like many other rabid Chuck Palahniuk fans, I pre-ordered each issue of this comic, eagerly awaiting their arrival, and devouring the contents as soon as I could.
Chuck took on a major challenge continuing Tyler Durden’s story. Not only was he dealing with rabid Fight Club book fans, but even more Fight Club movie fans… who had no idea the REAL ending wasn’t what happened in the movie. Even better, he plays on that in the comic. The art is great, too. The story wouldn’t be the same in only words.
So here it is. Sebastian (no longer the unnamed narrator and partly because of the movie he couldn’t use Jack) is married to Marla and they have a kid. Sebastian is taking tons of pills and seeing a shrink to keep Tyler at bay. Marla is insanely bored and back to going to therapy groups.
Their son is mostly left to his own devices, which is going to be a problem.
Cue the shrink–turns out he’s been hypnotizing Sebastian so that Tyler can get out and continue his work. He’s gone way beyond Project Mayhem and now it’s Rize or Die. It’s his plan to destroy everything all over the globe to create the New New World Order. Fight Club taken to 11.
Tyler kidnaps the son, which is how Sebastian figures out he’s not gone after all and a rescue mission, of sorts, begins. Sebastian goes back to the Paper Street house, waits outside with the other space monkeys, the whole bit.
Marla gathers her gang of terminally ill therapy group friends and sets off on her own to get her son back.
There are flash backs to reveal that Tyler killed Sebastian’s parents, that Tyler basically transcends Sebastian’s family lineage (hello reference to Rant), and that he’s been training the son so he can get Sebastian out of the way once and for all.
There’s a zombie Robert Paulson, too. Because of all the ancillary characters, he has to be one of the best–so you have to figure out a way to bring him back even if he is dead… and in comics, the rules don’t apply.
Chuck even writes himself shamelessly into the story… along with his writing group. I recognized Lydia Yuknavitch and Monica Drake immediately, because I’ve read their work and it’s brilliant.
It boils down to the idea that Tyler has somehow become bigger than he was ever intended to be. He was a villain that the world has embraced as its hero. Not even a flawed hero, just this perfect idea.
And Chuck knows what he needs to do with this character, but the backlash would be horrific. He’s trapped by his own creation, the same way Sebastian was trapped by him. The breakdown of the 4th wall not only lets Chuck resolve his issues with the character that ultimately made him famous, but it also lets Tyler “out” into our world. It’s bigger than Chuck Palahniuk. It’s bigger than a great character. It’s almost become the archetype of rebellious rage, of being so fed up of doing the right thing and getting screwed for it, of ripping away the shackles of societal expectations. In Tyler we trust.
And getting shot in the face. Someone obviously had to get shot in the face.
Space Monkey 418, signing off.