Title: Fight Club 3.
Writer(s): Chuck Palahniuk.
Illustrator(s): Cameron Stewart.
Colourist(s): Dave McCaig.
Letterer(s): Nate Piekos of Blambot®.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: April 28th, 2020.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★☆☆☆☆.
Previously in the Fight Club series:
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.
Fight Club 2 by Chuck Palahniuk.
Maybe being a beautiful and unique snowflake was all that was left in the magic hat for author Chuck Palahniuk. Renown for his transgressional fiction filled with dark humour, stark surrealism, and visceral social commentary, his novels have successfully shocked the world to the core, leaving only some in awe at his mindboggling creativity and the rest in revulsion at his outrageous imagination. Following the critically-acclaimed Fight Club novel, which hence spawned one of the greatest movies of all time starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, novelist Chuck Palahniuk pursued his foray into this universe by exploring the graphic novel medium with an unexpected exploratory sequel. Continuing down the same road, he revisits the Fight Club lore by breaking free from any storytelling boundaries as the universe he once owned ends up owning him in this latest sequel that will bring you to ask questions breaking the very first rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club.
What is Fight Club 3 about? I couldn’t give you a clear answer even if I wanted to. But here’s the only sense a space monkey could possibly squeeze out of it though: the story brings back the unnamed narrator who now goes by the name of Balthazar and presents a pregnant Marla Singer—unexplainedly awaiting her second child this time around—who is involved in a brand-new worldwide scheme that even the deranged Tyler Durden doesn’t know how to deal with. While Project Mayhem—which later became Rize or Die—is officially a thing of the past, a new movement entitled “Die Off” brings into play a whole pyramid scheme with a sexually-contracted virus at the heart of this disaster. Filled with murder and mayhem, the story now forces the binary personalities (Balthazar and Tyler Durden) to work together to solve this mystery before things escalate and has consequences beyond repair.
“Home is where they have to take you in.”
— Chuck Palahniuk
I am all in for complexity. I am all in for challenging. I am all in for authentic, original, and unconventional. But… this… this… I am Jack’s raging bile duct. There is nothing rewarding or worthwhile in trying to elucidate this incomprehensible pile of nonsense. With almost no dialogue to accompany you in this twelve-issue rambling comic book, the reader is left to scrutinize each and every panel to decipher a hint of a story that could justify the somewhat metaphysical characteristics of this sequel. If there’s such a thing as extreme symbolism, novelist Chuck Palahniuk nailed it. Wacky, kooky, triggering, and at times disgusting, there isn’t a moment of respite for the reader to revel in ecstasy at a grasp of some understanding, despite the story arc’s desire to force the reader to create their own story through what they are able to interpret from each panel. If there’s one thing this sequel succeeded in making me feel, it’s the impression of truly being an all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. And that’s not something I rejoice in feeling.
It might be easy to pardon the terrible mosaic of a structure behind this volume by appreciating the formidable work by illustrator Cameron Stewart and colourist Dave McCraig, but forgiveness is short when the reading experience cumulated to almost no satisfaction whatsoever amidst all the surrealism at play. Each issue begins with an original calendar format two-page illustration and continues on with a traditional square and rectangle panel structure that sometimes dare to overlap one another. There is also the superposition of realistic partial photography (e.g. flies, vomit, etc.) that never really serves much purpose but to hinder the reader’s general reading experience. Besides the real-life sequences, most the volume is also comprised of historical figures and events, dreams, illusions, and plenty of enigmatic and irrelevant characters, allowing artists Cameron Stewart and Dave McCaig to work their magic in bringing to life the sexuality, the taboo, and the insanity. But in the end, none of it could save this from writer Chuck Palahniuk’s unrestrainable creativity and love for stupefaction. I am Jack’s unimpressed cat.
Fight Club 3 is a kaleidoscopic catastrophe bidding on a plethora of symbolism to tell a story void of significance, direction, or vision.
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for this copy!