An Urban Legend Brought To Life In Fight Club 3 #2

by Brendan M. Allen

Tyler Durden is back, looking to chalk up some more conquests. But a new movement has replaced Project Mayhem, and even Tyler doesn’t know how to play by these rules.

A strange picture frame provides a glimpse into another world, but it might not be as idyllic as it seems.

Fight Club 3 #2 picks back up with Balthazar and the mystery woman, the day after their tryst, in a seedy hotel room. The lady is a “headhunter,” recruiting new members to a cause through the oldest form of currency known to humanity, flesh. Now that Balty’s been served, he’s got to take on his own recruitment mission, or face dire consequences.

Chuck Palahniuk is well known for weaving all sorts of red herrings throughout his work. It’s also pretty typical for a bunch of seemingly dismissible details and head trips to come back around later in the story to be revealed as key plot points. Fight Club 3 #2 spends a lot of time in a secondary narrative with the Narrator and Marla’s kid, off in some bizarre world playing with a magic picture frame. There’s no telling how much of this subplot is metaphorical, prophetic, or whether the whole thing is just an interesting filler.

It falls on Cameron Stewart to make visual sense of absolute chaos in Palahniuk’s script. There are several sequences in the picture frame plot where Stewart’s pencils drive the plot completely without any dialogue or narration at all. At this point, the task is old hat for Stewart, who faced and smashed similar challenges in the last series collaboration with Palahniuk.

Tyler Durden has been a busy man. This latest recruitment scheme for Durden’s ultimate goal is dead brilliant. It’s a turn on an old urban legend that terrified my classmates and I the eighties, and Palahniuk has streamlined premise into a bid for world domination. Still trying to figure out whether the whole bit with the Narrator’s son is metaphoric, prophetic, or twisted window dressing. Truth will out, I suppose.

Fight Club 3 #2, Dark Horse Comics, released 27 February 2019. Written by Chuck Palahniuk, art by Cameron Stewart, color by Dave McCaig, letters by Nate Piekos of Blambot, covers by David Mack, Cameron Stewart, and Francesco Francavilla.

Brendan M. Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? You bet! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. It's a rough gig. You can follow Brendan on Twitter @SaintAmish where he mostly tweets about comic books and cystic fibrosis awareness.

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