Heroes and Villains: Fight Club 3 is Something Unconventional

It’s Heroes & Villains time! This column in particular has been weeks in the making since I was betrayed by the weather and unable to get my hands on a copy of the book I absolutely, positively had to review. Onward!

Fight Club 3 #1
Chuck Palahniuk (W)
Cameron Stewart (A)
Dark Horse Comics

This coming August will mark twenty-three years since the publication of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club which spawned the David Fincher film of the same name three years later. The film version was notable for me personally because it came out during a time I still consider to be “pre-internet.” I was not carrying the internet with me at all times and it was still possible for books/movies/comics to pull off plot twists that could legitimately knock you flat. It was all very quaint.

Within days of seeing the film, I sought out the book which involved quite a bit of effort on my part. I drove from bookstore to bookstore looking for the mass market paperback tie-in edition of the book which I eventually found on my fifth attempt. After that I read all of Palahniuk’s books I could get my hands on, as I was deeply enthralled with the dark and absurd nature of his work. For the record, my favorite is Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon, one of his non-fiction works.

Now that I’ve rambled on a bit about my own attachment to the author’s work we can talk about Fight Club 3. I feel like there were always conversations around the local comic shop that  revolved around which of your favorite novelists you’d like to see tackle comic books. Palahniuk was always at the top of that list for me. I’m sure it has a lot to do with me wanting to see something unconventional come out of the comics medium.

Fight Club 3 offers that in spades as Palahniuk once again teams up with Cameron Stewart to further the story of the narrator (calling himself Balthazar this time) and his alter ego Tyler Durden. The first of twelve issues this is very much the opening chapter of the book, the mood is set, new characters are introduced, and we’re given flashes of the world after the events of Fight Club 2.

I found myself a bit hung up on the narrator’s current name choose of Balthazar. Aside from what I consider to be the obvious biblical connection, Balthazar is the patron saint of (deep breath) epilepsy, thunder, motorists, pilgrims, playing card manufactures, sawmen, sawyers, traveler, and traveling merchants. I can only hope that some of these make there way into the story…especially the playing card angle. 

Cameron Stewart’s art continues to impress with this outing and, as an artist that was able to hang with Grant Morrison (seriously, go read Seaguy), he definitely is the right choice for this book. The art is littered with little details that warrant a second (or third or forth) reading to make sure you’ve extracted every expression and every bit of data crammed into each page. 

After reading (and rereading) this issue I’m looking forward to seeing what this series his in store for us over the next eleven issues.

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