Dark Horse Comics 2015
Written by Chuck Palahniuk
Illustrated by Cameron Stewart
Coloured by Dave Stewart
This series just keeps delving further and further into the fractured psyche of Sebastian and Tyler. Already we’ve seen his psychologist using hypnosis to bring Tyler out where he’s been building his own army and manipulating the world to his advantage while his wife bored with their relationship has been skimming his meds so she can have the excitement that Tyler brings during sex. With all these actions Sebastian’s life has been sent into turmoil and when at first they think his son is killed then realize he’s been kidnapped thing change dramatically.
Maria feeling guilty in her own part in all this has found some comfort in the oddest of places and that’s the children’s support group whom her story has won over. Yes they are those that age at an impossible rate but somehow the interaction and the friendship they are building give these children a little purpose and they are actually good for one another.
So before Sebastian can find his son and rescue him he has to once again immerse himself in Tyler’s world. Can he surrender himself completely or is there a chance he can exert some sort of control over Tyler so he can do what he’s set out to do. There’s too great a chance he’ll lose himself again in Tyler and things will happen that irrevocable. Chuck’s decision to revisit this world in this form is something he’s doing with care and reverence and it’s even more powerful than the original movie. He’s able to go deeper into backgrounds and personalities to showcase just what kind of men live in the same body and it’s pretty freakin amazing.
As a reader sometimes I can’t tell what’s real or what’s imaginary and that in itself is the sign of some just top notch writing. By using logic even if it’s slanted or twisted like why Moses wandered the desert for so many years makes complete sense and yet you think how does he come up with this stuff and why haven’t I heard this before, it’s that believable. So is this little army Tyler’s been assembling and what they do to weed out the weak and the “undesirables” it seems like it’s something natural when in reality it’s horrific. Like when we saw that student with the GPA anyone of us would’ve been proud of was killed and we see more about that today and you realize just how dangerous Tyler really is.
Could all this time being trapped in Sebastian and not being allowed out caused him to become even more extreme than ever before? Or is this what he’s really like deep down and Sebastian is just the mask he wears to appear normal? The fact that I think of these things when reading this story should tell you that you have to really read it because there are some wonderful subtle things happening that you’ll miss if you skim through it. It also makes this a much more powerful read and a true unexpected delight that goes beyond what we expect of it.
Cameron and Dave’s work on the interiors has this gritty detail to it that suits the subject matter wonderfully. Their ability to create and showcase such a wide array of characters here from the disenfranchised to the sick children all of whom exude their own personality traits and determination really just add this oomph to the story that makes it that much more powerful.
It’s my humble opinion that this surpasses the original material and expands on it in ways that puts this in contention for story of the year.