Chuck Palahniuk is not done with Tyler Durden just yet. As movie fans prepare to celebrate the 20th anniversary of David Fincher’s anarchic adaptation of Palahniuk’s classic novel Fight Club, the author is adding a new chapter to the story.
Fight Club 3, from Dark Horse Comics, is the follow-up to the 2015 bestselling graphic novel, Fight Club 2: The Tranquility Gambit. The first issue of the 12-part monthly comic book series debuts January 30.
SYFY WIRE is proud to give you a First Look at two variant covers to Fight Club 3 #4, from artists David Mack and Duncan Fegredo. They are just two of the all-star lineup of artists who will be providing covers for the series. We also have a preview of the first issue, which you can find below.
The new story focuses on Marla Singer and her husband Balthazar (the novel’s previously unnamed narrator), who are expecting their second child. The big twist? Balthazar isn’t the father — Tyler Durden is! And he’s psyched to be a dad, and not just with regards to diaper duty. Durden has plans for the kid, and the world he’ll be living in.
“This time the Fight Club universe is the 'real one' so I can stair-step to an even more fantastical reality beyond anything seen so far,” Palahniuk tells SYFY WIRE in an exclusive interview. “Me, I'm dead. I really did need a rest.”
The writer may have been referring to the absurdly meta ending of Fight Club 2, or not. It’s hard to tell with him. Regardless, Palahniuk is again teaming up with artist Cameron Stewart, letterer Nate Piekos and cover artist David Mack, with colorist Dave McCaig joining the fun. We find Balthazar and Durden having to join forces to deal with the greater threat posed by a new group that has spun out of the Rize or Die movement, and which has some twisted plans for humanity. In other words, it’s time to put aside past personal grudges for the greater good.
“Rather than settle into a tedious Tom vs. Jerry or Road Runner vs. Coyote dynamic, it’s time to give them a problem so big they need to combine resources,” Palahniuk says.
In a statment, Palahniuk promised bodily fluids will be exchanged. Aside from being salaciously cryptic, the writer said it is an acknowledgement of how the Fight Club narrative has adapted to the present day.
“In 1995 when I was writing the novel we were all still hyper-aware of blood-borne pathogens, particularly AIDS. That fear made me certain than no one would ever create an actual fight club,” he says. “Who'd want to mess with a stranger's blood in the 1990s? Do you remember Brad Pitt shouting, ‘You don't know where I've been!’ as he splashes his blood on his attacker in the film?”
“Maybe that's why the story took so long to build an audience. The original story was also sexually discreet, with any coitus overheard through walls and floors. These days, kids, nothing scares them. So it's time to sex-up the story and suffer the consequences.“
Palahniuk clearly enjoys writing a chaos agent like Tyler Durden as an expectant father. “Tyler gets weepy-eyed over babies and dogs, just like Adolph Hitler did. Weird, huh? Is that a coincidence? And what's with the runes? The book is full of runes and dog whistles. How is that making the world a nicer, safer place to live?”
The chance to continue to explore these characters he created more than two decades ago continues to provide fresh ideas for the author, especially in the comics format.
“Returning to the Fight Club universe makes me feel like a whole person. It's very integrating to collaborate with Cameron Stewart. At times I'm Tyler and he's Balthazar. Then we switch,” Palahniuk says.“Then my editor, Scott Allie, is Tyler. But eventually it all comes together in a single story. The original novel ended in a nuthouse, and that's the last place I want to find myself. You know?”
“And if you believed that line about ‘a whole person’ I have a bridge in New York to sell you,” he observed. “Really, I do it because it's more fun than writing novels. Even the smallest Comic-Con is more fun than the National Book Awards ceremony. Yikes, I think I just scotched my shot at a National Book Award. Maybe I should be setting my sights higher. Maybe an Eisner? Maybe I ought to just shut up now.”