Larfleeze #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
Sitting on an asteroid as it slowly drifts towards oblivion, a creature looking like the twisted love child of Gonzo the Great and a punk rock Goofy regales an alien butler with his life story and how he has come to be resting on this slowly shifting through space, rock fragment. Met with every story beat is the snarky comment of an exhausted and near death assistant as he listens to the same story he has been told countless times. Larfleeze, the proud owner of the orange lantern of Avarice, simply loves the sound of his own voice and relishes in every opportunity to exercise it.
Larfleeze number one is the fifth installment in the line of Green Lantern books for the New 52 including the Eponymous main book, Green Lantern Corps, New Guardians and Red Lanterns which have all been fitted with a brand new team since the departure of Geoff Johns and his crew. Larfleeze is spinning out of the pages of Threshold: The Hunted (also from the New 52) and is a very funny and lighthearted look at one of the villains of the DC Universe. Handling the plot alongside J.M.Dematteis’ scripting is Keith Giffen who handles the breakdowns as well. Their chemistry as a creative team is one that has been explored since the late eighties with Justice League International and their humour chops and evidence of fluid storytelling are still alive and well within the pages of Larfleeze.
The character himself has always been a great comic relief foil for the Lantern universe and that same dynamic is featured heavily in his own title but beyond that his personal history and journey to becoming the greedy space pirate he is, divulged in detail in this first issue, is entertaining and a truly engrossing sci-fi tragedy of degradation, cruelty and loss (of course narrated by the foolish pride of an insane creature drifting through space).
Scott Kolins handles artwork in this new series and his talents are put to excellent use with scenes of cosmic mayhem, alien invasion, destructive war and kirbyesque gods charging through the creation wall of reality in the guise of enormous, demonic hounds. His style is a perfect fit for JM Dematteis and Kieth Giffen’s wacky space opera and for the ridiculous beast like form that Larfleeze dotes himself. Each page is packed with loads of material, managing to cram each miniature panel with awesome aliens, magnificent worlds and action barrelling the story forward beautifully underneath the clever bantering of Larfleeze and Stargrave. Kolins’ work is always worth picking up a book for and his contribution to Larfleeze is some of his best.
The creative efforts of Giffen and Dematteis can be seen in a multitude of DC titles dating as far back as the 80s and their collaboration has produced many gems over the years. Hopefully Larfleeze will stick around long enough to see these two further explore the rich cosmic playground that was featured in the first issue and allow Scott Kolins to continue to beautifully render it. This may not be a book that is big on the radar of mainstream comics from the New 52 but alongside titles like Green Team, The Movement and Dial H, is one of the more original and unique comic books worth every penny on shelves today.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
Dear Ghost Factory. What Should I Read? Comic Reviews & Weekly Comics Round-Up Podcast at www.Geekstampede.com