Thursday, June 27, 2013

Larfleeze #1

This is almost like getting an Ambush Bug monthly title. I said almost!

After reading the first back-up story in Threshold starring Larfleeze, I wrote this: "Based on only the second page of the Larfleeze back-up story, I want a full sized Larfleeze comic book." So you're welcome! And then later, when I knew Larfleeze was getting his own comic book, I hoped that Robert Loren Fleming would be removed from DC Cold Storage to assist in the writing duties. I think DC probably thought that might get too silly and outrageous and really might become like having an Ambush Bug monthly title. So instead, they brought in J.M. DeMatteis for the co-writing duties. They may not have listened to the letter of my suggestion here but they definitely got the intent right. Will this comic end up being as important as Giffen and DeMatteis's run on Justice League? Well, that's just me being optimistic. Other people might not even see the late eighties Justice League as being "important." But I can't express how much it meant to me to have a rich, funny, whimsical Justice League full of very human characters. Dare I say their Justice League wandered into Marvel territory with the amount of pathos and interrelationship drama involved?

Hopefully the book retains all the sense of whimsy it had as a back-up feature. If it disappoints me the way the New 52 Justice League International disappointed me, I'm going to be very disappointed. The New 52 needs far more comedy and I hope this is just the beginning.

Now that all of that is said, I imagine I'm just going to be scanning a bunch of panels now with captions saying, "I thought this was really funny!"

Just the title and credits made me laugh out loud five times.

The story begins with Larfleeze and his space butler, Stargrave, floating toward an annihilating point at the edge of the universe. Larfleeze's ring will be out of power in fifteen minutes and he's just recently lost all of his stuff, including his Power Battery. And by lost, I mean he threw it all in a black hole and destroyed it. And he did that because he treated Sayd the Guardian like crap and she fucked with his head before she faked her own death and ran off to live with Ganthet.

Larfleeze has nothing left, so he's willing to die. And he's going to take his space butler with him. I have a feeling that Stargraves is going to convince Larfleeze that he can figure out how to recharge his ring on Oa since Larfleeze attacks Oa over in Green Lantern #21. Also Larfleeze can't die because his name is on the cover and DC can't cancel a comic book just after Issue #1 because they have to see how many jerko fans don't buy my new favorite comic book and make it fail almost instantly simply because Jason Todd or Tim Drake or Batman or Cassandra Cain or Wally West or Stephanie Brown aren't in it.

Before Larfleeze can save himself and Stargraves from certain doom, he decides everybody needs to hear his origin story. Of course! This is issue #1! I wouldn't have it any other way!

This is the most believable origin story yet.

His birth might be the only part of his origin story that is true and even the where and how of that occasion was probably bullshit. Eventually Larfleeze gets to the part of his story where he finds the Orange Ring and Power Battery on Okaara. This may or may not be repeat material for people who were reading Green Lantern for the last decade.

There was some other stuff in-between birth and becoming the Orange Lantern but why should I spoil the story just so you don't buy Larfleeze #1 and the comic book fails? Parasites!

Stargrave interrupts Larfleeze at about this point (and others! It's just he's finally successful now in his interrupting) to find out the time. Larfleeze tells him it's 8:15. I wonder if that's Mars Standard Time according to the universal chronal chart established by Salvator Grotto in 1856? Whatever time it refers to (probably Okaaran Swamp Standard Time), Stargrave realizes that Larfleeze's charge should have died fifteen minutes ago. Stargrave theorizes that Larfleeze has somehow become the battery himself. And then Starjumper leaps from the void of creation and attacks.

"He's clumsy, that hunter. One day he'll trip and the great wolf will catch him." "You see all that up there? I just see stars."

Okay, I don't know the last time I read Elfquest and that quote is off the top of my head. I'm going to grab Elfquest Book One and see how close I was! The first thing I notice is the distinct smell of this book. My copy of the color volume from 1981 and that smell just brings me back. Okay, here's the quote:

Skywise: "The Great Wolf chases the hunter across the sky! He's clumsy, that hunter! One day he'll trip, and the wolf will get him!"
Cutter: "You see all that up there, Skywise? Strange...I just see stars."

Damn. I suck at quotes and that's fucking close. It just goes to show how much Elfquest meant to me and how many times I probably read it over the years. I think I'm about due for another reading. It's probably been over a decade since I read it.

The Cosmic Wolf (it's Starjumper!) eats Larfleeze which means we all now what is about to happen. But I can't blame the Cosmic Wolf for not trying like all the other giant beasts that simply just swallow the hero whole. The Cosmic Wolf chews on Larfleeze for a while before swallowing him. It's not the wolf's fault that Larfleeze's ring protects him from mastication. Having survived being eaten, Larfleeze, of course, explodes out of Starjumper's stomach, a little bit angrier than prior to having been eaten.

Stargrave is not the boon, loyal companion that Alfred is.

Just after this exchange, some gigantic purple fiery creature called The Laord of the Hunt emerges from the Void of Creation. He's a bit peeved that his dog was just killed. But more importantly, he has a bunch of little goblin servants carrying a bunch of material objects along with him which Larfleeze decides is treasure. Lots and lots of treasure. So Larfleeze admits to killing the dog and then attacks the gigantic cosmic monster man.

Larfleeze #1 Rating: I'll begin Larfleeze just under Threshold. It wasn't as funny as the back-up stories but then those stories packed a lot of crazy crap into eight short pages. But it's entertaining and I like Stargrave and I'm glad we've got a comic whose title character is basically a greedy, amoral, narcissistic asshole. I think I just described Bruce Wayne.

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