Seventeen participants got in on the fun of reviewing the Larfleeze Christmas Special. See what they had to say!
The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse's News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate.
For the week of December 22nd, the Review Group's pick was decided by a poll of the masses. At the end of the day, Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special #1 was chosen as the pick. A Green Lantern book always generates controversy and this book did not fail to disappoint. Some posters enjoyed the book as a fun, lighthearted pick, while others were disappointed in its childish tone and Hal Jordan's sanctomonious nonsense. Seventeen posters participated, making it the most reviewed book since Nemesis #3. The average score was 5.17, well below the line of respectability and ranking it in the midst of New Avengers #3 and Astonishing X-Men #26. Without further ado, here's the reviews!
Review by Dragavon
I'm not a member of the Review Group anymore, generally due to lack of funds. But I have to add a review here.
I am absolutely not sure what to rate this book. The amazing artwork by Brett Booth makes we want to give it a 9. Larfleeze himself in 3/4 of the book is interesting and in character, so that deserves a high score. But the appearance of Hal "Bland" Jordan and his hypocritical moralizing about the "spirit of Christmas" makes me want to give this title a 0 and then write an angry letter to Geoff Johns that the target of these comics are not four year old mentally handicapped kids who are incapable of understanding something unless it is explicitly told to them.
I'm going to rate this 2.5
Review by Victorious Squid
A demented orange warthog with questionable taste in cookies is first told Santa isn't real, then is taught the true meaning of Christmas by the ever-sanctimonious Hal Jordan by first forcing him to dig up some trash outside to dump onto orphans then abandoning him to be alone on Christmas.
Orange-flavoured cookies (note spelling, Punchy): -1
Hal Jordan's dumb-assed self: -1
Existential dread of dying alone: -1
White chocolate: -5
Review by Doombug
I was conflicted checking this out, I love Larfleeze, I love the Green lantern books but most of the time it seems the big two just throw their holiday specials together. But boy was I surprised what I found inside this 30 some odd page comic.
Glom is my third favorite new addition to the GL mythos so I loved seeing him not only as heavily as he was in that main story but how much he was used in that second story. He's this weird little energy construct who managed to have as much staying power as Saint Walker and Dex-starr, at least in my mind.
The story follows Larfleeze as he does his best to find out why Santa has refused to give him the things on his list and Hal Jordan comes along to be basically the ghost of christmas past on his shoulder. I enjoyed seeing a different side to our selfish lead character, doing his best to take Jordan's advice and that last page of the lead story is pretty damn heartbreaking. Also it doesn't hurt to discuss something amusing that Hal finds on Larfleeze's list and his logic behind wanting it.
My favorite material came from the very Tiny Titans back up story which had Art and Franco as usual knocking it out of the park. From Sinestro doing his best to scare Glom to visiting the Saphires it was just a cute story that manages to be very funny.
All in all, this is a holiday special done right and I personally enjoyed reading it!
Review by Always Right
This was literally one of the worst comics I've ever read.
First of all, why is their a maze and a little Larfleeze ornament involved? Why? It's quite clearly not a book aimed at children, so why add these childlike pages? Do people actually think it's worth it to include a maze?
I think this whole thing sums up Geoff Johns writing.
Boring uninteresting one dimensional character, spelling everything out in a completely boring way, and no humour at all "By Sinestro's whiskers!" is that supposed to be funny.
The last page was laughably bad. Larfleeze amends his list to include the phrase "my family" and goes to bed sad. Is that actually supposed to be emotional? It's so clichéd and is an embarrassing last scene for an embarrassing last book.
1 out of 10.
Review by Eli Katz
I didn't expect much from this book. In fact, it would be moronic to expect much from any holiday-themed comic. But even with incredibly low expectations, I still managed to feel underwhelmed by LARFLEEZE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL. I guess the throwaway, Scrooge-like story, coupled with the maze and tear-away pages and the cookie recipes, did nothing for me. Maybe the biggest problem with the SPECIAL is that Larfleeze is an uninteresting single-dimensional character, incapable of carrying a book on his own. Really, this orange dude believes in and is pissed off at Santa, and he's going to melt down the arctic if he can't find Santa's house? If Hal Jordon had come in at this point and killed off Larfleeze, thus preventing the creation of other crappy Larfleeze stories, I would be celebrating this book. Too bad that doesn't happen. Too bad I wasted my life reading and commenting on this book.
Review by Stephen Day
Larfleeze is a one note character, but then again, he's supposed to be. In his own way he works on the level he's supposed to work on and this issue is basically the same.
I found Larfleeze waking up and investigating where Santa Claus and his presents were as well as his attack on the parade and shopping mall to be amusing. However Hal Jordan's Christmas lesson wasn't as interesting, it wasn't anything I haven't heard from I don't know how many Christmas specials over the years. Those I could watch for free on TV and they don't cost me four dollars.
I liked half of the story this issue, but didn't care for the other half. When it was focused on Larfleeze it worked, but when the focus shifted to Jordan, it fell apart for me. The problem is, the way the story was set up, the Jordan focused portions were supposed to be the more important of the two.
I'll give it a 4 out of 10 I guess.
Review by AMS
I picked this up.
Overall I thought it was fun. This is the first time I have read anything with this Larzfleeze character, but it was pretty easy to figure out what he was all about. He reminds me a lot like Smeagal in Lord of the Rings.
Anyways the basic premise was cute, if a little a thin. The revelation? that Larzfleeze misses his family was a nice touch at the end. The only thing I can say though, is that since this was such a thin premise it should have been a part of a christmas anthology.
I give it a 3 out of 5
Review by Fieldy snuts
On paper this is a really good comic: Christmas theme, Larfleeze in a comedy relief role hunting "imposter" Santa's while looking for the real one was amusing (despite just being the same old jokes we've come to expect from him all these times) for not giving him any presents. Oh and along with a non-religious meaning of Christmas message to avoid offending all the religious denominations.
It'd have made the perfect gift for my nephew as a Christmas special would've intended save for one thing: Hal Jordan saying there's no Santa. What the hell kind of a Christmas special is it supposed to be then?
Kind of a self-defeating all-ages Christmas special considering that one thing. And that's a BIG issue considering the title of this book. It'd have been an automatic fail on my scoring if this book hadnt put a smile on my face with everything else in it.
Art is nice, but nothing special. The backup story with Glom was cool
Review by God-Man
Eh, this was alright. i did enjoy the extra features like the recipe and the two page backup by the Tiny Titans creative team. To borrow a phrase from a recent AV Club review, it was "slight and entertaining."
Review by Guitarsmashley
This book was ok and really the books shining moment is the art. Where the hell has brett booth been since 90's image? I really don't have any exposure to larfleeze or even understand what he is...Is he horse? some weird monkey spider horse thing? I don't know. The story was pretty generic and something that I pretty much saw in every family guy christmas special and it wasn't very special. The art doesn't make up for a total lack luster story but the cookie recipe sounds really good and will definitely consider messing with it...probably a dark chocolate frosting with the orangish cookie.
Review by GHERU
This book was exactly what a Christmas Special is supposed to be. Fun, topical, loosely connected to current continuity (by that I mean that it recognizes what is going on but no one needs to read it to move forward) and festive. The story of Larfleeze hunting down Santa, mixing in the maze, cookie recipes, and ornament took this book (from a writing standpoint) to a 10/10
then Hal Jordan showed up...
I'm sorry, his over the top holier than thou attitude was not used as an educational tool but rather a shovel to beat the reader over the head. Thankfully the book's final pages brought the story back to the correct focus, Larfleeze, and showed that he had, at least, a glimmer of a soul.
All-in-all, this book started great, had an annoying middle, and ended the way any Christmas Special would. I am not the biggest fan of the art - it didn't take away from the story, it just didn't add to it either
Story - 8/10
Art - 5/10
Fun Quotient - 9/10
total (rounding up so as to have a whole number) 8/10
Review by Ameobas
I knew the book was going to be fun when it was first solicited. I wasn't disappointed... well, maybe a little.
I overhyped the book to myself. I did the same thing when Ambush Bug returned a year back or so. I expected a non-stop laugh riot like the original Bug minis or the Impossible Man (circa '76-'84) and this book wasn't it.
Fun yes, but I feel an opportunity was missed to go madcap with Larfleeze. The thought of a mega-powerful character just now learning that Santa doesn't exist has so many possibilities that limiting it to just a 'search' for him throughout most of the book took away from my initial experience.
Upon a reread, with preconceptions behind me, it read very well (better even because I knew it wasn't that it wasn't greed that drove him on his hunt, it was desperation).
The art was soso and I've yet to make the cookies.
Story - 9
Art - 6
X-factor - 8
Overall – 8
Review by Mammon, Fool Breaker (New Member!!)
Cover- With an AK-47 in his left, and a bottle of Champagne in his right, the cover already had my hopes pretty high for the comic being awesome. (7/10)
Story- The story opened very well with Larfleeze's excitment for his expected christmas gifts, and I truly laughed out loud when he discovers no presents and proclaims "WE'VE BEEN ROBBED! THE PRESENTS ARE GONE!"
-Larfleeze's Orange Lantern Cookies- <---- Awesome, I will be making these at some point.
Story Cont.- Hal Jordan's dialogue is pretty blunt, none of his arrogence shows through. But Larfleeze's reacts in a light-hearted and funny manner and the issue ends on a note of real sadness. I found that both interesting and unexpected. (7/10)
Art- In a word, consistant, I liked it, but it was neither awful nor breathtaking. A bonus point for a truly epic Larfleeze christmas sleigh. (6/10)
Overall- I enjoyed the issue, the humor was pretty darn good, and for it being my first Christmas Special, i was not dissapointed in the slightest. (7/10)
Final Score- (6.75/10)
*as this is my first review, It will be my basis to compare future comics to.*
Review by Starlord
You would have to be a big time Scrooge not to have enjoyed this. The ending alone was worth the price of admission and reminds those of us who have been investing our time in all these new Rainbow Characters that there is a soul crushing yearning that drives Larfleeze at all times. Johns did a fine job here but as enjoyable as it was, I don't see a reason they had to jack this up another dollar.
The art should have put it in a dollar bin unfortunately. Really was off on so many levels. It even made the coloring and inks look horrible.
I wouldn't recommend this for many people, but if you are a fan of the most recent Green Lantern Mythos, this is a nice treat.
My Score: 5.70
Review by Fourthman
The Larfleeze Christmas Special starts out with everything right. Larfleeze should dig some Christmas and he should be angry when it goes awry. Having him chase shopping mall Santas is icing on the cake.
However, once a little boy tells the Orange Lantern where to find Santa it all goes horribly wrong. First of all, there are the people. Booth is perfect for drawing aliens cause as you can see when Hal flies up with thighs as big as his torso, you know that Brett comes from the Liefeld school of art. Just to add insult to injury, he is also plagued with the inability to draw faces much like David Finch or Michael Turner.
To make matters worse, Hal Jordon shows up. And boy is he preachy, which is cool Sunday morning when it is about the reason for the season, but in my comic book? No thank you, especially when it is as wrong as anything else, Santa is for fun? Really? No, dumbass, Santa is a symbol of the spirit, of giving, of unconditionalism and in the end of hard work... not fun! There is nothing fun about smelly ass reindeer and sleigh rides in the middle of the night (unless there is hey and a girl involved)... there is nothing fun about jumping down chimneys, there is nothing fun about be forced into obesity from milk and cookies at every house in the entire world, expected to be eaten by you! It's not fun. And then, when his long ass impossibly loaded peak time is over... he gets to start making shit for next year... no thanks assholes.
And according to Scandanavian legend, he was an orphan passed from foster home to foster home! Ask Victorian Squid what feels like to not be wanted! Damn you Hal Jordan! Damn you for making Christmas awful, you suck. I triple dog dare you to lick a flag pole!
(The Red Lantern guy giving the Orange construct minion a fruit cake makes up for a lot of bad in the main story!) Yup team Tiny Titans makes up for a lot.
Orange lantern cookies are fairly easy to make. They are right tasty too. I can understand using the white chocolate as opposed to the normal semi-sweet chip – it is toned down a bit and works better with the orange flavored icing as a result. There are only a couple of criticisms I have. #1. There is not any kind of reference giving to how you are supposed to go about icing a cookie and not being a baker by trade I have never done it. So as you can see in the pics below, they are kind of crazy looking. #2. If you are gonna show them with white icing and orange latern symbols... don't make a recipe for pale orange icing – show me how to fucking pipe on the cheap DC!
Tiny Titans! Win a point!
Cookies with a serving of a whole batch, another point!
A nice ornament for a geek tree, add a point!
Overall: 8 out of ten! Not perfect but fun and rewarding to the craft, cooking, easy puzzle solving sect!
Review by John Snow
Fuck Hal Jordan and his sanctimonious 'there is no Santa Claus' bullshit. Larfleeze isn't funny and the art was bad 90s Image retread. You'd have to add marijuana to that cookie recipe to convince anyone in their right mind that this was worth an illegal download.
Review by Sgt. Marvel
Larfleeze is clearly one of the most influential characters of the last decade due to his ability to generate such lively discourse among fans. His Christmas Special is just another example of that. Coming into a Christmas Special, you expect a certain type of story coming into it and Larfleeze certainly delivers. Was there opportunity to do more with the special? Sure, but you're not going to get a groundbreaking comic out of a holiday special. Larfleeze Christmas Special delivers exactly what it promises a decent Christmas Special featuring Larfleeze. With the bonus of entertaining tidbits like the maze and cookie recipe.
Review by Jude Terror
I certainly wasn't expecting much from this comic, so I can't really say I'm disappointed. Larfleeze is an annoying character, created in an attempt to be funny but failing because the joke isn't original and demeans the rest of the DC Universe. I didn't need to read this comic to know exactly how it would go, but I did anyway, which gave me the added displeasure of being preached to about global warming while reading an insipid twelfth generation He-Man Christmas special rip-off. The sappy ending was both cheesy and out of character. The cookies look disgusting, by the way.
Score: 0 out of 10
Review by BlueStreak
When reading this book, it reminded me shockingly of Review Group. Anyone who takes the content of the book (or our kvetching at each other) seriously is totally missing the point. This book (and Review Group bitching 95% of the time) is supposed to be lighthearted. My only complaint was the price tag.
That's all of them, folks! Join us this week for Action Comics #896 or next week for Weird Worlds #1!
Written or Contributed by: BlueStreak