Larfleeze is arguably the most popular creation of the Geoff Johns’ era of Green Lantern comics so it’s no surprise that he is one of the characters most asked about when Green Lantern: The Animated Series was announced. This week’s episode puts Agent Orange front and center as the crew of the Interceptor search for a power source that would allow them to keep Aya at bay while trying to appeal to her to halt her course of action. Written by Ernie Altbacker and directed by Sam Liu, “Larfleeze” brings everyone’s favorite Orange Lantern to life with great results.
Larfleeze is a complex character despite his seemingly simple exterior with the power of Avarice completely in control of a creature who could best be compared to Gollum. Driven mad by the lantern’s power the creature has lost it all to gain the one thing he thinks he needs the most yet he hates the control it has over him. Unable to summon the will to give the lantern away Larfleeze leads a lonely, pitiful existence with his cosmic schizophrenia controlled by emotions he can’t master.
Altbacker does a great job fleshing out Larfleeze for the time he has to devote to the character on screen, manically changing between the comedy relief and the serious threat on the head of a dime. Dee Bradley Baker perfectly captures the voice of Larfleeze no doubt matching the voice readers have had in their head reading the comics and he deftly plays off of the sympathetic edge of a the character while never losing his more loathsome qualities.
|Razer and Kilowog are literally up to their necks in trouble
Hal, accepting blame for the Aya’s current condition, lands the Interceptor on Okaara so the ship can get a software patch to allow for safer ultrawarp jumps based on Razer’s knowledge about the Orange Lanterns. While Hal and Kilowog try to find a way to talk to Razer about the possibility that Aya may not be able to be saved, the three comrades explore the planet in search of the Orange Lantern. While Kilowog tries his best to get Razer to open up Hal discovers the location of the orange power battery and after escaping from Golmulus and Larfleeze returns to the Interceptor only to find himself under the control of the battery’s strong influence.
Watching Hal overcome by the Orange Lantern power was not only cool to see, under the surface it talks about the nature of greed and how easy it is to lose sight of what’s really important when blinded by self interest. As Hal eventually is able to find the will to part ways with the orange lantern he finds sympathy for Larfleeze and leaves the battery in his greed driven paws knowing it cannot be used to help Aya at bay.
|Hal consumed by Avarice
Visually the creators give a nice nod to Green Lantern history when Hal dons two hands full of rings and it’s a real treat to see Glomulus included as the vital part of the Orange Lanterns that he is. It was also a neat touch to see the Orange Lantern logo incorporated into the entrance to Larfleeze’s lair.
“Larfleeze” also features the hilarious return of
LANOS LAMO, who turns out to be the “patch” the Guardians uploaded to the ship. Liu of course does a superb job of keeping the pace up and showing the scale of Aya’s actions as one by one the stars disappear overhead while Hal and Larfleeze battle for control of the battery.
It shows a lot of character progression with Razer as he admits his feelings of guilt about the state of Aya to Kilowog despite how he is far more comfortable keeping those emotions bottled up. Compare that and the conversation the crew has at the close of the episode to the Razer we first met and his growth is pretty evident. The real challenge for him will be how he choose to interact with Aya when the series reaches what will no doubt be a dramatic conclusion.
Josh Keaton has a chance to stretch his acting muscles a bit this time around, effectively conveying the great dialog Altbacker provides as Hal does battle with the nearly uncontrollable emotion surging through him. Larfleeze is given a fun and heartwarming reunion with his battery as the crew departs, allowing the episode to close on a great debate about whether or not Aya is beyond hope. And that’s the big question with only three more episodes left, and like Hal I’d like to think that Aya can be saved; that somewhere beneath the out of control emotions is the Aya we all love and that somehow someone will get through to her.
That said, “Larfleeze” is another stellar episode and completely worth a five out of five lantern rating!