Even when Larfleeze is brutally beaten and in chains, Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis manage to create yet another massively joyous issue. It should come as no surprise by now that the creative team knows how to make things full of absurd and sharp remarks, but what helps this issue standout is the shockingly serious and gripping turn it takes. Now, we have to take it with a grain of salt due to Larfleeze's memory, but let's just say the writers reveal the character's "true origin story." As with everything else in this book, it's told in a creative and lighthearted manner, but the final moments are surprisingly gut-wrenching. Considering just moments prior I was laughing at robots taking their own lives and Stargrave arguing with space travel security, I'd say that's quite an impressive feat. Reserving such a strong moment for the very end was definitely an excellent choice and really hit home without forcing the tone to endure multiple shifts.
Scott Kolins and Michael Atiyeh once again compliment the book's narrative with an equally lively set of visuals. Larfleeze's stubborn pose is priceless and Dyrge's wrinkled skin and dead eyes are disturbingly fun to look at. The opening scene is particularly crisp and there's one panel of the cosmos which had me gazing for roughly a minute at all of the beautiful and vibrant details. It may not be the best looking chapter yet, but it still offers plenty of absorbing coloring and pleasant artwork.
I've REALLY enjoyed the art, but this chapter feels rushed at times. The quality seems to fluctuate -- especially with Larfleeze -- when the panel isn't a close-up. It's still a good looking book and there's great panels to be found, but the quality difference between this issue and the previous chapters is noticeable.
The material with Larfleeze is so captivating that it leaves me anxious for the scenes with Stargrave and the Wanderer to finish so we can return to him. Stargrave's as amusing as ever, but the plot on their end is moving a bit slow and is primarily just feeding us bits and pieces of elements from her universe.
I've said it once and I'll say it again: LARFLEEZE is without question one of DC's most fun and entertaining books. The script is exceptionally witty and, even when it feels a tad slow, it's still a completely engrossing read. You'd think Larfleeze's personality would get kind of tiring by now, but it hasn't at all. In fact, the character continues to grow on me with every single issue and month after month this title impresses me. They're doing great work with the Orange Lantern and I just can't recommend it enough.