Monday, December 27, 2010

Green Lantern Larfleeze Christmas Special

Spoiler Level: High

For quite a few years I was getting both the Marvel & DC Christmas specials.  And although on the whole I enjoy the DCU more than the Marvel Universe, Marvel's Christmas specials pretty much always beat DC's hands down.  DC's were usually just too damn dark for Christmas, and I often felt I couldn't even read them to my daughter.  So for the last couple years I've just been skipping them all together. 

(And I don't know if I can ever forgive DC for wimping out and changing the name of their 2006 special from "Infinite Christmas" to "Infinite Holiday."  Let me explain this to the editorial staff who makes these PC decisions:  Y'see guys, "Christmas" and "Crisis" sound similar, so that makes for a good joke!  "Holiday" and "Crisis" don't sound anything alike, so that doesn't make for a good joke! And I'm not one of those militant "war on Christmas" types.  I'm about as liberal as they come, and I always thought "Happy Holidays" just meant Christmas and New Year's.  And really, why the hell not include people who don't celebrate Christmas?  We got Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, New Year's, and my friend's mom's birthday.  I have absolutely NO beef with saying "Happy Holidays."  Except when you ruin your own joke just because you're scared of pissing someone off.  Go ahead, have stories about all the holidays, heck even call it the "Infinite Christmas Holiday Special," but don't sacrifice your own joke just for the sake of being PC.  But I digress.)

So being a Green Lantern fan I loved the idea of a Larfleeze Christmas Special.  Then I got it and saw the cover with Larfleeze shooting off his machine gun and thought "Oh dear, they're doing it again. Time for another no-fun holiday special."

Boy, was I wrong.

So get this:  Larfleeze sends the great and mighty guardian of Earth, Santa Claus, his 20-page Christmas list, builds a cottage so he'll have a chimney to come down and leaves out "the offering he damands" of milk and cookies.  (And not just any cookies; Larfleeze's Orange Lantern Cookies, complete with recipe!  My friend Steve at Joy's Japanimation often makes cookies for Free Comic Book Day and other big store events, and he's done cookies with the various Lantern Corps' symbols on them.  Now everyone will be asking poor Steve if he's using Larfleeze's recipe.  But I've digressed again.)  So Larfleeze decides to take it up with the big man himself and storms out to hunt down Santa Claus!  Which then leads into a hilarious game page where you're supposed to get Larfleeze through an Orange Lantern-shaped maze to help him find the North Pole.

This special has what all the other DCU Holiday Specials I had been reading lacked:  FUN.  Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.  Larfleeze's refusal to believe there isn't a Santa Claus, the explanations he comes up with for why Santa hasn't come to him, Glomulus's hi-jinks in the background, the Art Baltazar & Franco short strip... and some good sentimentality about "the Christmas Spirit."  No, not Jesus Christ, we're not going to go that far, but the more secular Christmas Spirit of giving to those who need it.  And it doesn't feel forced or shoe-horned in, it feels like a natural part of the story and gives it a touching ending.

All in all, this is the best holiday special I've seen from DC since I was a little kid.

1 comment:

greatplaidmoose said...

I loved it for all the same reasons. It was exactly what I wanted in a Larfleeze Christmas Special dedicated to one of the best characters to be introduced in comics in the last twenty years.