The last week or so has been pretty heavy with G.I. Joe reviews so I figured I’d step away from terrestrial warfare for a little while and look to the stars for this review. This here is Larfleeze or Agent Orange if you prefer. He is a member of the Orange Lantern Corps from the pages of the Green Lantern comic. For those of you who have never read a Green Lantern comic I’ll give you a quick summary. The Green Lanterns are basically space cops who are selected, based on their ability to overcome fear, to wield super powered rings and defend the universe. The rings allow the GLs to create constructs made of light so long as the ring is powered by the lanterns which they carry with them. There are hundreds of GLs and each is given a sector of space to watch over. The Lantern that most people are familiar with is Hal Jordan who protects space sector 2814, the one containing Earth. Hal was the first human to be deemed worthy of a ring but in the time since a handful of others have also been bestowed the same honor. And so the story went for years and years, Green space cops battling against space bad-guys, the baddest of which was a former Green Lantern, Sinestro.
Writer Geoff Johns breathed new life into the GL franchise back in 2005 when he revived the then dead Hal Jordan and powered up his arch nemesis by having Sinestro create a yellow ring powered by fear. This was a great concept as yellow had always been a weakness of the Green Lanterns. I actually don’t know how no one came up with the idea before. The battle between the Green Lantern Corps and the newly formed yellow Sinestro Corps made for a truly epic read. I suggest you pick up the graphic novel. It wasn’t long afterwards that Johns then introduced the rage powered Red Lantern Corps lead by Atrocitus. After that came Larfleeze and the Orange Lanterns. Subsequent tales revealed the entire spectrum of rings and lanterns which included blue, sapphire, and indigo. Those stories culminated in a story called Blackest Night which introduced the Black Lanterns and then that was resolved in a story called Brightest Day which gave us White Lanterns. I know it may sound like Johns had taken what was originally a good idea and then beat it into the ground but that was not the case. The stories were well crafted and each of the various colored corps had a purpose. The Blackest Night and Brightest day story lines almost seemed obvious considering the Green Lantern oath, that they’ve been saying for decades, states: “In Brightest day, In Blackest Night, no evil shall escape my sight, Let those you worship evil’s might, Beware my power…Green Lantern’s light.”
Now while all of the various colored corps had a part to play in this grand saga, not all of them were overly interesting. Almost every time a new group was introduced, the writer, and worse, the poor artist, had to come up with dozens of new characters to fill its ranks. I feel that most of the creative juices were used up early on and so the blue and indigo lanterns got the short end of the stick being padded with lame characters. Each type of Lantern is fueled by a different emotion . The Orange Lantern is fuelled not by willpower or fear, but by avarice. This greed powered lantern did not distribute hundreds of rings to create a massive corps as the other lanterns tended to do, it produced only 1 ring to be worn by the greediest of souls. Enter Larfleeze, a Greedy Gus if ever there was one. He was the sole member of the Orange Lantern Corps but he did have some help. Everybody he killed was absorbed by the lantern and then he could revive that person as an orange construct from his ring. It was an interesting spin on the construct idea which helped to keep this whole spectrum of rings angle fresh.
Larfleeze seemed to catch on quickly with readers. He soon had his own one-shot Christmas special and was appearing in the animated GL series. He’s now slated to have his own on-going book on the shelves pretty soon. I like Larfleeze but not enough to buy his solo book. I did think he would make a nice addition to my DC action figure collection though. I already have multiple Green Lanterns, a Yellow Lantern, and a Red Lantern so why not an Orange Lantern.
DC Direct released a nice Larfleeze figure as part of their Blackest Night toy line but I missed out on it. This figure comes from Mattel’s DC Universe Classics line and I purchased it a couple of months ago from their website, mattycollector.com. I had ordered the Red Lantern Atrocitus figure from Mattel a few months earlier so I knew what to expect as far as articulation and scale were concerned. While Atrocitus was too small for my liking, at least when displayed next to DC Direct figures, Larfleeze looks alright since he’s a leaner character anyway. The articulation is plentiful and tight, no complaints there. The mold itself is quite good and I’m satisfied with their version of Agent Orange’s face as it had the potential to be a difficult one to capture. You can see it’s quite a bit different than the DC Direct version which has bigger talons and a longer snout. The colors are fine on the Classics version, though I would have rather seen the metallic orange paint used as was done on the DC Direct version. All of my Green Lantern figures feature metallic Green paint and it really makes them “pop”. Neither Atrocitus nor Arkillo, my Yellow Lantern, have metallic paint jobs though so Larfleeze still looks fine when displayed with fellow bad guys. A nice figure. 8 out of 10.