Issue after issue, artist Scott Kolins and colorist Mike Atiyeh manage to turn LARFLEEZE into an awesome serving of spectacle. Seriously, I love the huge amount of effort these two are putting into this title. They're able to tackle the series' grand scope and abstract cast with an impressive amount of talent. From the frightening look in Larfleeze's eyes and the drool spewing from his mouth to the commendable amount of characters and scenery that go into many of these panels, these two always create visuals that are a superb compliment to the book's comedic tone and the awe-inspiring displays of power it delivers. Even if the narrative isn't blowing me away, I can always rely on these visuals to offer a major dose of entertainment. Also, how can you not love Tyler Kirkham's cover? Larfleeze, Warlord of Sorrow!
As for the story, co-wrtiers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis make sure this penultimate issue -- yes, this title is sadly coming to an end -- is mostly silly fun. I mean, would you really expect anything else from an issue starring Larfleeze and G'Nort?! Nothing here had me laughing out loud, but it's consistently lighthearted and more than a few remarks had me smiling (e.g. the "answering machine" and Dogite comments). Plus, seeing these immensely powerful characters duke it out really is a blast, especially thanks to the art team. The dialogue is often playfully over the top and it feels appropriate for storyline's atmosphere. Last but not least, the cliffhanger does a proper job building the excitement for the final issue. It's looking like it'll be more of the same, but there will be a new dynamic and hopefully they'll take full advantage of that!
A recap page would be hugely beneficial for this series. So much dialogue is spent on repetitive material that we're already well aware of. I don't mind if a character has to announce their name (they are an arrogant bunch, after all), but there's so much exposition scattered throughout this issue. As a fan of this book since the very first issue, it begins to feel very redundant and takes away from the experience. The steady need to explain what happened, what's going on, and tell us who's who unfortunately takes a toll. It adds up and many panels had me wondering when we can move forward instead of needing to dedicate dialogue boxes on things a majority of us already know.
The penultimate chapter of LARFLEEZE has its moments, but overall, it has me feeling down the middle. The action is enjoyable, the banter offers some smiles, and the artwork is praiseworthy. It's just too bad a heavy amount of exposition really adds up and detracts from the issue. New readers will obviously appreciate all of recap information that's sprinkled throughout the chapter, but seeing as this is the second to last issue, I'm guessing there won't be too many new readers jumping on with this issue. Meanwhile, the rest of us will be left with a noticeable sense of familiarity as all of these events and relationships are explained to us yet again. Here's hoping the title ends on a strong note!