Batman #484, “Warpaint,” September 1992, written by Doug Moench, penciled by Tom Grindberg
First, I know, this issue says September and this is part of July’s buy pile. DC and Marvel comics have a two month gap between the month they come out and the month they are printed with. September is actually the date that retailers are supposed to chuck this issue. Got it? Good.
Black Mask returns in this issue and he’s burning up a ton of Wayne property. The issue then retells Black Mask’s origin before Batman himself sneaks his way into B.M.’s (ooh unfortunate acronym) gang. There’s a lot of talk about property investments in this one.
What the 26 year old thinks: This issue is fine, nothing super great. The art is quirky and reminds me a bit of Larry Stroman (who was killing it at this time on X-Factor; I can’t help the X-Men references!) but it’s also peculiar. Batman sneaks his way into Black Mask’s gang using a disguise, but all the panels showing it show Batman in his disguise from a distance. He’s about two centimeters tall on the page. Why not show a closeup of Batman in his disguise? It was just…weird. So it’s fine, but kinda boring and not a slam-bang Batman adventure.
What the 8 year old thinks: Eight year old me isn’t having any of this. It actually surprised me that I remembered some of these images (Black Mask putting red marks on his face in the last panel in particular). But this issue doesn’t have much action, has a political discussion AND doesn’t even have a recognizable/popular Bat-villain. Judging by this issue, it’s no wonder I quit so quickly.
Verdict:Not so gnarly, dude. Would rather be trying to shoot that laughing dog on Duck Hunt!!!!
Examples of comic-Loki’s ability to take the shape of a woman without stealing someone else’s body. These are all short, temporary appearances for convenience sake.
1: Thor #92 (Stan Lee & Joe Sinnott)
2: Thor Annual#18 (Ron Marz, Tom Grindberg, John Nyberg e.a.)
3:Wolverine vs. Thor. (one shot, march 2010) (Frank Tieri, Paco Diaz, Guillermo Ortega e.a.)
4 & 5: Thor and the warriors four #01 & #04 (Alex Zalben & Gurihiru)
pic 1: Neri is not Loki. I included this panel because thanks to Heimdall’s statement, we know Loki had this ability even in the early comics. Unless Heimdal is making shit up just so he can chat with Neri, that is. However, Heimdal also tells about Loki sneaking past him in snake-form, and one can see that is true in Thor #88, so I’ll believe the rest of his story too.
pic 2: One of the few instances to show the actual shape-shifting. Loki also took the form of a Dragon right before this.
pic 3: This Thor’s explanation for what happened to Wolverine. It isn’t contradicted anywhere and fits into the pattern of Loki-gets-some-poor -sucker-to-fight-Thor-stories, so it’s probably true, but still never 100% proven, as far as I know. But even if Thor is wrong, he would not have suspected Loki of this if he knew he couldn’t do it. A synopsis of the story can be found here.
Pic 4 & 5; no comment.
Edit (17 march 2014): As pic 6, I added some panels from Loki: Agent of Asgard #2 (Al Ewing & Lee Garbett). Even in the comics itself it’s pointed out Loki’s attitude to shape-changing has changed.