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!!!!