Batman #486, “Heavy Metalhead,” November 1992, written by Doug Moench, penciled by Jim Aparo
After Batman’s botched attempt to bring down the Black Mask (seriously, the word “down” used in the “take down” sense is used SO MANY TIMES in this issue), he gets super gritty and works himself to the edge, refusing to eat and sleep until he catches Black Mask. To illustrate this, Batman gets a nose bleed on page one and then lets it bleed throughout the issue. I wish I was making that up. An encounter with a crazy spiked-up guy named Metalhead, who is somehow even more intense than a starving sleep-deprived Batman, illustrates to Batman that obsession ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
What the 26 year old thinks: When you call a comic “extremely ’90s,” half the time you’re referring to big boobs, guns and pouchespouchespouches. The other half of the time you’re referring to needlessly violent and excessive brooding. This issue falls into the latter category. Oh man, guys, Batman gets a nose bleed and just refuses to take are of it! And man, is he serious about not taking care of it. The issue is fine, plot-wise, and if you just took out the nose bleed thing and switched out Metalhead for ANYONE else less ridiculous, it would be fine.
What the 8 year old thinks: This might be too much for him! Metalhead is legit creepy, at least as creepy as the trolls were in Ernest Scared Stupid. And the grim and gritty Batman is not as much fun as the one on Fox weekday afternoons.
Verdict: "Oh man there’s so much blood in this issue, it’s like Batman is Jean-Claude Van Damme! It’s too bad Michael Keaton is gonna be Batman forever, JCVD is way tougher!"