"Beyond a Shadow"
Batman has been observing Kate Kane from afar in the hope of proving that she is the civilian identity of Batwoman. In order to accomplish this, he dons numerous disguises. Dressed as a groundskeeper, he watches her visit the same grave that she has visited every week. He recognizes the look in her eyes as that of someone mourning family, which is no surprise given that her mother and twin sister Beth were murdered before her eyes. In the guise of a homeless veteran, he stakes out the Kane building, noting that Kate rarely leaves it during the day. She receives frequent visits from her father Jacob Kane, but refuses to see him. Batman infers that he and Kate have fallen out, but surmises that Jacob can't be all bad, as he was kind enough to give money to Batman's cover identity.
At night, Kate tends to go out to the clubs, keeping up the appearance of a stereotypical young socialite. Bruce is unsure as to whether this persona is genuine, or if it is merely a case of avoidance, given her troubled past. He marvels at her ability to legitimately let go on the dance floor - something he could never let himself do. She is apparently not above picking up a casual date for the night, in any case. Later, he loses her in the warehouse district, and wonders where she learned to use the shadows like that.
He watches her at a book store, spending time with her cousin Betty Kane, who acts as Flamebird with the Teen Titans, giving further credence to the idea that Kate may also be a vigilante. Batman attempts to bump into Kate in order to see which books she has picked up. They are all on the occult, and he guesses that it must be for research, unless she's simply interested in the subject.
Finally, he decides to test her reflexes. While putting on his disguise, he realizes that if Kate is Batwoman, she must also wear a wig, and he muses at how the simplest changes can make the best disguises. Dressed as a thug, Batman sneaks up on Kate and tries his best to feign a genuine intent to harm her. She picks up on his movements and uses solid precision to take him out. The move she used doesn't exist in any fighting style, and Batman considers that she must have invented it. It's not just the move that gives her away, though; it's the look in her eyes. Eyes that say she won't ever be a victim again.
In addition to his daytime investigation, Batman watches Batwoman from afar. She has tracked her targets for a week, and finally found a gang of members of the Religion of Crime carrying a sarcophagus that he doesn't recognize. They are led by an acolyte called "Sister Shard." Dick has reported that there seems to be an ongoing feud between Batwoman and the cult. He evaluates her combat skills, and notes that her obvious military training fits with Kate Kane's history in the military prior to being dismissed under "Don't Ask Don't Tell."
She can handle larger thugs well, but Shard's cybernetics arm is more than she bargained for. The cybernetics are unpredictable and powerful, and Batman wonders if he will be forced to step in. Resourcefully, Batwoman places an explosive device on the arm, blasting it apart and leaving Shard with a stump. Batman deduces that specialized tech points to someone with great wealth or military and industrial contacts - which Kate Kane has. With shard defeated, Batwoman escapes in time to avoid being caught by Det. Sawyer and the GCPD.
Now, Batman is certain that Kate Kane is Batwoman. In addition to her training and instincts, she has that hole inside her that can't ever be filled; the drive to continue fighting. He decides that it might be time to meet her and have a serious discussion about the future.
"Beyond a Shadow"
- Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- Colonel Jacob Kane
- Flamebird (Bette Kane)
- Religion of Crime
- Maggie Sawyer (Cameo)
- Gotham City
- High Hills Cemetery
- Kane building
- Coming Soon