Katana has been framed for the muder of mob boss Whitey Blackmon with security camera footage incriminating her. Batman and Katana decide to split up and follow their own leads. Katana breaks into Gotham Supermax Prison and interrogates Battleaxe, who she sent to prison there. Realizing that Battleaxe has an aliibi, Katana figures Battleaxe is using one of her three apprentices to impersonate Katana. Katana shares her informatiion with Batman who provides her with pictures of each apprentice holding a weapon. The faux Katana then attacks the real Katana. Katana loses the fight on purpose in order to follow her imitator as she departs to go after Tobias Whale, where Batman, in disguise, has already infiltrated Whale's meeting. A fight ensues and the fake Katana gets away, but is tracked to a hotel where our heroes capture her – with Batman deduces which apprentice was the imposter – as she was the only one who held her weapon in her left hand in the picture as Katana does. The other apprentices held their weapons in their right hands.
I've missed Mike W. Barr's writing; hopefully, we'll see more of it somewhere. I liked the bit of detective work on Batman's part figuring out who the imposter was and seeing how he arrived at the answer. (If this were a silver-age story, I'm sure there were be a blurb like "Reader, did you guess what Batman saw and how he knew who the imposter was?") We do have to suspend any disbelief that all three apprentices are the approximate same height and build as Katana. As with the previous issue, there are events in this continuity that we don't know when they took place; who is Battleaxe and when did Katana previously encounter her? Ah, well. We had action! We had detective work! Not bad for a story aimed at a younger audience.
Beware the Batman #5:
Reviewed by Chris Karnes