Posted by k4tzm4n (35233 posts) - - Show Bio

Some believe Bane is a man who relies on sheer strength. Others think Bane needs venom to pose a threat. Maybe some out there just think of Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises while picturing the character. And some may even think he's just a silly looking wrestler who earned a cheap victory over Batman. Well, we're here to set the record straight and tell you all why Bane is a noteworthy addition to the Dark Knight's rogues gallery and not just some dumb brute or Talia al Ghul's muscle. First and foremost, we understand a number of you may not be all that familiar with Bane, so we're going to recap the villain's origin and explain what makes him special.

Back in 1993, writer Chuck Dixon and artist Graham Nolan introduced to the world to Bane with BATMAN: VENGEANCE OF BANE #1 (Doug Moench also helped create the villain, but didn't work on the first appearance). Bane was born in a harsh prison called Pena Duro. Located in the fictional country Santa Prisca, Bane was forced to serve his father's sentence -- a life sentence. Calling the prison home made the child tough and, when his mother passed in front of him, he didn't shed a single tear. Shortly later, a creep name Puerco approached him, but a strong fellow named Trogg guarded the kid. During the scuffle, Bane fell over a ledge, smashing his face against the ground. While knocked out, he had a vision of himself from the future -- a tall, muscular man still in prison attire -- and this vision told Bane he is destined to rule the world and only fear stands in his way. His fear: a bat with glowing eyes. Bane awoke from this nightmare, killed the man who assaulted him, and then insulted the Warden upon getting in trouble for the crime. His punishment: over a decade in Cavidad Oscuro, a.k.a. the hole.

The pit was dug three centuries ago and often drives people mad or kills them. The cell was constructed low enough that high tide would flood it each and every day. So, on top of being infested with rats and crabs, Bane also had to fight to survive every day for more than ten years. Instead of crumbling under the weight of these challenges, Bane thrived. He had yet to learn how to read and write, but these challenges boosted his focus and determination. As Dixon wrote, "hatred gave him the strength to hold on. Hatred and the promise of the man he would become." This hardened both his personality and body and, while the lack of activity may take a toll on others, he overcame his fear and thought about slaying a giant bat. He went into the hole as a boy and he emerged as a man without fear. Unfortunately, that nickname was already taken.

Now free of the hole, Bane sharpened his mind, absorbing all of the knowledge he could. He quickly learned how to read and write, would breeze through three books a day, learned six different languages, and continued to read every book the library had to offer. When he completed the thousands of books in the library, he had hundreds more smuggled in, covering all different kinds of subjects. The villain was making sure his body was every bit as impressive as his brain, too. His daily workout consisted of a thousand push-ups, a thousand sit-ups, and a thousand pull-ups. The man wouldn't sleep, either. Instead of dozing off, he meditated for four hours per night. He was able to rule the prisoners and take down every challenger in his way, but the authorities had to step in when he killed more than thirty inmates.

It turns out the prison's infirmary was testing a drug called "venom" on inmates and no one survived the tests. Upon seeing Bane's strength, the decided to give it a shot with him. As we all know by now, the test was a success. The drug would not only boosted Bane's strength (Pre-52 Bane was debatably in the 1-2 ton range, but New 52 Bane is even stronger), but it also increased his pain tolerance. But Bane's aspirations go beyond being a test subject. He's heard Gotham is the greatest city and it's ruled by Batman, and he dreams of conquering it. So he told Bird, one of his numerous allies, about his plan to escape. Basically, he had such control over his body that he was able to lower his vitals to a point where the machines declared he was dead. The fiend was tossed into the water to serve as food for the sharks, but he was able to elude them and even killed one with his bare hands. He returned to the prison, tossed the warden into the shark infested waters, and stole a helicopter with his allies, Zombie, Tragg, and Bird. He finally arrived in Gotham and successful stalked the Dark Knight. Bane made his presence known to Batman and, before fading away, he promised that the hero would one day scream his name.

"Get in line" is exactly what Bane did. As you probably know, Bane crippled Batman by smashing the hero's back against his knee. If not, apologies for the way old spoiler. The humiliating defeat came after Bane and his forces released several villains and allowed them to create all kinds of chaos across Gotham. The constant need to clean up the streets took a huge toll on Batman. He was getting a minimal amount of sleep and the steady fighting was beginning to hinder his body and his mind. When he was at his lowest point, Bane was waiting for him right in his very own home. Yes, Bane was able to find out who's behind the mask and then dished out one of Batman's most embarrassing defeats. Now, some discredit Bane's victory by saying he assaulted Bruce when he was at his weakest, but that was the entire point. Batman was practically "broken" before Bane shattered his back. Bane wanted to destroy the "ruler of Gotham's" body and mind. And when Gotham's protector couldn't take much more, Bane was there to let the Justice Leauger know that he was behind all of this madness and he would be the one to deliver the final blow.

It was a display of tactics topped off with physical might. Could Bane -- while on venom -- defeat Batman while the he's at 100%? We've never seen that fight happen before the New 52 because Bane's off venom in all of their brawls after their encounter in Knightfall. Would Batman's equipment and clear mind allow him to overcome Bane's ferociousness, and might? We know Bane is very skilled, but he isn't as skilled as Bruce. Would his boosted physicals compensate for that gap and grant him the edge? Maybe, maybe not. The point is Bane wasn't afraid of Batman and didn't attack him when he was at his weakest due to a lack of confidence. The encounter was meant to utterly break Batman and that's exactly what it did. After breaking the Caped Crusader's back, Bane took the hero's limp body and tossed it onto the streets of Gotham. He accomplished the one thing he set out to do: defeat the Bat and take over Gotham.

Okay, so that was exactly a quick recap, but if you're going to know what makes a character unique, understanding where they come from and what they've experienced really is critical. Bane's origin story turned him into a being that could challenge Bruce Wayne on both a physical and mental level. He's skilled and conditioned enough to engage Batman in hand-to-hand combat, and even Ra's al Ghul has praised Bane's sharp mind. Some villains can mess with Batman's mind and his personal life and others tend to offer purely physical challenges. Bane's intellect and gifted physicals and skills as a combatant means he has unlimited potential when it comes to opposing Batman on both levels.

Bane's grip on Gotham obviously didn't last forever and a man named Jean-Paul Valley assumed Batman's mantle. He was the one to savagely defeat Bane by severing his connection to venom and then dishing out an absolutely brutal beating. Some reflect on this fight -- as well as appearances Bane has in TV, movies, etc -- and think it means one can easy best Bane by cutting off his supply on venom. However, it worked in that fight because it was the very first time Bane truly suffered withdrawal. He was addicted to this drug and when he was cut off from it, he lost his mind and panicked. He was no longer able to fight and all that makes him formidable quickly faded away. As you know after reading his origin, he's plenty frightening without venom, but he was an addict at that point and, in his time of need, he couldn't get his fix. He became a mess and tried to flee, but Jean-Paul Valley showed no remorse.

Bane's an intelligent and confident man, so after this violent defeat, he realized he doesn't need venom to be the man he wants to be and, if anything, it's a weakness. In fact, his most commendable and entertaining fights are off venom. He was tempted every now and then to use the drug and went back on in in SECRET SIX (a thoroughly excellent series, by the way), but a good amount of his appearances are off the drug and he was every bit as dangerous. He swiftly defeated Dick Grayson two times in a row, gave Batman a tough fight at least twice, and had a remarkable rematch with Jean-Paul Valley. Needless to say, venom doesn't define who he is and he's perfectly capable of thriving without it.

The New 52 brought various changes to several characters and, of course, Bane was one of them. In this new universe, Bane still broke Batman's back, but he's back on venom in the current stories and the drug is far more powerful. His physicals have been boosted and, in his first story arc in the New 52, he appeared to be unstoppable against Batman. He showed no signs of skill and technique, but he claimed to be smarter than before, faster, and most definitely stronger. During Forever Evil, a venom fueled Bane took over Gotham and claimed to be the new Batman. He had no problem beating all of the villains that stood in his way. However, when Batman returned, the two engaged in a fierce slugfest and the Dark Knight walked away as the victor.

Bane may be a stern man, but he's more than just rage and strength. We've seen a more compelling side of him as he fell for Talia al Ghul and had a strong desire to protect Scandal Savage. There's no doubt about it that he's a villain, but in a twisted sense, he wants to protect Gotham and previous writers have successfully worked past his callous nature and shown his more vulnerable side. The New 52 has displayed Bane as a physical and ruthless obstacle that wants to rule, but they've yet to show a more humanizing approach to the character. A long, bloody and dark road molded Bane into the man he is today, and that character has the potential to be the primary antagonist in a gripping story that shows off his mind and emotions. There's more to Bane than just muscles and he deserves a New 52 story that shows this.

Bane's humiliated Batman, earned Ra's al Ghul's respect, and has a thoroughly impressive body and mind that allows him to compete with a wide variety of obstacles. Despite what some may think, he doesn't require venom to make a name for himself and addressing his addiction opens the door to more engaging dialogue. He's cold and calculating, but there's so much possibility when it comes to giving us insight into the character and putting him on a path that's loaded with action and emotion. He doesn't even need to have his big story in Batman's title, either. Imagine if he became the threat in SUICIDE SQUAD, GREEN ARROW, or BIRDS OF PREY? There's plenty of room for new character dynamics to explore there and it would avoid familiarity. Bane's had some exciting brawls and cameos in the New 52, but we're really hoping he will one day be the focus of a phenomenal story.

Staff
#1 Posted by TommytheHitman (3565 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh... I would love to see Bane VS Green Arrow or the Suicide Squad...

#2 Posted by StMichalofWilson (4260 posts) - - Show Bio

Bane is a great character. Hope future story arcs in any Batman or DC comic use more of him

#4 Edited by superior_prime_maybe (575 posts) - - Show Bio

Sadly, this is how i was introduced to Bane.
I was amazed to see him talk in BTAS

#5 Posted by Radx_Konkin75 (92 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice article, yo.

#7 Posted by pingclang (268 posts) - - Show Bio

One of my favorite villains in Batman`s gallery. Actually, the only villain I like more is Scarecrow. Bane is one mean dude and what I love most about him is the fact that yes, he does appear to be a brute and a musclehead but he's actually vastly intelligent. He and Bats aren't so different in that regard. Both are strong, smart and skilled, making him a great counter to Batman`s own ability. Great article.

Oh... I would love to see Bane VS Green Arrow or the Suicide Squad...

GA and Bane should have crossed paths since Bane`s creation. That would be an amazing fight to behold.

#8 Posted by TheAmazingImmortalMan (4137 posts) - - Show Bio

Great Article! I really enjoyed reading this

#9 Posted by Techherofan (71 posts) - - Show Bio

Bane is such an underrated character mostly due to to media portrayal as a roid monkey. Underneath all those muscles lies the mind of a tactical genius Arkham War and Knight Fall are two great showing of that.

#10 Posted by Black_Arrow (4332 posts) - - Show Bio

Very awesome article.

#11 Posted by BigCimmerian (9127 posts) - - Show Bio

He's my favorite Batman villain.

#12 Edited by comicace3 (7066 posts) - - Show Bio
Such a bada$$

#13 Posted by MrTummyTumms (926 posts) - - Show Bio

Haha just watch. Tomorrow there's going to be an announcement that Bane is getting his own solo book. Just like what happened when they did the Deathstroke article.

#14 Posted by johnny_blaze (1161 posts) - - Show Bio

Green Arrow vs. Bane just makes sense. He's one of my favorite villains ever. An ongoing is needed.

#15 Posted by Jayc1324 (14172 posts) - - Show Bio

Awesome article. Bane is my number three batman villain.

#16 Posted by The_Titan_Lord (7216 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice

#17 Posted by Golden Cod (464 posts) - - Show Bio

@techherofan said:

Bane is such an underrated character mostly due to to media portrayal as a roid monkey. Underneath all those muscles lies the mind of a tactical genius Arkham War and Knight Fall are two great showing of that.

You should watch the Young Justice episode featuring him if you haven't. His intellect / pragmatism really shines through.

#18 Edited by AmazingWebHead (5097 posts) - - Show Bio

Bane is one of my 3 favorite Batman villains, just below the Joker, but right above Mr. Freeze.

I like versions like BTAS and Arkham Origins, where he only starts pumping venom after he's already been throwing Batman around for a few minutes.

I think it would be kinda cool to see Bane in "Arrow", and Ollie has to team up with one of the Bat-Clan to beat him.

Online
#19 Edited by Jayc1324 (14172 posts) - - Show Bio

He needs a new 52 batman story with him as the main villain that shows how awesome he is. Him getting beat up by batman while on venom kind of made him seem weak, in comparison to batman

#20 Posted by viin (773 posts) - - Show Bio

there needs to be a poll on the best batman villain...though i would guess Joker would win.

#21 Edited by AllStarSuperman (23259 posts) - - Show Bio

He also punched through concrete.

#22 Posted by GraniteSoldier (9318 posts) - - Show Bio

Bane is my second favorite Batman rogue behind the Riddler. Bane is in so many ways what Bruce COULD have become, and the impressive thing about Bane is while he may have lost to Batman in the past he has shown that his resolve and will is arguably stronger than Bruce's. Bane is a villain that in some twisted way believes himself to be a hero, it's the same aspect that makes Sinestro so appealing. It'd make for a great ongoing that I most certainly would read.

#23 Edited by baneofdemon22 (526 posts) - - Show Bio

"Bane's an intelligent and confident man, so after this violent defeat, he realized he doesn't need venom to be the man he wants to be and, if anything, it's a weakness. In fact, his most commendable and entertaining fights are off venom."

THANK YOU! Bane is my all time favorite villain, so I really appreciate this article! Great write-up!

#24 Posted by justice teen (502 posts) - - Show Bio

Sadly, this is how i was introduced to Bane.

I was amazed to see him talk in BTAS

Same for me and first impressions go a long ways, so whenever Bane is brought up I instantly hate it.

#25 Posted by mak13131313 (872 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article!

#26 Edited by TommytheHitman (3565 posts) - - Show Bio

...the only reason Cap won was because the plot demanded it.

#27 Edited by CaptainHoopla (1250 posts) - - Show Bio

Excellent, well written, and presented article. Great job Gregg, I enjoyed reading this.

#28 Posted by saoakden (1027 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Bane. Bane is one of my favorite Batman villains. Pretty interesting character. I want to see him during Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo's run on Batman.

#29 Posted by Dark_Stranger (86 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice article.

Though in all honesty, never cared much for Bane and still don't, he's alright an all .. but never really appealed to me like some others I do like an prefer.

Such as Scarecrow (who seems to be taking a center role in the new Arkham game coming out in 2015 :D), Ra's Al Ghul, Poison Ivy, Riddler, etc.

#30 Edited by HushoftheWind (1128 posts) - - Show Bio

@tommythehitman said:

...the only reason Cap won was because the plot demanded it.

yeah Cap's shield is the embodiment of PIS lol

#31 Edited by Mars8254 (68 posts) - - Show Bio

Fell in love with the character after dark knight rises. Every time I read Bane I give him Tom Hardy voice now.

#32 Edited by BaneStrokeLoboGrundyBatArrow (1411 posts) - - Show Bio

I have to post on this one. Bane is UNDOUBTEDLY THE BEST BATMAN VILLAIN EVER. I always dreamed of a comic solely focused on Bane and Forever Evil did not quench my thirst for such an amazing character. Thank you for writing this article Gregg Katzman. You have gotten on point who Bane is and what every fan wants to see.

#33 Posted by THEOCITYLEGEND (1337 posts) - - Show Bio

Forever my favorite Batman villain

#34 Posted by Cave_Duck (965 posts) - - Show Bio

Bane is such an underrated character mostly due to to media portrayal as a roid monkey. Underneath all those muscles lies the mind of a tactical genius Arkham War and Knight Fall are two great showing of that.

Agreed, the way he "adopted" the mantle of the Bat because all the criminals feared it was a cool move.

Great article!

Online
#35 Posted by MyNameIsWill (405 posts) - - Show Bio

@techherofan said:

Bane is such an underrated character mostly due to to media portrayal as a roid monkey. Underneath all those muscles lies the mind of a tactical genius Arkham War and Knight Fall are two great showing of that.

Agreed, the way he "adopted" the mantle of the Bat because all the criminals feared it was a cool move.

Great article!

^

#36 Posted by vandinejd_1991 (384 posts) - - Show Bio

YES!!!! I agree completely on this.

#37 Posted by entropy_aegis (15618 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article k4tz.

#38 Posted by k4tzm4n (35233 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice article, yo.

One of my favorite villains in Batman`s gallery. Actually, the only villain I like more is Scarecrow. Bane is one mean dude and what I love most about him is the fact that yes, he does appear to be a brute and a musclehead but he's actually vastly intelligent. He and Bats aren't so different in that regard. Both are strong, smart and skilled, making him a great counter to Batman`s own ability. Great article.

@tommythehitman said:

Oh... I would love to see Bane VS Green Arrow or the Suicide Squad...

GA and Bane should have crossed paths since Bane`s creation. That would be an amazing fight to behold.

Great Article! I really enjoyed reading this

Very awesome article.

@jayc1324 said:

Awesome article. Bane is my number three batman villain.

"Bane's an intelligent and confident man, so after this violent defeat, he realized he doesn't need venom to be the man he wants to be and, if anything, it's a weakness. In fact, his most commendable and entertaining fights are off venom."

THANK YOU! Bane is my all time favorite villain, so I really appreciate this article! Great write-up!

Great article!

Excellent, well written, and presented article. Great job Gregg, I enjoyed reading this.

I have to post on this one. Bane is UNDOUBTEDLY THE BEST BATMAN VILLAIN EVER. I always dreamed of a comic solely focused on Bane and Forever Evil did not quench my thirst for such an amazing character. Thank you for writing this article Gregg Katzman. You have gotten on point who Bane is and what every fan wants to see.

@techherofan said:

Bane is such an underrated character mostly due to to media portrayal as a roid monkey. Underneath all those muscles lies the mind of a tactical genius Arkham War and Knight Fall are two great showing of that.

Agreed, the way he "adopted" the mantle of the Bat because all the criminals feared it was a cool move.

Great article!

YES!!!! I agree completely on this.

Great article k4tz.

Wow, thanks for being so kind to me, internet! Glad you all had a good time reading it, because I most definitely had fun writing it.

Staff
#39 Edited by Rangerion (63 posts) - - Show Bio

He gets strength by sheer not giving up. But given his "aquatic growth," I thought he would be familiar with the sea and take some ocean-going elements. Well, at least Aquaman didn't come in to sequester all the fish. "Thanks for all the fish." LOL

#40 Posted by Chronicjihad (24 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice article, I enjoyed reading it.

No telling how much damage the Shumacher Batman & Robin movie did to Bane's image.

#41 Posted by k4tzm4n (35233 posts) - - Show Bio

He gets strength by sheer not giving up. But given his "aquatic growth," I thought he would be familiar with the sea and take some ocean-going elements. Well, at least Aquaman didn't come in to sequester all the fish. "Thanks for all the fish." LOL

AQUABANE!

Nice article, I enjoyed reading it.

No telling how much damage the Shumacher Batman & Robin movie did to Bane's image.

Thank you.

Staff
#42 Posted by GillaDro (249 posts) - - Show Bio

@superior_prime_maybe said:

Sadly, this is how i was introduced to Bane.

I was amazed to see him talk in BTAS

Same for me and first impressions go a long ways, so whenever Bane is brought up I instantly hate it.

All this

#43 Edited by MrDirector786 (43698 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article. Truth be told, Bane is my personal favorite Batman villain.

#44 Posted by matanui123 (387 posts) - - Show Bio

In my opinion Bane is second to only the Joker himself as far as Batman villains go.

#45 Posted by k4tzm4n (35233 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article. Truth be told, Bane is my personal favorite Batman villain.

Thank you. Same here! :D

In my opinion Bane is second to only the Joker himself as far as Batman villains go.

It seems like many agree! Who's your 3rd?

Staff