There's a lot of misconceptions surrounding the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises villain. Some think he's an idiotic roid head, while others think he's some absurdly muscular creature that could grapple with the Hulk. I'm here to set the record straight on all things Bane. Consider this your go-to guide before walking into the third (and final) Batman movie by Christopher Nolan on July 20.
Comic Origin vs Movie Origin
Bane and Bruce Wayne were born into this world under completely different circumstances. Little baby Bruce was brought into an environment of luxury and wealth. Meanwhile, south of the United States, Bane was born into the dark and violent setting of an island prison. But, why was Bane born into a prison? What could possibly be the reason to force an innocent child into such a life? Well, Bane's father was a revolutionary and was able to elude Santa Prisca's authorities. They weren't too fond of that, so the flawed government decided that his son would be sentenced for his father's crimes. The Batman villain had a life sentence before even learning to walk.
It was adapt or die for Bane. Surrounded by death and brutality, it wasn't long before that cruel world came crashing down on him. While wee Wayne was enjoying a play, Bane was hiding a knife in a teddy bear he named 'Osoito.' A man by the name of Trogg saved the young Bane from an attacker, but in the process Bane was hit off a ledge and knocked out. While unconscious, he had a vision of his future-self and the grown up version delivered a powerful message. He said the world was his to conquer, but only one thing stands in his way: fear. Abolish that emotion and he will be second to none. Bane woke abruptly and took the message to heart. He equipped his knife and paid a visit to the man who tried to attack him. He slaughtered the man and as a result was thrown into the hole, an isolation well that would flood every night and was infested with rats. This experience made him tough as nails, and when he was finally released about ten years later, the inmates viewed him as a legend.
Bane then carried on the path his future-self spoke of. Not a moment of any day was wasted for Bane. He read every book he could to sharpen his mind. He learned multiple languages and soaked in every bit of information that he could. His mind wasn't the only part of his body getting a workout either. Bane did a ridiculous workout routine daily which consisted of a thousand push ups, a thousand sit ups, and a thousand pull ups.
Inmates often spoke of Gotham City, and since he had never seen anything beyond the island first-hand, the city fascinated him. What especially interested him was hearing about the man who rules the city: Batman. Bane was determined to destroy this man, and in turn, rule the city. In the meantime, he regularly killed any challengers, but one day authorities had to take him down when the body count reached over thirty. It turns out they were experimenting on the inmates with a drug called venom. Bane was the first subject in the prison to survive the injection of strength enhancing fluids to the brain, but he knew there was only one way off the island... and that was death. The man was able to will his vitals down to the point where machines declared him dead and they tossed his body out into the sea. Bane killed a shark or two (take that, Jaws) and then was able to break his friends out of the prison (Trogg, Zombie, Bird). From here, he heads to Gotham and aims to "break that bat."
Not much has been revealed yet about the villain's origin in the movie so far, but we have heard a few tidbits of information. Recently a TV spot was released and it appears Alfred knows a bit about Bane. During the 30 second spot, Alfred remarks that Bane was "born and raised in Hell on Earth." While it might not be an island prison, it definitely sounds like Tom Hardy's take on the character has faced a life of misfortune that has crafted him into smart and tough Bat-baddie and certainly pays respect to the comic counter-part's origin.
Comic Venom vs Movie Venom
In the primary DC universe, Bane was used as a test subject for the drug venom. When the fluid pumps into his brain, it essentially works as a superhuman steroid. His muscle mass increases, thus making him stronger (he can lift a maximum of 2-3 tons), slightly more durable due to the muscles growing in size, and he claimed it would also kill his pain. Despite what many think, using venom doesn't turn Bane into a rampaging mad man. He's lost his cool while using venom a few times, but those were totally different circumstances (his first case of withdrawal from the drug turned him into an emotional wreck, and another time it brought him back from death's door and he was pissed over how he was being treated). Long story short, it just makes him stronger than any human, but not nearly strong enough where he's going to be throwing down with some of the more popular powerhouses.
Director Christopher Nolan's movieverse is dark and grounded in realism. Having a superhuman strong guy throwing down with Bruce feels just a bit out of place, doesn't it? So, it looks like movie Bane is on a drug (they haven't said whether it's being called venom) that does take one attribute from the comic counter-part: it numbs his pain. Nolan's Bane suffered a critical injury at a younger age, and apparently it was so severe that he requires a constant dose of the anesthetic so he can cope with the physical trauma. So as far as I know so far, the drug does nothing to boost his strength.
As shown with the trailers and the viral marketing map of Gotham, Bane has rather destructive plans for Gotham City. He claims to be "Gotham's reckoning" and has an elaborate plan set-up across the city. From apparently creating a hostage situation at their equivalent of Wall Street to blowing up bridges and other locations, Bane's goal of using chaos to rule the city is quite similar to "Knightfall." In that '90s event, Bane released a flood of villains to wear down Batman physically and mentally. When Wayne couldn't take anymore, Bane broke his back and tossed the hero into the street for all to see what he had accomplished. We've already seen a break-out in Arkham Asylum (Batman Begins), but we do know Bane releases the inmates from some kind of incarceration facility. Whether or not it's Arkham Asylum has yet to be revealed.
There's a lot of rumors circulating around actress Marion Cotillard's character. She's credited on IMDB as playing Miranda Tate, but it seems more and more likely that the character is really Talia al Ghul. Liam Neeson is confirmed as making a return as her father, Ra's al Ghul, but we don't know how significant his role is. It might just be a flashback. However, if that's the case, this appears heavily inspired by the short series Bane of the Demon. Bane teamed up with the legendary Batman villain and had a rather awkward relationship with his daughter. It's possible this flashback will connect Bane to the villain from Batman Begins and he'll strike Gotham with Miranda Tate's character at his side.
At the moment there's limited information on Tom Hardy's Bane, but from what we do know, it's clear he's going to make the comic counter-part proud. Regardless of your feelings surrounding the costume changes, he looks like he'll have the might to put a beating on Batman (seeing him drop that cowl gives me goosebumps) and the raw intellect to bring Gotham to its dirty knees. Even if you don't like the costume, we can at least agree it beats the hell out of his appearance inBatman & Robin.