Bane: Who is the Man Who Broke the Bat?

A Baneful Venom

Bane: [hoisting Batman over his head] “I am Bane and I could kill you, but death would end your agony… and silence your shame. Instead, I shall simply [slams Batman’s back on his knee, breaking it] BREAK YOU!

Batman: Knightfall

A dictator runs for his life. An unknown assassin has broken into his home and murdered the guards as he pursues his target. Their dying screams fall silent as the dictator enters a panic room and a heavy steel door locks into place. All is silent for a minute. He hears someone approach the door and sigh, the sound of something twisting, and liquid flowing.

The vault door shakes as something hits it. Twice more it shakes as the steel bends and breaks. Another blow shatters the door, shrapnel cutting the dictator. He looks up and sees the assassin whose muscles bulge unnaturally. The assassin rears back and kills the dictator with one punch. The assassin turns a dial, ending the liquid’s flow. His mission complete, Bane leaves the bloodstained panic room.

Bane is Gotham City’s most dangerous villain. He may look like a brainless bruiser, but he was able to outsmart, outfight, and even break Batman. So who is he? Where did he come from? How did he become so strong? Let’s find out. To the next section, vamanos!

Sins of the Father: Bane’s Backstory

Bane:You think the darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn’t see the light until I was already a man; by then, it was nothing to me but blinding!

The Dark Knight Rises

Bane debuted in Batman: Vengeance of Bane in 1993. He was created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Graham Nolan as a dark version of pulp hero Doc Savage with elements of The Count of Monte Cristo and Mexican lucha libre mixed in.

The child who became Bane was jailed before he was even born. His father was a revolutionary trying to depose the corrupt government of fictional country Santa Prisca. He eventually fled the revolution, which led to the arrest of his pregnant wife. She was thrown into the hellish prison Pena’ Duro, where Bane was born.

Santa Prisca’s government sentenced the newborn to life imprisonment. The inmates raised Bane as best as they could. An imprisoned Jesuit taught the child science, math, and literature. Others taught him how to fight and survive. But the teacher he paid the most attention to was a crook from America who told the child about his hometown Gotham City and its protector, Batman.

The child dreamed that night that his future self told him he could become the strongest person by slaying the bat. He threw himself into his studies, earning the name Bane when he killed an inmate at only eight years old, a precursor to becoming the inmate leader as an adult.

Fearing his growing influence, the warden had scientists experiment on Bane. They injected him with a fatal dose of a combat drug called Venom, but it only made him stronger. He killed the warden, orchestrated a jailbreak, and left Santa Prisca. Next stop: Gotham City.

Knightfall: Bane’s History

Bruce Wayne:You… You know who I-
Bane:You could be no one else. This “Bruce Wayne” is a mask, and one that no longer serves any purpose. [activates his Venom injector] Although mine still does.

Batman #497

Bane began hunting Batman after deducing that his target was Bruce Wayne. He attacked Arkham Asylum and released the supervillains imprisoned there. He bided his time, letting Batman run himself ragged re-capturing the rogues’ gallery. When the time was right, he infiltrated Wayne Manor and attacked Batman.

Despite a valiant battle, Batman was defeated when Bane broke his back on his knee. Bane ruled Gotham City while Bruce activated contingency plans and sought a way to heal his back. A vigilante called Azrael became the new, anti-heroic Batman and attacked Bane. Azrael broke Bane’s Venom injector and beat him nearly to death.

Bane eventually recovered from his injuries and realized that he was addicted to Venom after going through withdrawal in solitary confinement. Bane escaped from jail again and became a mercenary. There were plans for a storyline revealing that Thomas Wayne was his father, but they never made it to print.

Bane later joined a mercenary team called the Secret Six, serving as the voice of reason for his goofier comrades. He grew close to teammate Scandal Savage, eventually becoming a father figure to the young assassin. The Secret Six were eventually ambushed and arrested by a small army of superheroes, but Bane was shown already planning to reunite with his team.

Venomous: Bane’s Powers and Personality

[Bane sees Scandal in danger]
Bane:Scandal. Only…only for you would I do this. [pulls out a vial of Venom] Off the wagon, my adopted daughter. I fall.” –

Secret Six: Money For Murder

Bane is often incorrectly dismissed as helpless without Venom. He can lift fifteen tons without the drug, is an expert gymnast, and has created his own style of martial arts. Bane is also a tactical genius with an eidetic memory and fluently speaks fourteen languages.

Venom is Bane’s signature tool. It is a variant of the Miraclo Formula that powered the hero Hourman mixed with steroids and aggression enhancers. It boosts Bane’s strength to superhuman levels. While he won’t win any arm-wrestling contests against Doomsday, he is strong enough to throw cars. The downside is that Venom is highly addictive with potentially lethal withdrawal symptoms.

Bane is arrogant, overly-dramatic, and yells a lot when he is on Venom. Without it, he is far more zen and affable. He keeps to a strict, but ill-defined, code of conduct and goes out of his way to protect those he considers innocent. Despite his good qualities, Bane is more than willing to commit crimes, even murder if he feels the situation calls for it.

The Actors Who Play Bane

Bane first appeared in Batman: the Animated Series where he was voiced by character actor Henry Silva. Joaquim de Almeida voiced the role in The Batman, but was later replaced by Ron Perlman and Clancy Brown. Star Trek’s Michael Dorn voiced Bane in Batman: the Brave and the Bold. Machete’s Danny Trejo voiced him in Young Justice. Finally, comedian James Adomian voices the role in Harley Quinn.

Bane has appeared in several direct-to-DVD movies voiced by Reno 911’s Carlos Alazraqui. Professional wrestler Robert “Jeep” Swenson played a bastardized Bane in Batman and Robin. Action movie star Tom Hardy played a more accurate version of the character in The Dark Knight Rises. He would later go on to star in Venom, meaning that Tom Hardy has played two supervillains powered by Venom.

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Comments

  • Kevin Brand

    June 4, 2020 at 9:55 am
    Reply

    I absolutely love Bane. I think, they did a very good job in bringing him from the comics to the The Dark Knight Rises movies. Tom Hardy's voice is just exhilarating.

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