|Adaptations of Bane in other media|
A mannequin of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises
|Created by||Chuck Dixon
|Original source||Comics published by DC Comics|
|First appearance||Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993)|
|Films and television|
|Film(s)||Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
Justice League: Doom (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Batman Ninja (2018)
|Batman: The Animated Series (1994)
The New Batman Adventures (1997)
Superman: The Animated Series (1998)
Batman Beyond (1999)
The Batman (2004)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008)
Young Justice (2010)
Justice League Action (2016)
Bane was originally a comic book character and Batman's adversary, but has appeared in several other forms of media. He has been portrayed by Robert Swenson in Batman & Robin, and by Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises.
Henry Silva, Joaquim de Almeida, Ron Perlman, Clancy Brown, Michael Dorn, Danny Trejo, Héctor Elizondo, Carlos Alazraqui, Fred Tatasciore, Jason Liebrecht, Steven Blum, JB Blanc, and Doug Benson have all provided voice work for the character. Peter Marinker voices Bane in the radio adaption of Batman: Knightfall.
Even though the producers were reluctant to use the character as they felt his comic incarnation was too gimmicky, Bane still appeared in the DC Animated Universe, voiced primarily by Henry Silva. He used a strong Latin American accent in Batman: The Animated Series, but later uses an American accent for subsequent appearances.
Bane made his animated debut in the Batman: The Animated Series episode entitled Bane. This incarnation was an inmate of a Cuban prison meant to contain the most dangerous convicts ever captured. While in the prison, Bane gained genius level intellect by reading as many books as he could, eventually learning of Gotham's vigilante Batman. Bane (who was already trained to physical peak) was then chosen as a test subject for a government project to create super-soldiers with the experimental steroid Venom, granting superhuman strength and durability. After escaping Cuba, he hired out his services as an articulate professional assassin. In his self-titled episode "Bane", he is hired by crime boss Rupert Thorne to assassinate Batman and accepts the job, as he believes defeating Batman will cement his reputation within Gotham City's underworld, eventually taking over Thorne's criminal empire with the help of the secretary Candice. After getting Batman's attention by wrecking the Batmobile with his bare hands, severely beating Killer Croc and kidnapping Robin (Dick Grayson), a climactic battle results in Bane attempting to break Batman's back. However, the Dark Knight causes Bane's Venom pump module to malfunction using a batarang, resulting in a rapid and uncontrollable feed of the drug. Batman then disables Bane's pump module, stopping the flow of Venom and causing Bane to pass out. Batman later delivers Bane's limp body to Thorne, and provides Thorne with proof of Bane's eventual treachery.
Bane returns in The New Batman Adventures, and was given a redesign to make him look like both a physical threat and an intellectual one, as the producers felt his last physical appearance was not menacing enough. His outfit is now completely made of black leather, and his traditional wrestler mask has been traded for a black gimp mask, making Bane appear far more intimidating. In the episode "Over the Edge", Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl's death at the Scarecrow's hands causes Commissioner James Gordon to blame Batman for not telling him of his daughter's alter ego. After the police force failed to capture Batman, Gordon granted Bane an early release from Stonegate Penitentiary in exchange for assistance in the Caped Crusader's apprehension. Knowing that Batman would watch Barbara's funeral from afar, Gordon had his men positioned on various buildings. After being spotted, Batman attempted to flee, but is instead confronted by Bane. The two then fought on Gotham's rooftops, with the battle eventually ending on top of the GCPD headquarters, where Bane prepared to kill the Dark Knight. When Gordon tried to stop the villain from doing so, Bane quickly turned on the Commissioner. But before Bane could kill Gordon, Batman cut Bane's Venom tube and attached the device to the broken Bat-Signal, delivering a severe electrical shock. While Batman reached over the edge to save Gordon, Bane used the last of his strength to knock the two off of the building with the Bat-Signal before collapsing unconscious. However, it is later revealed that the entire episode was merely Barbara Gordon's fear-induced nightmare caused by the Scarecrow's toxin.
Bane later appears in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Knight Time", where he returns to Gotham with a new, enhanced form of Venom. During Batman's mysterious disappearance (due to being brainwashed by the supervillain Brainiac), Bane conspired with the Riddler and the Mad Hatter to take over Gotham during the Dark Knight's absence. But when the villains met to discuss their scheme, they are interrupted by Superman (posing as Batman) and Robin (Tim Drake). At first, Bane managed to subdue "Batman" by burying him in a pile of rubble, though the hero surprises Bane by emerging and demonstrating superhuman strength. And although Bane was stronger than ever, the Man of Steel was ultimately able to pummel the villain into submission.
Bane appears as one of the antagonists in the 2003 direct-to-video animated movie Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, now voiced by Héctor Elizondo. In the film, Bane is hired by the Penguin and Rupert Thorne to help protect an arms deal with the Kaznian military from Batwoman, as their "muscle" Carlton Duquesne has been unable to do so ever since the vigilante's emergence. When meeting with the crime bosses to discuss his employment as their enforcer, Bane demands full control of the Penguin's operations, and reassures his benefactors that he will kill Batwoman should she interfere with their plans. After capturing Batwoman aboard Penguin's yacht, Bane reveals to his employers that the female vigilante's apparent secret identity is Kathy Duquesne, much to the surprise of her father Carlton. After Batman frees Kathy and the two escape, Bane uses Carlton as a hostage to lure Batman and Batwoman to him. As Kathy rescues her father, Bane fights Batman aboard the burning yacht where the villain severely injures the Dark Knight after a long and brutal battle. However, the Caped Crusader manages to cut Bane's Venom supply with Rocky Ballantine's advanced alloy, and Bane then falls into a pit of fire to his presumed death (although Batman Beyond makes it clear that he survived).
Bane makes a cameo appearance in Batman Beyond. In the episode "The Winning Edge", Bane's Venom formula is delivered in patch form as an influx called 'slappers' and distributed on the streets of the future version of Gotham and even given to teenagers, including Mason Forrest (voiced by Ian Ziering). The new Batman (Terry McGinnis) encounters Mason and his two friends burglarizing stores, resulting in Mason using some slappers to easily overpower Batman and make their escape. After Terry sees Mason acquiring slappers from a supplier, Bane is initially suspected to be the supplier. But after tracking him down, Batman learns that a lifetime of Venom usage has taken its toll on the once formidable villain and that he is now a frail old man using a wheelchair and reliant on an oxygen tank and the support of a nurse due to years of substance abuse. Meanwhile, Mason's addiction has only gotten worse. When Mason goes to the supplier's next drop off, Batman interrupts the delivery with Mason pathetically trying to run after the car and is easily apprehended. Batman eventually discovers the supplier is actually Jackson Chappell (voiced by Larry Drake), the nurse/caretaker that was entrusted with the Venom formula when Bane had gotten too addicted to even operate normally without the recipe. Seeing this as an opportunity for money, Chappell mass-produces and sells the slappers for a profit. To fight the second Dark Knight, Jackson induces himself with his own Venom patches to bulk himself up to defeat Batman only to be exposed to more Venom patches. As a result, Chappell is left brain-dead from the overdose. After Batman breaks up Chappell's slapper ring, Mason and his friends are arrested.
Bane appears in Batman & Robin (1997), portrayed by former WCW wrestler Robert "Jeep" Swenson in his last film before his death. Antonio Diego (portrayed by Michael Reid MacKay) is an incarcerated serial killer who is transformed into "Bane" by mad scientist Dr. Jason Woodrue using an experimental drug called "Venom". This version shares more similarities towards a character named Ivan/Ivor than the comic book incarnation of Bane. Just like Ivor, he is an inarticulate thug who serves as the bodyguard/henchman of Poison Ivy and is barely capable of speech, communicating mostly with growls and roars. However, just like in the comics, Bane is as muscular, wears a slight variation of his classic mask, and still exhibits superhuman strength as the character in the comics he was named after. Bane is defeated when Robin and Batgirl kick the Venom tube in the back of his head and disconnect it from the rest of his body, which changes him back to his regular self. This character was one of many aspects of the film which received negative criticism from fans and critics alike.
Bane appears in The Dark Knight Rises, portrayed by Tom Hardy. Intending to portray the character as "more menacing" than the Batman & Robin incarnation, Hardy gained 14 kilograms (31 lb) of muscle for the role, increasing his weight to 90 kilograms (200 lb). Prior to the film's release, Bane's voice received some criticism for being unintelligible due to his mask. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Christopher Nolan said "I think when people see the film, things will come into focus. Bane is very complex and very interesting and when people see the finished film people will be very entertained by him." "We wanted a very physical monster. We wanted more of the Darth Vader, if you like, and that was very important in the story dynamics." Hardy himself also commented on the voice in another interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying "It’s a risk, because we could be laughed at—or it could be very fresh and exciting," and that "The audience mustn’t be too concerned about the mumbly voice... As the film progresses, I think you’ll be able to tune to its setting." Hardy says the voice he developed had several influences, including Bane's intellect, Caribbean heritage, and in particular, bare-knuckle fighter Bartley Gorman, whom Hardy described as "...A Romani gypsy. Which I wanted to underpin the Latin, but a Romani Latin opposed to Latino. His particular accent is very specific, which was a gypsy accent".
Bane has been described as having "the physicality of a gorilla" and is shown to have superhuman levels of strength in certain instances throughout the film, such as punching holes in concrete pillars, ripping his wrists out of handcuffs, easily breaking a soldier's neck with one hand, lifting Batman's armored body by the throat with a single outstretched arm, and cracking his impact-resistant cowl. Hardy describes Bane's fighting style as "Brutal. He's a big dude who's incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. It's not about fighting. It's about carnage. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it's nasty. Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks."
Bane proclaims that his revolution's enemies are the rich and the corrupt, who he contends are oppressing "the people", and fooling them with myths of opportunity. Political theorist and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek sees Bane as fighting "structural injustice", while likening him to a modern-day Che Guevara who is counter-intuitively driven to violence out of a sense of love. Others have compared Bane to a "high-tech Robespierre on steroids", a melded triad of Lenin, bin Laden and Steve Austin set on fomenting "proletarian retribution", and "the one thing that's worse than the second film's raving anarchist: a demagogue." For his part, Nolan has said that his draft for the script was inspired by Charles Dickens' 1859 classic novel A Tale of Two Cities, centered around the French Revolution. This homage to Dickens' story is briefly illustrated by having Bane inconspicuously finger knit paracord in one scene of the film, symbolizing his Reign of Terror-based character Madame Defarge from the book.
While little information is given about Bane's backstory, he is said to have been born and raised in a centuries-old foreign penitentiary known as "the Pit", where he spent most of his life incarcerated as a prisoner. Although the viewer is led to believe that he escaped the prison as a child, it is later revealed he was the friend and protector of Talia al Ghul (Joey King), a young girl ultimately revealed to have escaped, whose mother, the daughter of a local warlord, gave birth to in the Pit after being banished there by her father. After the mother was killed by the prison's inmates, Bane protected the girl until the latter finally escaped. While helping her, Bane is attacked and severely injured by the other inmates. Bane was left in "perpetual agony" as a result of his injuries and the prison doctor's inept attempts to treat them; in lieu of his addiction to Venom in the comics, he instead wears a mask which provides him with a constant stream of analgesic gas that keeps his pain just below the threshold. Bane was then rescued by Talia's father Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson) and recruited into the League of Shadows. Ra's eventually excommunicated him from the League for being a reminder of the prison Talia's mother was left to die in. After Ra's' death during the events of Batman Begins, however, Bane rejoined the League alongside Talia.
Six months before the main plot begins, Bane infiltrates a meet up between CIA Agent Bill Wilson (Aiden Gillen) and Russian physicist Dr. Leonid Pavel (Alon Abutbul) posing a mercenary of the Masked Man, who is theorised by the CIA agent to be Bane himself. During the meetup the CIA agent questions the mercenaries, one of whom is revealed to be Bane. The agent asks if Bane's capture was a part of his plan to which Bane answers in the affirmative. Bane calls his own plane to crash the CIA plane, and Bane takes Dr Pavel to convert a stolen Wayne Enterprises fusion reactor into a bomb. Bane and Talia set to carry out Ra's al Ghul' mission to destroy Gotham City, the home of Ra's other famous pupil, Batman. He sets up a base in the city's underground tunnels, where he captures Gotham Police Commissioner Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman), who escapes shortly afterwards. Masquerading as an enforcer of John Daggett (Ben Mendelsohn), Bane bankrupts Dagget's business rival and Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) under Daggett's orders during a raid at the Stock Exchange, using Bruce's fingerprints that were stolen courtesy of cat-burglar Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) to verify fraudulent futures exchange trades. He then kills Daggett and Selina arranges for Batman to meet Bane, but double-crosses the Dark Knight and leaves him trapped in the mercenary's lair. There, Bane breaks Batman's back and condemns him to the Pit, where he reveals his plan: he will mentally torture Batman and Gotham for several months before detonating the bomb, destroying the city in an atomic blast.
To this effect, the League of Shadows uses multiple explosives to blow up all bridges, tunnels and major roads and streets in and out of Gotham, effectively cutting the city and its people off from the rest of the world and trapping most of the GCPD underground. He assassinates Mayor Anthony Garcia (Nestor Carbonell) and Pavel, filming the latter's murder on TV. Broadcasting that he wants to liberate Gotham from the corrupt and wealthy elite, Bane releases the prisoners of Blackgate Penitentiary while exposing Gordon's speech about the late district attorney Harvey Dent's (Aaron Eckhart) crimes as Two-Face and their subsequent cover-up. Near the end of the film, Bane discovers that Batman has escaped and returned to the city, just as the Dark Knight frees the GCPD. The police then charge upon the League in a brawl outside Gotham City Hall. Batman battles Bane in the midst of the chaos and damages his mask, cutting off his supply of painkillers and rendering him helpless. Talia — who was masquerading as Wayne Enterprises CEO Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) — intervenes by stabbing Batman. She fixes Bane's mask as one last act of friendship before leaving to detonate the bomb. Bane prepares to execute Batman, but Selina appears and saves the Dark Knight by firing the Batpod's cannons at Bane, killing him.
In the first game of the Arkham series, Batman seems horrified to find that Bane is being used as a human test subject in the Asylum's Medical Facility by Dr. Penelope Young, and that the Venom has been drained from his system leaving him weak and emaciated. After Batman rescues a captive Commissioner Gordon and advises Gordon to get away as quickly as he can, the Joker appears on a security monitor and remotely pumps the Venom into Bane's body while promising that Dr. Young will be eliminated by someone else. Enraged, Bane attacks Batman, but is defeated after Batman tears the Venom pumps from Bane's body. He is seemingly crushed by the collapsing roof, but almost immediately charges out from the rubble in a frenzy, grabbing Batman and threatening to "break him" once more. Before he has the chance, Batman remotely calls the Batmobile to his location, which strikes Bane and sends both he and the car into the adjoining river. In one of the possible post-credits sequences after completion, a floating tank of Titan formula in the river sees Bane's hand quickly rise from the water and grab it.
Bane's character biography is unlocked by examining his teddy bear located in a room before the player enters the chamber where Bane is being held in order to rescue Gordon from Harley Quinn. Bane's attack allows Harley to evade capture for the time being. His presence is explained with the discovery that Dr. Young was using Venom to develop the Titan formula (an enhanced version of Venom that triggers a Bane-like transformation without the need for the tank that Bane requires for the same purpose) when she worked for "Jack White" (one of Joker's aliases).
Roughly a year after the events of the first game inside the walled off prison in Gotham known as Arkham City, Bane forges a fragile alliance with Batman to destroy canisters of Dr. Young's Titan formula that are stored in different areas of the prison. The two initially work together in fighting off Hugo Strange's private Tyger security force (or the Joker's thugs, if the side mission is attempted after completing the main story), but Bane reveals shortly thereafter that he was only using Batman as a tool to gather as much of the Titan formula as possible for his own use. Predicting this, Batman traps Bane in a room so he can destroy the gathered Titan tanks without interference, and is left locked there for the duration of the game's campaign.
In the prequel game taking place roughly five years before the events of Arkham Asylum, Bane's character design resembles something of a composite between his traditional appearances in the comics and the more militaristic and "revolutionary" garb he wore in The Dark Knight Rises. Unlike the first two entries in the series, the story of Arkham Origins showcases more of Bane's character staples from the comics, particularly his intelligence, as well as his addiction to the Venom formula. His role in Origins is also comparatively larger than it is in any other Arkham game, and he is the game's final boss.
While no details are given in regards to the exact details of his origin, Batman at first seems surprised that Bane has turned up in Gotham in the first place, implying that the character was already well-established in criminal circles by the time Origins takes place, which is during Batman's second year as a crimefighter. First appearing in the story as one of the eight assassins hired to kill Batman by Black Mask. he is present at the meeting in the Gotham Royal Hotel between Electrocutioner and Firefly with Black Mask, who quickly reveals himself to be a new criminal: the Joker. After Joker kills Electrocutioner, Bane chooses to remain behind in the hotel after the meeting in anticipation of his first confrontation with Batman. With Batman besting him in their first encounter, Bane flees.
Batman incapacitates Joker and leaves him for the police before tracking Bane to his hideout with a tracer, finding evidence of a new strain of Venom. While in his hideout, Batman also discovers that Bane has deduced that Bruce Wayne and Batman are actually the same person. Batman destroys this evidence, but is delayed in returning to the Batcave when Firefly attempts to destroy Gotham Pioneer's Bridge. This gives Bane time to invade the cave, destroy Batman's equipment, and attack Alfred Pennyworth leaving him for dead. Bane is next seen with the Joker during his riot at Blackgate Penitentiary, facing off against Batman a second time. Batman is told that if he does not kill Bane, the beating of his heart will power an electric chair that will kill both Joker and Gotham City Police Captain James Gordon. Though Batman uses the Electrocutioner's gloves to stop Bane's heart, he quickly revives him once the heart monitor is removed. In retaliation, Bane injects himself with an imperfect Titan prototype, turning him into the same kind of hulking monster Batman will go onto face in the future. Batman electrocutes Bane again to defeat him, and the brain damage he suffers due to his abuse of the Titan formula robs him of the knowledge of Batman's identity. He's then apprehended by the Gotham PD.
Bane is playable in the Batman: Arkham Origins multiplayer. If a player controlling a Bane Elite gets to the entrance door first, the Elite is replaced with Bane. Bane is equipped with a powerful rocket launcher, and is capable of performing devastating melee attacks, including a shock wave that knocks down enemies, and instant kills that vary based on the enemy's position (thrown across the room if standing, picked up and slammed down if prone, and slammed into a wall if near one). If Bane initiates an instant kill on Batman or Robin, he performs his signature backbreaker.
Bane appears in a limited capacity at the end of the handheld game Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. Taking place three months after the events of Arkham Origins, Bane has been incarcerated in the eponymous prison for that entire time. Because of the ravages the Titan formula made on his body, Bane grew substantially weaker, making his body look emaciated and pale.
After Batman manages to defeat Joker, Penguin and Black Mask inside Blackgate Prison, he proceeds to the recently established "Arkham Wing" where he finds Bane sealed in a container. Marking her first chronological appearance in the timeline of the series, Catwoman reveals to Batman that she was hired to break Bane out of prison. After a failed attempt to divert Batman away from she and Bane, Batman finally catches up to Catwoman and defeats her. At the same time, a SWAT team led by Captain Rick Flag arrives and detains Catwoman. Batman intends to go after Bane next, but Flag stops him, saying that they had already captured him before he could escape. Later, it is revealed that Amanda Waller was the one who hired Catwoman to break Bane out.
Though Bane doesn't physically appear in Arkham Knight, his teddy bear and Titan canister appear in the Gotham City Police Department's archived evidence room, along with artifacts from criminals appearing in prior games like Anarky, Black Mask, Mr. Freeze, Ra's al Ghul, and the Joker. GCPD officer Aaron Cash said that Bane had to be released from custody after the shutdown of Arkham City, and that he was suffering from severe Titan withdrawal at the time of his release. While exploring the city, Batman can discover some of his belongings in a shipping container, which reveals that he has returned to Santa Prisca and launched a campaign against the drug lords who run the island.
The album Knightfall by multinational Swedish band Silent Images, is based on the Batman:Knightfall story arc, with Bane cast as a central character. Throughout the course of the album and its lyrics, he is referred to as "The Venomous One", and is depicted as a militaristic Übermensch, with an uncanny and almost homoerotic connection to Batman.
The only one I can recommend watching is the biography on Bane. Paul Dini of Batman: The Animated Series and Denny O'Neil of DC Comics tell us just how badly Bane was written for the movie making the only thing missing here an apology from screenwriter Akiva Goldsman.
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