When Gotham is ashes, you have my permission to die.
This blog post is just a reminder that The Dark Knight Rises comes out in exactly a month.
What? Well I guess you’re right I should probably write a little more!
Last month around this time, our very own Jeff Moss wrote a post about Thanos, to give everyone the info they needed to learn about this character who has recently seen a rise in mainstream popularity. You know which other character has recently seen a giant spike in public interest? Bane! Now seeing as I’m a resident Bat-Expert (it’s a real field, I have a degree, I’ll show it to you sometime) and because we at The 4th Wall strive to give our fans/public/readers everything they need and want, I’ve decided to give you this little amuse-bouche of this excellent character.
So who is Bane? Bane is one of the most intelligent, powerful and imposing villains in Batman‘s Rogues Gallery. His first appearance is in the “Vengeance of Bane” storyline where we’re given his backstory. Born on the island of Santa Prisca, in Peña Dura Prison, Bane was brought into a harsh and difficult world. His father, a revolutionary, had died during the Revolution, and due to Santa Prisca’s corrupt government and harsh laws, Bane was forced to serve time for his father’s crimes. His mother died when he was very young, and he continued to live inside the prison, eventually thriving. He read, exercised, trained and received his education from various prison inmates. When the Prison’s head honcho’s figured out that Bane was more or less running the show inside the prison, they forced him to be a part of an experiment with a new steroid compound named Venom, meant to increase a person’s muscle mass to insanely powerful proportions. Most other patients had died during the experiment, so it was a win or win for the prison whether Bane lived or died. Due to his upbringing and natural resolve, Bane survived and Venom would become a part of his character forever.
Later on, after leaving Peña Dura, one of his cronies would describe Gotham City to Bane and tell him of The Batman. Bane grew to obsess over Batman, wanting to study him, learn about him and who he was, and then systematically destroy him. This would lead to the definitive storyline Knightfall. I don’t want to spoil Knightfall for those of you who haven’t read it yet, but it is the story that would give Bane his prominence in the Batman universe and define him as a force to be reckoned with. He would continue to appear in all venues of Batman, such as comics, cartoons (pretty much every cartoon has featured an appearance of Bane, varying from a straight adaption of the comic book version, to a giant red Bane in WB’s The Batman), video games, films (the infamous Batman & Robin!) and even radio plays.
The most fascinating aspect of Bane, and the aspect that attracts me to this character, is that while most Batman villains have a specific fixation (Penguins loves birds, Riddler does riddles, Calendar Man knows and commits crimes on all kinds of holidays) the really and truly great villains are fixated on Batman himself. Joker wants to kill Batman because he’s got connection to him, that one can’t exist without the other. But Bane wants to break down every aspect of Batman/Bruce Wayne down to his very core, because Bane and Bruce are exact opposites. The destruction of Batman is the destruction of everything that ever fought against Bane and made his life miserable. And that is what good character development looks like.
If you’d like to read more stories where Bane is the headlining villain, you should check out these books:
Batman: Knightfall Vol. 1 (collecting Batman: Vengeance Of Bane Special #1, Batman #491-500, Detective Comics #659-660, Showcase ’93 #7-8 and Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #17-18)
Batman: Knightfall Vol. 2 (collecting Detective Comics #667-675, Batman #501-508, Batman: Shadow Of The Bat #19-28, Catwoman #6-7 and Robin #7)
Batman Versus Bane (collecting Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #1, Batman: Bane Of The Demon #1-4, 52 #46, Countdown #4 and 7)