Who is Bane?
Batman has one of the best rogues galleries of any superhero. The Joker, Two-Face, Ra's Al Ghul, The Penguin, and other villains all form one of the most formidable rogue’s galleries in all of comics. All of the villains he faces off against are memorable and original. And many of them have seen the big screen: The Riddler, Two-Face, The Penguin, and especially the Joker have all been featured in live-action movies. So, for that matter, has Bane, who is the subject of today’s article. Two live action movies featuring Bane are Batman And Robin and The Dark Knight Rises. While Batman And Robin was forgettable, The Dark Knight Rises changed Bane from a relatively obscure Batman villain into one of his most well-known foes.
Like most comic book characters, Bane has a number of different back stories depending on which iteration of the character you look at. In most of his origin stories, Bane is born into some kind of prison. In The Dark Knight Rises, that prison is a place in the Middle East known only as The Pit. The Pit is a horrible underground prison with a well-shaft connecting it to the surface. The prisoners inside are welcome to try and climb out via the shaft, but these attempts nearly always fail because the sides are designed to be unclimbable. This is a calculated cruelty meant to cause despair by offering false hope.
Bane was born and raised in this prison, and also went through an event where his face was disfigured. This disfigurement left him in such blinding pain that he cannot function without wearing his mask. The purpose of the mask is to hold his face together and keep him functional. This, in turn, has become the most iconic part of Bane’s appearance. He is also, in some character iterations, occasionally dosed with a drug that confers superior strength and speed on him. In Batman And Robin, this showed him as a brutish creature that could do nothing but follow orders. In The Dark Knight Rises, he is more cerebral.
Bane is the only Batman villain known to have totally defeated Batman, both mentally and physically. In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane is able to deceive Gotham while Batman is still recovering from their bout. This is a very special status among Batman villains. The reason for this is that Batman is known as the superhero who never gives up. So any villain who can break his will is one of the top villains.
Ever since The Dark Knight Rises, Bane has gone from being a relatively obscure Batman villain to being one of the big stars of the franchise. It’s no wonder there are now so many Bane t shirts hanging around!