Posts tagged The Dark Knight Rises
So, everyone’s heard the news by now. Bane & Catowman are going to be in Chris Nolan’s next Batman movie. This is great news, even though I was hoping for the Riddler. Now the issue I can see some people having is just who the heck is this Bane guy? Sure, he was in Batman & Robin (BOMB!), but his portrayal there is pretty much the antithesis to his actual character. I used to write Bane off as the Johnny-come-lately brought in to alter the status quo. He was that, true. Unlike Doomsday though, who had a similar role, Bane was actually given characterization from the start and continues to be a compelling and three-dimensional character today. Now there is no way to know how Bane will be used in The Dark Knight Rises, but if they stick with his comic beginnings with minimal tweaking for story purposes they’ll do fine. So here we go, the Secret Origin of Bane!
Bane’s story actually begins with his father. You see, daddy dearest was part of a coup in the Caribbean republic of Santa Prisca. Unfortunately, the coup was unsuccessful, and Bane’s father was killed. His mother was taken to the island’s prison of Pena Duro, pregnant with the child who would be Bane. Under Santa Prisca law, the male heirs of criminals are forced to carry out the sentences of their fathers. So from birth, Bane was a prisoner. For the first few years of his life, Bane was under protective custody with his mother, and Zombie, a prisoner assigned to the doctor. You’d thinking growing up in a prison is not the best environment for an impressionable boy, and you’d be right…
This is life for the little guy until age six, when his Mother dies. Seriously, the kid can’t catch a break. With his mom no longer there to protect him, Bane is moved into the general population of the prison. As you might guess, this is a terrible idea and almost immediately, the other inmates have plans for him. It causes a bit of a scuffle when yet another inmate named Trogg come to Bane’s aid. In the struggle, Bane is knocked off a balcony and is in the resulting coma for months. In that time, he sees things that will change him forever.
In his vision, his future self tells him to overcome fear and he’ll call no man master. Of course this being a bat-villain, fear takes the image of a bat. Anyway, the disturbed lad finally emerges from his coma and the chrysalis truly has made him grow up in a hurry. The first thing he does is kill the cell mate than threatened him. This doesn’t go down to well, and it’s not too difficult for the warden to find out who’s responsible. It’s mentioned in the aftermath that the young man is a bane to everything holy, and thus the boy has his name. There are consequences of course. The warden may be the authority in Pena Duro, but he certainly has met his match in young Bane.
True to his word, the warden puts Bane in solitary with nothing but the scorpions and rats to keep him company. Many have been easily driven mad in this place. Bane’s pure, unadulterated hatred made him strive to overcome fear. during the long days, he retreated into his own mind, developing techniques for meditation there were no names for. This goes on for a full ten years. The warden finally releases him hoping someone will want to take revenge on Bane. Instead, the tale of the boy has caused him to become a legend in the prison. Due to this, many in the prison want to serve him, including a criminal called Bird from a city called… Gotham! Intrigued, Bane asks for more information.
Days in the prison go smoother than before. Bane makes himself into a model prisoner, getting library duty. With bird teaching him how to read, Bane has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, so much so, that he learns to read in six languages and when the prison’s supply of books has become exhausted, his thirst won’t stop…
His mind is not the only thing Bane plans on honing though, his exhaustive physical regimen includes a thousand push ups and sit ups a day, Instead of sleep, Bane meditates for four hours a day. The drive Bane has to make himself master of all things is very much a dark mirror of Batman’s own drive, yet different enough that it’s not clichéd. Eventually, Bane gets Bird to tell him more about the mythical Gotham City, Bird goes so far to mention that it isn’t the mobs that rule Gotham, it’s The Batman. Of course, this calls back to Bane’s coma and something inside of him clicks.
Finally giving himself a purpose in life, he realizes being stuck behind the walls of a prison can put a bit of a damper on plans. He goes a but stir crazy and kills a bunch of people. As such, he’s set to go back to solitary, but instead the warden thinks he’s the perfect candidate for medical experiments that have killed lesser men. He survives having a deadly drug named Venom being tested on him. While this is going on, Zombie, the man who watched over Bane in childhood obtains a sample of the drug for himself. Shortly after it’s found that Bane can survive being injected with Venom, he is operated on. The Venom now being administered directly to his brain. Zombie is able to analyze the drug and tells Bane what it does. Specifically it stimulates adrenal glands and ultimately fuses the left and right brain together. Bane is happy with these advantages and hatches a plan to escape the prison.
Of course he can will his vital signs to fake a flat line, this is comics, guys! Bane is dumped out to sea, and of course not really being dead, he survives, after a quick scuffle with a shark! Bane could easily have made his way to the mainland after than, but he makes his way back to the prison, kidnaps the warden, and holds him hostage in order to free his own cohorts, as well as get transport off that god-forsaken rock. After his demands are met, Bane kills the warden anyway. Course is set for Gotham. Bane’s boys are to work immediately, procuring false identities, a place to plan, but most importantly a device for Bane’s exclusive use…
Now “complete” Bane visits a known member of Gotham’s underworld, one Jimmy “No Nose” Novak. Bane and his cronies meet Jimmy ostensibly to learn more about Batman and his methods, maybe not in the way you’d expect. You see, “No Nose” not only has mob connections, but he is also Bird’s former boss. To say there is animosity is quite the understatement, so Bane arranges some bodily harm to draw out Gotham’s protector, I’d say it was pretty effective:
The scene is made to look like a particularly brutal mob hit, and it does indeed draw out Batman. This allows Bane the opportunity to track Batman, observe his methods and determine the best way to take him down. In his observations, Bane sees the Batman do something he himself would never do. He saves a thug’s life. This causes Bane to make his presence known.
Bane then reveals to Batman his master plan of utterly destroying him. Batman, to his credit, blows off Bane. I mean, he has people threatening him on an daily, if not hourly basis. Seeing some admittedly large dude in a full face mask isn’t that intimidating. Bane makes his escape, leaving Batman to clean up his mess. Bane returns to his crew and muses…
And of course many of you may know how the story goes. He breaks Batman’s back, kind of becomes a lame villain for a while, but it enjoyed quite the renaissance in the pages of Gail Simone’s Secret Six. I like characters who are driven, and have a purpose, rather than just being flashy for flashy’s sake. So here’s hoping Bane will get his due in the movies, he certainly deserves it after Batman & Robin.