Comic Book: Bane

The man who broke The Bat.

Bane was first introduced in the 1993 comic Batman: Vengeance of Bane and his backstory was established in Knightfall.

Bane never had it easy. He was sentenced to life in the prison Peņa Dura before he was even born, due to the corrupt government of his home country, Santa Prisca, punishing him for the crimes of his father. From early childhood, he was tormented of visions of a bat in his sleep. He developed his knowledge and skills in prison, learning how to defend himself, gaining a Classical education from a priest, and mastering several languages. He slowly climbed up the social ladder of the prison, even committing his first murder at age eight, until becoming "king" of Peņa Dura.

The people in charge noticed this and forced him to be the test subject for an experimental Super Serum, Venom. The drug, which had killed every subject before him nearly destroyed him too, but he survived and discovered that the drug also increased his strength vastly at the cost of being highly addictive and dangerous to stop using.

He eventually escaped the prison with several others and set out for Gotham City because, like Peņa Dura, it too was ruled by fear: the fear of The Batman, who Bane is convinced is the demonic bat from his nightmares.

Bane became one of many of Batman's enemies, but he was best known for snapping Batman's spine during the events of Knightfall.

Bane was originally created to replace Bruce Wayne with a different character in the role of The Batman. This was all in an attempt to make Nineties Anti-Heroes less popular, and it worked.

In recent years, he has weaned himself off the drugs and become something of an Anti-Hero himself, and was a member of the Secret Six until their dissolution shortly before the New 52 initiative.

He has made appearances in many different DC adaptations, including Batman: The Animated Series, The Dark Knight Rises (played by Tom Hardy), and Young Justice. His video game appearances include the Batman: Arkham series and LEGO: Batman.

Tropes which describe Bane

  • Adaptation Decay: Batman & Robin had Bane as nothing more than a Venom-powered henchman to Poison Ivy.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Is often applied to him when he appears in an animated show.
  • Adorkable: Unexpectedly portrayed as this when Scandal sets him up on a date and he reveals his only knowledge of relationships is prostitution.
  • Badass: Let's not forget that he is one of the incredibly few people who defeated the Batman.
    • Badass Abnormal: When he's using Venom, he's several times stronger than a normal man.
    • Badass Normal: When he's not using Venom, he's this. Arguably, he's much more dangerous as Venom has mind-altering properties.
  • Batman Gambit: Releasing every single inmate from Arkham Asylum allowed him to wear down Batman enough to confront him and break his back.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Bane, essentially, has the morality of a prison yard and its weird rules as his guiding principles. He is offended and horrified at the revelation that the universe doesn't consider this righteous.
  • The Chessmaster: Engineered the events in Knightfall to defeat Batman. He also defeated another expert Chessmaster, Ra's Al-Ghul, in chess without ever having played it.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Having grown up in prison, he became very good at being this. He's also not averse to using a gun when the situation calls for it. And having Super Strength allows Bane to use very big guns if he so wishes.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Bane realized that confronting Batman on his own wouldn't likely work, so he created a trap for Batman which would weaken him beforehand and make him easier to defeat.
  • Delinquent Hair: Underneath his mask, Bane styles his hair in a short mohawk.
  • Determinator: This is what makes him so dangerous, rather than Venom.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Bane's fate in Batman Beyond is that he's become a man trapped in an iron lung for the rest of his life in a crippled body. It's deliberately meant to invoke steroid abuse.
  • Expy: Bane was designed as an Evil Counterpart to Doc Savage, which is appropriate since Batman is an Expy of Doc Savage himself (as well as the Shadow).
  • Genius Bruiser: Has Super Strength and a mind to rival Ra's Al Ghul himself.
  • Flanderization: For a long while after Knightfall, the writers forgot he was supposed to be a Dangerously Genre Savvy Genius Bruiser and wrote him as a Dumb Muscle. This has since been thankfully fixed courtesy of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy and Gail Simone's run on Secret Six.
  • Masked Luchador: His design evokes this image, especially with his mask. Whether or not it brings out the Wrestler in All of Us, is up to the writer.
  • Morality Pet: Scandal becomes one of these to Bane. He, essentially, adopts her despite her being a woman in her late-twenties to mid-thirties. Also qualifies as an Odd Friendship given this comes out of nowhere.
    • Subverted with The Dark Knight Rises as his similar relationship with Talia al Ghul damns him rather than saves him.
  • Motive Decay: Bane wanted to overcome his fear of bats by defeating Batman and taking over his city, which he did. After that, there was really no reason for Bane to want to go after Batman since it wasn't even Bruce Wayne who defeated him. Thus, the writers have often had to come up with rather oddball reasons for Bane to want to go after Batman since the former doesn't really have anything against the latter anymore.
  • Papa Wolf: Becomes this to Scandal as well as a substitute father figure. Which is, given their ages, rather strange.
  • Prisons Are Gymnasiums: When Bane decides to get himself clean of Venom, he gets himself locked in solitary confinement in Blackgate and uses the time to rebuild his physique back till he is almost as tough as he had been on the drug.
    • Essentially, Bane's entire childhood was this as he became a physical paragon in prison. Where he gained his extensive education and Detective skills has never been touched upon.
  • Self-Made Orphan: A major goal of his. The only time he wasn't interested in it was when he thought he was Thomas Wayne's illegitimate son.
  • Shadow Archetype: When he first appeared, the impression was given that he was comparable to Batman in terms of intellect and physical prowess; essentially, Batman if he had grown up hated, abused, and imprisoned rather than loved, privileged, and free.
  • Signature Move: Hoist Hero Over Head, followed by cracking over the knee.
  • Sins Of The Father: His mother was locked up while pregnant for him due to his father's crimes.
  • Super Strength: Thanks to Venom.
  • Super Intelligence: He has a form of this, but discipline and will are his more defining attributes.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Bane dislikes the possibility of the Joker-Scarecrow alliance defeating Batman, as the hero is his to break. Besides, he keeps Bruce's identity as a secret because he likes to have that trump card for his own use only.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Bane had three very close friends in Knightfall who have hardly ever appeared since.
  • Worthy Opponent: Bane considers Batman to be this. Batman zig-zags on this in reverse since Bane is a monster but has a crude form of honor.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: It's a bit exaggerated, but his signature Backbreaker is indeed a wrestling move.