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Alter Ego: The Man Who Broke the Bat, Ubu
First appearance: Batman: Vengeance of Bane (December 8, 1992)
Bane never had it easy. He was sentenced to life in the prison Peña 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 Jesuit 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 Peña Dura.
The people in charge noticed this and forced him to be the test subject for an experimental Super Serum, Venomnote . 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 Peña 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. Despite being a relatively recent addition to the Dark Knight's rogues, Bane quickly shot up to the A-List of Gotham's criminals and became one of Batman's most prominent foes ever since.
He later 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. In the New 52, he seemingly never underwent any of his character development, but did break Batman's back.
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, LEGO Batman and Batman: The Enemy Within.
Tropes that describe Bane
- Abhorrent Admirer: Due to his prison life earning him No Social Skills, he often ends up acting as one to the women he happen to fall in love with:
Bane: I am not a monster! In time I would prove my worthiness to you!
- Became on to Talia al Ghul during his brief alliance with her father Ra's al Ghul. They had a brief consensual relationship, but she quickly broke it off after finding him too brutish, cruel, and a poor lover. But Bane remained enamored by her and Ra picked him to be her Chosen Conception Partner, forcing her to tolerate him for a while, until he fell out of favor with Ra and their engagement was canceled.
- His next appearance in Birds of Prey still had him pinning for Talia, but when he met and fought with Black Canary he felt Love at First Punch and seemingly transferred his feelings of Talia to her. But unfortunately to him, Dinah had even less interest in him than Talia did.
Dinah: Bane... when you say things like that... It still turns my stomach!
[Dinah proceeds to give him a Groin Attack and flees]
- Aborted Arc: There were hints in his origin that he might have actually been Bruce Wayne's half-brother, as various passing references indicated that his father had been a foreign doctor who had fled the country. While Batman having to deal with the idea of the saintly image he's built up of his father being tarnished might have been interesting, it's pretty understandable why future writers declined to follow up on this. This was eventually resolved when Bane himself tracked down his father Edmund Dorrance. Thomas Wayne was floated as a possibility but blood tests disproved it fairly quickly.
- Achilles' Power Cord: Not an electrical power cord, but Bane's venom-tubes are a very vulnerable point, as they are what pump the Super Serum Venom into his body and severing them puts a stop to it. In most of his appearances throughout all Batman media, expect them to get severed or damaged at some point, most famously his fight with Azrael after Knightfall ended when Jean-Paul used his swords to cut the venom pumps.
- Adaptational Badass: In his Rebirth incarnation, he skews more towards the "Badass" aspect in that era compared to his Post-Crisis Knightfall counterpart who defeated and broke Batman only after he freed all the Arkham rogues and completely exhausted Batman in a chase to hunt them all down. In The Fall And The Fallen, Batman again fights most of his rogues but this time beats them all up one after another at Arkham instead of separately throughout multiple tiresome nights. By the time Batman confronts Bane at his mansion, he wasn't in a state of exhaustion and this time, Rebirth Bane defeats and breaks Batman when he wasn't tired out and still around his rough physical peak.
- Adaptational Dumbass: Many adaptations of Bane portray him as a Dumb Muscle instead of the Genius Bruiser he is meant to be.
- Alternate Company Equivalent: Many see him as the Venom to Batman's Spider-Man; A larger, more muscular Shadow Archetype of the hero, Genius Bruiser and crappy life and all, who where The Dreaded in their debut, then suffered Badass Decay before being redeemed by later writers. They both are obsessed with defeating the hero (though for separate reasons) and both have had lengthy stints as anti-heroes. The fact that Bane's classic mask mildly resembles Venom and that Bane uses a drug called Venom only adds to the comparison. DEATH BATTLE! even pitted the two against each other, and as of 2018, they've both been portrayed by Tom Hardy.
- And Then What?: Bane really had no plans for what he was going to do after he broke Batman. Bird suggested he take over the city's crime families.
- Anti-Villain: Varies Depending on the Writer, but often times is seen to have some sense of honour or at the very least Pragmatic Villainy.
- Appropriated Appellation: Bane got his name after a warden called him one after he killed while still a child, in prison:"He is a bane to everything holy!"
- Awesomeness by Analysis:
- How did Bane figure out Batman's identity? He spotted from a chance sighting that Bruce Wayne has the same body language.
- Bane became a master of several martial arts and sciences simply by reading every book he could get his hands on. After Bane holds his own against world-class Master Swordsman Ra's al Ghul, Ra's criticizes his lack of flair and implies that Bane learned sword fighting entirely from reading books on the subject.
- Badass Boast: Bane's a badass and well-aware of it, and he loves boasting about it. It's practically a staple of his character. He especially likes to remind people of how he "broke the bat" or that "I am Bane".Bane: Did you forget? You all forgot who I am! I BROKE HIM! I BROKE THE BAT! I WILL BREAK HIM AGAIN, A THOUSAND TIMES!
Bane: You will know my name one day. And on that day you will beg for mercy. You will scream my name! SCREAM IT!
Bane: I am Bane — and I could kill you... but death would only end your agony — and silence your shame. Instead, I will simply... BREAK YOU!
Bane: Only when I'm dead do I intend to rest.
Bane: There is no power left ... but me. There is no authority left ... but me. There is no hope left ... but me. There is no Batman. There is no Justice League. There is only Bane.
- Badass Bookworm: In prison, he read three books a day and became an expert in a variety of subjects at the same time as he became a physical powerhouse.
- Badass Normal: When he's not using Venom, he's this. Arguably, he's much more dangerous as Venom has mind-altering properties. During his stay in Secret Six, he's stopped using, claiming he wasn't proud of his former dependence on the ultra steroid.
- Bastard Bastard: Born out of wedlock, abandoned by father before birth, and a terrifying monster to boot.
- Batman Gambit:
- In Knightfall, he released every single inmate from Arkham Asylum and allowed them to wear down Batman enough to confront him and break his back.
- Up to Eleven in Batman (Tom King). At first, he appears to be involved in "only" the minor role of the second and third storylines, "I Am Suicide" and "I Am Bane," and of the two, Batman is actually the aggressor of "I Am Suicide" by coming after Bane first. However, it is later revealed that Bane was orchestrating everything since the beginning of Rebirth in "I Am Gotham," carrying on well beyond his "defeat" in "I Am Bane." Not only had he fully intended for Batman to come after him AND planned it out to manipulate who Batman brought along for the mission, he also successfully planned how JOKER would subtly influence Catwoman's decision to abandon her wedding, despite Joker's tendency towards unpredictability AND without ever having Joker wittingly involved in his plan.
- Big Bad:
- He's the mastermind and main antagonist of Knightfall, kickstarting the events and personally defeating and crippling Batman.
- He's the Arc Villain of several story arcs in Batman (Tom King), and near the end it's revealed that he was actually the mastermind of almost everything that happened in the entire run, all in an effort to break down Batman.
- Black-and-Gray Morality: Had this characterization in Secret Six. Despite being The Atoner, his morality's incredibly skewed. While his first impulse on finding a "Get Out of Jail Free" Card is to destroy it, and frowns on slavery, he's also willing to work with Dwarfstar (though he still makes it clear that he's disgusted by him and is just barely tolerating him), and beat a man's face to pulp for disrespecting a stripper Bane's only just met. This comes back to bite him in the ass when the Six briefly visit Hell to retrieve the Card, and he finds out that he's damned for his lifetime of murder and brutality, and he's genuinely confused that he's slated for damnation. Apparently, he had assumed that following his own code of honor meant that he was fundamentally a good person, not realizing that making up your own moral code is not the same as following an objective morality.
- Blood Knight: Befitting a prison-born brawler, Bane loves a good fight and the opponents that he feel are worthy of his time.
- 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.
- Boring, but Practical: His first plan to break Batman. Bane broke more or less Batman's entire rogues' gallery out, handed them military-grade weaponry and just let them run loose with it. Then he simply waited until Batman ran himself to the point of utter mental and physical exhaustion before attacking himself. It worked.
- Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: Even though he's not actually Scandal's father, he's quite protective of her, even interviewing her dates. (Technically, this makes him a girlfriend-blocking dad, since Scandal is a lesbian.)
- Catchphrase: He tends to give out the phrase, "I WILL BREAK YOU!", quite a bit.
- Characterization Marches On: Bane that was originally much more cruel and petty when originally introduced. Though he was arguably portrayed as smarter than he often was afterwards, he also murdered prostitutes and was out to destroy Batman for little reason other than the "find the toughest guy in the place and beat him up" gambit. Flash forward to years later, after Bane has actually adapted to life outside the hellish prison he grew up in, and he's one of the few villains honorable and articulate enough that Batman will actually chat with him as they fight.
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Even without Venom he is extremely durable and strong. In one story, Robin is amazed by his physical feats and assumes he's on venom, but he wasn't.
- The Chessmaster:
- Engineered the events in Knightfall to "break" Batman. It started with him and his henchmen using rocket launchers to blow up Arkham Asylum, releasing The Joker, Two-Face and at least a dozen other deranged super-criminals to causing chaos in Gotham and thus forcing Batman to have to hunt down all of them at once, thereby ensuring that Batman wasn't running at anything close to 100% when they fought, so Bane could beating down Batman in a brutal Curb-Stomp Battle that ended with Bane delivering a Game-Breaking Injury to Batman by breaking his back and leaving him alive but crippled, which made Bane so feared in Gotham that it allowed him to Take Over the City, just like he planned.
- He also defeated another expert Chessmaster, Ra's Al-Ghul, in chess without ever having played it.
- Batman (Tom King) played up this side of him particularly heavily. His scheme to break Batman mentally and take over Gotham required the exact actions of Hugo Strange, Gotham Girl, Psycho Pirate, Holly Robinson, the Ventriloquist, and additional villains to work together without giving away his involvement prematurely. It also required convincing Batman of Bane's own "defeat" multiple times, influencing Batman's own strategies for picking out his "I Am Suicide" team, correctly predicting how disconnected individuals like Joker and Booster Gold would react in the right situations, AND how Scarecrow's fear toxin would need to influence Batman's mind in a controlled way. Not only do the pieces fall into place successfully, but he is also TERRIFYINGLY effective all the while.
- Chosen Conception Partner: During Bane of the Demon, Ra's al Ghul picked him to be his Heir-In-Law by having Bane marry Ra's daughter, Talia al Ghul so that Bane's and Talia's children could one day rule the world on continue Ra's legacy. Bane was pleased with the arrangement, but Talia was not and viewed him as an Abhorrent Admirer, much to Bane's distress. When he was defeated by Batman in Batman: Legacy, Ra declared Bane a failure and canceled the entire arrangement.
- Combat Pragmatist: Given his upbringing in a brutal prison, Bane naturally had to become this just to survive. Additionally, in contrast to the also pragmatic Bat-Family and due to his rather villainous nature he isn't afraid to use lethal force or firearms if the situation warrants it. In fact, given his great strength, he can make use of much heavier artillery than most of Batman's other foes, who usually stick to handguns. Bane on the other hand has made use of a bazooka to blow Arkham wide open, a gatling gun to demolish Two-Face's army of goons, and a miniature nuke to destroy some evidence.
- The Comically Serious: Much like Bats himself, he ended up as this in Secret Six, as a result of being The Stoic.
- Companion Cube: His only real companion while imprisoned as a child was a teddy bear he named "Osito", and in the Batman: Arkham Series at least, he kept it even long after he escaped.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: He acted this way towards Talia al Ghul during the brief period they were "engaged" (In reality Ra's simply picked Bane as Talia's Chosen Conception Partner and she just had to bear with it). Bane was very stricken to learn Talia loved Batman (his Arch-Enemy) and to add further salt on the wound Batman defeating him during Batman: Legacy caused Ra to see Bane as unworthy and having his engagement with Talia annulled. Just another reason to break the Bat.
- Cruel Mercy: Bane pulls this on Batman in Knightfall for why he breaks the hero's back rather than killing him after he defeats a worn-out Batman in combat.
- Bane: Death would only end your agony... and silence your shame.
- Corrupted Character Copy: Bane was designed as an Evil Counterpart to Doc Savage, apropos given Batman heavily draws on the Shadow a major sales rival back in the day.
- Like Doc Bane was raised in an atypical all-male environment that heavily affected his emotional development, was introduced with three talented 'assistants' (Bird, Zombie and Trogg), and is arguably the peak of human mental and physical development. But Savage Doc strove to use non-lethal methods wherever possible even if he was willing 'dirty' his hands now and then. It also would never have occurred to Doc to take over a criminal enterprise as he saw criminals as anathema to social order rather than a reality to be exploited.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In the I Am Bane storyline, he rampages through Arkham, crushing nearly every villain there and no-selling anything they throw at him, even defeating those like Solomon Grundy who have superhuman strength and durability of their own.
- Deadly Upgrade: While using the Venom Super Serum does give him a significant power boost, it's also something of a Psycho Serum that can often make his mind clouded or impairs his judgment. Sometimes he even becomes The Berserker. The constant usage also has its drawbacks in the long term, although specifically what and how severe tends to change Depending on the Writer. Sometimes it causes him to become mentally unstable or even insane, sometimes it makes him physically weak whenever he's not on Venom.
- Delinquent Hair: Depending on the Artist, underneath his mask, Bane styles his hair in a short mohawk.
- Depending on the Artist: His Cool Mask varies between luchadore and S&M. Also, does it only have eyeholes or have an opening for his mouth and/or nose? If it has an opening, is it zippered?
- Desires Prison Life: Played With. As part of his Evil Plan he let himself be defeated by Batman and sent to Arkham Asylum, where he could control his scheme while seemingly not looking like a threat.
- Despair Gambit: Knowing Batman is the Determinator, Bane often tries to break him not only physically, but mentally. Best demonstrated in his elaborate plan as the Big Bad in Knightfall and Batman (Tom King)
- In Knightfall Bane released several of Batman's rogues in Gotham at the same time to cause chaos and mayhem, Batman was physically and emotionally exhausted from his crusade. Only then did Bane confront him, and gave Batman a brutal Curb-Stomp Battle that ended with his back being broken by Bane, who leaves Bruce alive, but defeated and crippled, and with the fear that he may never walk again, much less be Batman.
- In Batman (Tom King), Bane masterminded a long and complex scheme to systematically dismantle Bruce's life to break him completely: He sabotages Bruce's relationship and impending marriage with Selina Kyle by manipulating events so that Selina gives up on the marriage, he hires KGBeast to take down Bruce's oldest partner Dick Grayson, he manipulates events to alienate his relationship with Commissioner Gordon, and even gaslights Bruce into believing he may actually be incapable of loving. In the final arc City Of Bane, Bane also teams with Flashpoint Thomas Wayne just to provide Bruce the extra hurt of having to fight an Evil Alternate Self version of his father. And near the runs end he kills Alfred.
- Determinator: This is what makes him so dangerous, rather than Venom. His backstory includes growing up in a Hellhole Prison right from his birth due to crimes his father commited. For several years he was held to solitary confinement, which there meant a barred-off pit where all he could eat was rats, and the tides would cause it to flood twice a day. Instead of going insane or dying, it only made him stronger. The warden tried to get rid of Bane by putting him up as a test subject of an experimental drug called Venom, which had killed all the previous subjects. It made him stronger. Once Batman manages to put Bane into prison he decides that reliance on Venom has made him soft, and he kills another inmate because he wants to be sent to solitary so he can purge his addiction by going cold turkey and training to build his body back up without distractions. It worked exactly as planned.
- Disappeared Dad: His father was Edmund Dorrance, a disenfranchised British noble who became a mercenary known as King Snake, who had worked for the failed revolution and fled the country afterwards, leaving his lover and unborn son to face the wrath of the military government.
- The Dreaded: He isn't called Bane for nothing. He earned his name by murdering another inmate at a young age while growing up within a Hellhole Prison, and he only became more fearsome after that. During Knightfall, Batman himself was afraid of Bane, because he knew Bane had put him at a great disadvantage and was indirectly causing more chaos than any other enemy before. Ever since that incident, Batman has known not to take Bane lightly. And by breaking Batman, Bane earned such a reputation that at least most street levelers of DCU are intimidated by him.
- Drugs Are Bad: He's been used a couple of times to deliver An Aesop on the dangers of steroid abuse. In the DCAU, he's reduced to a vegetable who needs venom to stay alive - and still needs machines to breathe for him anyway. In the comics, Bane has once kicked his Venom addiction and relies on his natural strength—still way above average, but no longer quasi-superhuman.
- Dumb Muscle: Far from it in the comics as he is able to go punch-for-punch with Batman at an intellectual level beyond his ability to do so (and more) at a physical level. However other adaptions tend to give him such traits (most notably Batman & Robin).
- Empowered Badass Normal: When he's using Venom, the ultra steroid that boosts his muscle mass, he's several times stronger than a normal man. But (even without it, he's already monstrously powerful).
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": He never had a birth name due to his unusual upbringing in the Hellhole Prison he was born, and simply adopted the nickname Bane he gained in prison. His adaptations in Batman & Robin and Gotham did give him a name Antonio Diego in Batman & Robin and Eduardo Durrance in Gotham (Based on Bane's Disappeared Dad Edmund Dorrance).
- Evil Counterpart: In Rebirth, Bane's backstory is depicted as a dark reflection of Bruce's, with the deaths of their mothers being their common connection, before their different upbringings cause them to diverge.
- Evil Is Bigger: Typically, he's larger than Batman but once he starts pumping the venom, he can grow to humongous proportions.
- Fantastic Drug: One of the foremost "fictional drug" users in comics, as he is almost always shown with his Venom super-steroid.
- He does have a replacement "drug" he abuses in the I Am Suicide storyline, complete with what appears to be an addiction and a more laid-back complacency when using: Psycho Pirate's mood-altering powers. He's so addicted that "withdrawal" leads to him taking up venom again for his Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the following arc, I Am Bane.
- For a long while after Knightfall, the writers forgot he was supposed to be a Genius Bruiser and wrote him as a The Brute or even 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.
- Tom King writes Bane as almost obsessed with breaking backs, and Batman in turn keeps threatening to break Bane's back to the point where it starts getting unintentionally hilarious.
- Foil: To Batman himself. He is every bit as brilliant, skilled, strong, manipulative, and strategic as the Bat, but where Bruce Wayne came from privilege and uses his abilities for justice, Bane fought his way to the top from the darkest, most oppressive environment possible, and uses his powers to sow evil.
- Force and Finesse: His style of attack and action act in direct opposite to Batman's since he focuses on brutal physical force and vicious assault to get his way. Even lampshaded by Ra's Al Ghul during a sword duel which he used as part of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to describe how despite Bane's strength he lacks the finesse and grace of the Batman.
- Freudian Excuse: He was born and raised in a maximum-security Hellhole Prison because his mother was arrested for crimes she did not commit, which left him with a pretty dim view of the world.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He was once just a young boy who was expected to die in prison but he survived to become one of the DC Universe's deadliest threats.
- Full-Frontal Assault: He spends the entirety of I Am Suicide completely naked, and he's still no less terrifying.
- Genius Bruiser: Bane might look like Dumb Muscle, but he's actually one of Batman's smartest and most cunning villains, mostly takes to his Eidetic Memory and devotion to self-improvement. During his time in prison, he devoured every book in the library while training himself, learning several fighting styles, languages, concepts about the outside world, etc.
- Gratuitous Spanish: He grew up in a Caribbean Banana Republic, so Spanish is his first language and he sometimes says the occasional word or term in English, such as calling his fellow inmates "hermanitos" (brothers).
- Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: He was born in a Hellhole Prison with a less-than-sympathetic warden. Growing up in such an environment is what turned him into a criminal in the first place.
- Hero Killer:
- Hoist Hero over Head: Bane does this a lot, so much it's his Signature Move. But never more strikingly than in the "Knightfall" storyline, when he hoists Batman over his head and slams him down on his knee, breaking Batman's back. In fact, it happens twice in the same story, the second time has Bane throw Batman's broken body to the ground in view of Gotham.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: In Bane of the Demon, he acts this way towards Talia al Ghul after she spurned him, taking over her mansion and having her Bound and Gagged while he leaves to deal with her father before he comes back to have his way with her. Thankfully for her, Ra ends up defeating Bane. But unfortunately for her, he was also impressed by Bane and made him his Heir-In-Law, thus forcing Talia to be engaged with her would-be-rapist.
- Innocent Prodigy: Given his childhood environ it's amazing that he took to reading at all, his achievements since then speak for his native abilities. This is what he 'was' however...
- Laser-Guided Karma: Twice in DC Rebirth. First, Batman has Catwoman break his back, then Batman forces Bane to run a gauntlet of Arkham inmates to exhaust him and take him out, both things that Bane did to Batman in Knightfall.
- Lightning Bruiser: Bane is huge and incredibly fast for his size.
- Lost in Imitation: Since The Dark Knight Rises he's gotten the ready voice of Hardy used for that movie in other adaptions such as Harley Quinn's 2019 series, since then he's gotten that vocal quality more often than not.
- Lousy Lovers Are Losers: In the “Bane of the Demon” miniseries, he ends up joining forces with the League of Assassins and instantly becomes attracted to Talia Al Ghul after she defeated him in battle. She's not that into him, but humors him and they end up sleeping together. But in the post-sex scene, Talia pointedly mocks his lovemaking skills, claiming he's clumsy "like a child", and wants nothing more to do with him, much to Bane's ire and humiliation. Bane becomes especially angry when he finds out the man she's truly in love with is his hated rival Batman, and he develops an Entitled to Have You attitude towards Talia, who starts to regard him as an Abhorrent Admirer.
- Averted in Secret Six, in which Bane is surprisingly compassionate and sensitive towards his would-be lover Spencer. After they spend their first night together, she’s even moved to tears by how gentle he was towards her.
- Love at First Punch: His attraction to Talia al Ghul and Black Canary began when they took him by surprise and defeat him in their first encounter. He apparently has a thing for "passionate women" who are able to fight.
- Macho Latino: Tall, muscular, intelligent, Hispanic- yep, Bane fits this trope down to a T.
- Manipulative Bastard: Depending on the Writer, despite his No Social Skills, he's fairly good at manipulating his opponents. The best example being in Batman (Tom King), where he pulls a long and massive Batman Gambit that depends on knowing how to manipulate people into doing what he wants, especially Batman and Catwoman. He even managed to sabotage Batman's marriage by manipulating Holly Robinson into manipulating Selina!
- Masked Luchador: His design partly luchador-inspired, especially with his mask. Though whether or not his fighting moves invoke the Wrestler in All of Us is up to the writer. He also hails from a fictional Caribbean Banana Republic rather than Mexico. Some adaptations, such as Batman '66 and Batman: The Telltale Series play up this side of him more.
- Morality Pet: Scandal becomes one of these to Bane in Secret Six. 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.
- Moral Myopia: His attempt at being The Atoner in Secret Six has a lot of this, since he believes that following his own moral code is the same as being good. He's wrong.
- 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.
- Mr. Fanservice: Usually played straight, with the wide-open shirt and copious muscle, although sometimes subverted with emphasized green Volcanic Veins from his Venom.
- Muscles Are Meaningful: Using the ultra steroid Venom usually makes his muscle mass grow considerably, giving him a Temporary Bulk Change to illustrate how much stronger he's become.
- Musical Theme Naming: Bane's three henchmen — Bird, Trogg and Zombie — are all named after British bands from the sixties.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Nothing good comes from a man who calls himself "Bane".
- No Indoor Voice: Depending on the Writer, he talks like this while under the effect of Venom. Or at least it's implied to, via his all-in-capslock speech balloons. Some adaptations also portray him under Venom like this.
- No Name Given: It has never been revealed what Bane's real name is.
- No Social Skills: As a result of his prison upbringing, being raised by thugs, rapists and murderers in the worst Hellhole Prison in South America, he has little understanding of how social interaction outside prison works.
- Obliviously Evil: In Secret Six he is absolutely shocked when he discovers that he is damned to Hell, because he believes himself to be "a righteous man". He just assumed that avoiding certain KINDS of evils was the same as not being evil at all.
- Off the Wagon: When he first appears in Batman (Tom King) he has weaned himself off Venom. Then Batman invades his home and Catwoman breaks his back. He immediately has a Villainous Breakdown and screams for Venom.
- Omniglot: With the help of his Photographic Memory and the books he read while in prison, he became fluent in many languages, such as English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dhari, Cantonese and Latin.
- 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 a secret because he likes to have that trump card for his own use only. He beat the Joker to a pulp during the Batman: No Man's Land arc for possibly ruining his chance to confront Batman.
- Only One Name: Unlike many others in Batman's Rogues Gallery, Bane's real name has never come up. The best his backstory can muster is his father's name, Edmund Dorrance, so it's safe to assume Bane shares the same surname. But as far as he's concerned, he is only just Bane.
- Outside-Context Problem: He functions this way in Knightfall, as a villain who has been cut off from the outside world for almost his entire life, his existence is at best an urban legend to most Gotham City natives. When he murders six prostitutes and carves images of bats into their flesh, the Gotham police naturally blame Batman. Even after he and his gang launch rockets at Arkham Asylum, enabling the world's most dangerous criminals to escape and wreak havoc on the city, most Gothamites are too preoccupied with trying to stop The Joker, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, and all the rest that they remain ignorant of Bane's ultimate plan for the city: to permanently cripple Batman, seize control from Gotham's mob bosses, and rule over the city as its "king."
- Papa Wolf: Becomes this to Scandal as well as a substitute father figure. Which is, given their ages, rather strange.
- Patricide: When he finally tracked down his father in Robin (1993), he threw him down a mountain as payback for the Parental Abandonment.
- Photographic Memory: A big factor on why Bane is a Genius Bruiser is that he has an eidetic memory that borders on absolute total recall, and thus is able to remember every detail from every book he has ever read. And he's read a lot of books during his time in prison.
- Phlebotinum Rebel: A prison inmate used as a test subject for a Super Serum. Turned out the serum is good enough for him to break out.
- Poirot Speak: While Bane often drops Spanish words into his speech in the various adaptations he appears in, he's almost always written with perfect English in the comics. If you only know him from there and don't know his origin, you might not even realize that he's supposed to be Latin-American. There is one instance in the original Knightfall storyline which can, due to the afore-mentioned confusion, stick out like a sore thumb: "ANIMALÉ!"
- Pragmatic Villainy: Bane's first plan to take down Batman was simple, brutal and effective: He arranged a mass breakout from Arkham Asylum, allowed Batman to run himself ragged taking down one dangerous psychopath after another, and came to deliver the finishing blow himself to a physically and mentally drained Batman.
- Prisons Are Gymnasiums:
- Born and raised in a Hellhole Prison, Bane took advantage of his Photographic Memory and used the opportunity and time to develop himself both physically and mentally, becoming a Genius Bruiser. Then he ended up hooked on the super-steroids Venom and used it to bust out of prison.
- When Bane decides to get himself clean of Venom, he deliberately got himself placed in solitary confinement in Blackgate prison so he could kick his drug habit. He spent his time exercising and emerged with natural strength equal to what his drug-fueled strength used to be.
- Prison Escape Artist: Having been born and raised in Peña Dura, one of the biggest Hellhole Prison on the planet, Bane is intimately familiar with how prisons work. After he managed to escape Peña Dura, pretty much no prison on earth can keep him locked up for long.
- Psycho Serum: The Venom Super Serum that he uses often has debilitating effects on his sanity, although how severe it is can vary. Sometimes it just makes him angrier and impairs his judgment, sometimes it makes him insane or turns him into The Berserker.
- Raised by Orcs: Bane was born and raised in Peño Duro, the worst Hellhole Prison in Santa Prisca, a small South American country mostly known for its drug trade. His father was Edmund Dorrance, AKA King Snake, a British mercenary who fled the country after a failed revolution, with the government sentencing his unborn son to serve his sentence. As a result of being raised and trained by the worst murderers, rapists and monsters South America had to offer, Bane grew up into an extremely dangerous and competent criminal, fluent in several languages thanks to the mixed nationality of the prison population, and highly intelligent both due to a natural gift, the dedication to learn and the education he received from the prisoners and a local Jesuit priest.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: He's a villain who wears a black costume and his Cool Mask is often drawn with red eyepieces.
- Red Baron: After Knightfall he's often referred to as "The Man Who Broke the Bat."
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: His Cool Mask is often drawn with red eyepieces that give him a sinister appearance.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The "I am Bane" arc of Batman (Tom King). After Batman invades his island, Bane returns to Gotham City, beats and lynches Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, and Damian Wayne in the Bat-Cave, abducts and tortures a number of Batman's other allies, and completely tears through every other member of Batman's Rogues Gallery in Arkham Asylum before finally facing Batman in a brutal brawl that leaves both men near death.
- Secret-Keeper: One of the few villains to know Batman's Secret Identity and even the location of the Bat-Cave. Although he keeps it to himself in order to toy with Batman.
- 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. Bane gave a Disney Villain Death to his father, who turned out to be Edmund Dorrance AKA King Snake. This actually appeared to have stuck until the New 52 reboot.
- 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.
- Shameless Fanservice Guy: In the Hellhole Prison of Peña Duro where he spent most of his young life in, his clothes didn't survive for long, meaning he grew up not having much care for modesty and doesn't care about being seen naked, although he still wears clothes if can, for practical heroes, but sometimes it's been hinted he's a Home Nudist. In Secret Six it's revealed he also Sleeps in the Nude. In the I Am Suicide arc of Batman (Tom King), Bane is completely naked for the entire story, even when he's fighting. And he's just as terrifying and effective as when he's in costume.
- Signature Move: His wrestling move that has him Hoist Hero over Head, followed by cracking over the knee. He tried it on Captain America in a crossover once, but was taken out by a boomeranging shield.Captain America: Now, no more back talk from you!
- Sinister Shiv: Kept one inside his childhood teddy bear. Being born and raised in prison can do that to a kid.
- Sins of the Father: His backstory uses the 'hereditary prison' variant. The child of a foreigner who aided a failed revolution in a South American country, the as-yet-unborn Bane was sentenced to life in prison for his father's crimes, with his mother ended up locked away while pregnant. He was born and raised in the inescapable Hellhole Prison. Bane would get the chance to meet his father, who was revealed to be King Snake, and finally pay him back years down the line.
- Sociopathic Hero: At his best. Unlike Batman, he has no problem with committing murder.
- The Stoic: Depending on the Writer, he acts extremely stoic. Mostly because he actually has No Social Skills and doesn't really know how to interact with normal people.
- Strong and Skilled: He exemplifies this trope best out of all Batmans's Rogues Gallery. Already very strong thanks to growing up in a prison, Bane also took advantage of his Photographic Memory and trained his mind studying books in his cell and became a Genius Bruiser in the process, while also taughting himself several martial arts and fighting techniques. If that wasn't enough Bane frequently injects Venom into his bloodstream giving him Super-Strength to the extent where he can fight several metahumans and give Batman a very hard time.
- Super-Intelligence: Of the super learning and Photographic Memory kind. However, he doesn't boast on his intellect. Or apply the knowledge he has learned to practical use, except strategic skills. Willpower and discipline are his more defining attributes anyway.
- Super Serum: The Venom he uses to boost his strength to titanic levels is a synthetic high-grade ultra steroid created by the military in order to make super soldiers. The military ended up testing on Santa Prisca and eventually the criminal government of Santa Prisca acquired samples of the drug, which led to testing on convicted criminals. When they tested it on Bane, he took advantage of the enhanced strength and used it to escape from prison. Venom has been a part of his arsenal ever since, although how he gets a steady supply of it is a case of Depending on the Writer.
- Super-Strength: When juiced up on Venom, Bane's strength is beyond human, making him one of the most dangerous of Batman's opponents in hand to hand. Depending on the Artist, his change in strength may actually be depicted by a Temporary Bulk Change as he grows to be much more muscular.
- Super-Toughness: In his original appearance, part of the Super-Soldier project he underwent was implanting subcutaneous armor implants — or, in layman's terms, peeling him open and inserting slabs of bullet-proof plastic into his flesh over his vital spots. This made him extremely resistant to damage, as most attacks would penetrate the skin and then be absorbed by the armor plating.
- Temporary Bulk Change: How much using Venom affects his muscle growth varies Depending on the Writer. Sometimes he stays pretty much the same size and gets somewhat veiny, sometimes his muscles bulk up considerably and he gets green Volcanic Veins and sometimes he becomes a hulking Top-Heavy Guy of inhuman size with borderline Body Horror proportions.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: A skewed example in Secret Six. After finding out in Hell that his "personal code of honor" didn't make him a good person and he's damned for his crimes in life, he decides that if he's damned anyway, he might as well go all out back on Earth, not realizing that he's been evil the entire time, he just assumed that avoiding certain KINDS of evils was the same as not being evil at all.
- This Is Your Premise on Drugs: Bane's was created as Doc Savage Expy except EVIL AND ON STEROIDS!
- Top-Heavy Guy: Depending on the Artist, his torso can look much bigger and bulkier than the rest of his body, especially if he's using Venom.
- Tragic Villain: Born in a prison, serve out his father's sentence in a maximum-security prison for adults. Later volunteered, or was forced, to become a test subject for a dangerously potent steroid that, in some alternate futures, will eventually leave him too sick and weak to care for himself. Despite all this he's arguably flourished, if one considers being an internationally infamous supervillain flourishing. But part of the fundamental tragedy of his character is the maybe of what he could have achieved if her were raised anywhere else. This goes back to Dixion's design philosophy that while now he is a "big evil bastard" it is "not his fault" and at the "heart of it" he's an Innocent.
- Victory by Endurance: This was how Bane defeated Batman in the Knightfall story arc: waiting until Batman had a normally inconvenient bout of the flu, Bane unleashed a mob of super-criminals from Arkham Asylum and waited for Batman to tire himself out trying to put them all back behind bars in the space of a few days with no sleep. Having already deduced Batman's Secret Identity, Bane shows up at Wayne Manor after Bruce Wayne has practically collapsed in exhaustion and then breaks his spine.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: During Bane of the Demon, he kills Ubu while attempting to take over the League of Assassins from Ra's Al Ghul. Ra defeats him, but still allows him to join the League, and Bane briefly becomes the new Ubu.
- Volcanic Veins: Depending on the Artist, he is depicted as having glowing green pulsing veins when he injects the Venom that gives him his Super-Strength, especially when it also causes him to have a Temporary Bulk Change.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Bane had three very close friends in Knightfall who also acted as his lieutenants: Bird, Zombie and Trogg, who have hardly ever appeared for years. They finally return in Batman (Tom King) arc "I Am Bane".
- Weight Taller: Depending on the Writer, when he uses Venom to increase his strength, he also gets taller and more muscular, although it's a Temporary Bulk Change.
- 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.
- Ra's Al Ghul proclaimed Bane as the second most dangerous man in the world after his Batman Gambit to outwit Ra's to the point he declared Bane the only suitable mate for Talia besides Batman himself.
- Would Harm a Senior: At the end of Batman (Tom King) Bane kills the old Alfred Pennyworth via a Neck Snap.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Despite his Masked Luchador design, how much of a wrestler he is can vary, which some writers depict as more of a brawler than a wrestler, especially when he's using Venom. But without Venom he often resorts to using wrestling moves on the caped crusader, such as a modified camel clutch, and even a bridging fisherman's suplex. Most famously his Signature Move, even with Venom, the Bat-Breaker is indeed a wrestling move.