- "You cannot do this to me! I am invincible! I AM BANE!"
- ―Bane to Batman when he is defeated
The man later known as Bane was an inmate of Pena Duro, a Cuban prison that was meant to contain the hardest and most dangerous convicts. He was chosen as a test subject for Project Gilgamesh, a government project to create super-soldiers with a new "super-steroid" called Venom. The experiment was too successful - Bane escaped Cuba and hired out his services as a freelance assassin. Eventually, Bane built his reputation to the point where he demanded five million dollars per job.
His employment by Rupert Thorne to eliminate Batman was the job that Bane had waited for. In his career, Bane became fascinated by Batman, and had studied him carefully in the hope of one day defeating him. Bane came close, but Batman defeated him by a slim margin. He had also schemed to supplant Thorne as head of organized crime in Gotham City, with the help of Thorne's moll, Candice.
Bane later returned to Gotham with a new and enhanced form of Venom. During Batman's unexplained absence from Gotham, Bane proposed an alliance with The Riddler and the Mad Hatter, to rule the city, but that scheme was foiled by Superman, who had temporarily taken on Batman's costume. Even with his enhanced strength, Bane was incapable of beating Superman.
Unlike many other of Batman's enemies, Bane had no diagnosed mental problems, and was usually incarcerated at Stonegate Penitentiary instead of Arkham Asylum.
Decades later, Bane's constant use of Venom had degraded his body and transformed him into a wheelchair-bound invalid, who was barely able to move and needed constant infusions of Venom just to stay alive as he did not give himself permission to die. Bruce Wayne paid Bane the tribute of telling Terry McGinnis that he was a "formidable opponent." Bane was also indirectly and unintentionally responsible for the Venom-based product known as Slappers, as he shared the Venom formula to his caretaker, Jackson Chappell, with the intention of Chappell infusing him with enough Venom to live (being too weak to do so himself), and Chappell decided to replicate it for Slappers in order to make some cash.
Powers & Abilities
Bane was an Olympic-level athlete with immense strength even without Venom. When the Venom was injected into his brain (from a dispenser usually mounted on his arm, and fed through tubes connected to his mask), Bane achieved superhuman strength and endurance (although not enough to defeat Superman).
However, the Venom could be dangerous when used in excess; during their first encounter, Batman defeated Bane by triggering an overdose of the drug into Bane's head and stopped the flow just before Bane literally burst. Bane's abuse of Venom ultimately became his undoing in the end. He had been using Venom so frequently for so long that his body developed a dependency on it, to the point that he ultimately needed Venom just to stay alive. It especially worsened upon old age, as his lifelong use of the substance degraded his body and weakened him to the point that he became incapacitated, leaving him in need of a caretaker for the remainder of his life.
Bane was also highly intelligent, with a talent for planning and careful study of his target.
Notes and Trivia
- There was a reference to the original Batman: Knightfall storyline in Superman: The Animated Series episode "Knight Time": Confronted by Superman-disguised-as-Batman, Bane commented: "I feared you had gone forever, Batman. And that would have meant I'd never feel your spine crumble in my hands."
- Bane was voiced in Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, and The New Batman Adventures by Henry Silva. Notably, Silva used a thick Latin American accent for his first appearance, but lessened his accent subsequently.
- In the direct-to-video release Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, and the video game, Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu, he was voiced by Hector Elizondo.
- The producers were reluctant to use Bane in the series and felt that he was a gimmick character. That may have explained the infrequency of his appearances.
- Despite his infrequent appearances, Bane was one of the more recurring villains in terms of the number of series he was featured in, and was featured in four episodes throughout the DC Animated Universe in Batman: The Animated Series (including The New Batman Adventures), Superman: The Animated Series, and Batman Beyond.
- Bane's mask bore much resemblance to a Mexican Lucha Libre mask. Perhaps in reference to that, during Bane's initial appearance, Batman battled him using Huracanranas.
- Bane was only in one episode of Batman: The Animated Series, Bane.
Superman: The Animated Series
- Knight Time
The New Batman Adventures
- Over the Edge