- "Behold... the ideal killing machine! I call this little number... Bane. Bane of Humanity!"
- ―Dr. Jason Woodrue about his new creation, Bane.[src]
Antonio Diego was a prisoner in the South-American jail of Pena Duro, who apparently served a life sentence for murder, and was also the sole surviving volunteer for Dr. Woodrue's "Project Gilgamesh". He was selected to be the test subject for military tests involving the experimental drug, Venom and was Dr. Woodrue's first successful subject. Woodrue first had Diego's hair permanently removed, and then had five holes drilled into his skull with the largest at the base of the back of his skull. Diego was strapped down in front of a large audience of foreign dictators, American military generals, commanders, commissars, sheiks, and terrorists to an operating table, where massive, concentrated overdoses of Venom were purposely pumped into his skull and circulatory systems. Through the Luchador-style mask that he was forced to wear - one with five tubes that were snaked into his skull - Diego was seen writhing and screaming in agony for roughly fifteen seconds before he began to change. Originally, Diego was comparatively scrawny and diminutive, but when Venom took effect, he turned into a hulking, monstrous abomination with superhuman strength, or the "ideal killing machine", in Dr. Woodrue's words.
After Dr. Pamela Isley became Poison Ivy, she took the newly christened Bane with her to Gotham City to act as her enforcer. Bane helped scare the Golums from their hangout at the abandoned Turkish Baths, as well as assisted in freeing Mr. Freeze from Arkham Asylum and retrieved his cryogenic armor from Arkham's Criminal Property Locker.
At Freeze's hideout, the Snowy Cones Ice Cream Factory, Batman and Robin, along with Commissioner Gordon and the GCPD, investigated the hideout for clues to Freeze's whereabouts. During the investigation, Batman and Robin discovered that Ivy was close by after they got a dose of her pheromone dust. After they followed its direction, Batman and Robin began to look for Ivy, only to be confronted and challenged by Bane, who proved more than a match for them with his ferocious strength. Ivy and Bane successfully escaped arrest and fled.
Bane eventually accompanied Freeze to Gotham Observatory, assisted him in taking control of the new telescope, and placed Freeze's icicle bombs around the area.
When Batman, Robin, and Batgirl arrived to stop them, Freeze ordered Bane to kill Batman's partners while he fought the Dark Knight himself. Bane encountered Robin and Batgirl in a cave within the cliffs on which the Observatory was built, pinned them both against a wall, and attempted to strangle them to death. Robin and Batgirl kicked Bane's main supply tube, which disconnected it from the back of his head and stopped the Venom circulation to his brain in the process. As a result, Bane suffered from massive withdrawal, and quickly reverted back to his normal, diminished state. Bane was left behind by Robin and Batgirl as they escaped, but what happened to him afterwards was ultimately left ambiguous as there was no evidence that he died in the fall of the Telescope Platform that occurred shortly afterwards. However, what appeared to be the pool of Venom around Bane was seen around part of the fallen telescope, which hinted that he may have been crushed.
Behind the Scenes
- That interpretation of Bane varied from most appearances in the comics, in that when strengthened by Venom, Bane did not retain his above-average intellect and cunning, but was reduced to a far less than average I.Q. Having near god-like physical strength, yet often had an intellect that was far below that of their enemies, was a cliche that could be viewed among other opponents in Batman's Rogues Gallery, including Solomon Grundy, and in the many interpretations of Clayface and Killer Croc.
- Rather than being the devious and intelligent villain of the comics, that version of Bane was an inarticulate thug who served as the bodyguard, henchman, and assistant to Poison Ivy, the primary villain of the film. Bane was barely even capable of speech and used growls, roars, and snarls for most of his communication; and only occasionally roared single words or short, incoherent sentences. Despite that particular change in his character, Bane was still muscular, wore an accurate replication of his classic costume and mask, and was still superhumanly strong: he easily overpowered various thugs, police officers, and held his own against both Batman and Robin in hand-to-hand combat.
- That depiction of Bane was one of many aspects of why the film which received harsh criticism from fans and critics alike.
- That particular interpretation seemed to resemble Samson, a Biblical character who possessed almost superhuman physique and strength, but only when his hair grew. When it was removed from him, Samson became a diminutive and skinny weakling. Christopher Nolan's Bane and Mr. Freeze both defied that convention.