Bane by Brian Bolland.
|First appearance||Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993)|
|Created by||Chuck Dixon
|Alter ego||Antonio diego|
|Team affiliations||Suicide Squad
Secret Society of Super Villains
Bane is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993), and was created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench and Graham Nolan. Bane has been one of Batman's most intelligent and physically powerful foes. He is best known for breaking Batman's back in the "Knightfall" story arc.
In most other media adaptations of the character, Bane is more simplistic and thuggish than his highly intelligent comic book counterpart. The most notable example is in the 1997 film Batman & Robin, where the character is a mindless goon. The character was portrayed by Robert Swenson in the film.
Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Graham Nolan created the character for the Knightfall storyline, although it is unclear what elements were introduced by each of the two writers (Dixon and Moench). Dixon wrote the character's first appearance (Vengeance of Bane), with art by Graham Nolan. It is also unclear how much input was provided by Denny O'Neil (veteran writer of the Batman books, then Group Editor for the Batman family of books, and author of the novel adaptation of Knightfall). O'Neil had previously created Bane's hellish birthplace of Santa Prisca in The Question and the drug Venom in the storyline of the same name (published in the pages of Legends of the Dark Knight #16-20, and later reprinted as a trade paperback). In the pages of Azrael, O'Neil introduced Bane's perception of Venom as both an addiction and the weakness responsible for his earlier defeats. The link between Bane and King Snake was introduced by writer Scott Beatty.
Bane was born in the fictional Caribbean Republic of Santa Prisca, in a prison called Peña Duro ("Hard Rock"). His father had been a revolutionary and had escaped Santa Prisca's court system. The corrupt government however decreed that his young son would serve out the man's life sentence, and thus Bane's childhood and early adult life are spent in the amoral penitentiary environment. Though imprisoned, his natural abilities allow him to develop extraordinary skills within the prison's walls. He reads as many books as he can get his hands on, builds up his body in the prison's gym, and learns to fight in the merciless school of prison life. Despite his circumstances, he finds teachers of various sorts during his incarceration, ranging from hardened convicts to an elderly Jesuit priest, under whose tutelage he apparently receives a classical education. Bane murders this priest upon his return to Santa Prisca years later. However, he commits his first murder at the age of eight, stabbing a criminal who wanted to use him to gain information about the prison. During his years in prison, Bane carries a teddy bear he calls Osito (Spanish for "little bear"), whom he considers his only friend. It is revealed that Osito has a hole in his back to hold a knife that Bane uses against anyone who bullies him.
Bane ultimately establishes himself as the "king" of Peña Duro prison. The prison's controllers take note and eventually force him to become a test subject for a mysterious drug known as Venom, which had killed all other subjects. It nearly kills him at first, but he survives and finds the drug vastly increases his physical strength, although he needs to take it every 12 hours (via a system of tubes pumped directly into his brain) or he would suffer debilitating side-effects.
Years later, Bane escapes Peña Duro, along with several accomplices based on the Fabulous Five (his friends Trogg, Zombie, and Bird, all of whom are named after 1960s rock bands: The Troggs, The Zombies, and The Byrds, and were designed to mimic three of Doc Savage's assistants Monk, Ham, and Renny). His ambition turns to destroying Batman, whom he had heard tales of while serving his sentence. He is fascinated with Gotham City because, like the prison, it is a place where fear rules: in this case, fear of Batman. Bane is convinced that the demonic bat that haunted his dreams since childhood is a representation of the Batman.
Aware that a direct assault on Batman would be foolish, Bane destroys the walls of Arkham Asylum, allowing its deranged inmates (including the Joker, the Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, the Ventriloquist, Firefly, Cavalier, and Victor Zsasz) to escape into Gotham City, where Batman spends three months rounding them up. Running himself to exhaustion, Batman returns to Wayne Manor, where Bane awaits him, having determined Batman's secret identity. Bane fights Batman in the Batcave, defeats him and delivers the final blow: Bane breaks Batman's back, leaving him paraplegic; Bane thus becomes the only man to have "Broken the Bat".
While Bane establishes himself as ruler of Gotham's criminal underworld, Bruce Wayne passes the mantle of Batman to Jean-Paul Valley, also known as Azrael. As Batman, Jean-Paul grows increasingly violent, allowing the villain Abattoir to fall to his death. Jean-Paul also refuses to recognize Robin as his partner. Using a sophisticated combat suit in place of the traditional Batman uniform, he fights and defeats Bane at the end of the Knightfall arc, severing the tubes that pump the Venom into Bane's bloodstream, causing severe withdrawal. Valley then gives the weakened Bane a vicious beating, leaving him alive but broken.
Further following the events of Knightfall, Bane recovers from his Venom addiction while serving time in Blackgate Prison, as seen in Vengeance of Bane II: The Redemption (1995). He eventually escapes from prison and returns to Gotham, where he fights alongside Batman to take out a criminal ring that is distributing a Venom derivative to street-level thugs. Following a victory over the criminals (and the revelation that behind it is the same doctor that performed the same surgery on Bane years earlier in Santa Prisca), Bane proclaims that he is "innocent" of his past crimes and urges Batman to stop hunting him. He then leaves Gotham (without fighting Batman) to begin a search for his father.
Bane's search brings him back to Santa Prisca (shown in the Bane of the Demon mini-series published in 1998). In search of leads, Bane questions the Jesuit priest who had taught him while he was in Peña Duro. The priest explains that there were four men who could possibly have been his father: a Santa Priscan revolutionary, an American doctor, an English mercenary, and a Swiss banker. While searching for the Swiss man in Rome, Bane encounters Ra's al Ghul's daughter Talia. Talia introduces Bane to her father, and eventually Bane impresses Ra's so much that he chooses Bane as his heir (an "honor" he had previously imparted on Batman).
Ra's al Ghul and Bane then launch a plague attack on Gotham in the "Legacy" storyline. Bruce Wayne, again costumed as Batman, gets his rematch with Bane in Detective Comics #701 and finally defeats him in single combat.
Following the "Legacy" storyline, Bane appears in a one-shot publication called Batman: Bane (1997) and fights Azrael in the "Angel and the Bane" storyline. He then surfaces in the story arc "No Man's Land", serving as an enforcer for Lex Luthor during Luthor's attempts to take control of Gotham under the cover of helping it to rebuild, but Batman convinces Bane to leave after a brief confrontation between Bane and the Joker. Following a fallout with Ra's al Ghul, Bane later embarks on a campaign to destroy Lazarus Pits around the world, and in the process, encounters Black Canary.
According to the Jesuit priest that Bane speaks with in Bane of the Demon #1, there is a possibility that Bane's biological father is an American doctor. In researching this issue, Bane comes to the conclusion that he and Batman share Dr. Thomas Wayne as their biological father, with Dr. Wayne having apparently become close to Bane's mother during his time in Santa Prisca. Bane alerts Batman to this possibility and during the time that the DNA tests are being performed, stays at Wayne Manor and fights alongside Batman on the streets of Gotham in the "Tabula Rasa" storyline. Ultimately, it is revealed that Dr. Wayne is not Bane's father, and Bane leaves Gotham peacefully (and with Batman's blessing and financial backing) to pursue leads in the snowy mountains of Kangchenjunga.
Bane eventually finds his father, who turns out to not be the El Jefe Del Pais of Santa Prisca at all but rather the unscrupulous King Snake, in the "Veritas Liberat" storyline. Bane, with Batman looking on, helps foil King Snake's plans to unleash a powerful weapon upon the world. Bane saves Batman from being shot by King Snake, but is mortally wounded in the process. Batman then saves Bane by bathing him in a Lazarus Pit, and leaves him with a clean slate and a new opportunity at life.
In Infinite Crisis #7, Bane is shown fighting alongside the villains during the Battle of Metropolis. During the battle, he breaks the back of the hero Judomaster, killing him. No reason was given for his actions in #7, though in Infinite Crisis's collected edition, one of the many changes made to the original series was Bane saying "I finally know who I am. I am Bane. I break people." while breaking Judomaster's back.
Bane resurfaces in the One Year Later continuity in JSA Classified #17-18 searching for the Hourmen (Rex and Rick Tyler), asking them for help. To win their trust, he tells them how, prior to the Battle of Metropolis, he returned to his homeland to put an end to the drug lords' government, in the process discovering that a new, more addictive strain of Venom had been created. In his furious carelessness to wipe out the drug trade, he was captured, and reimplanted with the cranial tubes, hooked to the new Venom, but now unable to shake off his addiction without dying from the withdrawal. Bane was forced to work as an enforcer for the drug cartel, unable to escape. Believing that Bane sought Rex Tyler's expertise in chemistry, Rick lets him approach his father, only to discover that the story is a ruse. Bane, who had never truly been addicted to Venom, had in fact wiped out the drug lords, and destroyed every research note on Venom. He discovered in the process both strains of Venom derived from Rex Tyler's early research on Miraclo. He discovers from the Tylers that no written notes exist of Rex's work, captures Rex, and steals Rick's equipment, planning to kill Rex and force Rick to take the last of the new Venom, living forever as an addict. Rick manipulates Bane into using Miraclo and demolishing the building as he and his father escape, burying the mercenary in the rubble of the very same Santa Priscan penitentiary where his story began.
Eventually, Bane resurfaces in Santa Prisca, leading the country to democratic elections. Upon discovering that the elections were rigged by Computron, he uses his influence to enforce martial law, plunging the country into a civil war. Computron offers information to Checkmate on who ordered him to rig the elections in exchange for their help in escaping the country. Fire and Judomaster's son, Thomas Jagger, are sent on the mission, with Jagger debating whether or not to seek revenge for his father's murder. He fights Bane in order to allow Fire to escape, defeating him easily, but chooses not to kill him.
In Salvation Run #2, Bane was tricked by his fellow squad members, and sent to the prison planet. In Salvation Run #3, Bane remains with Lex Luthor's faction after Joker's faction rebels against Luthor's leadership. He recently attacked Thunder and Lightning when they were attempting to feed Martian Manhunter.
In Superman/Batman #53-#56, reveals Bane is trading his Venom supplies with drug lords across the globe. One of his shipments includes a trip to Gotham. Batman, who was temporarily endowed with Superman's powers, responded by attacking Bane at his home. Not only was The Dark Knight able to easily defeat the villain, the hero nearly killed him with his far superior strength. Bane survived his injuries due to the enhanced stamina from his Venom supplies.
Since September 2008, Bane has appeared as a regular character in the ongoing Secret Six series. In the first issue, Bane is depicted as a stoic devil's advocate for the group, offering alternative points of view for both Deadshot and Catman on the subject of love. He is later shown to have an almost father-like concern for Scandal Savage's well-being. Although this is largely played for laughs in the early issues, the first arc's final issue displays the depth of Bane's affection. When the Six are attacked by an army of supervillains, a wounded (and seemingly dying) Bane's concern for Scandal results in him taking Venom to save her. Bane is later shown to have recovered from his ordeal, appearing in Gotham City with Catman and Ragdoll in an attempt to stem some of the chaos caused by the apparent death of Batman. During the team's several escapades, Bane reveals both a deep respect for his onetime adversary and a painful yearning to assume the mantle of Batman, telling a trio of rescued citizens to tell people that it was the Batman who saved them. Bane ultimately gives his blessing to Dick Grayson, praying that "God help him." Following a near-disastrous mission, Bane assumes leadership over the Six. His first act as leader is to remove Scandal from active duty, not wishing for her to be endangered.
Bane is highly intelligent; in "Bane of the Demon", Ra's al Ghul says that Bane "has a mind equal to the greatest he has known." In prison, he taught himself various scientific disciplines equal to the level of understanding of leading experts in those fields. He knows six active languages and at least two additional arcane and dead ones, those mentioned are Spanish, English, Urdu, Persian, and Latin. The "Bane of the Demon" storyline reveals that he has a photographic memory. Within one year, he is able to deduce Batman's secret identity.
He is also highly devious and a superb strategist and tactician. In prison, Bane also invented his own form of calisthenics, meditation, and a unique fighting style. Usage of Venom enhances his physical abilities, including his strength, and healing process to superhuman levels. 
Bane appears as a villain in several Batman based video games:
Peter Marinker plays Bane in the radio adaption of Batman Knightfall.
Kenner released different versions of Bane for each of its Batman: The Animated Series, Batman & Robin, and Legends of the Dark Knight action figure lines. D.C. Direct has released two Bane figures. One as the character appeared in the Batman "Knightfall" comic series as well as in the "Secret Files & Origins" series. Each came packaged with a figure stand specific to that particular series, with no other accessories. Mattel has included two versions of Bane in their D.C. Superheroes line of action figures. Both versions share the same mold and only vary in paint applications. The first version is set apart by black pants while the second (2007) version has pants decorated with a camouflage pattern. Both versions of this figure came with a small "Osito" accessory, although many of the first version seem to have been shipped to stores without. In 2007, LEGO released a Bane mini-figure in a Bat-Tank building set, alongside a Riddler mini-figure. In February 2009, Mattel released an action figure from The New Batman Adventures incarnation of Bane in the Justice League Unlimited toyline in a Matty Collector exclusive four pack along with Clock King, Harley Quinn, and Scarecrow. The figure comes with no accessories.