Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bane


Bane was introduced in the 1990s at the height of the comic collecting boom that turned comic book creators into millionaires and celebrities, and later almost ruined the industry. He was one of the central characters of the Batman story Knightfall which was wildly popular, but in hindsight disliked by many fans including me. Telling Bane's story involves some heavy Knightfall spoilers, so proceed with caution.

Born inside a prison in a corrupt Caribbean island nation, Bane is sentenced to serve a life sentence for a murder committed by his dead father. With nothing to do but train, fight, and read, he share's Batman's obsessive dedication to better himself. He's forced to participate in a trial of an experimental drug known as Venom which gives its user superhuman strength. Eventually he escapes the prison, bringing his Venom and for some reason a luchador mask with him, and he decides to test himself against the best man the world has to offer, Batman. Unusual for a Batman villain, he attacks patiently and tactically instead of flamboyantly. His strategy is to break every inmate out of Arkham Asylum, forcing Batman to work around the clock to bring in psychotic criminals like the Mad Hatter. Then, only after Batman has worn himself out, does Bane strike. And Bane whips Batman's ass. Badly. He breaks Batman's back, leaving Bruce Wayne paralyzed. And that's where the story goes off the rails, as far as I'm concerned. Eventually, he's defeated, obviously, and Wayne walks again.

Subsequent stories have gotten Bane off the Venom, robbing him of his superhuman strength, and ignored his formerly brilliant mind, taking away the only things that made him interesting. He briefly teamed up with Ra's al Ghul, had a thing for Talia, and at one point thought Thomas Wayne was his real biological father, but he's been turned into a mindless thug who reminds everyone that he's the man who "broke the Bat," but poses no real threat anymore, and only pops back up again to capitalize on his popularity from the Knightfall.

Pros: Knightfall, as I said, was hugely popular, and even though I only liked parts of Bane in it, he has many devoted fans. The idea of someone who can be a physical and mental match for Batman is nice, since most of his enemies are one or the other.

Cons: He's a big strong guy in a luchador mask. That works ok in comics, but picturing that guy walking around in the movie version of Gotham is... odd. He also appeared in Batman & Robin as Poison Ivy's muscle, though he didn't speak and aside from the name, the venom, and the luchador mask, had nothing to do with the comic book character. And as I mentioned in my thoughts on Poison Ivy, anybody from that movie is a hard sell because it was just dreadful.

How I'd do it: You can keep his origin unchanged, although it might be fun to have him grow up in the prison Bruce Wayne spent time in in Batman Begins, but you might have to ditch the luchador mask. And the venom won't work, though he can certainly be on all kinds of steroids. The Knightfall storyline can be heavily modified to work for where the story of Batman has to progress. Obviously, breaking Batman's back and leaving him paralyzed would be far too slow-moving a story for one movie. But Bane could come to Gotham, taking out Batman in exchange for control of the mafia. He doesn't kill Batman obviously, but he defeats him, very publicly, leaving Batman broken, physically and psychologically. Bruce decides to give it all up, that he's found an enemy he can't beat. The people of Gotham, still hating him for the events at the end of The Dark Knight, celebrate Batman's defeat, making Bruce's decision to quit even easier. But with Bane in control of crime in Gotham, things get worse than they ever were. The people of Gotham, and eventually Bruce as well, reconsider, and Batman comes back better than ever to defeat Bane and redeem himself to his city.

Casting Guesses: The Rock? He's charismatic and physically big enough, but I'm not sure he can play a cold, calculating villain. Vin Diesel is kinda short and can't act. Maybe there's some huge wrestler somewhere who's perfect for it, but I'm not a wrestling fan.

UPDATE: Tom Hardy will be playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. See this page to read all about Bane.

Verdict: It could happen, but I hope it doesn't. Everyone expects the next movie to focus on Batman's redemption, and the Knightfall-ish storyline above fits that idea well. That version is horribly predictable, and while professional writers could do a better job, I don't think they can deviate too much from it without turning Bane into something else entirely.

19 comments:

ebieymjunior said...

Kane (http://z.about.com/d/prowrestling/1/0/r/4/-/-/kane.jpg) (http://www.wweticket.net/images/kane.jpg) or Triple H (http://images.art.com/images/-/Triple-H---HHH--C10043417.jpeg)
would work perfectly

Bill said...

Cool, thanks!

ZachGates said...

Tiny Lister.

He was in the boat, he's gigantic and terrifying (as opposed to MCD's somewhat paternal appeal) and he was already there.

Anonymous said...

Dude, what is your profession?


you should be a writer, if you are not.

i have been going through your site and i love what you are saying.


i just wanna add to what you got and maybe get your opinion..


on bane, what you would do is great, but maybe make the "steroids" he uses jonathan cranes new drug, and bam you have two villains.


but its a pretty good story, and fighting the scarecrow in an actual intense battle would be a change of pace while getting ready to fight bane.


i dunno just thinking out loud.

Bill said...

Just a computer nerd, but thanks.

Tying Bane's drugs to the Scarecrow could definitely work, and it's be a pretty nice little connection running through all three movies.

Anonymous said...

Bane is near the top of my wishlist. I haven't read Knightfall, but I'll get my hands on it soon. But from what I've heard, he is one of the few villains that can match Joker and al Ghul's threat level. Just a few changes: he should not have venom, and he should have more futuristic look, like in "The Batman" but not as large (he was like red Hulk. heh).
He could work as a mastermind too, but since he doesn't have as much theme as the Joker and his plans seem not to be "destroy or corrupt the city" -types, but "beat the crap out of Batman" -types, he would maybe work best as a henchman, just a really smart one.



I just want to see an epic fight in these movies...

Anonymous said...

What if the next villain duo had kind of a Darth Vader - Emperor relationship, if you know what I mean. Bane would be "Vader", maybe Black Mask the "Emperor".

Anonymous said...

I know they don't like to use villains already seen in the movies but Riddler and Bane need to be redeemed. Schumacher versions were horrible. Besides general audience doesn't even remember Bane from B&R.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be awesome to see Bane use some brutal wrestling moves on Batman. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Bane doesn't seem like a Nolan-type villain much.

Anonymous said...

Not that he isn't intelligent, he is, but Ra's and Joker had some higher purpose. Bane just wants to break the Bat.


On the other hand, he'd deserve to be the next villain...

Anonymous said...

Alright, a little late on this conversation - but I think you are 100% correct - the next Nolan flick should be the KnightFall Sequence, even if it takes two movies to do it -

Forget wrestlers as candidates to play Bane - Nolan would not sink to this level. How about Forest WHitaker!?

Azrael is much toucher to figure out - some hot shot young actor (like Ledger!)

Anonymous said...

Knightfall doesn't happen this early on Batman's career. However Bane could very well appear. Search YouTube for "Batman vs Bane: to the death". That's the kind of scene that could be in the movie. (Only Gordon is more hesitant and doesn't know Batman's identity)

Anonymous said...

I doubt they're going to use Bane, but if they did, I hope they use the Knightfall Baen. Ever since The Animated Series and that attrocity Batman & Robin, Bane's been dumbed down to the point of extinction. The REAL Bane is a highly intelligent physical AND mental threat to Batman.

lface said...

I'd definitely love to see Bane. He's the only guy out of Batman's rogue gallery that could say he put Batman out indefinitely. He's calm and calculated and if done right could mesh well with Nolan's take on Batman. As far as a casting choice, I'd have to go with Nathan Jones. Dude's like 6'8 and is just an intimidating looking guy.

Anonymous said...

A loose version of Knightfall with some twist would be great. Bane was originally the most clever bad guy. And he should look more like something between TNBA and TB versions. Some big guy does the physical acting, some other actor does the voice. Theme: He wants to prove that everyone has a weakness and can be beaten, except himself (in his own opinion).

Anonymous said...

Bane is perhaps the only one villain more dangerous than Joker. He has to be included. Someone should finally do a proper interpretation of him, and think Nolan is very capable to do that. Bane is much better than Riddler, who is too arrogant yet cowardly, and very non-violent and non-threatening.

Anonymous said...

What if all the events, beginning from the Narrows' attack and the breakout from Arkham, to Joker's actions and finally Batman breaking his one rule (killing Harvey), were all just a part of Bane's master plan to discredit Batman and then, in the third movie to defeat him and take the glory. Joker was unknowingly just a puppet (like he was in knightfall). That would be a good way to show Bane's intelligence.

Anonymous said...

If they can do Ra's without Lazarus pits and Joker without his laughing poison, I am sure they can do Bane without venom. He would certainly fit, as he is supposed to be more intelligent than both Joker or Riddler, after all. I'm certain he could come up with plots just as complex as Joker did. He can be more than just an excuse to make a good fight scene.