Baneiversary: Everything You Should Know About Bane
Baneiversary was upon us! Much like the villain himself, this event crept up on us when we least expected it. But despite missing the 28th Baneiversary on the 20th July, we’ve found a friendlier way to celebrate than going around breaking people’s backs (sorry people). But what is Baneiversary? well it’s a combination of my favourite supervillain and my unfavourite word: Bane and Anniversary. More accurately, it is the annual day that celebrates the DC supervillain known as Bane.
Now you might imagine Baneiversary would have something like Bane coming down your chimney, or a nice vacation to Peña Duro – the prison Bane was born and raised in. Disappointingly, you would be incorrect. Instead, we dedicate the day to one of Batman’s greatest and deadliest foes, and the years that his legacy still lives on. So to show our dedication, we will be answering some of the commonly asked questions about the venom-pumping villain in the comics.
What Is So Special About Bane?
You may have heard so many people hype up him as one of Batman’s greatest villains (me included), but why is he special from the others in Batman’s rogues gallery? Bane himself is considered as Batman’s equal – not just in strength but in intelligence too. He first appeared in Batman: Vengeance Of Bane, which portrayed not only a tragic backstory for the villain, but a mirrored one to The Dark Knight himself.
Bruce Wayne witnessed the death of his parents, but being surrounded by friends, wealth, and a home led him to the path to righteousness. Bruce waged a war on criminals by seeking to protect Gotham as The Batman. Bane however witnessed the death of his mother, and was surrounded by criminals, poverty, and fear. He then waged his own war, but sought to conquer Gotham as opposed to saving it.
Bane raised some attention through his appearances in DC media. The most popular link to the villain is through Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. As apart of the final entry to the Dark Knight trilogy, Bane is the main antagonist of the film and performs his iconic moment from the comic: Breaking The Bat. This solidified him as a villain who had beaten Batman.
Is Bane Smart In The Comics?
A lot of discussion about the character stems on ‘How Smart is Bane?‘. With various representations in media portraying Bane as a brute, a lot of us wonder whether he is just another thug or someone with capable thinking Bane’s intelligence is said to be one of the greatest in the DC Universe – even matching Batman’s. A master tactician, multi-linguist, and polymath; Bane’s depiction in the comics have shown him to be not only a match for Batman’s brawns, but his brains as well. Unlike Batman & Robin which portrayed the character as a mindless henchman for others, Bane has done very intelligent and strategic actions.
One example of Bane’s intelligence involves his patience and plan to study the Batman. He himself knows that Batman is a strong adversary, enough to even be beaten by him. So the masked villain implements a plan to weaken The Bat by using the hero’s mission against him. Bane releases every inmate from Arkham Asylum onto the streets, forcing Batman to work tirelessly to returning them. With a weary and exhausted Batman returning home, he finds nothing but Bane waiting for him there.
Bane had successfully studied Batman; knowing him intimately enough to deduce his identity. With Bruce in no condition to fight back, Bane easily dispatched of him and broke his back. Few media depictions have accurately measured this form of intelligence, such as Batman: Arkham Origins, Batman: The Enemy Within, and The Dark Knight Rises.
Why Does Bane Wear The Mask?
In the comics, the mask Bane wears serves to feed him a direct dose of venom from his supply to his brain. Other than that, there is no clear reason as to why he chose the skull-based design on his mask. However, after he is given his definitive look, he proclaims “I am complete“. This possibly suggests that he wanted to create the ideal image to his villainous moniker – with ‘Bane’ being the anti-Batman by wearing a similar mask.
In Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Bane wears a mask that supplies him with Anesthetic. It is revealed by the prison doctor that the villain was the victim of an attack from his fellow prisoners, that left him in permanent and constant pain. Unlike the comic, the mask does not cover his entire face, but still serves a similar purpose.
What Is Bane’s Weakness?
Bane is a character that we have seen build up their strength. With a lot of insight into his backstory in Vengeance of Bane, we know that his strength comes from working out extensively in the prison, and that his vast intellect derives from his fascination with reading smuggled books everyday. However, even a powerhouse such as him has a weakness.
Despite being the perfect combination of strength and smarts, he has a need to use Venom. In the comics, Venom is a liquid compound that enhances and multiplies the physicality of the user to extreme amounts. Described as highly addictive, venom has the negative impact of causing severe withdrawal symptoms if the user isn’t supplied to it.
As the mask constantly feeds Bane his venom, cutting off his supply causes him to withdraw severely. Although Bane is still strong enough to fight, he will lose his advantage and be much weaker than he was before. Jean-Paul Valley Jr. – better known as Azrael – exploited this weakness when he took on the mantle of the bat and bested the villain in single combat (see the above image)
Is Bane Ever Good?
A very fascinating question concerns the morality of Bane. Bane is a tragic villain; for his entire livelihood has consisted of pain, isolation, and death. His villainous nature is the result of his upbringing and his destiny to rule Gotham by conquering fear. But with his history as a victim, has Bane ever healed and been on the side of good?
In Vengeance of Bane II: The Redemption, Bane has undertaken therapy and is attempting to recover from serious withdrawals from Venom. Having escaped prison, Bane decides to hunt down the suppliers of venom; keeping it away from the hands of other criminals. It is there that a second encounter with Batman occurs.
However, Bane expresses no interest to fight Wayne and even works with him to take out the criminals. On the other hand, Batman has his own form of vengeance; planning to fight Bane after dealing with the thugs. Despite his destiny of conquering Gotham, Bane has put that aside in hopes of finding his father – urging Batman to not pursue him as he is innocent. Since then, Bane has been an on-and-off villain in the comics – going back and forth with pursuing a goal of peace, and attacking Gotham to fulfill his destiny.
Happy Baneiversary to all the fans out there.
And thats the end of our list, we hope we’ve answered any Bane newcomers’ questions about the masked villain. Is there anything else you wish to know? Then let us know, and we’ll impart whatever knowledge we can. If you want to learn more about Batman’s opposite, we highly recommend reading the following:
- Batman: Knightfall – Volume I
- Batman: Vengeance of Bane #2
- Bane Conquest
- Secret Six by Gail Simone
- I am Bane by Tom King (make sure to check out the entire batman series by King; starting with I Am Gotham)
Whether you follow the comic book, the animated series, or love Tom Hardy’s performance, you’re a Bane fan at heart. We welcome to you help celebrate and geek out about one of Batman’s greatest foes.