EDITORIAL: In Defense of Bane In THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

LEVITIKUZ is Bane's defense attorney. I will show you how comic book fans, Batman fans, or any type of fan shouldn't show hatred towards my client's portrayal in the movie The Dark Knight Rises. I have wrote an airtight counterpoint to any type of argument against the character. Let's begin...

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By LEVITIKUZ - 11/26/2012


Ladies and gentlemen. Friends and colleagues. Comic book nerds and girls. Perverts and heavy drinkers. And also teabag. I am here to defend a man who has been hated on since his film came out. This man is Bane from The Dark Knight Rises. I've prepared an argument to shows how the portrayal and influence of Bane wasn't bad like how some people bitch about. Comic book fans always complain about characters when they aren't based off the comics. Many have complained just about everything with Banes but what I don't believe is that Bane sucked. I have gather evidence to support my client that the hatred for him is unjust. I would like to start with some background of Bane in the comics. Let’s begin.

In the comics, Bane was born in the Caribbean Republic of Santa Prisca in a prison called Peña Dura. His father had been a revolutionary mercenary who 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 were spent in the amoral penitentiary environment. Though he was imprisoned, his natural abilities allowed him to develop extraordinary skills within the prison's walls. He read as many books as he could get his hands on, built up his body in the prison's gym, and learned to fight in the merciless school of prison life. Because of the cultural and supposed geographical location of Santa Prisca, Bane knew how to speak English, Spanish, Portuguese and Latin. He ultimately established himself as the "king" of Peña Dura prison. The prison's controllers took note and eventually forced him to become a test subject for a mysterious drug known as Venom which had killed all other subjects. The Peña Dura prison Venom experiment nearly killed Bane at first, but he survived and found that 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 will suffer debilitating side-effects. Bane escapes Peña Dura, along with several accomplices. His ambition turns to destroying Batman, about whom he had heard stories while an inmate. Gotham fascinates Bane because, like Peña Dura, fear rules Gotham - but it is the fear of the Batman. Aware that a direct assault on Batman would be foolish, Bane instead destroys the walls of Arkham Asylum—allowing its deranged inmates (including the Joker, Two-Face, Riddler and many others) to escape into Gotham City. Batman is forced to recapture the escapees, a mission that takes him three months. Having run himself to exhaustion in the process of completing this mission, Batman returns to Wayne Manor where he finds Bane waiting for him (having previously determined his secret identity). After a brief explanation of his obsession to destroy him, Bane attacks Batman, first in the manor and soon the two tumble into the Batcave below where Bane continues his assault on the detective, toying with him throughout. Completely burned out, with no power, speed or timing Bane delivers the final blow: by raising the Batman up and throwing him down upon his knee breaking his back, leaving him a paraplegic. Bane thus becomes the only man to have "Broken the Bat".

Now let’s look at what Bane is like in the media. In Batman The Animated Series, Bane was introduced in the episode “Bane”. Bane is a professional assassin hired by Rupert Thorne to assassinate Batman. Bane accepts the job and aid in his own aspiration to take over Gotham afterward. Batman discovers that prior to becoming an assassin, Bane had been interred at a prison in Cuba, where he was experimented upon with the Venom chemical. We see Bane use both his brains and brawn in the episode. Bane kidnaps Robin, forcing Batman to confront Bane to save Robin from drowning. During the battle, Bane attempts to break Batman's back, but Batman causes Bane's Venom pump module to malfunction with a batarang, resulting in a rapid and uncontrollable feed of the drug which severely increases his heart rate. Batman then disabled the pump module, stopping the flow of Venom and causing Bane to pass out. In the episode "Over the Edge"; after the death of Barbara Gordon, Jim Gordon breaks out Bane and hires him to take out Batman. It was revealed that this whole story was a nightmare Scarecrow gave Batgirl and really didn’t happen. In the canon animated movie Batman: Mystery of The Batwoman, Bane is hired by Rupert Thorne, Penguin, & Carlton Duquesne to take out Batwoman. In the animated series, The Batman, Bane is a South American mercenary seen possessing an athletic body before pumping himself with Venom. To access this, he turns a control on his right hand which pumps the serum into his body. After doing so, he transforms into a huge hulking brute with red and black skin. In the episode "Traction," Bane was hired by three crime bosses to eliminate Batman. Batman defeated Bane but in a rematch, Bane defeated Bane. In the film, Batman & Robin, Bane is a skinny serial killer serving life in prison. Bane is transformed into Bane by a mad scientist Dr. Jason Woodru using an experimental drug called "Venom". Rather than being the devious, intelligent villain of the comics, this version is an inarticulate thug who serves as the bodyguard/henchman and assistant of Poison Ivy. Bane is barely capable of speech and uses growls and roars for most of his communication. Despite this, however, he is still muscular, wears a slight variation of his classic mask, and is still superhumanly strong; easily overpowering various thugs, police officers, and holding his own against both Batman and Robin in hand-to-hand combat.

Now after showing you Bane in the comics and in the media, let’s look at Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. Bane spent much of his life incarcerated in a foreign penitentiary known only as the Pit. According to the book, The Dark Knight Rises: The Secret Files Scrapbook; Bane was reportedly born and raised in the Pit. Bane became the friend and protector of Talia whose mother gave birth to her in Pit. After her mother is killed by the prison's crazed inmates, Bane raises and protects her for several years after which he aids the girl in climbing out of the Pit. While helping her escape, Bane was attacked and severely injured by the other inmates leaving Bane near death. The penitentiary's resident doctor attempted to heal his injuries, but despite his efforts Bane ended up in a state of constant pain. The mask, crafted following Bane's release, provides him with a constant stream of analgesic gas, allowing him to function. Bane was rescued by Ra’s al Ghul who subsequently recruited him into the League of Shadows for protecting Talia during their time in the Pit. He was revealed to have been excommunicated because he reminded Ra's of the pain he had left his wife and daughter to endure there led him to believe he was expelled for being too extreme, even for the draconian League. With Ra's dead, Bane and Talia assumed control of the League, setting to carry out what Ra's wanted: Gotham destroyed. Bane worked with Wayne Enterprises rival John Daggett. Bane secretly arrives in Gotham, setting up a base of operations in its sewers and staging an attack on the Gotham stock exchange. In the fight with Bane, Bane violently dominates Batman in combat and mocks Batman's tactics. He reveals that his base is located directly underneath Wayne Enterprises' armory, with full access to the facilities, and finishes the fight by breaking Batman's back. Now I think that is enough data on Bane to support my argument.

It’s clear that Bane’s origin in Rises for the most part was like the comics. Bane was born in a prison and spent his life there. Also in the comics, Bane is very intelligent. There are many scenes in the film where we see Bane’s intelligence. Also in the film, we saw the one thing that stands out with Bane. THE FACT HE BROKE THE BAT!!! You can’t tell me Nolan doesn’t respect the comics after including that scene. No of us thought we would see Bane break the Bat in the film. Maybe severely injury Batman or break is leg since we saw him with a cane but not lift him over his head and break him. Bane also had ties to the League of Shadows and Ra’s in the film as Bane did in the comics.

Many say they dislike Bane due to no Venom. Personally I don’t understand the use of Venom. Why would you give someone something that makes him stronger, even though without it he is stronger than Batman? It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s like giving Michael Jordan more talent in his prime. Without giving Jordan the addition talent, he is still the best NBA player of all time when he was in his prime. Without giving Bane the Venom, he is still stronger than Batman is. Venom is overkill so why do you need it? It makes people think Bane will mostly rely on that and not his brains when in the comics, he is very smart.

People say they dislike Bane because he is not of Latino descent and he was in the comics. I say, who gives a shit. Don’t know about all of you and I’m not hating nor calling anyone out but my momma raised me to be colorblind. I don’t care about people’s race or nationality because I don’t look or judge a person because of that. But I cannot use that as a reason to defend Bane so I’m going to give you guys some facts. Harvey Dent, who is a white character, was played by Billy Dee Williams in 1989’s Batman. Billy Dee is black. Even though the race isn’t right, Billy Dee still gave a good performance as Harvey Dent and was love. The Kingpin, who is a white character, was played by the late great Michael Clarke Duncan in the film Daredevil. Duncan is black. Even though the race once again isn’t right, MCD gave a great performance as the Kingpin that was loved by fans and he later on voiced the Kingpin in a Spider-Man cartoon. Dr. Octopus, who is a white character in the comics, and he was played by Alfred Molina in Spider-Man 2. Alfred Molina is of Spanish and Italian descent. He gave a great performance as Doc Ock even though the descent isn’t right. Now someone might say that “these characters are all white. You don’t see a character from another race or descent other than white being changed.” WRONG!!! Ken Watanabe played the fake Ra’s in Batman Begins. Ra’s is of Middle Eastern descent and Ken is Asian. Ken played a great Ra’s despite this. In the same film, Liam Neeson played the real Ra’s. Now as I said, Ra’s is of Middle Eastern descent. Liam is Irish and still played and gave a great performance as Ra’s. Many characters have changed race and descent in films compared to the comics.

Some people say Bane is nothing but a henchmen saying it was Talia’s plan to destroy Gotham and Bane helped her. Even if this is true, why are we criticizing Bane in this movie for being a henchman? In just about all his animated appearances he was a henchman and yet no one will criticize Batman: The Animated Series for having Bane as a henchman but they will hate on The Dark Knight Rises for it. I’m not hating on Batman: The Animated Series but it’s true that Bane was portrayed as a henchmen throughout the series. He would hired by Thorne, Penguin, and Jim Gordon. He was even a henchmen in The Batman hired to take out Batman. Why do we have a double standard? Even you’re going to hate on The Dark Knight Rises for Bane being a henchmen then you have to hate on Batman: The Animated Series for their portrayal of Bane because their Bane was also a henchmen.

People will hate on Bane’s size and the face they didn’t use the mask from the comics. Bane in the film may not have been as big as previous Bane’s but he was still big. Tom Hardy gained 30 pounds of muscle for the role and increased his weight to 198 pounds. Some people say that Bane looks small; I say do you have a body like Hardy? Most likely not so why hate? Bane had a V shaped vest on as he does in the comics. Now defending the mask. Let’s be honest, why would anyone see a film where you don’t see the character’s face at all? Bane’s mask covers his face in the comics and Bane doesn’t take it off. In some designs they had ideas of portrayal it like the comics but in the end, the mask they choose was the right one. You need to see the emotion in a character in the movie and having a mask covering Bane’s face wont display his emotion.

My last point is what Bane's creators think. Bane was created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Graham Nolan. In interviews they have said this about Bane in The Dark Knight Rises:

Graham Nolan


Josh Wilding: Can you tell us what you think of Tom Hardy playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises?

He's a great actor and I look forward to seeing him as Bane. From the comments he and Christopher Nolan have made about Bane's character, it sounds like they "get" it.

Josh Wilding: As in his previous Batman films, director Christopher Nolan has gone for a slightly more realistic take on Bane's appearance. What do you think of the design?

I'm not as concerned with his "look" as I am in his character. Most comic characters looks have to be changed for film because what may look cool in a comic doesn't always translate to the real world of film.


Chuck Dixon


"Apparently, Warner Bros. was pressuring Nolan to use the Riddler, which would have been too similar to the Joker," Dixon continued. "Plus, the Riddler, like the Joker and so many of Batman's villains, is no challenge against him in a mano-a-mano fistfight. Batman will wipe the floor with him in that situation.

I am beyond glad that Nolan had the juice in Hollywood to stick to his guns," he added. "From interviews I've seen, it's clear he understands the character and he gets what we were going for. It's not exactly what I created, but he's physically imposing and Tom Hardy is one hell of an actor. I can't imagine Bane being better portrayed."


Chuck Dixon: Well, I know more from the interviews with Christopher Nolan than I do from the little I've seen of the movie. Nolan has read and appreciated the comics featuring Bane and clearly intends to make him what he was created to be: Batman's intellectual and physical equal. My biggest fear was that he would be portrayed as a musclebound thug rather than a musclebound criminal genius. It also helps that actor with Tom Hardy's talent will be playing him.


As fans all we can do is like the character but for creators it's different. They created the character and saw him destroyed in Batman & Robin. It's clearly the creators co-sign and like what Nolan did with Bane. If the creators, who's opinion really matters about the character, like what how the character is then why can't we? We don't have the bond to the character they do and they like it.

I don’t think I can defend the voice but if that’s the only thing I can’t defend and that will be your reason to hate Bane because of that then you’re just picky. I leave it in your hands. What do you think? Do you see and agree with my viewpoints in defending Bane or do you disagree? I leave it in the hands of the jury.

I rest my case.
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32 Comments
GuardianDevil - 11/26/2012, 12:55 PM
I wasn't gonna post a comment, but I'm going to anyway, Bane was awesome in TDKR, people can hate all they want, regardless of the fact that Bane wasn't true to the comics, Bane was cool people just have to understand that TDKR was just a different adaption of Batman's story, I agree with your points and if people hate Bane because of his voice it's a stupid reason to hate, seeing as everything else about Bane was great.

That's my opinion, i like your article but I know as soon as I post this comment Halloween Jack is gonna go nuts, regardless of what I said, if my opinion means anything LEVITIKUZ great article!!!
Spideyguy94 - 11/26/2012, 12:59 PM
For the most part bane was portrayed well. He was menacing, intelligent and could go toe to toe with batman. The problem with bane for me is as soon as its revealed talia is behind it all, bane becomes a glorified henchman for her. everything he was doing was him following orders like a puppet. up until that point i thought bane was the best part of the movie.
GuardianDevil - 11/26/2012, 1:07 PM
Oh, and I gotta say Bane was terrible in Batman & Robin, he seemed really stupid in that film.
Tainted87 - 11/26/2012, 1:20 PM
I loved Bane. He was my favorite part about TDKR. What I hated was "Gotham Doesn't Need Batman", so Batman just hangs it up. It's like if Lex Luthor told Superman that he wasn't needed anymore and it actually made Kal go back to the farm.

But I LOVE Tom Hardy. I thought the dub was laugh-inducing.... no, didn't think about it, I just laughed... but you know, it didn't get me down. I thought Bane was as menacing and awesome as he needed to be... and I'm of the variety who hated the decision to make one of the VERY few hispanic characters in the DCU - white.
JorEllinator - 11/26/2012, 1:39 PM
I loved Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, the 3 leads were fantastic, I liked the emotionless and cold voice, and he was a beast, he was better than the puny god with daddy problems, who looks like a demented katy perry (not trying to hate on Hiddleston's performance he is a great actor, but the character isn't so threatening if you think about it,)
Spideyguy94 - 11/26/2012, 1:42 PM
@LEVITIKUZ because in the animated series he was a mercenary hired by rupert thorne to do a job you are told this within the first 5 mins of that episode. In rises he said "I am the league of shadows and I've come back to fulfill ra's al ghul's destiny' . But he's not the league of shadows talia is. So what are his motivations then?. Most things he says that are important are contradicted when it's revealed it was talia all along.
FirstAvenger - 11/26/2012, 1:42 PM
Yoss Batman was gargling marbles what did you expect Bane had to sound worse.
Spideyguy94 - 11/26/2012, 1:56 PM
@blackandyellow agreed
Tainted87 - 11/26/2012, 2:00 PM
Silva was a beast.
FirstAvenger - 11/26/2012, 2:09 PM
Teabag made my day ^ boobs!
marvel72 - 11/26/2012, 3:25 PM
it was an alright performance but whatever floats ya boat it didn't do anything for me.
bazinga85 - 11/26/2012, 3:32 PM
@blackandyellow
As long as the Ravens keep up their streak, they won't, lol...I'm rootin' for 'em though, along with my 49ers

Great editorial @LEVI...and to everyone who says Bane's plan was lame, honestly, with the exception of Silva, every other villain this year had sorta lame plans. Loki wanted to take over the world simply because he had jealousy issues(I loved loki though, btw, and his plan was noteable, but poorly executed). And the lizard wanted to turn everyone into lizard-people.

I think part of the reason Bane got so much hate was because he had to follow-up Heath Ledger's Joker, which is nearly impossible to do. Christopher Nolan and Tom Hardy did justice to the character and deserve more respect for it.
Happy11 - 11/26/2012, 3:56 PM
I liked bane as well. After my first viewing of TDKR I felt underwhelmed just like I and many others felt after TDK but after many viewings this film is brilliant and I think that the people who slag this film will buy the DVD and will love the film with more viewings.
Happy11 - 11/26/2012, 4:00 PM
And for those who say TDKR isn't faithful to comic books, BS I have been reading and collecting batman since I was 10 in 89 all I will say is no man's land, knightfall and the dark knight returns all have aspects which run through this film
95 - 11/26/2012, 4:20 PM
As you all know, I adore Tom Hardy's Bane. It's hard to imagine anyone doing what he did physically, he was big without computer generated enhancements! He's also great for impersonating, livens up the room. I think Lindy Hemming and/or the concept artist found a way to make Bane fit in that world. His wear was functional and enhanced his character's stature (and it also happens to be a trending fashion).

However... there are two Banes in The Dark Knight Rises. (1) A revolutionary and hired mercenary for John Dagget's geo-political coups and strategic corporate takeover. (2) A dictator of Gotham City with social class warfare propaganda and a burning hatred for "liars".

The former is closer to the comics and the latter seems to be cause of much frustration. Besides how he is treated during the climax, or how a certain revelation overshadows his commanding presence — Bane #2 is basically a Nolan-created character that carries many Bane and Mutant Leader traits, but ultimately half cooks the entire archetype.

@LEVITIZUSI agree on the Venom topic. Although, I felt the theme of pain should have been more central than that of "hope".
95 - 11/26/2012, 4:29 PM
Let me clarify my last paragraph...

@LEVITIKUZI agree on the Venom topic. Although, I felt the pain suppressor Bane wore should have been stressed more. The theme of pain had not really been covered in the trilogy and it should have had central focus in the film. The whole "without hope... there is no despair" through-line theme didn't bode very well with me. Felt super cliché (mainly in order to keep main character alive till the climax).

By the way, good stuff, but this was A LOT to read (and most of what we already knew).
Tainted87 - 11/26/2012, 4:56 PM

"Whooooaa"
Jollem - 11/26/2012, 6:00 PM
bane was captivating, menacing and intelligent

great villain
Bandido - 11/26/2012, 6:39 PM
@Fenix122: you'll be surprised how many people have said they prefer batman and robins version...

Good article!

I understand why people said bane was hard to understand on the prologue of the movie but it was very clear in the finished product...maybe ppl were not paying attention :p

Idk! Some parts of his speech in front of black gate prison did sound kinda funny lol

@teabag: HOLY DAMN! Ur boob approval should be an award in this site ;)
Preston - 11/26/2012, 6:42 PM
@Happy11

Please elaborate: TDKR is faithful to comic books



No Man's Land was caused by the events of Cataclysm (a 7.6 earthquake that destroys Gotham). Aftershock and Road to No Man's Land are about the government evacuating the people of Gotham, and then abandoning and isolating those who chose to stay. The Events of No Man's Land are not caused by a villain. Batman chooses not to abandon his city and remain it's protector.

In The Dark Knight Returns, Bruce is forced into retirement by the government that has outlawed heroes. He was already past his prime when he was forced to retire; he didn't retire after one year in action. However, he couldn't accept the retirement, and he came back. In the story, you find that Bruce is an empty shell for BATMAN. In the end, he kills off the Bruce Wayne persona and becomes BATMAN full time.

I'll agree that the movie gives a nod to “Knightfall”; however, the story is much more than breaking Batman:
bane

It was about a guy [BANE] who used Bruce Wayne's obsession --- 'to fight crime'--- against him [I wish we would have seen that dedication/motivation in the film]; in the film Batman is a quitter. In the comic, Bane releases the Gotham inmates to wear Bruce down mentally and physically. Once Bruce gets the problem under control and is worn down from fighting every villain in the rouge's gallery, Bane enters and breaks him.

And, we can make comparisons to other bat-media:

In Batman (1966), we also had Robin, a Bomb, and almost a Batboat; so, did they steal some ideas from that movie as well?

Bomb
Somedays
GoILL - 11/26/2012, 8:18 PM
Good stuff LEVI, for me personally I had no problem with Bane in TDKR.
BobGarlen - 11/26/2012, 10:39 PM
The only bad choice with Bane in The Dark Knight Rises was his defeat, Other than that i don't disagree with one choice.
aresww3 - 11/27/2012, 1:22 AM
Bane was crap.
BatsFan - 11/27/2012, 6:36 AM
Bane was a great villain. I don't think he was just a henchman, I think Talia and him both made the plan together and maybe Talia only wanted to blow up the city and Bane came up with the torture of the soul thing. Also Bane in TDKR was a mix of Bane with a bit of Mutant leader from Returns.
stutx - 11/27/2012, 9:18 AM
levitikuz, first of all i really enjoyed the article, some great points. I enjoyed bane, and thought hardy did a great job. My only complaint wasnt so much that he was a henchman, it was after it became clear his status he was nothing more then muscle ( and poorly sense the cat rolled in and blasted him) regulated to the background. I love misdirection in stories but it seemed more like lazy writing which i dont expect from nolan.
DeanVanHalen - 11/27/2012, 9:30 AM
His voice was the main problem, it just made me laugh. And if you're laughing AT the antagonist rather than WITH him, why should I be scared of him winning?

That said Batman's voice was just as stupid, so I guess they cancelled each other out.
trytan - 11/27/2012, 9:04 PM
MY problem was not with Bane at all but his anti climatic death.
KingEmperor - 11/28/2012, 1:22 AM
I think people still don't see the fact that Bane was meant to be a mirror image of Bruce. Both of them are doing what they're doing because of a woman they loved. Rachel made Bruce see the difference between justice and revenge, inadvertently causing him to become Batman. And Bane does all this for Talia, being her protector.

Also, Bane wasn't just a glorified henchman. While destroying Gotham was Talia's idea, Bane was the mastermind in everything in order to achieve that plan.
BatsFan - 11/28/2012, 6:19 AM
@KingEmperor
Yes that exactly what I think, Talia wanted to destroy the city and Bane came up with the plan.
repulse93 - 11/28/2012, 1:29 PM
To those who are disagreeing with "Bane was just Talia's muscle.", THANK YOU!!!

The way I see, Bane and Talia were co-leaders, and if anything, were fully embodying one of the League's stated tactics, "Theatricality and deception are powerful tools against the uninitiated."

Bane was the theatricality, holding Gotham hostage with a nuke, breaking Batman, and being rumored to be too extreme for Ra's Al Ghul.

Talia was the deception, hiding in plain sight, taking on a false identity, making herself look like a damsel for the sake of getting revenge on Bruce.
CPBuff22 - 11/30/2012, 2:37 PM
In the comic Bane is a criminal mastermind and other criminals flock to follow him. In TDKR he was just a henchman. Even if you consider him more than that, at best he could be considered under the employ of Talia (another flawed character).
repulse93 - 12/6/2012, 5:45 PM
@CPBuff22: I don't know. I got the feeling that Bane was more or less a believer in the League of Shadows cause to a degree, and that destroying Gotham was a step in a grander scheme that he was willing to die for.
I also believe that, as said above, Bane wasn't a henchman but leading the League of Shadows ALONGSIDE Talia; he was the visible theatricality, she was the deception.

@ELgUaSon: Honestly? Minus the venom, and the rest of the Bat-Family? Yes, yes I could.

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