Bane

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Batman #497 © 1993 DC Comics. COVER ART BY KELLEY JONES.

Bane

(pop culture)
Bane, a 350-pound behemoth who looks as if he stepped out of the Mexican wrestling arena, was first seen in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (1993). His real name is unknown but his past is legend. Bane was raised behind bars in the rueful Pena Duro, serving a life sentence in subrogation for his insurrectionist father. Slaughtering an inmate at the “tender” age of eight, Bane matured into the prison's most feared felon and was roped into being a guinea pig for the strength-enhancing chemical Venom. In the serialized DC Comics storyline “Knightfall” (1993), Bane engineers a bloody jailbreak, migrates to Gotham City, and releases the supervillains of Arkham Asylum. Their crime rampage so fatigues their mutual foe Batman that when the Venom-propelled Bane goes one-on-one with the hero, he snaps Batman's spine in a brutal body slam, forcing the Dark Knight into recuperation. Batman's stand-in Azrael later humbled Bane, but the villain resurfaced to terrorize Gotham both alone and in an alliance with Ra's al Ghul. After discovering the identity of the father who abandoned him—the crimelord King Snake—Bane re-created himself in one of Ra's' regenerating Lazurus Pits, but Batman suspects his foe's new leaf may wilt. Bane has often tormented Batman in cartoons: Henry Silva voiced the villain in Batman: The Animated Series (1992–1995), followed by Hector Elizondo in the direct-to-video film Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003) and Joaquim de Almeida in the animated TV series The Batman (2004–present). Real-life wrestler Jeep Swenson played the man-monster in director Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin (1997), and Bane was featured in the 2003 video game Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu. Kenner and DC Direct have produced a number of Bane action figures in the 1990s and 2000s.