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Bane in DC Comics


 

Bane may not have the same long history of some other villains who were introduced in the 1930's and 1940's, but in his 30 years of existence since his introduction 1993, Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #1,  he has been the focus of some great DC comics storylines and his appearance and adventures have inspired some great Bane t shirt designs.

After an initial idea by Dennis O’Neil, a Batman editor, Bane, the meta-human nemesis of Batman, development was a collaboration between writer Chuck Dixon and artist Graham Nolan for the pivotal Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993) Knightfall storyline in DC Comics. Although Chuck Dixon penned Bane's inaugural appearance in "Vengeance of Bane, Graham Nolan (pencils) artwork along with Scott Hanna (inks), and Adrienne Roy (colors) undeniably brought Bane to life for readers.

Circa 1992 Early drawings of Bane by Graham Nolan

Circa 1992 Early drawings of Bane by Graham Nolan

There are dozens of DC comic books that either feature Bane or have him as a secondary character, usually as a villain. Below is a list of ten stand out comic story lines with Bane.

Villains often are introduced through the eyes of the hero. However, Bane's case, he first appeared in a one-shot comic story line before he was introduced into the pages of a Batman comics to fulfill a specific story function: he was to be the man who would Break the Bat. In Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #1 , Bane is initially the hero of his own story.

The entire chronology of Bane’s appearances through 2011 can be found here.

 



 

Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #1  

1993

By Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan, Eduardo Barreto, Adrienne Roy, And Bill Oakley

 

1993 Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #1 comic cover

1993 Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #1
Story: Chuck Dixon
Pencils: Graham Nolan
Inks: Eduardo Barreto
Lettering: Bill Oakley
Colors: Adrienne Roy

 

Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 is Bane's complete origin story. It is a dark and  intense story. Bane’s mother was part of a group of revolutionaries in failed coup against the reigning government.  She was captured and gave birth to Bane in the prison called Pena Duro, also referred to as The Pit. In accordance to a centuries old law, the punishment of the father must be carried by the son if the father dies. Bane was six years old when his mother died from exhaustion and despair.

Much like Bruce Wayne losing his parents, Bane needed to overcome the fear lurking in his mind to push himself to his full potential. So rather than succumbing to savage inmates and prison life, he grew stronger from it, calling himself Bane.  Eventually became the most feared man in all of Peña Duro. Bane's physical hardiness and unbreakable resolve enabled him to survive  a scientific  experiment with steroid compound called Venom. The Venom drug increased Bane’s overall muscle mass, endurance and strength. However, Venom left him addicted to regular infusions of the drug. Enhanced by his treatment, Bane with three prison buddies: Trogg, Zombie and Bird  escape from Pena Dura, setting their sights on Gotham City. Bird has told Bane about his home town of Gotham and the legend of Gotham's nocturnal protector, the Batman. Bane decided to take down Batman to prove himself superior and to vanquish his childhood nightmare fears of a bat-demon.

 



 

Knightfall

1994

By Doug Moench, Jim Aparo, Dick Giordano, Adrienne Roy, And Richard Starkings

 

1994 Knightfall Comic Cover

1994 Knightfall
First Appearance: Batman #492 / May, 1993
Showcase: #10 / September, 1994

 

Knightfall is a Batman Family crossover published in 1993. It's a trilogy consisting of three storylines, Knightfall, Knightquest, and KnightsEnd.

The Knightfall  storylines were written by Alan Grant, Chuck Dixon, Dennis O'Neil, Doug Moench, and Jo Duffy.

Illustrations by Barry Kitson, Bret Blevins, Graham Nolan, Jim Aparo, Jim Balent, Mike Manley, Norm Breyfogle and Ron Wagner.

This is  one of the most popular and well-known Batman storylines: how the villainous Bane defeats Batman by breaking his back! Bane frees all of the maximum-security inmates of Arkham forcing Batman to push himself beyond his limits to re-apprehend such villains as the Joker, Poison Ivy, the Riddler, Killer Croc and more. Over several DC issues Batman becomes weaker and more exhausted as he re captures each criminal. Eventually he comes face-to-face against the venom enhanced Bane at the Wayne Manor where Bane has been waiting for him.

Bane delivers a crippling blow to the physically and mentally exhausted Caped Crusader. Bane chooses not to kill Batman because he is satisfied in just breaking him. Bane then proceeds to assume control of Gotham City, taking over a number of illegal operations within the metropolis.

LINK: Read about the storyline & history of Batman: Knightfall

Knightfall is divided into two parts.

  • The Broken Bat - Bane defeats Batman by breaking his spine. 
  • Who Rules the Night - With Batman seriously injured and needing time to recover, Azrael must become the new Batman, and try to defeat Bane.

Knightquest is also divided into two parts.

  • The Crusade -Azrael's Batman grows more violent and crazy.
  •  The Search -Bruce Wayne seeks a cure for his paralysis.

KnightsEnd - Bruce Wayne returns and takes his mantle as Batman back from the usurper Azrael.

 



 

Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #2

1995

1995 Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #2 comic cover

1995 Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #2
By Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan, Eduardo Barreto, Adrienne Roy, And Bill Oakley

The second Vengeance of Bane one-shot story occurred after Batman defeated him. Bane was at a low point having nightmares of Batman while locked up in Blackgate prison.  Although Bane was mocked by the other inmates, he didn't even have the will to fight back.

After coming to the conclusion that he had been relying on Venom for strength, Bane decided he had to free himself from it. Vengeance of Bane #2 is ultimately the story about his overcoming addiction. After Bane regains his natural strength, he escapes prison. He then decides to take down drug dealers while working alongside Batman. Although Bane never becomes a hero character, Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #2 poises the question of how much a victim of circumstance Bane is and if he had grown up under similar circumstances as Batman had, would Bane have become a hero instead. Obviously, DC Comics preferred Bane to be a darker more villainous character as a counter point to Batman.

 



 

Batman: Bane

1997

By Chuck Dixon, Rick Burchett, David Hornung, Demetrius Bassoukos, And Bill Oakley

1997 Batman: Bane

1997 Batman: Bane
A one-shot comic story with a cover date of July, 1997

Most would agree that a  great character is one that has several sides to them that don't appear as contradictions. Bane is smart,  a superb strategist and tactician. However DC writers have him become unhinged at times. Batman: Bane deals with a rampaging Bane who doesn't have a plan or overarching goals. Some back story: Bane has been defeated by Batman and spurned by Talia. He has nothing left to lose, so he simply launches an attack on Gotham after hijacking a ship carrying nuclear weapons. Throughout the entire story, the DC artists have Bane's costume torn with only half his mask remains. He becomes a different kind of dangerous, looking completely off-balanced. The story is full of action, and there's a brutal Bane vs. Nightwing fight.

 

1997 Batman: Bane  Page 43 by Rick Burchett

1997 Batman: Bane
Page 43 by Rick Burchett

 

Read this synopsis of Batman: Bane for more details.

or this description Batman: Bane # 1 1997 pg 43 by Rick Burchett

 



 

Batman: Bane Of The Demon

1998

By Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan, Tom Palmer, Noelle Giddings, And Bill Oakley

Bane could have been a simplistic character if all the DC writers had wanted was a character who just wanted to do was destroy Batman. However, Bane is far more complex. In the comic, Batman: Bane of the Demon, other aspects of Bane are explored including his desire for a family. Bane met Ra's al Ghul and sought to be the heir to the Demon that Batman would be.

Bane proves his intelligence to Ra's and develops feelings for Talia. Bane of The Demon story line adds nuance and sympathy to Bane's character. However, Talia rejects Bane because she thinks he was too unsophisticated and brutish. Ra's manipulated Bane by giving him the father figure he never had, but by Ra's ultimately rejecting Bane, Bane’s new revenge mission becomes robbing Ra's of his immortality by destroying the supernatural pool called the Lazarus Pit.

Comic cover 1998 Bane of the Demon

Comic cover 1998 Bane of the Demon

 

Batman: Bane of the Demon is a four-issue limited series chronicling Bane's quest to find his father after his escape from Blackgate Penitentiary in Batman: Vengeance of Bane Vol 1 2.

Issues

  • Batman: Bane of the Demon #1
  • Batman: Bane of the Demon #2
  • Batman: Bane of the Demon #3
  • Batman: Bane of the Demon #4

 

Batman: Bane of the Demon #4

Batman: Bane of the Demon #4

 



 

Tabula Rasa

2002 -2003

By Scott Beatty, Mike Collins, Bill Sienkiewicz, Gloria Vasquez, Wildstorm FX, And Bill Oakley

 

Tabula Rasa, Prologue: The Devil You Know  comic cover #33

Tabula Rasa, Prologue: The Devil You Know
BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #33
Cover Date: November 2002

 

Tabula Rasa is a Batman storyline, written by Scott Beatty with art by Mike Collins. It originally appeared in Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)

Story line: Tabula Rasa, Prologue: The Devil You Know.

Batman: Gotham Knights

Issue Number # 33

Cover Date: Nov, 2002

Bane arrives at Wayne Manor because he needs Batman's help to destroy one of Ra's al Ghul's Lazarus Pit, supernatural restorative pools capable of instantly healing injuries, resurrecting the dead, and even granting immortality to those who bathe in it. They discover the location of one of these restorative pools where Achilles bathed, rendering it useless.

Tabula Rasa, Part One: Skin Trade comic cover

Tabula Rasa, Part One: Skin Trade
BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #34
Cover Date: December 2002

 

Story line: Tabula Rasa Part One: Skin Trade

Batman: Gotham Knights

Issue Number  # 34

Cover Date:  December 1, 2002

When Ra's al Ghul found Bane unworthy to be his heir, Bane retaliated by going around the world destroying Lazarus Pits that Ra’ al Ghul could use.  He encounters Batman and reveals that his mother once knew Thomas Wayne leading Bane to wishfully believe that Thomas Wayne was his father and Bruce Wayne his half brother. Tests eventually proves that Bane and Batman are not related, but for several weeks they fight alongside one another. Bane even refers to Bruce as a brother.

The Tabula Rasa story line for a while, puts a new twist on the dynamics between Batman and Bane. They had been mirrors of each other, orphans growing up one in very difficult conditions and the other with money. However, Batman and Bane do share a personal hell with one another by enduring mental and physical turmoil, yet becoming stronger as a result. The writers in Tabula Rasa story line have Bane imagined what his life would have been if he had grown up in a mansion in Gotham City. After finding the truth, Bane, in an emotional and touching scene,  has a heart-to-heart with Leslie Thompkins, a doctor and a friend of Batman who had given Bane a that resulted in him locating his father in Kangchenjunga.

Tabula Rasa, Part One Bane & Batman

Tabula Rasa, Part One Bane & Batman
BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS #34

 



 

The Venom Connection Part 1 # 17 & Part 2 #18

Nov 2006

By Tony Bedard, Scott McDaniel, Andy Owens, I.L.L., And Rob Leigh

 

The Venom Connection Part 1 # 17 comic cover

The Venom Connection Part 1 # 17
Nov 2006

The Venom Connection  Part 1 storyline involves the Hourman versus Bane!

Hourman has enhanced strength due to the administration of Miraclo. Venom used by Bane is a derivative of Miraclo.

Bane wanted to get rid of all the Venom in Santa Prisca, which lead him to Rex and Rick Tyler. Bane noted the similarities between himself and the current Hourman. Rick pumped Miraclo into his body much like Bane administered Venom. The difference between the two was that Hourman came to terms with his weakness while Bane only wanted to eradicate his own. Hourman had to fight Bane and realized that his mind is much more dangerous than his body.

2006 The Venom Connection  Part 2 comic cover

2006 The Venom Connection  Part 2
The Venom Connection  Part 1
 Published 9-27-2006
Written by: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Scott McDaniel
Inks: Andy Owens
Cover by: David Baron / Andy Owens / Scott McDaniel

The Venom Connection  Part 2 storyline involves the Hourman versus Bane!

Reluctantly partnered with the lunatic Bane, Hourman must confront his own addictions if he's to conquer the enemy Bane, who is at his side.

 



 

Secret Six

The Secret Six first appeared during the Silver Age of Comic Books in the initial team's seven-issue title Secret Six (May 1968 – May 1969)

Gail Simone's Secret Six

Infinite Crisis (Villains United)

The next version of the team was introduced in Villains United: Infinite Crisis Special #1 (June 2006): "A Hero Dies But One and Infinite Crisis #7 (June 2006): "Finale".  Bane was just one of the many villains.

Secret Six 2008 – 2011

By Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Doug Hazelwood, Jason Wright, & Sal Cipriano

DC launched a new Secret Six series in September 2008, reuniting Catman, Deadshot, Scandal, and Rag Doll, and adding  an original character named Jeannette, who appears in the third issue. Bane was a featured character

Secret Six #10  

 

Depths, Part One: The Measure of a People  Secret Six Vol. 3 #10

Depths, Part One: The Measure of a People
Secret Six Vol. 3 #10

Cover Date: August 2009

Writer: Gail Simone
Art by: Doug Hazlewood / Nicola Scott / Mike Sellers
Colorist: Daniel Luvisi / Jason Wright

Promotional art for Secret Six (vol. 3) #10 (Aug. 2009) by Daniel LuVisi, featuring (from top) Bane, the Rag Doll, the Catman, Deadshot, Scandal Savage, and Jeannette.

When DC started treating Bane as an anti-hero, they teamed him with other anti-heroes as part of the Secret Six. Bane had a group of comrades in arms to interact with, and his paternal side came out in his relationship with Scandal Savage.

The story opens with the question: Where have all the forgotten heroes and villains of the DC Universe disappeared to? The Six anti heroes are blackmailed by someone who claims to be their old boss, Mockingbird forcing them into a brand-new mission that takes them into the heart of the metahuman slave trade. Former Wonder Woman Artemis returns in this storyline that some consider the most brutal of Secret Six stories. 

Bane's best appearance was in the comic,  Secret Six #5, Unhinged, Part Five: Twilight of Sorrow, where he is captured for information about the team.  Although Bane is tortured, he never wavers. His internal monologues explain that he never gives anything to the enemy, consequently refusing to betray his teammates. Here, Bane is portrayed as a man of both principal and willpower.

Read more about all the different versions & storylines of DC Comics the Secret Six 

 



 

2011  DC Universe Reset

At the beginning of the New 52, the DC Universe was reset. In this new continuity, most of Bane’s history is wiped clean. However, Bane’s most famous fight against Batman, in which he broke Batman’s back, is still in continuity.

 



 

Forever Evil: Arkham War

2013

By Peter Tomasi, Scot Eaton, Jaime Mendoza, Norm Rapmund, Mick Gray, Andrew Dalhouse, And Taylor Esposito

Bane - 2013 Forever Evil: Arkham War

 

Without the presence of Batman, Gotham quickly descends into a war among some of the most prominent villains. However Bane takes the spotlight high lighting Bane's skill and drive. Bane rarely gets to match wits against A-list criminals. Bane respects some villains, such as the Penguin and Talon, but dismisses others as too out of control such as Man-Bat and Poison Ivy. Bane shows that he can strategize and play the role of leader. To claim his ultimate victory, Bane creates his own Batman costume to inspire fear in his enemies.

 

2013 Forever Evil: Arkham War comic cover

Cover: 2013 Forever Evil: Arkham War

 



 

Bane: Conquest

By Chuck Dixon, Graham Nolan, Gregory Wright, And Carlos M. Mangual

 

Bane: Conquest Vol 1 #3

Bane: Conquest Vol 1 #3
September, 2017
Cover Artists Graham Nolan/Gregory Wright
Writer: Chuck Dixon

 

Bane’s storyline has been written by various writers going through a series of changes. Bane's creator Chuck Dixon returned to writing him in the 2017 series Bane: Conquest. Dixon took Bane back to basics, reminding readers what made him such a great character when he was initially introduced.

Bane: Conquest ran for 12 issues, recounting Bane's entire history. He is reunited with his partners Bird, Zombie, and Trogg. Bane expands his criminal empire past Santa Prisca,  infiltrates other crime organizations, and fights Kobra, the terrorist organization of his father King Snake. Batman also makes an appearance appealing to Bane's conscience resulting in Bane actually saving an innocent child from living a life of pain as he once had.

 



 

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