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Bane Portrayed in Movies, on TV & in Video Games

 



 

Bane in Batman Movies vs. DC Comics: A Juxtaposition of Intensity and Intrigue

Bane – the name evokes memories of a menacing villain, one who has not only tested Batman's physical prowess but also his intellectual capabilities. Making his first appearance in "Vengeance of Bane" issue #1 in 1993, he quickly rose to become one of Batman's most formidable adversaries. Not just a massive wall of muscle, Bane combined brute strength with a master tactician's mind. His most notable act? Orchestrating the "Knightfall" storyline, where he mercilessly broke Batman's back – a scene etched forever in the annals of comic book history.

The mask, especially as drawn in the 1993 comic Batman: Vengeance Of Bane #1 and later created in the film, The Dark Knight Rises, has become emblematic of Bane's identity. It's not just a tool for intimidation, but also a sign of his vulnerability. In the film The Dark Knight Rises  Bane is ravaged by pain from traumas suffered long ago. The mask dispenses a type of anesthetic that keeps his pain just below the threshold so he can function. In the DC comics storylines the mask is necessary as the result of becoming hooked on Venom since: This mask is linked to a device on his forearm that feeds him the superhuman drug Venom. Check out these Bane T shirts.

 

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

Bane raises Batmen to break his back in Menace of the Conqueror Caveman

Depiction of Bane raising Batman to break his back in the Menace of the Conqueror Caveman
This episode aired in 2009 from the TV Series - Batman: The Brave and the Bold 

 



 

The Cinematic Bane: A Variety of Interpretations

But how does this iconic villain's portrayal in movies stand against his comic book origins?

Film adaptations have often taken liberties with characters, molding them to fit unique narratives. Bane, in Batman movies, has been no exception. Directors and writers have cherry-picked traits from the comics, leading to distinct versions of the character, each serving the overarching narrative of their respective films. While Bane has appeared on screen in live-action films,  Batman & Robin (1997) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012),  each depiction has very little in common with each other.  Neither one truly aligns with the various DC Comics versions of Bane.

 

Batman & Robin (1997)

Directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Akiva Goldsman, starring George Clooney as Bruce Wayne / Batman.

In the 1997 film "Batman & Robin,"  John Glover portrays Dr. Jason Woodrue, a deranged scientist with a desire for world domination via his Venom-powered "supersoldiers".  

Story line of the film:

At a Wayne Enterprises lab in Brazil, botanist Dr. Pamela Isley is working under the deranged Dr. Jason Woodrue, a deranged scientist with a desire for world domination via his Venom-powered super soldiers.  He has turned her research on plants into the super soldier drug called Venom. After witnessing Woodrue using the formula to turn the serial killer, Antonio Diego, into the hulking Bane, she threatens to expose the deranged scientist’s experiments. Woodrue attempts to kill Dr. Pamela Isley by overturning a shelf of various toxins. Instead, Isley is mutated by the toxins into Poison Ivy who becomes, eventually, a Batman villain. After killing Woodrue with a poisonous kiss and destroying the lab, she escapes to Gotham City with Bane. Poison Ivy (Dr. Pamela Isley ) hopes to use Wayne Enterprises money to support her research.

 

Bane, portrayed by Robert Swenson, becomes Poison Ivy's bodyguard and muscle. Bane  is depicted as a hulking, almost zombie-like figure. Stripped of the deep intellectual depth from the comics, this Bane is more of a henchman, serving as a sidekick villain, giving audiences a somewhat cartoonish  version of the iconic brute. His character plays a secondary role in the film, not even important enough to be part of the film’s promotional posters.

 

Bane portrayed in the 1997 film: Batman & Robin

Bane portrayed in the 1997 film: Batman & Robin

 



 

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Fast forward to 2012, and Tom Hardy's portrayal in "The Dark Knight Rises" offered audiences a different taste. This Bane is intelligent and resourceful. While he might appear devoid of emotions, his deep connection and affection for Talia al Ghul make him more human.

Bane as portrayed in the 1997 film: The Dark Knight Rises

Bane as portrayed in the 1997 film: The Dark Knight Rises

In Christopher Nolan's universe, Bane is not the product of an experiment but a former prisoner, protector, and guardian to Talia al Ghul. There's no mention of the Venom formula, a drug that comic book Bane relies on for his superhuman strength.

This Bane's backstory paints him as a mercenary, "born and raised in hell on Earth." However, the film reveals deeper layers, showcasing his training under Ra's al Ghul and his unwavering mission to aid Talia al Ghul in her vendetta against Gotham. This portrayal aligns more with the cerebral Bane from the comics, albeit with a realistic touch, fitting Nolan's grounded approach to the Batman universe.

 

Bane depicted on the 2012 The Dark Knight Rises film poster

Bane depicted on the 2012 The Dark Knight Rises film poster

Unfortunately neither Joel Schumacher's 1997 film, Batman and Robin, nor Christopher Nolan's 2012 film, The Dark Knight Rises, came close to accurately depicting Bane’s DC Comics complex character. As one of the greatest threats to ever come to Gotham City, Bane is so much more than a mercenary in a mask or an unintelligent henchman.  Neither film version did true justice to Batman's strongest and most cunning enemy.

 



 

Bane as Depicted in Direct to Video & Animated Superhero Films

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)  animation
Bane (DC Animated Universe)

Storyline:
Bane, a South American hit man who is addicted to a drug called venom, is hired by Rupert Thorne along with the Penguin and Carlton Duquesne. In the Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, he is hired to kill Batwoman. Towards the end of the film, Bane falls into a pit of fire after having his Venom supply cut off during a fight with Batman. He is presumed killed, but his appearance in Batman Beyond makes it clear that he survived

 

Batwoman & Bane in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)

 

Bane in animation video Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)

Bane
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)

Bane is a South American hit man who is addicted to a drug called venom. He is voiced by Henry Silva in Batman : The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures. And he is voiced by Hector Elizondo in Batman : Mystery of the Batwoman.

 



 

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

 

Bane depicted in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

Bane depicted in Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

So many other villains, in addition to Bane, show up to ambush Superman and Batman in the middle of this film.

This blog describes in granular detail the animated film’s storyline
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)

Story line
America is going through a period of great economic depression and widespread crime, so much so that, when Lex Luthor decides enter the presidential race, he manages to get enough support to actually win the election. He decides to create a team of heroes who officially work for the government. Batman joins but Superman doesn’t. Through twists and turns in the story line, Batman saves Superman at one point and they then work together to thrawt Lex Luter who has put a bounty on Superman’s head for supposedly killing Metallo. In turns out that Major Force, directed by Luther,  actually had killed Metallo to set up Superman, Luther’s most hated enemy to justify the bounty..

Bane, along with several supervillains, tried to collect the bounty on Superman ($1,000,000,000). He briefly fights Batman, but despite being one of his more dangerous enemies, he wis defeated in seconds when Batman used his batarang to smash his venom-tube. Without his venom boosts Bane is helpless and Batman knocks him out with a single kick. Bane has no dialogue and merely grunts in this direct-to-video DC animated movie.

 



 

Justice League: Doom (2012)

Batman Confronts Bane  in Justice League: Doom (2012)

Batman Confronts Bane
Justice League: Doom (2012)

 

Bane in Justice League: Doom (2012)

Bane
Justice League: Doom (2012)

 

Justice League: Doom (2012)

Justice League: Doom was a PG-13 cartoon released to direct-to-Blu-ray.
Dwayne McDuffie, who died in 2011, loosely adapted writer Mark Waid’s decade-old JLA comic-book story “Tower of Babel” into this 77-minute animation.

Story line:
When supervillain Vandal Savage steals Batman’s secret database that compiles the weaknesses of his superpowered pals), he uses it to unleash a near-lethal version of the Legion of Doom against the Justice League. The battle involved Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Flash and the Teen Titans’ Cyborg versus Mirror Master, Bane, Mettalo, Cheetah, Ma’alefa’ak and Star Sapphire

Members of the Legion of Doom from Justice League: Doom (2012)

The Legion of Doom, a group of supervillains include:
Mirror Master, Bane, Mettalo, Cheetah, Ma’alefa’ak and Star Sapphire
Justice League: Doom (2012)

Learn more about Legion of Doom in the superhero direct to video film Justice League: Doom.

 



 

Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

A direct to video animated superhero film.

Bane makes a non-speaking minor cameo appearances as an Arkham Asylum inmate, along with Two-Face, and Poison Ivy.
The film is set in the universe of the Batman: Arkham video game franchise. It was intended to bridge the gap between Arkham Origins and Arkham Asylum.

Villains from Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014) animated film

Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014) animated film
Villains

Storyline:

The government A.R.G.U.S.'s director, Amanda Waller assembles a group of villains, known as the Suicide Squad  She forcies them to break into Arkham Island to retrieve top secret information stolen by the Riddler. Gotham is in great danger when Harley Quinn,  one of the Squad members frees the Joker, who is intent on blowing up the asylum and Gotham City. Batman uses his wits, of course, and strength to stop the evil plans of the Joker and the Suicide Squad.

Cover of video - Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

To learn more go to this Wikipedia page Batman: Assault on Arkham.

 



 

Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)

An animated superhero film
The third installment of the Batman Unlimited series, Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants.

Story line
At Arkham, Penguin and Freeze drill into the asylum and free Bane, Chemo, Killer Croc and Clayface. All successfully escape.
Then the  evil scientist Mr. Freeze uses Bane's super-steroid Venom, Clayface's shape-shifting protoplasm, and Chemo's toxic waste to create a serum. Killer Croc and Bane are turned into super-sized mutant monsters. Killer Croc and Bane start bashing their way through the streets of Gotham City destroying everything in their path. Batman including Green Arrow, and Robin save Gotham by stopping the giant robots. Batman defeats Bane.

Bane  / Killer Croc in Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)

Killer Croc / Bane
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)

 

Bane in  Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)

Bane
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)

To learn more go to this Wikipedia page Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants

 



 

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

 

The Lego Batman Movie (2017)  is a lighthearted take on a classic.  It is an animated LEGO film comedy based on Batman and a spin-off of 2014's The LEGO Movie.

The story line
Batman goes on a personal journey to find himself and in the process learns the importance of teamwork in order to save Gotham City from The Joker's hostile takeover.
Doug Benson voiced Bane.

 

Bane depicted in The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Bane
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

Read the Washington Post review of The Lego Batman Movie 2017.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2017/02/09/the-lego-batman-movie-is-all-fun-with-none-of-the-standard-dark-knight-drama/

FYI: There are sites still offering lots of Bane figures based on the 2017 Lego Batman Movie.

 

Bane figurine inspired from the The Lego Batman Movie 2017

Bane figurine merchandize from the The Lego Batman Movie (2017)

 



 

Bane Depicted in TV Series

 

TV Series - Gotham  Final Season

The 10th episode shares its name with the comic book storyline Batman: I Am Bane.

Bane appears as one of the main antagonists in the fifth and final season of the FOX television series, Gotham. In this adaption, his real name is Eduardo Dorrance and he is a former army buddy of Jim Gordon who initially arrives in Gotham City to liberate it from its "No Man's Land" state. However, in reality, he arrives to actually enforce rogue government agent, Theresa Walker's plan for the city.

Bane is portrayed by Shane West in the final season of the FOX television series Gotham, first introduced as Eduardo Dorrance and later revealing the actual Bane.

 

Season 5 Episodes

1 Year Zero

2 Trespassers

3 Penguin, Our Hero

4 Ruin

5 Pena Dura  introduces the character Eduardo Dorrance.

6 13 Stitches

7 Ace Chemicals

8 Nothing's Shocking

9 The Trial of Jim Gordon

10 I Am Bane  On the precipice of Gotham's reunification, Captain Gordon and Bruce Wayne find themselves face-to-face with a newly transformed Eduardo, and discover the real mastermind behind the city's current chaos.

 11 They Did What?

12 The Beginning...   

Eduardo Dorrance as Bane

Eduardo Dorrance as Bane

 

GOTHAM Season 5 Bane Trailer (2019)

 

When I was in Peña Dura prison, Jim, the guards played a game. They'd choose one of us... and they buried us alive. They'd take bets on whether you could dig your way out. But then they'd bury you deeper. And play again. I was the champion. To survive that... I had to stop being human. I had to become... something else. I became Bane. Only I didn't know it yet. But she knew and she showed me the way. If the world is full of monsters, the only way to defeat them... is to become one yourself.
Bane to Jim Gordon, revealing how he became a monster

To learn how Eduardo Dorrance becomes Bane in the 10th episode of Gotham season 5 read this 2919 post by Laura Hurley  How Gotham Finally Introduced Bane

 



 

TV Series - Batman: The Brave and the Bold 1992

Animated superhero television series
4 seasons (85 episodes
Developed by Bruce Timm and Eric Radomski
Produced by Warner Bros.

Originally aired on Fox Kids from September 5, 1992, to September 15, 1995

To learn more about this groundbreaking superhero series go to the Wikipedia page: Batman: The Animated Series

 

Bane confronting Batman in in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Bane in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

 

Bane bares his teeth in Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Bane in Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Bane appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode, Menace of the Conqueror Caveman.

Bane raises Batmen to break his back in Menace of the Conqueror Caveman

Bane Raises Batman to break his back in the Menace of the Conqueror Caveman
This episode aired in 2009 from the TV Series - Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Storyline:
Batman calls in Wildcat to help him subdue an escaped con. They close in on the man and Batman pins him to a pillar in the subway with a batarang. As Wildcat notes their opponent isn't very tough, Batman warns there's more to Bane then meets the eye. Bane activates a chemical release system and pumps himself up several times larger and stronger. He knocks Wildcat to the ground and moves in, but Batman pulls him away and tries to go for his chemical tubing. Bane grabs him and lifts him into the air, but Wildcat uses the batarang from the pillar to sever the chemical tubes. The chemicals touch the third rail, electrocuting Bane and knocking him unconscious. Bane fall unconscious and is taken to prison.

 Read this Fandom page about the Menace of the Conqueror Caveman

 



 

The Adventures of Batman & Robin: A Fight to the Finish

Bane appears in The Adventures of Batman & Robin: A Fight to the Finish episode 1997.

Bane is the first episode of Season 3 of Batman: The Animated Series  premiering on September 10, 1994. This is the only time that Bane appeared as an episode's main villain. Rupert Thorne, a criminal overlord who resided in Gotham City hires the chemically-powered superhuman Bane to assassinate the Dark Knight.

Henry Silva is the voice of the ruthless supervillain Bane in Batman: The Animated Series (1994) and The New Batman Adventures (1998).

Bane captures Robin in The Adventures of Batman & Robin: A Fight to the Finish

Bane captures Robin
The Adventures of Batman & Robin: A Fight to the Finish

Learn about the storyline in The Adventures of Batman & Robin: A Fight to the Finish from this DC Fandom page.

 

Sidekicks Assemble 2010

Bane made a cameo appearance in Sidekicks Assemble where he was computer generated, thus only an illusion in a Hologram.

 



 

The Many Voices of Bane

Over the years, Bane's voice has been brought to life by many voice actors in various animated series and video games, further testifying to his popularity and the multifaceted ways he can be portrayed.

Some of the more recognizable voice actors are:

Fred Tatasciore

  • The LEGO Batman Movie (2017 Movie)
  • Justice League Action (2016 TV Show)
  • Batman Unlimited: Mech Vs. Mutants (2016 Movie)
  • Batman: The Enemy Within (2017 Video Game)
  • The Dark Knight Rises: The Mobile Game (2012 Video Game)
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008 TV Show)
  • The Batman (2004 TV Show)

Carlos Alazraqui

  • Batman Ninja (2018 Movie)
  • Batman: Arkham Underworld (2016 Video Game)
  • DC Super Friends (2015 Short)
  • Batman: Arkham City (2011 Video Game)
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014 Movie)

Hector Elizondo

  • Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (2003 Video Game)
  • Batman Beyond (1999 TV Show)

The New Batman Adventures (1997 TV Show)

Henry Silva

  • Superman: The Animated Series (1996 TV Show)]
  • Batman: The Animated Series (1992 TV Show)
  • Kids' WB

See all of them here at the site called Behind the Voice Actors

 



 

Bane's Allure

Bane stands out from the typical rogues in Batman's gallery. While characters like The Joker represent chaos and unpredictability, Bane is a symbol of calculated intensity. He's not driven by insanity or mere greed.

Bane offers a unique blend of physical prowess and intellectual depth. He’s a character with a code, purpose, and, in some stories, even a sense of honor. This depth makes him relatable to some and intriguing to many.

His iterations in movies, TV shows and animated videos, while differing from the comics, have each added new layers to his persona. Whether he's the mastermind tactician breaking Batman's back or the protector with a code in Nolan's universe, Bane remains a testament to the rich tapestry of characters in the Batman mythos.

His popularity in merchandise is not just about the character's cool factor, but also the depth and layers he brings to the table. As fans continue to don Bane T shirts and discuss his ethos, Bane's legacy as one of Batman's most formidable foes remains unchallenged.

 



 

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