Bane is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993), and was created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Graham Nolan. Originally intended as a "dark mirror" of the highly disciplined and multi-skilled pulp hero Doc Savage, Bane (real name unknown) spends his childhood in a hellish prison on the corrupt island nation of Santa Prisca where he develops superhuman strength through a forced experiment involving the drug Venom. Although his dependency on Venom is an immense weakness, Bane has been one of Batman's most intelligent and physically powerful foes. He is best known for breaking Batman's back in the "Knightfall" story arc. While primarily a villain, Bane is a complex character and has worked to take down drug lords. Despite their history, he has sometimes had Batman's financial backing and direct assistance. In most other media adaptations of the character, Bane is more simplistic and thug-like than his comic book counterpart, notably in the 1997 film Batman & Robin where the character is practically mindless.
During his years in prison, Bane carries a teddy bear he calls Osito (Spanish for "little bear"), whom he considers his only friend. It is revealed that Osito has a hole in his back to hold a knife that Bane uses against anyone who bullies him.
Bane ultimately establishes himself as the "king" of Peña Duro prison. The prison's controllers take note and, eventually, force him to become a test subject for a mysterious drug known as Venom, which had killed all other subjects. It nearly kills him at first, but he survives and finds its effects enhance his physical strength, although he needs to take it every 12 hours (via a system of cables pumped directly into his brain) or he would suffer debilitating side-effects.
Years later, Bane escapes Peña Duro, along with several accomplices based on the Fabulous Five (his friends Trogg, Zombie, and Bird, all of whom are named after 1960s rock bands: The Troggs, The Zombies, and The Byrds, and were designed to mimic three of Doc Savage's assistants Monk, Ham, and Renny). His ambition turns to destroying Batman, whom he had heard tales of while serving his sentence. He is fascinated with Gotham City as, like the prison, it is a place where fear ruled: in this case, fear of Batman. Bane is convinced that the demonic bat that haunted his dreams since childhood is a representation of the Batman.
Aware that a direct assault on Batman would be foolish, Bane destroys the walls of Arkham Asylum, allowing its deranged inmates (including the Joker, the Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, The Ventriloquist, Firefly, Cavalier, and Zsasz) to escape into Gotham City, where Batman spends three months rounding them up. Running himself to exhaustion, Batman returns to Wayne Manor, where Bane awaits him. He fights Batman in the Batcave, defeats him, and delivers the coup de grâce: He breaks Batman's back and leaves him paraplegic, thereby having been the only man to have \"Broken the Bat\".
While Bane establishes himself as ruler of Gotham's criminal underworld, Bruce Wayne passes the mantle of Batman to Jean-Paul Valley, also known as Azrael. As Batman, Jean-Paul grows increasingly violent, allowing the villain Abattoir to fall to his death. Jean-Paul also refuses to recognize Robin as his partner. Utilizing a sophisticated combat suit in place of the traditional Batman uniform, he fights and defeats Bane at the end of the \"Knightfall\" arc, severing the tubes that pump the Venom into Bane's bloodstream, causing severe withdrawal. Valley then gives the weakened Bane a vicious beating, leaving him alive but broken.
Bane's search brings him back to Santa Prisca (shown in the Bane of the Demon miniseries published in 1998). In search of leads, Bane questions the Jesuit priest who had taught him while he was in Peña Duro. The priest explains that there were four men who could possibly have been his father: a Santa Priscan revolutionary, an American doctor, an English mercenary, and a Swiss banker. While searching for the Swiss in Rome, Bane encounters Ra's al Ghul's daughter Talia. Talia introduces Bane to her father, and eventually Bane impresses Ra's so much that he chooses Bane as his heir (an "honor" he had previously imparted on Batman).
Ra's al Ghul and Bane then launch a plague attack on Gotham in the "Legacy" storyline. Bruce Wayne, again costumed as Batman, gets his rematch with Bane in Detective Comics #701 (September 1996) and finally defeats him in single combat.
Following the "Legacy" storyline, Bane appears in a one-shot publication called Batman: Bane (1997) and fights Azrael in the "Angel and the Bane" storyline in "Azrael" #36-40 (December 1997 - April 1998). He then surfaces in the story arc "No Man's Land", serving as an enforcer for Lex Luthor. Following a fallout with Ra's al Ghul, Bane later embarks on a campaign to destroy Lazarus Pits around the world, and in the process, encounters Black Canary in Birds of Prey #26 (February 2001).
Bane eventually finds his father, the unscrupulous King Snake, in the "Veritas Liberat" storyline (Gotham Knights #47-49, January - March 2004). Bane, with Batman looking on, helps foil King Snake's plans to unleash a powerful weapon upon the world. Bane saves Batman from being shot by King Snake, but is mortally wounded in the process. Batman then saves Bane by bathing him in a Lazarus Pit, and leaves him with a clean slate and a new opportunity at life.
Bane resurfaces in the One Year Later continuity in JSA Classified #17-18 searching for the Hourmen (Rex and Rick Tyler), asking them for help. To win their trust, he tells them how, prior to the Battle of Metropolis, he returned to his homeland to put an end to the drug lords' government, in the process discovering that a new, more addicting strain of Venom had been created. In his furious carelessness to wipe out the drug trade, he was captured, and reimplanted with the cranial tubes, hooked to the new Venom, but now unable to shake off his addiction without dying from the withdrawal. Bane was forced to work as an enforcer for the drug cartel, unable to escape. Believing that Bane sought Rex Tyler's expertise in chemistry, Rick lets him approach his father, only to discover that the story is a ruse. Bane, who had never truly been addicted to Venom, had in fact wiped out the drug lords, and destroyed every research note on Venom. He discovered in the process both strains of Venom derived from Rex Tyler's early research on Miraclo. He discovers from the Tylers that no written notes exist of Rex's work, captures Rex, and steals Rick's equipment, planning to kill Rex and force Rick to take the last of the new Venom, living forever as an addict. Rick manipulates Bane into using Miraclo and demolishing the building as he and his father escape, burying the mercenary in the rubble of the very same Santa Priscan penitentiary where his story began.
Eventually Bane resurfaces in Santa Prisca, leading the country to democratic elections. Upon discovering that the elections were rigged by Computron, he uses his influence to enforce martial law, plunging the country into a civil war. Computron offers information to Checkmate on who ordered him to rig the elections in exchange for their help in escaping the country. Fire and Judomaster's son, Thomas Jagger, are sent on the mission, with Jagger debating whether or not to seek revenge for his father's murder. He fights Bane in order to allow Fire to escape, defeating him easily, but chooses not to kill him.
At the end of the mini series Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag, Amanda Waller recruits Bane into the Squad. In Outsiders #50, appears once more to be wearing the tubing system to apply Venom - whether he has returned to the drug is unknown.
In Salvation Run #2, Bane was tricked by his fellow squad members, and sent to the prison planet. In Salvation Run #3 Bane remains with Lex Luthor's faction after Joker's faction rebels against Luthor's leadership. He recently attacked Thunder and Lightning when they were attempting to feed Martian Manhunter.
It has been revealed that Bane will join the Secret Six in their new ongoing series starting in September 2008. In the first issue Bane is depicted as a stoic devil's advocate for the group, offering alternative points of view on for both Deadshot and Catman on the subject of love.
A more monstrous version of Bane is depicted in The Batman (2004-08), voiced by Joaquim de Almeida in "Traction" and Ron Perlman in "Team Penguin". First, he appears as an assassian hired by Gotham mob bosses to kill Batman. He is said to have volunteered for enhancement in a lab deep in the Amazon.
Bane appears in the live-action movie Batman and Robin (1997). Unlike his comics counterpart, this incarnation has a real name, Antonio Diego (played by Michael Reid MacKay), and turned into the muscular Bane (portrayed by Robert Swenson) by Dr. Jason Woodrue. Rather than being the devious, intelligent villain of the comics, this version is an inarticulate thug who serves as the lackey of Poison Ivy, one of the main villains of the film. Bane is barely even capable of speech and uses growls, roars, and snarls for most of his communication. Despite this, he is still muscular, wears a slight variation of his classic mask, and is still superhumanly strong. This depiction of the character was one of many aspects of the film which received harsh criticism from fans and critics alike.
Bane also appears in Batman: The Animated Series spin-off direct-to-video animated movie, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003), voiced by Héctor Elizondo. Here, he is once again hired by Rupert Thorne but this time he is hired to kill Batwoman.