Batman is always known to play around with the Joker. There is one other villain that also has the guts to take down Batman with ease other than the Clown Prince of Crime. And he is yet to receive the credit he so deserves. Let’s look at some of DC’s Greatest Bane Storylines.
Detective Comics #701
This particular issue was not even about Bane. Bane was merely a pawn in a grander scheme of things. The Demon’s Head aka Ra’s Al Ghul of the League of Assassins plans to quell the world’s population by releasing an ancient pandemic known as the Clench. Ra’s Al Ghul comes mighty close to doing what he has set out to do. But he knows the operation will also mean he must step down as the leader of the League of Assassins and someone else must take over after him. Ra’s Al Ghul, to everyone’s surprise, chooses Bane as his successor to the throne.
You May Also Like: Original Batman The Animated Series Villains – Ranked
Even batman is taken aback by such a decision. To add insult to injury, Ra’s even chooses Bane to be the future groom of his daughter Talia Al Ghul (mother of Damian Wayne in the comics) and produce an heir together. The issue was one of the first to pit Batman and Bane again after the incredibly successful Knightfall. The issue was creatively crafted to insert bane into the larger Batman lore but it had its fair share of flaws.
Sometimes for all their trophies and rewards, even the writers at DC come up with some really whimsical story arcs. Batman/Superman #54 is one of those story lines. But why is it considered as one of the the greatest Bane arcs? It is because it is so bad you just might find it good. Batman is known to be granted super powers from time to time. He once became the God of Knowledge. Another time he came into the possession of a Green Lantern Power Ring. In this issue, Batman encounters a supernatural phenomenon which gives him the powers of Superman. Batman uses his powers to serve justice (well of course!!). One of his first targets is Bane. Bane is so mercilessly taken down by the Batman that even the Joker would squirm. Batman literally rips out the Bane Venom equipment from his back, leaving a gaping hole in his body.
Vengeance of Bane II: The Redemption
We all know the sequels are always worse than its predecessors. Vengeance of Bane II: The Redemption is the sequel to another critically acclaimed comic book arc – Vengeance of Bane. Bane has suffered one his most humiliating defeats at the hands of the Batman. After Azrael gave him another beat-down, Bane finds himself in a prison. There he trains once more to get back to his physical and mental prime. Bane has a new goal – take over Gotham, destroy the Dark Knight, and erase all traces of his defeats. That does sound a little flimsy but in the end, Bane has a change of heart. Realizing the error of his ways for the time being, Bane uses the skilsl he had learned in prison to team up with and aid Batman in saving innocent lives. That was probably the only time we saw a heroic Bane in action.
Vengeance of Bane
Who is Bane? What is his story? When DC introduces a villain who is responsible for breaking Batman – their most prized possession, they ensure they do their homework. In Vengeance of Bane, we see a timid young man being put into prison for the crimes his fathers committed. Santa Prisca is a harsh and cruel penal colony that houses some of the world’s most brutal criminals and murderers. Vengeance of Bane shows us the rise of this young toddler into the powerhouse that would one day become Bane. DC did not want to make Bane into another Doomsday so they made sure he had a proper backstory and sufficient motivations to go after Batman.
Gail Simone’s Secret Six
Gail Simone has had some extremely potent contributions to the DC Universe. One of his most noticeable works is the one he did for the Secret Six. Bane, as a member of the super villain team, saw some pretty terrific character development. For years, Bane was shown as just a strong man. All he was good at was being the muscle. For the first time, Simone re-introduced Bane’s character as a multi-layered character with several flaws and numerous distinct traits. Bane was a man who wore the various chinks in his armor proudly because he was a man who had travelled and seen it all. Bane turned the group of super villains in a force for good. It was his leadership that led to Secret Six being regarded as one of the greatest mercenary squads in Gotham and beyond. One thing to be noticed in particular is how Bane developed a relationship with Scandal Savage, daughter of Vandal Savage, based on mutual trust and respect. Another important Bane sub-plot is explored in the Caution to the Wind limited issue paper back.
Tom King’s Batman Run
This is clearly the second greatest Bane story arc to have been ever written. Tom King is a master of the game. His most recent run on the Batman showed us a version of Bane taken straight out of his New 52 incarnation. Bane is no longer just doing brawny tricks to beat Batman. He is in for the long haul. Partnering up with Thomas Wayne’s version of the Flashpoint Batman, Bane systematically dismantles Batman’s psyche and mentally flails him to the point Batman can no longer take the torture. Bane’s plan to defeat Batman was even more calculated than the one he had in Knightfall. The story arc also saw the tragic death of Alfred Pennyworth at the hands of Bane. This was the point in the story that truly pushes Batman off the edge.
Also Read: 10 Best Batman Moments in Animated Movies
Superman has doomsday. Batman has Bane. That was what Knightfall taught us. Batman: Knightfall gave us the legend that is Bane. It showed us how there are people more tactical and strategic in their mind set and physically way more imposing than Batman in the DC Universe. Batman: Knightfall but Bane on the map for the better. Bane exploited Batman’s weaknesses. He first released all the inmates in Arkham Asylum, forcing Batman to work tirelessly all night to take down and capture the escaped inmates. When Batman returned home, battle weary and tired as hell, Bane stood in his way. A way worn Batman was easily taken down by Bane. His plan was absolutely brilliant. Bane did it so easily that the fans started to think why hadn’t the Joker thought about this before?