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Bane possesses Olympic-level strength that appears to be equal to or greater than Batman's. During the Knightfall storyline, when he uses the "Venom" drug, his strength level is artificially increased to superhuman levels. Even without Venom, his physiology appears superior to other normal human characters with strength such as Batman.
Bane is also highly intelligent; in "Bane of the Demon", Ra's al Ghul says that Bane "has a mind equal to the greatest he has known". In prison he teaches himself various scientific disciplines equal to the level of understanding of leading experts in those fields. He teaches himself six active languages and at least two additional arcane and dead ones. The "Bane of the Demon" storyline reveals that he has photographic memory. Within one year he is able to deduce Batman's secret identity. He is also highly devious (he crafts the escape from Arkham Asylum of all of Batman's enemies), and a superb strategist and tactician. In prison Bane also invents his own form of calisthenics, meditation, and a unique fighting style.
Born to serve the life sentence of his father, Bane's childhood and early adult life are spent behind the walls of Peña Duro, an infamous prison located in Santa Prisca. Though imprisoned, his natural abilities allow him to develop extraordinary skills within the prison's walls. He reads as many books as he can get his hands on, builds up his body in the prison's gymnasium, and learns to fight in the merciless school of prison life. Despite his circumstances, he appears to have found teachers of various sorts during his incarceration, ranging from hardened convicts to an elderly Jesuit priest, under whose tutelage he apparently receives a classical education. Bane murders this priest upon his return to Santa Prisca years later. However, he commits his first murder at the age of eight, stabbing a criminal who wanted to use him to gain information about the prison.
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 (this is spoofed in Italian superhero parody Rat-Man by Leo Ortolani where the titular bumbling and goofy superhero has constant and heated discussions with a stuffed teddy called Piccettino, whose voice only he can hear).
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 (his friends Trogg, Zombie and Bird, all of whom are named for 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 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 throws him off a building in Gotham Square so that all Gothamites would know that he has defeated their protector.
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.
Following the events of "Knightfall", Bane recovers from his Venom addiction while serving time in prison, as seen in Vengeance of Bane II: The Redemption (1995). He eventually escapes from prison and returns to Gotham, where he fights alongside Batman to take out a criminal ring that is distributing a Venom derivative to street-level thugs. Following a victory over the criminals, Bane proclaims that he is "innocent" of his past crimes and urges Batman to stop hunting him. He then leaves Gotham (without fighting Batman) to begin a search for his father.
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 narrowly defeats him in single combat. Since then, whenever Batman and Bane square off in battle, their fights usually end in a draw, as Bane's strength is now equal to Batman's.
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).
According to the Jesuit priest that Bane speaks with in "Bane of the Demon" #1, there is a possibility that Bane's biological father is an American doctor. In researching this issue, Bane comes to the conclusion that he and Batman share Dr. Thomas Wayne as their biological father, with Dr. Wayne having apparently become close to Bane's mother during his time in Santa Prisca. Bane alerts Batman to this possibility, and during the time that the DNA tests are being performed, stays at Wayne Manor and fights alongside Batman on the streets of Gotham in the "Tabula Rasa" storyline (Gotham Knights #33-36, November 2002 - February 2003). Ultimately, it is revealed that Dr. Wayne is not Bane's father, and Bane leaves Gotham peacefully (and with Batman's blessing and financial backing) to pursue leads in the snowy mountains of Kanchenjunga.
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.
In Infinite Crisis #7, Bane is shown fighting alongside the villains during the Battle of Metropolis. During the battle, he breaks the back of the hero Judomaster, killing him. No reason was given for his actions in #7, though in Infinite Crisis's collected edition, one of the many changes made to the original series was Bane saying "I finally know who I am. I am Bane. I break people." while breaking Judomaster's back.
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 and Rex eventually subdue Bane, 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.
As appearing in Outsiders #50, Bane has joined the Suicide Squad.
Created by Doug Moench, Chuck Dixon, and Graham Nolan.
First Appearance: Batman: Vengeance of Bane Special (1993) #1
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Action Comics (1938)
HC Adventure Comics (2009)
- 'Superman: The Black Ring, Volume 2'HC
- 'Superman: The Black Ring, Volume 1'TPB
- 'Superman: The Black Ring, Volume 2'TPB
- 'Superman: The Black Ring, Volume 1'#895
- 'The Black Ring, Part 6'#896
- 'The Black Ring, Part 7'#899
- 'The Black Ring, Part 10'
#36 Batman (1940)
- 'Azrael and Bane: If he Screws Up This Time...'#37
- 'Battle With a Bird: Angel and the Bane, Part Two'#38
- 'Angel and the Bane, Part Three: The Meeting'#39
- 'Angel and the Bane, Finale: Finally, to Vanquish'#40
- 'Cataclysm, Part Four: Hour of the Quake'
HC Batman [GER] (1989)
- 'Batman R.I.P.: The Deluxe Edition'TPB
- 'Batman R.I.P'#0
- 'Creature of the Night'#489
- 'Killer's Bane'#490
- 'Who Riddled the Riddler?'#490 (2nd Print)
- 'Who Riddled the Riddler?'#491
- 'The Freedom of Madness!'#492
- 'Knightfall, Part 1: Crossed Eyes and Dotty Teas'#493
- 'Knightfall, Part 3: Redslash'#494
- 'Knightfall, Part 5: Night Terrors'#495
- 'Knightfall, Part 7: Strange Bedfellows'#496
- 'Knightfall, Part 9: Die Laughing'#497
- 'Knightfall, Part 11: The Broken Bat'#498
- 'Knightfall, Part 15: Knights in Darkness'#499
- 'Knightfall, Part 17: The Venom Connection'#500
- 'Knightfall, Part 19: Dark Angel'#512
- 'Prodigal, Part One: Robin and Batman'#561
- 'Road to No Man's Land: Bruce Wayne Goes To Washington, Part Two: The Witness'#571
- 'No Man's Land: Goin' Downtown, Part One: The Vault'#683
- 'What the Butler Saw'
#28 Batman [GER] (1997)
- 'Das Letzte Rätsel'
Batman Arkham: The Riddler (2015)
TPB Batman Noir: Eduardo Risso: The Deluxe Edition (2013)
- 'Batman Arkham: The Riddler'
HC Batman Sonderband (1997)
- 'Batman Noir: Eduardo Risso: The Deluxe Edition'
#1#2 Batman Versus Bane (2012)
- 'Bane II'#5
- 'Azrael vs. Bane'#6
- 'Catwoman - Die dunkle Ritterin'#8
- 'Catwoman im Niemandsland'#9
- 'Haunted Gotham'
TPB Batman Villains Secret Files (1998)
- 'Batman Versus Bane'
Batman: Arkham City (2011)
TPB Batman: Bane (1997)
- 'Batman: Arkham City'
Batman: Bane of the Demon (1998)
Batman: Bruce Wayne - Murderer? (2002)
Batman: Dark Knight Gallery (1996)
Batman: Gotham Knights (2000)
#9 Batman: Joker's Asylum (2008)
- 'Transference Part 2 of Four'#33
- 'Tabula Rasa Prologue: "The Devil You Know ..."'#34
- 'The New Dynamic Duo?'#35#36
- 'Tabula Rasa Part Three: Pix'#42
- '20 Days Less One'#46
- 'Scared Straight'#47
- 'Veritas Liberat Chapter One of Three: King of the Mountain'#48
- 'Veritas Liberat Chapter Two of Three: Family Reunion'#49
Batman: Knightfall (1993)
Batman: Legacy (1996)
Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (1989)
#199 Batman: Masterpieces (1998)
- 'Blaze of Glory: The Fire'#213
Batman: Mitefall (1995)
Batman: No Man's Land (1999)
Batman: No Man's Land Gallery (1999)
Batman: No Man's Land Secret Files (1999)
Batman: Odyssey (2010)
Batman: Odyssey (2011)
Batman: Odyssey (2012)
HC Batman: Orphans (2011)
- 'Batman: Odyssey'TPB
- 'Batman: Odyssey'
#2 Batman: Prodigal (1997)
- 'Part 3: Way of the Bat/ Part 4: The Twist'
Batman: Shadow of the Bat (1992)
#19 Batman: Turning Points (2001)
- 'Knightquest: The Crusade: The Tally Man, Part One of Two'#90
- 'No Man's Land: Low Road to Golden Mountain, Part 2: Positive Role Model'#93
- 'No Man's Land: Assembly Redux'
TPB Batman: Under the Cowl (2010)
- 'Turning Points'#4
Batman: Vengeance of Bane II (1995)
Special Batman: Vengeance of Bane Special (1993)
- 'Vengeance of Bane II: The Redemption'
Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (2009)
HC Batman/Judge Dredd Collection (2012)
- 'Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? The Deluxe Edition'TPB
- 'Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?'
HC Batman/Judge Dredd: The Ultimate Riddle (1995)
- 'Batman/Judge Dredd Collection'TPB
- 'Batman/Judge Dredd Collection'
OGN SC Batman/Scarecrow 3-D (1998)
- 'The Ultimate Riddle'#2
- 'Batman/judge Dredd: The Ultimate Riddle (1996)'
Birds of Prey (1999)
Birds of Prey: Batgirl (1998)
Birds of Prey: Catwoman/Oracle (2003)
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps (2009)
HC Booster Gold (2007)
- 'Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps'TPB
- 'Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps'
#14 Catwoman (1993)
- 'Stars in Your Eyes, Part 2'
#1 Catwoman (2002)
- 'Life Lines, Chapter One: Rough Diamonds!'#2
- 'Life Lines, Chapter Two: Blast from the Past!'#3
- 'Life Lines, Chapter Three: Shadow of the Cat!'#4
- 'Life Lines, Chapter Four: Full Circle'#35
- 'The Wheel of Plagues'
TPB vol. 08 Checkmate (2006)
- 'Crime Pays'#75
- 'Waking Up On the Wrong Side of the Universe, Part One'
Convergence Suicide Squad (2015)
Convergence: Zero Hour (2015)
Cover Story: The DC Comics Art of Brian Bolland (2011)
HC Crisis Final (2014)
- 'Cover Story: The DC Comics Art of Brian Bolland'
DC Comics Presents: Batman: Blaze of Glory (2012)
#1 DC Comics: the Sequential Art of Amanda Conner (2012)
- 'DC Comics Presents: Batman: Blaze of Glory'
HC DC Retroactive: Superman - The '80s (2011)
- 'DC Comics: the Sequential Art of Amanda Conner'
DC Universe Online: Legends (2011)
DC Universe: Origins (2009)
TPB DC Versus Marvel/Marvel Versus DC (1996)
- 'DC Universe: Origins'
TPB#1 DC/WS DreamWar (2008)
- 'DC Versus Marvel/Marvel Versus DC: Round One'#2
- 'Marvel Versus DC/DC Versus Marvel: Round Two'
TPB DCU: Legacies (2010)
- 'DC / WildStorm DreamWar'#5
- 'Bad To The Bone'
Detective Comics (1937)
#656 Detention Comics (1996)
- 'Knightfall, Part 4: Crocodile Tears'#663
- 'Knightfall, Part 10: No Rest for the Wicked'#664
- 'Knightfall, Part 12: Who Rules the Night'#665
- 'Knightfall, Part 16: Lightning Changes'#666
- 'Knightfall, Part 18: The Devil You Know'#700
- 'Legacy, Part One: Progeny of the Demon'#701
- 'Legacy, Part Six: Gotham's Scourge'#735
- 'No Man's Land: Fruit of the Earth, Part 3'#736
- 'No Man's Land: Homecoming'#738
- 'No Man's Land: Goin' Downtown, Part Two: The Vandal'#740
- 'No Man's Land: Shellgame, Part II'#853
- 'Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? Part 2 of 2'
Doom Patrol (2009)
#19 Final Crisis (2008)
- 'Suicide Roulette, Part Two: Ring-A-Ding Doom!'
Final Crisis: Revelations (2008)
HC Gotham City Sirens (2009)
- 'Final Crisis: Revelations'TPB
- 'Final Crisis: Revelations'#3
#13 Gotham Underground (2007)
- 'Sister Zero, Part 2 of 2'
#1 Guy Gardner: Warrior (1994)
- 'Book One: Kidnappings!'#3
- 'Book Three: "Fancy Meeting You Here..."'#5
- 'Book Five: Pieces of the Puzzle'#6
- 'Book Six: Breaking Out'
#27 Impulse (1995)
- 'Capital Punishment: Act 1 - Wake-Up Call'#29
- 'It's My Party And I'll Fight If I Want To'
#48 Infinite Crisis (2005)
- 'When is a Riddle Not a Riddle?'
Joker: Last Laugh Secret Files (2001)
Joker's Asylum II: The Riddler (2010)
#1 JSA: Classified (2005)
- 'The House the Cards Built'
#17 Justice League of America (2006)
- 'The Venom Connection Part 1'#18
- 'The Venom Connection, Part 2 of 2'#19
- 'Skin Trade: Part One - Spare Parts'
#15 Legends of the Dark Knight [I] (2012)
- 'Unlimited, Chapter 4: Unleashed'#59
- 'Eclipso Rising, Part 6'
#25 Legends of the Dark Knight [II] (2012)
- 'Dreaming He Is A Butterfly Part 1 of 2'#33
- 'Adaptation Part 1 of 1'
#66 Outsiders (2003)
- 'Bruce Wayne: Murderer?, Part Nine: The Unusual Suspects'
#50 Plastic Man Special (1999)
- 'You Killed the Outsiders!!!'
#0 Salvation Run (2008)
- 'Brothers in Arms'#8
- 'KnightsEnd, Part Five: Death's Door'#33
- 'Legacy, Part Seven: Riptide'
#2 Secret Six (2008)
- 'Take This World and Shove It!'#3
- 'All You Need Is Hate'#4
- 'Life is But a Nightmare'#5
- 'Through a Glass Deadly'#6
- 'Burning Down the World'#7
- 'We Gotta Get Out of This Planet'
#1 Showcase '94 (1994)
- 'At the Point of Puncture'#2
- 'The Way of the Traitor'#3
- 'A Run of Misfortune'#4
- 'Money for Murder'#5
- 'Twilight of Sorrow'#6
- 'Compound Fracture'#7
- 'Double Date'#9
- 'A Debt of Significant Blood'#10
- 'The Measure of a People'#11
- 'Amazons Unleashed'#12
- 'Fit for a King'#14
- 'Early Release'#15
- 'The Rabbit & The Grave'#17
- 'Danse Macabre, Part 2'#18
- 'Danse Macabre, Part 3'#19
- 'Fear of a World to Come'#21
- 'The Precipice'#23
- 'Part 1 of 4: Blood Calls to Blood'#26
- 'Part 2 of 4: Forced Merger'#27
- 'Part 3 of 4: Masked and Masked Again'#28
- 'Part 4 of 4: The Skull Just Beneath the Flesh'#29
- 'What Luthor Has Wrought'#30
- 'Suicide Roulette, Part One of Two: Like a Star on the Horizon'#31
- 'Part 1 of 3: In Every Dream a Nightmare'#32
- 'Part 2 of 3: The Secret 666'#33
- 'Part 2 of 3: The Infernal Finale'#34
- 'The Jagged End of the Chainsaw'#35
- 'Caution to the Wind, Part One of Two'#36
- 'Caution to the Wind, Part Two of Two: Blood Honor'
#2 Suicide Squad (1987)
- 'Blue Beetle - Gunfire - The Joker'#3
- 'Blue Beetle - Psyba-Rats - Arkham'
#67 Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag (2007)
- 'Danse Macabre, Part 1'
#8 Superman/Batman (2003)
- 'Bring Out Your Dead'
Annual 05 Tales of the Batman - Tim Sale (2007)
- 'Reign of Doomsday, Part Five: No Exit!'#3
- 'The World's Finest, Part Three: Running Wild'#54
- 'Super/Bat, Part 2'
HC The Batman Chronicles Gallery (1997)
- 'Tales of the Batman - Tim Sale'TPB
- 'Tales of the Batman - Tim Sale'
The Batman/Judge Dredd Files (2004)
TPB The DC Comics Encyclopedia (2004)
- 'The Batman/Judge Dredd Files'
HC Verhalen uit de Mega-Steden (1992)
- 'The DC Comics Encyclopedia: Updated And Expanded'HC
- 'The DC Comics Encyclopedia'
#14 Villains United (2005)
- 'Judge Dredd/Batman: Xero's Raadsel'
Wydanie Specjalne (1992)
Video Game Appearances:
Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (2003)
Lego Batman: The Video Game (2008)
Secret Six (04 - Bane's replacements)
Secret Six (DC)(03 - Villains United)
Suicide Squad (DC)(05 - Post Infinite Crisis)
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