Adaptations of Bane in other media
The Dark Knight Rises (7590755186).jpg
A mannequin of Bane from The Dark Knight Rises
Created byChuck Dixon
Doug Moench
Graham Nolan
Original sourceComics published by DC Comics
First appearanceBatman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993)
Films and television
Film(s)Batman & Robin (1997)
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009)
Justice League: Doom (2012)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants (2016)
The Lego Batman Movie (2017)
Batman Ninja (2018)
Batman: The Animated Series (1994)
The New Batman Adventures (1997)
Superman: The Animated Series (1998)
Batman Beyond (1999)
The Batman (2004)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2008)
Young Justice (2010)
Justice League Action (2016)
Gotham (2019)
Harley Quinn

Bane was originally a comic book character and Batman's adversary, but has appeared in several other forms of media. He has been portrayed in live action by Robert Swenson in Batman & Robin, Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises, and Shane West in Gotham.

Henry Silva, Joaquim de Almeida, Ron Perlman, Clancy Brown, Michael Dorn, Danny Trejo, Héctor Elizondo, Carlos Alazraqui, Fred Tatasciore, Jason Liebrecht, Steve Blum, JB Blanc, Doug Benson, and James Adomian have all provided voice work for the character. Peter Marinker voices Bane in the radio adaption of Batman: Knightfall.





Shane West as Bane in Gotham.
Shane West as Bane in Gotham.


DC Animated Universe

Bane, as he is depicted in Batman: The Animated Series (left) and subsequent appearances (right).
Bane, as he is depicted in Batman: The Animated Series (left) and subsequent appearances (right).

Even though the producers were reluctant to use the character as they felt his comic incarnation was too gimmicky,[2] Bane still appeared in the DC Animated Universe,[2] voiced primarily by Henry Silva.

Other series



Batman & Robin (1997)

Robert Swenson as Bane in Batman & Robin (1997).
Robert Swenson as Bane in Batman & Robin (1997).

Bane appears in Batman & Robin (1997), portrayed by former WCW wrestler Robert "Jeep" Swenson in one of his last film roles before his death. This version is Antonio Diego (portrayed by Michael Reid MacKay), an incarcerated serial killer who was transformed into Bane by Jason Woodrue and is much less intelligent, serving as the bodyguard/henchman of Poison Ivy. In the film's climax, Bane fights and nearly kills Robin and Batgirl, who manage to weaken and kick the Venom tube out of the back of his head, which changes him back to his frail self. Following the defeat of Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy, Bane's fate is left unrevealed. This version of the character was one of many aspects of the film which received negative criticism from fans and critics alike.[7]

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
Tom Hardy as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises (2012).

Bane appears in The Dark Knight Rises, portrayed by Tom Hardy.[8][9][10] Intending to portray the character as "more menacing" than the Batman & Robin incarnation, Hardy gained 14 kilograms (31 lb) of muscle for the role,[11][12] increasing his weight to 90 kilograms (200 lb).[11] Prior to the film's release, Bane's voice received some criticism for being unintelligible due to his mask. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Christopher Nolan said "I think when people see the film, things will come into focus. Bane is very complex and very interesting and when people see the finished film people will be very entertained by him."[13] "We wanted a very physical monster. We wanted more of the Darth Vader, if you like, and that was very important in the story dynamics."[14] Hardy himself also commented on the voice in another interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying "It’s a risk, because we could be laughed at—or it could be very fresh and exciting", and that "The audience mustn’t be too concerned about the mumbly voice... As the film progresses, I think you’ll be able to tune to its setting." Hardy says the voice he developed had several influences, including Bane's intellect, Caribbean heritage,[15] and in particular, bare-knuckle fighter Bartley Gorman.[16][17]

Bane has been described as having "the physicality of a silverback gorilla"[18][19] and is shown to have superhuman levels of strength in certain instances throughout the film, such as punching holes in limestone pillars, ripping his wrists out of handcuffs, easily breaking a soldier's neck with one hand, lifting Batman's armored body by the throat with a single outstretched arm, and cracking his impact-resistant cowl.[20] Hardy describes Bane's fighting style as "Brutal. He's a big dude who's incredibly clinical, in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. It's not about fighting. It's about carnage. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed, it's nasty. Anything from small-joint manipulation to crushing skulls, crushing rib cages, stamping on shins and knees and necks."[21]

Bane is the self-proclaimed leader of a revolution against the rich and the corrupt, who he contends are oppressing "the people", and keeping them subservient with "myths of opportunity". Political theorist and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek sees Bane as fighting "structural injustice", while likening him to a modern-day Che Guevara who is counter-intuitively driven to violence out of a sense of love.[22] Others have compared Bane to a "high-tech Robespierre on steroids", a melded triad of Lenin, bin Laden and Steve Austin set on fomenting "proletarian retribution", and "the one thing that's worse than the second film's raving anarchist: a demagogue."[23][24] For his part, Nolan has said that his draft for the script was inspired by Charles Dickens' 1859 classic novel A Tale of Two Cities, centered around the French Revolution.[25] This homage to Dickens' story is briefly illustrated by having Bane inconspicuously finger knit paracord (incidentally a real-life habit of Hardy's) in one scene of the film, symbolizing his Reign of Terror-based character Madame Defarge from the book.[25]

While little information is given about Bane's backstory, he is said to have been born and raised in a centuries-old foreign penitentiary known as "the Pit",[26][27][28][29] where he spent most of his life incarcerated as a prisoner. Although the viewer is led to believe he had escaped the prison as a child, it is later revealed that he was the friend of Talia al Ghul, a young girl whose mother, the daughter of a local warlord, gave birth to in the Pit after being banished there by her father. After the mother was killed by the prison's inmates, Bane protected the girl until the latter finally escaped.[30] However, Bane was attacked by the other inmates, which left him in "perpetual agony" as a result of his injuries and the prison doctor's inept attempts to treat them; in lieu of his addiction to Venom in the comics, he instead wears a mask that provides him with a constant stream of analgesic gas that keeps his pain just below the threshold.[31] Bane was then rescued and recruited by Talia's father, Ra's al Ghul (Liam Neeson), into the League of Shadows, though Ra's eventually excommunicated him for being a reminder of the prison that Talia's mother was left to die in. After Ra's' death during the events of Batman Begins, however, Bane rejoined the League as its new leader alongside Talia.

Six months before the main plot begins, Bane poses as one of his own mercenaries to infiltrate a meeting between a CIA agent named Bill Wilson and nuclear physicist Dr. Leonid Pavel. After he and his men destroy CIA's plane, Bane kidnaps Dr. Pavel and forces him to convert a stolen Wayne Enterprises fusion reactor into an atomic bomb, which Bane intends to use to destroy Gotham. In the present day narrative, Bane sets up his base in the city's tunnels, where he captures Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon, who escapes shortly afterwards. Masquerading as an enforcer of John Daggett, Bane bankrupts Dagget's business rival Bruce Wayne by orchestrating a raid at the Gotham Stock Exchange and using Wayne's fingerprints to verify fraudulent futures exchange trades. After killing Daggett, Bane forces cat-burglar Selina Kyle to lure Batman to his lair. Bane subsequently breaks Batman's back and condemns him to the Pit where he reveals his plan: to fulfill Ra's al Ghul's destiny, he will psychologically torture Batman and Gotham for several months before detonating the bomb, destroying the city in an atomic blast.

To this effect, Bane lures Gotham's police underground and uses explosives to trap them and destroy the bridges surrounding the city. At a football game, Bane kills Mayor Anthony Garcia by detonating his viewing box and then kills Dr. Pavel before reading Gordon's resignation speech, exposing the crimes of district attorney Harvey Dent and their subsequent cover-up. Broadcasting that he wants to liberate Gotham from the corrupt and wealthy elite after reading the information, Bane releases the prisoners of Blackgate Prison, initiating anarchy while holding the city hostage and isolated with the bomb. Months later, Bane discovers that Batman has escaped from the Pit, returned to Gotham, and freed the trapped GCPD from the sewers. The police then clash with Bane's army in the streets outside the Gotham City Hall. Batman battles Bane in the midst of the chaos and damages his mask, cutting off his supply of painkillers and rendering him helpless. Talia — who was masquerading as Wayne Enterprises CEO Miranda Tate — intervenes by stabbing Batman. She fixes Bane's mask and activates the detonator, but Gordon blocks her signal. Talia leaves to detonate the bomb while Bane prepares to execute Batman, but Selina appears and fires the Batpod's cannons at Bane, killing him.

Hardy's portrayal of Bane was positively received, and the character is considered one of the best villains in film history.[32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44]


Video games


Main article: Lego Batman

Batman: Arkham

Bane appears in the Batman: Arkham series, voiced by Fred Tatasciore in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City and by JB Blanc in Arkham Origins.


Fred Tatasciore reprises his role as Bane in both Injustice: Gods Among Us and its sequel, Injustice 2.

Other games

Toys and collectibles


The album Knightfall by Swedish band Silent Images, is based on the Batman: Knightfall story arc, with Bane cast as a central character. Throughout the course of the album and its lyrics, he is referred to as "The Venomous One", and is depicted as a militaristic Übermensch, with an uncanny and almost homoerotic connection to Batman.[60][61][62]


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