While the first two villains I spoke of were more of a intelluctal challenge as well as a physcial challenge, Bane differs from them both as he is known as the man that broke the Bat. This of course then forced Bruce Wayne to give up the cowl so that he could heal, and gave good ole Bane quite the reputation. Bane was an escaped convict from a South American prison who possessed abnormal strength in large part due to the experiments he was placed under with the synthetic drug Venom. His extreme dependency on Venom was a strength and a weakness all at once, but he does rank as one of the most intelligent and physically powerful foes of the Bat. Although he is mostly thought of as a villain, he is a complex character as at times he has worked to take down drug lords. Despite his violent history with Batman, he has at times had his financial backing and assistance in the area.
Bane had a rough upbringing as he was given the life sentence thanks to his escaped convict father. His childhood and early adulthood was spent behind the unkind walls of Pena Duro, an infamous prison in Santa Prisca. During his imprisonment, his natural abilities allowed him to develop extraordinary skills within his confinements. He also spent hours pouring through books while also building up his strength in the gym. He learned to defend himself due to the jail yard fights that inevitably spring up when one is locked up. His sanity was in question at the young age of eight, when he committed his first murder inside prison where he killed a criminal with a knife. During his years in the prison he carried with him a teddy bear that he considered his closest friend as it had a concealed weapon buried inside of it. Ultimately, Bane even rose up to become the proclaimed "king" of the prison. The controller's of the prison eventually take notice to him and force him to become a test subject to the new drug Venom, which killed our previous test subjects. Initially, it nearly kills him but he does survive the ordeal and finds its effects enhance his physical strength greatly although he needs to take it every twelve hours otherwise he would suffer debilitating side effects. Years later, he eventually breaks out of the walls that have held him for so long and heads for Gotham as he hears of this hero named Batman. Bane is convinced that the demonic bat that has haunted his dreams since childhood is a physical representation of the Batman.
Upon arriving in Gotham, Bane knew that a direct assault on Batman would be foolish and that help would be ideal. Thus, Bane went and destroyed the walls of Arkham Asylum in the process of doing so he freed villains such as The Joker, Two-Face, the Scarecrow, the Riddler, Poison Ivy, Black Mask and Victor Zsasz. It took Batman close to three months to round up all of the villains and place them back into their holding cells which ran him to exhaustion. He returned to his Wayne Manor to rest only to find Bane waiting for him. The two fought in the Batcave below the manor and once Bane had won the fight, he grabbed Batman and broke his back leaving him paraplegic. After this feat he was known as the only man to have broken the bat and became the ruler of Gotham's criminal underworld. Bruce Wayne passed the mantle over to Jean-Paul Valley, also known as Azrael, who became increasingly violent in the new role as Batman. He allowed the villain Abattoir fall to his death, without even lifting a finger to prevent his imminent death. He also refused to work alongside Robin and sported a sophisticated combat suit instead of the traditional Batman suit but ultimately defeats Bane as he severed the tubes that pumped Venom into Bane's bloodstream effectively causing him to go into withdrawal in the story "Knightfall". Jean-Paul then continued to give Bane a vicious beating instead of handing him over to the authorities like Batman would do. Valley left Bane on the doorsteps of death, but not there just yet.
Following the events of "Knightfall", Bane had recovered from his withdrawal while serving his jail time. Eventually, as all villains do, he broke out of his prison and headed back to Gotham where he meets up with Batman who has now recovered from his back injury. The two fight alongside of each other to take down a criminal ring that is distributing a Venom derivative to street thugs. Upon defeating the criminals, he explains to Batman that he is a changed man and innocent of his previous crimes while urging him to stop hunting him down as he only wants to go on to find his father. Batman eventually lets him go, and Bane leaves Gotham and heads to Santa Prisca to start his search for his father. In search of leads, Bane questions the Jesuit priest that taught him briefly in his time in prison and the priest tells him of four men that could be his father. One being a Santa Priscan revolutionary, an American doctor, an English mercenary or a Swiss banker. His search for his father eventually leads him to cross paths with Talia al Ghul who then introduces him to Ra's al Ghul. Ra's is impressed with what he is presented with and ultimately names him his heir. In the "Legacy" story line, Ra's al Ghul and Bane arrive back in Gotham looking to destroy it. Bruce Wayne, back as Batman, gets his revenge against Bane and this time takes down the over-sized villain in a one on one fight while also ending their strike on Gotham.
COMING SOON - CATWOMAN
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