Born into a life sentence for the crimes of his father, he was raised from birth within the harsh prison known as Peña Dura (“Hard Rock”), in the Caribbean Republic of Santa Prisca. He was named Bane by the warden after his first murder as an adolescent, and as he grew to adult hood he became the most feared and respected inmate, the “king” of Pena Duro. Gifted with physical prowess and natural intelligence, he used his time in study, meditation and exercise to hone his body and mind to the peak of human potential.
His father who would be eventually known as Edmund Dorrence aka King Snake, was known to be a revolutionary within Santa Prisca. Edmund managed to escape imprisonment and had the corrupt government charge his crimes onto his unborn child.
Life grew hellish for the child after being born as he feared the violent nature within the prison, fearing that each day may be his last. Protected by both Zombie and Trogg who were also inmates within the prison, the child’s survival was still at stake. Bane developed a strong survival sense from a vision he gained after getting attacked. The child finally found the courage to kill while he was confronted by one of the inmates – using a knife hidden within his teddy bear.
Gaining the wrong attention by the Warden and taken into an isolation cell for his murders, the child realized that courage, dedication, and strengthening of both mind and body were his only ways to survive. Calling himself Bane, he trained his body through the harshest environments when his isolation cell flooded during some nights. Upon his release from isolation, Bane continued his intense training while studying whatever literature he found within the prison. Self-taught within the fields of strategy, philosophy, languages, math, grammar, and more, Bane developed into the ultimate killing machine that even the guards found themselves fearing.
It would be the stories from another inmate, Bird, about a monster with Gotham City known as the Batman, that would inspire Bane to escape and look for new “prisons” to conquer. Meanwhile, the Warden attempted to rid himself of Bane, and nominated him to participate in an experiment to create a super powered soldier with a steroid like drug known as Venom. They injected the Venom into Bane, almost killing him, as had happened to numerous subjects before him. Believing him to be dead, Bane was tossed into the sea, where he freed himself. Returning to the prison, Bane held the Warden hostage while escaping by means of a helicopter. With his inmate friends escaping alongside with him, Bane traveled to Gotham to set about his destiny to be the king. His first step was hunting down this Batman breaking him.
Bane was created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Graham Nolan and first appeared in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1. He was conceived as a darker take on Doc Savage, with inspiration from the Count of Monte Cristo and Mexican luchador culture. The steroid Bane uses appeared previously in the Batman story Venom.
Characterized initially as an amoral product of a corrupt prison system and an unscrupulous super-soldier program, yet ultimately fated for greater things, Bane was shown to be savage in physical combat and shrewdly calculating in matters of strategy. Venom made him more powerful than most of his foes, allowing him to defeat the likes of Killer Croc, Robin and even Batman himself. Jean Paul Valley, assuming the mantle of the Bat, exploited this reliance on the drug and handed Bane a crushing defeat.
In Vengeance of Bane II, Bane would defeat his addiction to Venom and turn away from his desire to conquer, deciding he was “innocent.” Resolving to find his father, Bane’s search for his past, and subsequent redemption, would be the driving force for several years, with occasional lapses, influenced by Ra’s Al Ghul.
Scott Beatty was the writer to reveal that Bane was the son of King Snake. Meeting his father, Bane found him wanting. This saw a turn in characterization, back towards a more overt menace. Gail Simone wrote Bane into the Secret Six, exploring his own approach to fatherhood with Scandal Savage, as well as his lingering craving for Venom and his lack of direction since defeating Batman. He was shocked to find that he was destined for Hell, making him question his self perceived “innocence.”
Often portrayed in other media as more of a brute, and less of a tactician, this take has appeared in the New 52, heavily influenced by the popular video game Arkham Asylum. He now is featured as a villain hired by the Court of the Owls to kill Calvin Rose in the Talon book.
Bane escaped Peña Duro, along with several accomplices, his friends Trogg, Zombie, and Bird. His ambition turned to destroying Batman, about whom he had heard tales while serving his sentence. He was fascinated with Gotham City, like the prison, it was a place where fear ruled: in this case, fear of Batman. Bane was convinced that the demonic bat that haunted his dreams since childhood was a related to the Batman.
Aware that a direct assault on Batman would be foolish, Bane destroyed the walls of Arkham Asylum, allowing a horde of all of its deranged inmates, including the Joker, the Scarecrow, the Mad Hatter, the Ventriloquist, Firefly, Two-Face, and Zsasz to escape into Gotham City. While Batman spent months rounding them up, bringing himself to the point of exhaustion, Bane consolidated power in the Gotham underground. When the time was right, Bane set up a gauntlet of his three associates for the Dark Knight, which he barely survived. Then, when Batman returned to Wayne Manor, Bane was waiting. The fight was quick and one-sided, as Batman simply had nothing left. As the coup de grâce, Bane broke Batman’s back and left him paraplegic.
Bane was firmly established as ruler of Gotham’s criminal underworld, and saw no challenge. Desparate, Bruce Wayne passed the mantle of Batman to Jean-Paul Valley, also known as Azrael. Utilizing a sophisticated combat suit in place of the traditional Batman uniform, he fought Bane and defeated him by severing the tubes that pumped the Venom into his bloodstream, causing severe withdrawal. Valley then gave the weakened Bane a vicious beating, leaving him alive but broken.
In Blackgate Penitentiary, Bane rehabilitates himself and beats his addiction to Venom. He then escapes, and begins a journey to unravel his past, most notably the identity of his father. Before leaving Gotham he encounters a similarly rejuvenated Bruce Wayne, once again Batman. Together they defeat a group of Venom-enhanced bank robbers. Parting ways, Bane states that he is “innocent,” and Batman should leave him be.
Bane’s search for his unknown father began with his birthplace at the prison within Santa Prisca. Finding the oldest inmate, who was a Jesuit Priest, Bane would learn that one of four men could have been his father. One suspect was a revolutionary hated by the Santa Priscan government (who would later become dictator of the island), another was an American doctor (later revealed to be Thomas Wayne), the other was an English mercenary(Edmund Dorrence, long before he was known as King Snake), and the last was a Swiss banker. Deciding to take his chances with the Swiss banker, Bane traveled to Rome in search of his possible father only to run afoul of the League of Assassins.
Bane is recruited as the new right hand man for Ra’s Al Ghul, traditionally known as Ubu, and works alongside both Talia Al Ghul and her father, as they plotted against both Gotham City and the world. Bane impressed Ra’s, leading to the Demon’s Head offering Bane his daughter’s hand in marriage. However, Ra’s choice of Bane only came from his daughter’s desire to spite her true love, Batman. After the Ra’s attempts to release the Legacy virus into Gotham failed, Bane was humiliated, having been defeated by the man he once broke. Seeking revenge by turning Batman’s beloved city into an irradiated wasteland, he hijacked a mobile nuclear power plant and sailed it towards Gotham. However, the combined efforts of Batman, Robin, and Nightwing thwarted Bane’s plans.
After his failed attempt at destroying Gotham City, Bane escaped and sought to replenish his resources by selling Venom to General Webez, a would be ruler of Santa Prisca. Batman dispatched Azrael to capture him. Initially getting the better of Azrael, Bane is captured and returned to Gotham City when Azrael uses Banes lingering craving for Venom against him. As they land in Gotham and are about to turn him over to the police, a Cataclysm occurs, allowing Bane to briefly escape, before Arael chases him down once more. Bane attempted to convince Azrael to join him in a life of crime, but Valley refused, and taking advantage of an aftershock, apprehends him again. Bane would soon find himself under the employment of Lex Luthor during Gotham City’s status as a No Man’s Land. Attempting to rebuild and take over the ruined city, Bane is sent to destroy all official records of the city. Even though Bane is successful, Lucius Fox discovered copies of the original documents and foils Luthors attempts on taking over the city.
Bane later encounters the Joker, and a battle ensues. Batman intervenes and convinces Bane that Luthor is not to be trusted. Bane leaves Gotham to it’s fate. Seeking revenge against Ra’s Al Ghul for his recent treachery, Bane travels around the world on a campaign to locate and destroy every Lazarus Pit. During this quest, Bane encountered Black Canary.
Returning to the search for his father, Bane is convinced that his biological father is the American doctor that the Jesuit priest spoke about. Upon closer investigation, Bane realized that the doctor who was close to his mother was none other than Dr Thomas Wayne, the father of Bruce Wayne. Upon realizing this, Bane was convinced that he and Batman were in fact biologically related. Sharing this discovery with Batman as he returned to Gotham, Bane found himself not only staying at Wayne Manor, but also working alongside with the Batman as well. A series of murders involving tattoo’s coming to life were investigated by this new “dynamic duo.” They found it was a traumatized girl named Pix who had used her technological the powers to cause her tattoos to attack the men who raped her. Meanwhile, Bane discovered that he was not biologically related to Bruce. Even after learning this, when Batman was in need of assistance in dealing with Pix and the rapist known as Ricky, Bane came to his aid, ultimately saving Batman’s life. Upon sharing his discoveries with the hero, Bane set off to continue his search for his father, now with the financial backing of Batman.
With additional help from Dr. Leslie Thompson, Bane set off on his quest, eventually arriving in the remote mountains of Kangchenjunga after learning that his father was possibly located within the area at an old Lazarus Pit. His resources proved correct when he located the man known as Sir Edmund Dorrance, AKA. King Snake. Barely alive and malnourished, Snake had been there stuck there since an encounter with Robin. Bane and Dorrance shared their sides of the story, agreeing that their relationship was likely. After years of built up anger and resentment, Bane found his father to be largely unrepentant, and was about to strike him down when the cult known as Kobra interrupted them. Bane chose to bide his time when Snake used a post hypnotic suggestion implanted in Kobra that he was aware of to take command of the small force.
Unsure of what to do because of his current emotional feelings, Bane allowed Dorrance to use the Kobra troops to harvest a weapon which had been stored when the Lazarus Pit was used as a Kobra base. However, he would side with Batman and his allies when they arrived to confront King Snake and his cult. Bane shielded Batman from King Snake’s machine gun fire, and threw the acidic energy source at Snake, apparently causing him to fall to his death. Kobra was defeated, and Batman revived Bane with a Lazarus Pit at his request. As he was lowered into the Pit, Bane stated “I will be like new…cleansed…healed…reborn.”