Bane is a fictional character who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993), and was created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, and Graham Nolan. Bane has been one of Batman's more physically and intellectually powerful foes. A virtually unstoppable juggernaut, he is best known for breaking Batman's back in the "Knightfall" story arc. IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time ranked Bane as #34.
Bane was portrayed by Robert "Jeep" Swenson in Batman & Robin, directed by Joel Schumacher. Tom Hardy is set to play Bane in the finale of the Christopher Nolan Batman film trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises.
Bane was born in the fictional Caribbean Republic of Santa Prisca, in a prison called Peña Dura ("Hard Rock"). His father Edmund Dorrance had been a revolutionary and had escaped Santa Prisca's court system. The corrupt government however decreed that his young son would serve out the man's life sentence, and thus Bane's childhood and early adult life are spent in the amoral penitentiary environment. 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 gym, and learns to fight in the merciless school of prison life. Despite his circumstances, he finds 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.
Bane ultimately establishes himself as the "king" of Peña Dura 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; the drug is administered by a doctor who bears a passing resemblance to another Batman foe, Dr. Hugo Strange. Later, in Vengeance of Bane II the very same doctor encounters Bane again in Gotham and it can be confirmed that it is not Hugo Strange, who at that point in Batman continuity was a crazed psychologist and not a surgeon. The Peña Dura prison Venom experiment nearly kills Bane at first, but he survives and finds that the drug vastly increases his physical strength, although he needs to take it every 12 hours (via a system of tubes pumped directly into his brain) or he will suffer debilitating side-effects.
Bane is 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 taught himself various scientific disciplines equal to the level of understanding of leading experts in those fields. He knows six active languages and at least two additional arcane and dead ones. Among these are Spanish, English, Urdu, Argh, Persian, and Latin. The Bane of the Demon storyline reveals that he has a photographic memory. Within one year, he is able to deduce Batman's secret identity.
He is also highly devious and a superb strategist and tactician. In prison, Bane also invented his own form of calisthenics, meditation, and a unique fighting style. Usage of Venom enhances his physical abilities, including his strength, and healing process to superhuman levels. Although Bane had sworn off using Venom in Vengeance of Bane II in 1995, and his character is actually written as having kept that promise to himself, it is still not uncommon for artists to draw Bane as still wearing the tube leading from his old wrist device to the back of his head, as well as almost all media adaptions of the character show him actively using the Venom compound. Writer Gail Simone explained these lapses in the continuity of Bane's appearance in an issue of Secret Six, in which Deadshot remarked that Bane merely kept his old Venom equipment with him out of habit, even though he states that he would sooner die than use it again.