Most of the time, I complain about squandered opportunities back in the day to make villains more than two dimensional crooks with a theme, and celebrate the recent adaptations, and reimaginings that have revived characters like the Joker, Mr. Freeze, and the Mad Hatter. But, there is at least one character that has gone the other direction.
What happened to Bane?
death of Jason Todd, young Bruce Wayne left with his dead parents, and the cover to Batman #9.
Bane doesn't die and disappear after his initial storyarc. After his initial appearance, and the Knightfall arc, Bane makes one more appearance as a villain, manipulated by Ra's Al Ghul and his daughter Talia. This time Batman defeats him and sends him out of Gotham. After this, Bane's publication history takes a nose dive, and he begins to turn into an anti-hero, waging personal wars on other villains for getting in his way, like Ra's Al Ghul's League of Assassins, and recently, the Court of Owls. He teams up with Batman constantly.
His continued appearances sparked an interest in his back story, naturally. Which lead to a revelation and story arc concerning his father. I've said this before, characters with murky mysterious back stories should be left alone. Part of the awesomeness of characters like the Wolverine and the Joker is not knowing where they come from. Once you lift that curtain, they become less mythic and more commonplace. Bane's father was revealed as King Snake, a primary antagonist of Robin, the boy wonder, not exactly an A-lister.
Furthermore, Bane has been cast in other media as more of a drug induced bruiser, and less of the intelligent master criminal. This happened most famously in the Joel Shumacher craptastic film Batman and Robin. The reputation of the character hasn't fully recovered.
|unfortunately, this actually happened|
Bane could be, and probably should be, one of Batman's main villains, continuously making trouble in Gotham, sometimes succeeding. Like the Joker and Ra's Al Ghul, Bane ought to be a challenge each time he shows up. Instead, he's been relegated to the B-list bench, along with the Riddler, Two Face, and the Penguin. Bane was created to be a main adversary, and hasn't received the respect he deserves.
|so very very close|