No matter where Batman is finally left by “The Dark Knight Rises,” we’ll obviously expect to see him onscreen again, be it in a reboot, a never-say-never sequel, or some alternative Bat-vehicle. From 1940s movie serials to biff-powing TV caricature to today, the incarnations just go on and on. But who would have expected such staying power from “DKR” villain Bane, particularly when Batman’s rogues’ gallery is so crowded with biggies like the Joker and the Riddler?
Among the various spots where the masked, brutish bad guy has turned up:
a 1992-93 Batman event story line published by DC Comics. Bane debuted here as a superdrug-addicted juggernaut fixated on destroying our hero. Their confrontation climaxed with a widely publicized scene of Bane breaking Batman’s back, leaving him temporarily paralyzed and replaced by a substitute.
“Batman & Robin,”
director Joel Schumacher’s ill-fated 1997 Bat-sequel. The character was played by pro wrestler-turned-actor Jeep Swenson, but was just one more piece of eye-candy clutter in a movie that was already squeezing in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze, Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy, and Alicia Silverstone’s Batgirl.
“The Dark Knight Rises”
Tom Hardy (“Inception,” “Warrior”) plays Bane in a style consistent with director Christopher Nolan’s grounded vision, swapping the character’s lucha libre look for mercenary gear and a gas mask with a practical purpose. Looks like he could make that title a tall order.
Tom Russo can be reached at email@example.com.