Okay, so like “Bane Week” was supposed to end on Saturday. Oops. Anyway, it’s Monday morning, I’m feelin’ good and I’m ready to conclude IAT’s look at DCUC16 with a look at Bane! Well, mostly ready. This might take a couple cans of Dr Pepper to get through. It’s 5am and I’m just getting started.
With Green Lantern Classics 2 being found in Wal-Mart’s ’round the country, I thought it best to plow through my backlog of DC Universe Classics reviews last week and get 16 wrapped up in record time. And “Bane Week” was a success, other than not getting wrapped up exactly on time. I’d say you might look forward to a “Stel Week”, but it certainly doesn’t sound exciting, does it? Maybe “Green Lantern Week” so we can get some of that movie tie-in traffic… Anyway.
Bane is a character that I love or hate depending on the writer. Initially, he was an all-out villain. He was created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench, & Graham Nolan in ’93 as an “evil Doc Savage”. He would break Batman’s back within the year and instantly be catapulted into the top ranks of Bat-villains. His origin was relatively simple, his father had fled the country of Santa Prisca to avoid a prison sentence and the courts imprisoned his son as a substitute. Bane, a small child at the time, was raised to adulthood in the prison and ultimately became the “king” of the inmates. The prison would later use Bane as a test subject for an experimental drug called Venom. It had been fatal for all the previous inmates, but Bane’s physique and strength of will allowed him to survive. He quickly discovered that the drug greatly increased his physical strength which he used to break free from the prison.
His obsession with Batman led him to Gotham City where he broke Batman’s back, Azrael nearly killed him for his trouble, and he ended up in Blackgate prison. This, to me, is where Bane gets interesting. He gets clean and free of Venom, turns a little anti-hero, and begins searching for his father. He’s featured in a great run of Gotham Knights by Scott Beatty, but this take was short-lived. Geoff Johns absentmindedly had him back on Venom and snapping spines again just a few months later. Crap. A few more Bane stories like that would follow, but fortunately for Bane (& for me) Gail Simone adopted him into the Secret Six back in 2008. His appearances there are more in line with his anti-hero persona and he’s been getting some great stories and characterization ever since.
For most of the longtime DC Collectors, we’ve had a placeholder Bane in our collections courtesy of the DC Superheroes line, though DC Direct had a decent version as well. My original DCSH Bane broke after a shelf fall (and Vault’s mysteriously exploded at the bottom of a toy bin, so the only comparison shot we have is the much maligned “Camo Bane” from that line). The new collect & connect Bane makes most of your other Bane toy’s obsolete, though the one advantage of having the older DCSH figure around is that some of them came with an accessory of Bane’s one true friend, his childhood teddy bear, Osito (knife not included).
Bane’s height is debatable. He’s generally listed at 6′ 8″, but if you’ve seen any Bane artwork, you know comic artists love to draw him in a variety of sizes, some much, much larger. It’s in that regard that I say the Bane presented here, at around 8″ is probably just right. I wouldn’t complain if he was a little smaller, but this height has a good dynamic with the regular size figures. It works.
While we’re on the subject of height, all during “Bane Week” I completely forgot to pull out my handy height chart! I’ve gotten a couple e-mails and comments about it, so I tossed in most of the figures that I received questions about here. It’s actually interesting to see them lined up like this, because almost the entire wave is taller! For most of them it’s okay, but what’s up with that Riddler? Maybe this is the Venom-addicted Riddler after all…
Bane’s sculpt is interesting. He’s mostly based off of the Lobo/Despero design, but I can’t tell if the figure reuses that buck or if the 4 Horsemen sculpted Bane anew on that body and he received new tooling. I don’t imagine that I would be able to tell the difference, but something about the shared parts just seems different. Maybe I’m crazy. Anyway, Bane does have some unique parts – his boots, belt, shirt, arms, and his head. Everything else is either from or is based on Despero, including Bane’s curious lack of nipples. Continue to Page 2…