Ranking Animated Adaptations: Bane


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In the second in a series of slideshows ranking the top animated adaptations of Batman characters, I focus on one of Batman’s most physically-imposing adversaries: Bane.  In order for a character to qualify to be ranked, they must appear in at least four out of the following five universes: The Timmverse, The Batman, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Beware the Batman, and Batman Unlimited.  The only one Bane is not featured in is Beware the Batman.
He tends to be interpreted differently from one appearance to another, but he is most famous for breaking Batman’s back in Batman #497 and in The Dark Knight Rises.  Let’s take a look at some of his prominent animated adaptations.

Next: #4: Batman Unlimited...

4. Bane from Batman Unlimited

Bane didn’t make an appearance in either of the direct-to-video Batman Unlimited films, but he did star in one of the Batman Unlimited Shorts, “Bane Packs a Punch”.  This version of Bane wears his famous Luchador mask and uses venom tubes, but he has his venom tubes hooked up to a mouthpiece very similar to the one he wore in The Dark Knight Rises.  Batman fights Bane in an armored suit, but Bane breaks through it.  Unfortunately, Batman just defeats Bane by sticking Batarangs into his venom tube, making him shrink down to his scrawny size.  This is how Bane is defeated way too often, and it really could’ve gone another way here, especially given they already had Batman armored up.

Next: #3: The Brave and the Bold...

3. Bane from Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Bane was never the main villain in an episode of this series, but he was featured in one of the excellent openings that the series became famous for.  This opening actually plays on the joke that Bane is weak without his venom (which this version of Bane also relies on), as Wildcat mocks Batman for calling him in for backup against Bane until he sees what happens when Bane activates his venom tube.  Unfortunately, he is again defeated with a Batarang to his venom tube (actually thrown by Wildcat).  Bane’s second biggest appearance in the series comes in the episode “Night of the Batmen!”, when Batman is out of commission.  Bane, along with a group of other pretty brawny Batman villains, attempt to steal the Lady Justice statue.  This version of Bane wears the famous Luchador mask as well.

Next: #2: The Batman...

2. Bane from The Batman

As The Batman was known for doing, they dramatically changed Bane’s look from what is traditional.  Bane was a regular sized guy in a black and grey suit in this series, but he grew humongous and his suit turned black and red when he activated his venom.  Bane is the second villain a young Batman encounters in this series, in one of the best episodes of Season One.  Bane absolutely dominates Batman in their first encounter, probably almost killing him, but Batman is eventually able to defeat him (and just barely!) by using the Bat-Bot suit and electrocuting the venom tubes.  This version of Bane could’ve gotten top nod on my rankings (he was so vicious in that episode), but he was written as weaker in later appearances, and in Season Five, while working for Lex Luthor, Bane actually gets flipped over by Batman!

Next: #1: The Timmverse...

1. Bane from The Timmverse

Bane’s actually changed in more than his appearance throughout the Timmverse (including having a Latin American accent that went away after Batman: The Animated Series), but he was a key character in several different series.  He made his debut in an eponymous episode of B:TAS where he is hired by Rupert Thorne to kill Batman.  In the episode, he actually gets Batman over his head in the famous pose as he is about to break his back, but in this instance, Batman jams a Batarang into his venom tube.  Yeah, like I said, I’m not a big fan of that, but they changed it up a little here and actually made that overload Bane’s venom, nearly blowing him up.  Bane also appears in the direct-to-video movie based on The New Batman Adventures, Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, where he was again hired by Rupert Thorne (and The Penguin).  We get to see the conclusion of Bane’s Timmverse incarnation in Batman Beyond, where he is shown as pretty much a vegetable due to his overuse of venom.

Bane is certainly a force to be reckoned with for Batman, possessing the kind of strength that he does.  He’s been adapted a lot of terrific ways in animation.  Let me know which animated versions of Bane you particularly liked down in the comments!  Also, be sure to keep it locked to Caped Crusades for more character adaptation rankings!

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