Originally Posted by Clarence Boddicker
I tend to roll my eyes at the seriousness of the Nolan Batman movies, but I do like the idea of Batman getting the absolute shit kicked out of him, and facing psychological and physical ramifications from it. I don't think we've seen anything like that before in a superhero movie.
I know I'll always be in serious danger of getting shit on for committing that cardinal internet fanboy sin of daring to in any way, shape, or form, throwing any remote microscopic ounce of credit whatsoever to a comic book storyline that came out of the 90's, but what you just said right there kinda perfectly sums up the basic-most primal appeal of both Bane and the original Knighfall storyline in which he first debuted (and which this movie seems to be HEAVILY riffing on to one degree or another) back in the early 90's.
It was the fun dichotomy of Bane being simultaneously both a musclebound steroid freak who could easily crumple Batman in physical combat like he was made of toothpicks, as well as a super-intelligent, well-read chessmaster of a criminal genius who could outhink and outsmart circles around the world's greatest detective (to the point of getting inside his head and playing psychological head games with him in ways that few other villains ever had prior), and plot out huge Machiavellian schemes of dominating the Gotham underworld to boot, that made him such a fun new, and instantly iconic villain at the time.
Generally speaking Batman villains tended to come in two basic flavors: psychological threats who posed little to no immediate physical harm (Scarecrow, The Joker, The Mad Hatter, The Riddler, Hugo Strange etc.) or more physical brutes who may not always necessarily be "dumb" per se, but were certainly either of very average intellect, or otherwise weren't either exactly the sharpest intellectual pencils in the Bat's rogues gallery (Killer Croc, Clayface, Deadshot, Firefly, Man-Bat, Solomon Grundy etc.) Others might fall somewhere in the middle of the two extremes (Ra's Al Ghul, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Catwoman depending on who's writing her at the time and how, and so on).
But Bane, in his first appearance, was something else ALTOGETHER and represented the absolute best (or worst depending on how you look at it) pinnacles of the two polar opposite extreme worlds of Bat villains combined into one nightmarish mixture. All the genius intellect and psychological head-game playing of a Ra's al Ghul or a Scarecrow along with all the pure brutish physical destructive force of a Croc or Grundy all wrapped up into one neat little steroid-overdosed, Lucha Libre-masked package. No matter which angle Batman came at Bane from, mental or physical, he was fucked and outclassed. And that made Bane (for a minute there at least) genuinely scary.
Both the later comics after that stellar debut themselves, as well as pretty much all other outside media incarnations of him (even right down to the otherwise beloved and classic 90's animated series) had made a concerted effort to piss all of that potential and initial awesomeness away, and when combined with the (sometimes, let's be honest here) totally irrational, knee-jerk loathing that very literally every. Single. Last. Solitary. Idea. Or concept. That EVER had the audacity to come out of a 90's comic book has grown to get just about automatically from comics fans of the last decade and change... pretty much all that combined contributed to sullying and tarnishing the reputation and popular conscious memory of the character and ensure that pretty much everyone (except evidently Chris Nolan for whatever bizarre reason) would totally forget (or retroactively refuse to acknowledge) that for one brief, shining hot minute (that's been long-since buried to time and ever increasingly shittier adaptations and revisions) this character DID in fact USED to be a pretty damned awesome one-time adversary for the Batman.
Edited by Jaquio - 5/1/12 at 3:49pm