22 May 2009

Onscreen History of Bane

Bane is one of the more recently created characters to hit the mainstream. He first appeared in 1993, in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1. Although his comic book counterpart is an intellectual match for Batman, his onscreen personas have been considerably more brutish. He bulks up with a steroid like substance, venom, becoming a physical threat for mere mortals like the Dark Knight. Bane is perhaps best known for breaking Batman's back in the epic 90's Knightfall arc.

Bane first appeared on screen in 1994 on the Batman: The Animated series episode "Bane" as an assassin for hire who nearly broke the Bat's back.

His next appearance would not be so dignified. Many people recall that Batman and Robin featured Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze, fortunately they fail to remember the 3rd (because 2 just weren't enough) major villain of the film was Bane.

At this point it was tough to believe he would ever be used in any medium ever again.

This moronic brute was more of a "Hulk Smash" style nitwit thug than any sort of thinking villain... though he did a decent job filling in as a chauffeur.

In 1998, Bane regained a bit of street cred with appearances in both The New Batman Adventures and Superman: The Animated Series (although Superman really cleaned his clock).

For some reason, this incarnation of Bane took a bit of an S&M turn, complete with studded dog collar. This same interpretation would return in the 2003 direct to video move Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman.

The ultimate fate of Bane was revealed in 1999's Batman Beyond series which portrayed Bane as a washed up junkie still chasing a venom induced fix.

Bane made a couple of appearances in The Batman beginning in 2004. "Traction," attempted to retell Knightfall in 20 minutes, and threw in a Bat-mecha just for fun.

Bane also appeared red as a beet when using his venom... for no real reason other than it looked "cool."

Perhaps fearing that Bane was too violent or that drug use was inappropriate for The Batman's audience, Bane's appearances were few and far between, though Joker managed to beef up on venom in a later episode.

Enter 2009. Bane appeared in an opening sequence of Batman: The Brave and the Bold where he battled Batman and street brawler Wildcat. Again, the artists provided a little S&M for big Bane in the form of a zipper fitted gimp mask.

Later in 2009, Bane will appear in the Superman / Batman: Public Enemies movie. Not sure what role he will fill as he was not in the original comic book story, but hopefully he can will be able to go home at the end of the day proud of how far he has come since his low point 10 years ago.

I suppose there is a slim chance he could return to live action in the future, but for now Bane seems resigned to an animated lifestyle.
UPDATE: October 2011

A truer to form, intelligent and somewhat refined Bane had a recent stint on the animated Young Justice series where he opted for face paint rather than a mask - though have no fear he still pumped himself full of muscle inducing venom.

 In 2012, Bane will join the Legion in their quest to defeat  the Justice League in Justice League: Doom.

Bane has also been announced as one of the main villains in the 2012 live action The Dark Knight Rises where it looks like he will slip back into that comfy mask.

21 May 2009

The Justice League: A Super Friendly Tour (Part 4)

In 1978 the Super Friends were rebranded once again with a major shakeup in the team roster and big name bad guys.

Challenge of the Super Friends

Banded together from remote galaxies are thirteen of the most sinister villains of all-time -- the Legion of Doom. Dedicated to a single objective ... the conquest of the universe. Only one groups dares to challenge this intergalactic threat: the Superfriends!

This diabolical Legion, consisting of Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Solomon Grundy, the Riddler, the Scarecrow, Bizarro, Cheetah, Black Manta, Giganta, Gorilla Grodd, Sinestro, Captain Cold, and the Toyman, were actually mostly from Earth. Nevertheless, this series marked the introduction of real supervillains challenging the friends who had previously been occupied with natrual disasters, monsters, and the occassional alien threat. The heroes finally had an excuse to throw some punches.

Although there were 13 villains, there were but 11 heroes. Zan and Jayna were dropped from the line-up and replaced with previous guest stars. The roster now consisted of Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Robin, Hawkman, Flash, and Green Lantern, as well as the invented for the series Black Vulcan, Samurai, and Apache Chief.

Wonder Twins fans, despair not. In addition to the Challenge series, additional All-New Super Friends Episodes were produced featuring the core team of Superman, Batman and Robin, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and the Wonder Twins. In all, 16 episodes apiece were produced for the Challenge and All-New series, but it was Challenge of the Super Friends which has gone on to become the most memorable of all the Super Friends titles.

Availability: Challenge of the Super Friends DVD

Up Next: Legends of the Superheroes

19 May 2009

Behold - Captain Kirk Be-ist Thor

Captain George Kirk that is. After two years we finally have some bits of tid on the Thor live action movie. I don't really have much to say except that it seems like they didn't want to break the bank on a recognizable star.

This guy has been cast as the mischievous Loki.

Basically, I am far from excited yet...

18 May 2009

Superman / Batman Trailer Made Public

UPDATED and embedded:

The trailer for the upcoming animated Superman / Batman: Public Enemies movie is online, exclusively at imdb.com. I have to say, it looks pretty good and so far, it seems to be sticking true to the source material. The trailer is jam packed with characters including Supes, Bats, Power-Suit Lex, Nippleless Solomon Grundy, Bane, Metallo, Giganta, Black Manta, Silver Banshee and more. This could be a fun ride and an excellent opportunity for a whole action figure toy line as well. No mention of a release date, but methinks, November perhaps.