Case Study 009: Patient: Bane

Many questions are raised regarding Bane. Is he truly evil? What are his true intentions? At times, Bane has helped Batman and other heroes in seeking justice. However, Bane is responsible for some of the most brutal attacks on these same heroes he has helped. We all know of him being the only man to “break the Bat.” He is also responsible for the death of Judomaster. Bane is an extremely complex individual, so it is a necessity that we explore his personality to attempt to decipher the motivations behind his behavior.

Bane’s childhood was tragic and horrible. Due to his father escaping the government’s hand, Bane was forced to serve his father’s prison sentence of life. At an early age, Bane knew what it was like to take a man’s life, killing many prisoners in response to behind bullied or used. At this early developmental age, acquiring the skill of survival through brutality can leave a lasting mark on the psyche of a child. One can safely state that Bane learned of using brutality as a means of survival at a time when he was very impressionable. This link between brutality and survival is something that Bane continues to revisit throughout his life, thus giving us one motivating factor in regards to Bane’s behavior; survival. Bane is a highly intelligent human being, quite possibly the most intelligent of all of Batman’s foes (although I think The Riddler would contest.). While in prison, Bane used his time to sharpen his mind and body. He absorbed as much as he could, from any teacher he could find. Once the highly addictive drug Venom was given to him, he was a relentless killing machine. The amoral atmosphere of prison, drugs, brutality, has left an indelible mark on Bane from an early age.

It was mentioned earlier that Bane had, at times, helped Batman in his war on crime. Despite their previous battle, Bane seems to have a deep respect for Batman. This is telling of just how complex a mind Bane has. This also tells us that Bane is not some pure evil, psychotic maniac that enjoys administering wanton destruction. Bane’s brutality is always directed at something specific. He always has cause to fight for. Even when it came to Batman, Bane attributed his nightmares of a demonic bat to Batman. I believe that Bane simply cannot be responsible for random brutality. He must give himself a cause. This is indicative of an individual that does not suffer from some kind of psychosis; rather he has a warped view of justice and balance.

Bane is not truly evil. The motivations behind his behavior are complicated, yes, but not evil. Time and again he has shown the capability to do what is right. In these endeavors, he has also manifested self-control in regards to his brutality. In all his actions, trust that Bane has an educated reason behind what he does. His warped view of the world is a product of not only growing up inside of a brutal prison, but also that of being an innocent son paying for his father’s sins. I have no doubt that his relationship with his father, or lack thereof, also plays an integral role in Bane’s behavior. His motivations are fueled by what he believes are true facets of human nature. To truly understand this patient, more time will be needed to evaluate him further. I cannot accurately diagnose Bane at this time.

About Steven Brewer

I’m a lifelong comic book fan. Comics pulled me in at an early age, with influences ranging from Chris Claremont’s historic X-Men run, Walt Simonson’s Thor run, Mike Zeck’s run on The Punisher limited series, Jim Lee’s X-Men, the early 90’s X-Men animated series, and the best cartoon ever made, Batman: The Animated Series. As a kid, these comics and cartoons gave me a new world to go to when the real world wasn’t so nice. Because of this, comic books will always have a special place in my heart. I love everything about comics, and still get the same feeling reading them today as I did when I was a kid. My major in college was psychology, so I love to incorporate that into comics.
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