Counting down the Dark Knight's greatest foes!
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First appearance "Batman: Vengeance of Bane" #1 (1993)
Created by Chuck Dixon, Doug Moench and Graham Nolan
Most of Batman's classic foes match wits with the Dark Knight, but when it comes down to it, the majority of them are also no match for him physically. Those few villains that can overpower or match strength with Batman aren't anywhere near the hero's level of cunning. That dichotomy was the hard and fast rule of Bat-villainy until Bane. Bane was a master strategist and a brilliant killer who trained himself to peak physical perfection and beyond through the use of an experimental steroid called Venom. When fans first met Bane, a 'roided up bundle of angry muscle in a luchador mask was an odd and unsettling sight, but Bane soon proved his worth in the annals of the all-time Bat foes when he did the unthinkable. First, Bane defeated Batman with cunning by using his detective skills to track down Batman's identity and the Batcave. Then, Bane freed every costumed criminal in Gotham. Batman exhausted himself by rounding up the rogues, and when he was at the pinnacle of exhaustion, Batman retired to the Cave only to find Bane waiting for him. The villain used a back breaker that would have made Dean Malenko jealous, and broke Batman's spine. This moment became the most iconic Bat moment of the '90s and still resonates in popular culture today. "The Dark Knight Rises" presented a very different sort of Bane as played by Tom Hardy. Hardy's Bane was a cerebral nihilist whose presence was enough to make audiences squirm. With his emotionless electric voice and coiled strength, Hardy's Bane became a Bat foe for a new generation. Bane will always be the only multi-dimensional Bat foe that can challenge both Batman's mind and his body.