I’ve seen a surprising amount of nerd rage regarding the casting of Tom Hardy as Bane in the upcoming Batman flick. Near as I can figure the rage is there because Bane was created in the 90’s and 90’s comics are considered bad. Well that’s hardly a robust criticism of a character with a two decades worth of stories to draw from, so I wanted to come to the big guy's defense.
1) Bane is realistic
In Nolan’s world of Batman there is nothing supernatural. It is for all intents and purposes our world, there may be a flower that creates hallucinations we don’t have or your face burns may not get infected as quickly as they should, but these are relatively minor concerns when juxtaposed against magic space rings.
So who is Bane? He’s an angry dude who got ‘roided up in prison and sought out Batman as his equal and rival. It’s a basic enough premise that I could see Nolan working with very well. io9 has a really nice history of the character available if you want some of the details. In the comics when written well he’s wicked smart as much as he is a physical powerhouse. Which brings me to my next point…
2) Batman needs a physical challenge
So far in the Nolan-verse the most challenging physical confrontation Batman has had was Liam Neeson. And I think Liam is great, but he’s also kind of an old man. It’s high time Batman actually had a challenge that was physical as much as mental, because that’s the wonderful balancing act Batman is supposed to play. He's supposed to be as much of a physical fighter s he is the analytic detective. In The Dark Knight Batman takes down an entire SWAT Team so I think it will be cool to see him have to take on one man who is more powerful than him.
To those of your concerned that Tom Hardy is a bit of a pretty boy because you saw him in Inception I'd like to alert you to another film he did called Bronson. This is my Tom Hardy as Bane mental image, and it's just about perfect. Remember when Bale did a little movie called The Machinist? I wouldn't have cast that guy as Batman. But American Psycho? Rich muscled-up crazy person who does scary things at night, now we're getting somewhere.
And seriously, got watch Bronson, it's messed up, about prisons (like Bane) and real!
In the grim and gritty Gotham Nolan created characters are fueled by obsession almost as much as food. Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent are both obsessed with justice. The Joker is obsessed with chaos. Sometimes the movtivations behind the obsession are explained, others not. Bane is obsessed with being the best, becoming the ruler of Gotham, which means bringing down The Bat. Too me that's more engaging than a simple mobster like the Penguin or a neurotic buffoon like the Riddler.
So those are my thoughts. That's why I think Bane will be a great addition to the trilogy. Did I convince you? Still upset? Vent the remaining nerd rage in the comments!