Ever since it was announced that Bane was the villain in The Dark Knight Rises, fans of Batman comics have been engaged in wild speculation about whether or not Chris Nolan would take the daring approach of emulating the now-classic “Knightfall” storyline from ’90s Batman comics, in which Bane – both literally and figuratively – ‘breaks the Bat.’

Today we have a new official Dark Knight Rises teaser poster – one that not-so-subtly suggests that the Dark Knight is indeed in for a hard fall, before his inevitable ‘rise.’

If you don’t already know, the story for Nolan’s third and final chapter of the Batman trilogy involves Bane coming to Gotham City to carry out a maniacal plot, and Batman having to stop him. While those are the sparse facts we know about the story, rumor and speculation point to everything from Batman returning from semi-retirement to face Bane, to Bats suffering a terrible injury at Bane’s hands, which he must recover from in order to win the day.

As you’ll see, that latter plot-point is strongly hinted at in this new Dark Knight Rises teaser poster:

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This poster is deliciously ominous and foreboding in its suggestion that the Batman is going to get his ass handed to him by Bane at some point in the film. The final frame of the Dark Knight Rises teaser trailer actually teased something similar, with the sight of a weary and battered-looking Batman slowly backing away from an advancing Bane. And although the first Dark Knight Rises teaser poster ranked high on our Top 12 posters of 2011 list, I have a pretty good feeling that this new poster is going to please fans a whole lot more than the original did. It is, if nothing else, pretty damn epic.

Hopefully the forthcoming Dark Knight Rises full trailer will be as well.

In the meantime, check out these other TDKR goodies that we recently posted:

The Dark Knight Rises will be in theaters on July 20, 2012

Source: Warner Bros.