If you ask your everyday Batman fan what Bane is most famous for, you're bound to see unanimous agreement: breaking the Batman's back. That unforgettable moment in the iconic "Knightfall" series instantly guaranteed the masked madman's place in Dark Knight history, while echoing forward, condensing the villain's threat to a single, spine-cracking image. But the true danger of Bane goes far beyond his muscles. Faceless, concealed in the shadows, and maneuvering detailed events and figures to weaken Gotham's guardian angel before that act proved he was a villain bound for greatness - and his legacy is about to expand even further.
The return of Bane in the DC Rebirth - calmer, bolder, and now, far more fearsome - showed new fans why he stood apart from the rest of Batman's Rogues Gallery, while forcing older fans to once again ask: 'Why isn't Bane firmly at the top of Bruce Wayne's list of most terrifying adversaries?' The current storyline from writer Tom King seems poised to position Bane as a nearly endless well of stories and fanatical crusades (especially now that his mask and Venom addiction has returned), but this spring, DC Comics is bringing back the character's co-creators to launch a brand new series starring the masked man himself.
Bane: Conquest. is expected to spin out of the current Batman series, assuming he somehow escapes the retribution coming to him at Batman's hands (currently holding some of his loved ones hostage). However connected or divided from the rest of DC Rebirth Conquest may be, the return of Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan (who created Bane along with Doug Moench) is guaranteed to grab the attention of virtually every fan of the villain. Especially with Rebirth seeing Bane return to his signature uniform, bring his three henchmen back to his side, and set his sights on a broad new criminal empire.
Check out the full synopsis and first issue cover below:
The co-creators of Bane make a triumphant return to the character, with a twelve-issue series that will push him to the limit! Bane is seeking to create a global criminal empire with the help of his original gang, Bird, Trogg, and Zombie. The Man Who Broke The Bat moves beyond Gotham to find new cities to conquer and new enemies to crush. He won’t stop until he stands at the top of the world of crime! For Bane, it’s all about CONQUEST.
The first images of Nolan's artwork teasing the first issue doesn't show enough to spin any theories on where this new series will take its hero, but confirms the art style alone will be dripping with nostalgia. No surprises: Bane will be leading his men into combat against other armed, armored, perhaps mercenary soldiers... and from the looks of it, is every bit the unstoppable force of nature fans expect. Nolan promises a blend of old and new as the co-creators deliver a story cooking for years - and which may (hopefully) be among Bane's best to date:
"It’s very exciting to return with Chuck to a character we so love and are so identified with. DC has allowed us to return him to his roots, bring back old friends and create new characters that will rock Bane and Batman’s world. Dixon, Nolan, Bane…what’s not to love?! This is, without a doubt, going to be the ULTIMATE Bane adventure!"
The idea that the ambition here is to give Bane a "Rebirth" of his own by entrusting a new story to the ones who brought him into being is reiterated by Dixon. In his own statement, Dixon implies that while the duo may have been absent from the very top echelon of DC Comics in recent years, that doesn't mean any dust has gathered on their ideas for Bane:
"Always happy to be re-united with Graham and this is an especially heady experience returning to our most significant contribution to the Batman mythos. The best aspect of this project is that it's not a cameo or nostalgia tour for Graham and I. It's more like we're back after all this time to work on a truly epic story about Bane and we haven't lost a step."
As mentioned above, King's work involving Bane cast a spotlight onto the terror, not of his muscles, but of his conviction. The villain's size and proficiency in combat make him a leader to be feared - but his discipline, patience, and brutality make him almost as elemental and terrifying as 'The Batman' himself. Nolan and Dixon look to pick up on that same idea with a title like "Conquest," but who knows just what Bane has set his sights on - and how the rest of the DC Universe may be affected when he unleashes his full potential.
That's a question fans will have to wait until May to see answered.
Bane: Conquest #1 arrives in print and digital on May 3, 2017.