This article is a bit of a follow-up piece to my Harley and Ivy article that primarily focused on the animated Harley Quinn series. While watching it my wife Krista decided that her favorite character was Bane and as one of the few people on this planet, if not the only person, who reads all of my articles she noted his lack of presence in my previous feature. Instead of crafting an addendum and then putting an update I thought I would instead write about the character of Bane and how the Harley Quinn series handles this particular character.
The first iteration of Bane I ever came in contact with was in Batman: The Animated Series and admittedly he did not make much of an impression. I remembered that he wore a mask, I was pretty sure he was a wrestler, and I knew that the tubes on him were full of something that made him get huge and to the point where he could do serious damage to Batman. I oddly have a Funko for him, but this was because of a Legion of Collectors box more than an actual need to have a Bane pop. He later appeared with a completely different characterization than I remembered in The Dark Knight Rises. I admittedly did not really dig into that difference and left Bane as a character that I knew very little about that is until the Harley Quinn series.
Bane in this animated world is sort of the butt of the every single Legion of Doom members jokes. The Joker is literally paying someone to call him Bang instead of Bane just because he wants to annoy him, which definitely lends to the idea of him not being taken seriously. As a member of the Legion, Bane doesn’t have his own henchmen, he doesn’t have an office, later on he gets a folding chair instead of a fancy executive chair, and when he teams up with Two Face their team name shows no connection to the masked villain. He though seems the most likely to actually root for Harley and I am secretly hoping even continue to cameo as someone she and Ivy work with if a new season happens.
What is actually surprising is that without Bane we wouldn’t have seen the catalyst of a relationship between Harley and Ivy. The pivotal moment seems to be the kiss, which only happens after a successful escape from Bane’s prison pit. The Pit itself actually seems oddly pleasant with a no doors policy and a focus on open communication and understanding. While Bane might have Harley and Ivy as inmates, when he fails in keeping them trapped, Ivy excitedly kisses Harley after Harley’s selfless decision to let only Ivy escape is changed when Ivy finds a way to grab her. Later when images of the two of them together are shown to basically all of the Gotham area he seems happy that they got together. Of the villains he is ultimately the most humorous and even though he constantly chooses to blow things up he is still open to talking about things and providing those he thinks need help with a voice. Of the versions of Bane that exist this one seems the most human and more like a villain of circumstance in a way. Gotham breeds villains, but he is not like the others and could maybe even gain a sort of redemption arc, much like Harley’s in seasons going forward.
I also think Bane would be a good replacement for Psycho, if Harley does put the gang back together. He might have led gangs in the past, but I think Bane would be the most likely Legion of Doom villain to actually be willing to be a support member instead of a leader. Plus he has already worked with Clayface and King Shark, though King Shark might have some not so happy feelings about their previous work experience. With no official news about future seasons of Harley Quinn it is fun to imagine what could happen, especially with a fun side character who could be pulled into the gang.