Saturday, August 4, 2012
I went to see The Dark Knight Rises, not so much because I thought it would be especially compelling, but I wanted to see the end of the story which began so excellently in Batman Begins but hit a bit of bump for me in the sequel The Dark Knight. That latter flick has some great moments but suffers from such poor pacing problems that I really fell out of the narrative in the latter part and found the ending somewhat tedious. I dreaded the new one, because it sadly seemed more of the same. And I didn't know much if anything much about the villain Bane.
I'm not a Batman fan much, really falling off the character in any real way after the Steve Englehart - Marshall Rogers run in Detective many decades ago. I left Batman and DC in general after that, save for a return in more recent years to the Justice League franchise. I knew about "Knightfall" and I'd seen plenty of images of Bane, but I just assumed he was an Image-comics inspired over-hyped, muscle-headed super-luchadore or some such.
I didn't even think he could speak, since my sole real experience with him was in the 90's Batman and Robin movie alongside Poison Ivy.
So I was really somewhat dreading this "boring villain", but much to my most pleasant surprise the Bane of the new Batman film not only can talk, but he is malignantly eloquent. That voice, processed as it is, is a huge factor in the fearful nature of this most excellent baddie. I won't belabor discussion of the movie, not wanting to spoil things at all at this point, but I really was entranced by Bane when he appeared and the devotion of his men was weird and scary to boot. This is wonderful adventure and it is never tedious.
Then I get home and read up on him, and discover that brains are at least fifty percent of what makes him tick and that he is of all thing a "dark" variation on my favorite pulp hero Doc Savage. Sheesh! I'm floored that I could remain so dim on such a significant character for all these years, but there it is. In some ways thought I get that wonderful thrill of discovery!
And while I did know this, I had forgotten that it was Bane who killed me...sort of, at least killed my nom-de-electron inspiration the Charlton-DC WWII fighter Judo-Master, one Hadley "Rip" Jagger. Ouch!