Over on the subreddit r/DC_Cinematic, Batman fans weighed in on “Which Bane is better,” a question posed by user drmervann, who gave readers three iterations from which to choose: Jeep Swenson from Batman & Robin, Shane West from Gotham, and, probably the most famous, Tom Hardy from The Dark Knight Rises.
User greatertittedshark gave a rather cheeky take on Bane’s limited dialogue in the seminal 1997 campy classic, Batman & Robin, shouldn’t be forgotten.
“Easily batman and robin bane. that speech in the second act had me in tears. especially the part where he said ‘BAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNEE!’
“It was cool how it was referenced later in the movie as well, because there’s a part where he is squeezing Robin where he says something similar, and you can see from Chris O Donnels reaction this look where he realises just what he’s up against and the emotional significance of that, as well as the less obvious socioeconomic consequences. I can’t remember the exact line and i cant look it up right now but i think it was ‘BAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNEEEE.’
“Screenwriting at its absolute best.”
More serious comments from users like brickblazr pointed out that the version of Bane from the animated Harley Quinn “is the best, that dude is hilarious.”
By and large, people were going for humor before the Tom Hardy fan club stepped in. GodFlintstone said, “Hardy’s is the best but we’ve yet to get a comic-accurate live action [sic] Bane.”
User Endryu727 concurred.
“Agree. Hardy’s was the best but far from being what most of us want to see on screen. That being said, I feel comic book bane is a challenge to adapt on screen. You have to have the right ‘universe’ in place for it to be believable that a dude can crush a car with his bare hands.”
There was plenty of Hardy love to dole out, including this comment from MrKevora.
“Tom Hardy’s Bane was excellent! His presence was felt in every scene and he was a truly terrifying and ruthless villain. It was unfortunate how he was pushed aside for the absolutely predictable ‘twist’ of Talia al-Ghul being the main antagonist, but beside that, Hardy’s was an excellent ‘nolanized’ interpretation of the character!
“Gotham’s Bane felt completely rushed and forced and there wasn’t really anything special about him, plus I never liked that version’s backstory.
“And concerning Schumacher’s ‘BAAAAAAAAAAAAAANE!!!!’…. yeah, let’s forget that monkey business.”
Another user pointed out that the perfect Bane was Cartman from South Park.
While there were many accolades for certain iterations, one came in at the bottom, as evidenced by user Cnockaut-Is-Here, who wrote, “Bane from Gotham is terrible.” User El__Jefe_ agreed.
“I have never watched that show but I remember when this picture came out and was shocked that any professional filmmaker would think it was a good look.”
User LowenbrauDel split the difference between Dark Knight Rises Bane and his cartoon predecessor from the legendary Batman: The Animated Series.
“Bane from the Dark Knight of course, even though animated series had the best version. People usually say that just because Bane ended up simping for Talia he doesn’t have his own agenda. I don’t necessarily agree with that, because when Talia leaves and tells him not to off Batman so that he could suffer, Bane ignores her and wants to shoot Batman anyway. I think it shows that he is not a spineless dog following her every step.”
User micael150 disagreed.
“Animated series Bane wasn’t all that great and the creative team behind the series admitted to hating the character that’s why he’s featured so little in the cartoon and his episodes are also very underwritten. They just couldn’t bother.
“Bane in TDKR sees Talia as a surrogate daughter that’s why does everything for her it’s not a henchmen kind of deal. They both shared the same LOS ideals and worked together to plan and execute the mission. He was doing the Frontline work when she was doing the covert stuff behind the scenes infiltrating Wayne’s circle.”
Despite the disagreement, the general consensus is that Hardy’s Bane is the definitive portrayal, at least for now.