Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bane's Must Read Stories

The Dark Knight Rises is almost here and I feel obligated to help prepare others for his appearance in director Christopher Nolan's final Batman film.  There's a lot of misconceptions surrounding the character (he's just a muscle head or he's insanely strong), so I'm here to set all of the facts straight and point you in the right direction before The Dark Knight Rises comes out on July 20.  

Today, I have a look at Bane's must read stories.  I'll tell you what they're about and how you can get your hands on a copy to read.  These are barely scratching the surface of Bane's history in the DC Universe, too. In my opinion these are his critical stories, but if you're interested in reading more with Bane, leave a comment and I'll gladly list all of his other appearances that are worth reading (and there are plenty).

Tomorrow (5/24) I'll have another feature detailing all of the misconceptions about the villain and all of the basic information you'll need to know.  You'll walk into The Dark Knight Rises feeling like a comic guru.

Batman versus Bane (trade paperback)
This new release collects Batman: Vengeance of Bane and the four issue run Bane of the Demon.  If you want to learn about the character, this is an absolute must buy.  Batman: Vengeance of Bane is Bane's first appearance and the entire issue is dedicated to his origin story.  Written by Chuck Dixon and with art by Graham Nolan, we get to see the villain's dark beginning as he's born in an island prison in the fictional South American nation of Santa Prisca.  You'll learn about the man's motives, how he started taking the drug venom, and there's plenty of action.

Bane of the Demon follows Bane's history with the villain Ra's al Ghul (played by Liam Neeson in the films) and his rocky relationship with Ra's daughter, Talia al Ghul (allegedly also in the upcoming film).  For the fans that'll want to read all of these events in proper order, it's important to note that this story takes place after Batman: Vengeance of Bane II - Redemption.

How do you get a copy?
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Versus-Bane-Comics-Paperback/dp/1401233775
Midtown Comics: http://www.midtowncomics.com/store/dp.asp?PRID=1168292
Mycomicshop: http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=22640925

Knightfall (Part One and Two)
"Knightfall" is the massive story that helped put Bane on the map and define the character for the general audience. Free from his life in prison, Bane has but one goal set in his sights: to destroy Batman.  Kicking-off  the story by creating a massive breakout at Arkham Asylum, the masked villain sits back and watches as the onslaught of villains create chaos across the city, forcing the Dark Knight to his physical and mental limits.  The story definitely feels a little dated at times, but it's fun and mandatory reading if you want to know more about the character before The Dark Knight Rises.

How do you get a copy?
Amazon:
(Pt 1)http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Knightfall-Part-One-Broken/dp/1563891425
(Pt 2)http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Knightfall-Part-Rules-Night/dp/B005KFIKGQ/ref=pd_sim_b_7
Midtown Comics:
(Pt 1) http://ww.www.midtowncomics.com/store/dp.asp?PRID=Batman+Knightfall+Part+1+_8233
(Pt 2) http://webmail.www.midtowncomics.com/store/dp.asp?PRID=Batman+Knightfall+Part+2+_8234
Mycomicshop: http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=309091

Batman: Vengeance of Bane II - The Redemption (issue)
Bane is back in prison after the events of "Knightfall" and he has a whole new agenda.  Once again he's hunting for venom, but this time around he's not seeking to use it, he wants to destroy the steroid.  This issue proves that Bane can become one of Batman's ultimate threats even without the aid of the muscle boosting drug.  Witness Bane's recovery from chubby and defeated villain to a physical and intellectual beast that many will come to fear.

How do you get a copy?
Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Vengeance-Bane-II-Special/dp/B0017KEJOU
Midtown Comics: http://smtp.www.midtowncomics.com/store/dp.asp?PRID=Batman+Vengeance+of+Bane+_107134
Mycomicshop:  http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=202501

Detective Comics #701 (issue)
Now working with Ra's al Ghul (read Bane of the Demon for details!), Bane heads to Gotham City and encounters Batman.  Prepare for many punches and kicks.  If you're looking for an epic Batman and Bane fight, then this is your go-to issue.  That really should be enough to make you want to read this one, right?

How do you get a copy?
Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Detective-Comics-No-701/dp/B000ELCDO6
Midtown Comics: http://www.midtowncomics.com/store/dp.asp?PRID=Detective+Comics+%23701_196619
Mycomicshop: http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?tid=100871&pgi=701

Batman: Bane (issue)
Beaten down by Batman and drifting into the sea, Bane bumps into a ship and hops on.  Except this isn't your every day vessel... it has nuclear supplies.  Bane commandeers the ship like a boss and plans to use the weapons on Gotham City.  Naturally, Batman and Nightwing (the original Robin all grown up and awesome) won't stand for it and face off against Bane once again.  Guess who wins? Bane, and he nukes Gotham City, too!  Okay, maybe not, but the story's by one of the men who created the character (Chuck Dixon) and definitely worth owning.

How do you get a copy?
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Bane-Chuck-Dixon/dp/B000TRW5SE
Midtown Comcis: n/a
Mycomicshop: http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=99081

Azrael #36-40 (issues)
Jean-Paul Valley beat Bane into a coma awhile ago, so you can bet Bane has been waiting for a chance to pummel JPV's face with his over-sized fists.  Some years later, we finally get the rematch we've been waiting for.  But it's not just one match, it's a handful and they're all well worth the wait.  Bane doesn't want Azrael dead, he wants him to suffer.  And to do so, he tries to make the hero addicted to venom.  Brutal battles ensue.

How do you get a copy?
Amazon: (then search manually for other issues)http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=azrael+36&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Aazrael+36&ajr=2
Midtown Comics: http://www.midtowncomics.com/store/search.asp?q=Azrael++%28comics%29&pg=2&reld=1/1/1900&reld2=1/1/1900&furl=pl=16@@q=Azrael++%28comics%29
Mycomicshop: http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=98321

Batman: No Man's Land Volume 4 (trade paperback)
A powerful earthquake strikes Gotham City and the government declares the location uninhabitable.  Citizens are forced to leave while the villains rise and begin to battle one another for control over turf.  For video game fans, it's pretty much Arkham City but spread across the entire territory.  Superman villain Lex Luthor wants to conquer and re-build the large city and he sends in Bane to do some dirty work.  This trade paperback is packed with tons of familiar faces and is sporting a solid Bane and Batman fight which is illustrated by the excellent Mike Deodato Jr.  Oh, and did I mention Bane also lugs around a minigun?  Few things are scarier than seeing this huge character casually walking around with the massive firearm.

How do I get a copy?
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Batman-No-Mans-Land-Vol/dp/1563896982
Midtown Comics: http://www.midtowncomics.com/store/dp.asp?PRID=Batman+No+Mans+Land+Vol+4_8217
Mycomicshop: http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?q=Eagle%20%20Vol.%204%20%2041&qloc=N&TID=515401

Batman: Gotham Knights #33-36 & #46-49 (issues)
Bane has wanted to demolish Batman for quite a long time now, but will that all change when Bane finds out they could actually be... brothers?! Bane teams up with the Cape Crusader to find the truth behind who his father really is.

How do I get a copy?
Amazon: (then manually search for other issues) http://www.amazon.com/Batman-Gotham-Knights-BEATTY-DARWYN/dp/B001DL53U2
Midtown Comics: http://www.midtowncomics.com/store/search.asp?q=Batman+Gotham+Knights++%28comics%29&pg=2&reld=1/1/1900&reld2=1/1/1900&furl=pl=16@@q=Batman+Gotham+Knights++%28comics%29
Mycomicshop:http://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=246981

Be sure to check back tomorrow for another feature about Bane's misconceptions and information you'll need to know before the movie.

In the meantime, take a few minutes to enjoy some madness with Bane's Best Battles.

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