Like many comic and Batman fans with building anticipation to this summer’s The Dark Knight Rises, I began reading Batman: Knightfall, by Doug Moench and Chuck Dixon (running largely across DC’s Batman and Detective Comics lines in 93), a couple of weeks ago. It seems at the moment that you can hardly enter a comic book shop without hearing a reference of, or request for this collection. I’d never read very many Bane stories growing up, (partially scarred by his appearance in Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin) and when it was announced that Bane would feature in Christopher Nolan’s sequel, I was somewhere between confused – I had never seen him as a lead villain – and interested, particularly by the notion that he would be an intelligent but powerful unknown threat. It was this idea that sold me on him as not only a worthy foe but also one that would take the audience along on the ride with Batman himself.
The reading of Knightfall is a slightly off kilter experience in its build (in fairness it is nearly 20 years old now), as Bane secretly puts Batman through an unrelenting gauntlet of ‘classic’ foes, showing his cunning. However the nature of exhausting Batman to the point where the ultimate showdown is almost unnecessary and actually serves to lessen the impact of ‘the broken bat’ image, which in itself has become an icon of comic book (or perhaps Batman imagery), history. Indeed the image is duplicated even more dramatically on the issues cover.
The most exciting moment of Bane’s victory comes in the following issue in a two-page transition that unveils Bane to Gotham as the victorious mystery man that has been tormenting the city remotely. His monologue is over the top and hammy and I couldn’t help but draw some themes into another territory; the territory of Professional Wrestling, the territory of the WWE to be exact.
Batman overcomes all odds through out this relentless crime wave, but upon finally being confronted by Bane in the main event, it’s a complete squash. Bane wins without taking any damage at all. It seems that in days gone by this tactic would be used by Professional Wrestling Promoters to give a clear push to a future maineventer. WWE did this with greats such as The Undertaker and The Rock, mystery entrants to the Survivor Series match who would go on to give top performances and get over with the crowd immediately. We still get squash style pushes today in the WWE but the difference is the push will be against under card ‘talent’. A prime example of this the recent push of Brodus Clay under his Funkasaurus gimmick. He is well received amongst fans although the string of opponents he is being fed are so far down the card (in most cases) that the match has no promise of defeat for the man. The notion of a Bane like push in today’s WWE does seem like a relishing thought and I’m talking about complete destruction on a big stage.
I suppose John Cena would have to be targeted becoming Batman in the storyline, perhaps it would be more like Superman vs Darkseid then... This as a debut push would potentially create a new monster face or heel in the WWE landscape adding to a mainevent roster that is becoming very established, but I feel a breakout star will really rise in the next couple of years.
So with that said, heres to John Cena vs Bane at a Wrestlemania near you soon.