Rogue’s Review #4: Bane

January 25th, 2011

Running this oldie again in the wake the Morrison making reference to it at SDC

Right, offline in the real world, I occasionally enjoy a pint with Bulk Meat. The Meat, incidentally, hates his name and to be honest we never call him it to his face anymore – the man’s a father, a successful careerist (tho’ no-one understands exactly what it is that he does, except for Zac Goldsmith), fiercely intelligent and handsome, etc., etc., blah – and to continue to do so would be churlish at best. But in my heart of hearts, I still understand him as one of those massive slabs of pig bashed around by sound effects artists in the 70′s and Scott Walker in the recording studio. For he is, amongst my scrawnier-than-a-Face-model-in-the-nineties but slightly pot-bellied friends, absurdly stacked.

Confession: during my bendy, black-holed late teens, I once had a dream involving Bulk dressed in army fatigues leaning over my prostrate back and hitting me repeatedly with a salt shaker. I told him and my girlfriend (at the time) about it the next day and, sweet innocent that I was, was quite surprised and shocked when the two of them exchanged knowing glances and burst into fits of laughter. I have since fathomed from whence the merriment erupted and may have to cop to the fact that I like big, hard men.

Or do I?

The thing is, hulking, jacked Flex Mentallos produce a strange reaction in all of us. I’m not saying for one minute that Bulk is comparable with Mr. Banner at his stressiest but I think the latent homo-eroticism embedded in the dream does illuminate something that should be patently obvious if only we didn’t spend so much time gate-keeping our naughty selves: the muscle-man is the most blatantly sexualised symbol of masculinity there is. Look, right there, at the guy in the tiny trunks with his oiled torso, straining under the 1000 pound weight of his own desire to transform himself from Mac to the master of muscle mystery! Have you ever seen anything so rude in your life? Men don’t get their kits off much – Laura Mulvey, the male gaze and all that – but as soon as they do it in the name of body building, then, fuck you loofter!, it’s the most macho thing in the world.

Or at least you feel it used to be. I think the straight majority are, perhaps, a little more suspicious of this kind of thing than they were. We all know a bit of Freud these days, even if we aren’t aware that we do, and the extreme, masturbatory narcissism of the weight-lifter raises eyebrows everywhere.

So where do these herculean strongmen make their home? Where have they found the acceptance that the truly beefed crave?

I’ll allow Rob Liefeld to answer that one:

Thank you, Rob.

Anatomy is one of the cardinal reasons why the unititiated snigger at your funnybook collection. No, they don’t understand that your Flex Mentallo book is a self-aware commentary on the muscle-bound conventions of superheroics, that Flex’s six pack represents, in it’s exulted form, consciousness unconstrained by the chains of ego and death, No indeed. All they see is a nerdy power fantasy, something obviously slightly sexually deviant and, of course, the sheer patheticness of the nerd drinking this shit up – i.e. YOU.

But we’re not here to castigate ourselves. We know better than those fuckers. We’re here to talk about Bane, the most ripped supervillain of them all. So let’s tear that spandex off and take a good look at what lies beneath….

Urrgh.

There’s a lot of talk amongst the bat-haters that Bruce Wayne’s had everything handed to him on a plate, but these gals miss one important thing: Bruce actually did it. Sure, his money greased the way on his path to self improvement, it paid for all the batarangs and gyrocopters and all that shit, but the fact is, regardless of his fortune, he succeeded in terraforming himself into the most brilliant martial artist, detective, meditator, motorbike builder on Earth. Suck that one up, Donald Trump. And in all likelihood he would have done it anyway, even without the cash. He’s the latent superhero in all of us, as the M People (don’t click the link!) song ran, and by golly, if it wasn’t for all the grim obsession, he’s the supreme role model.

And Bane’s a direct, but deeply fucked up, answer to this.

It’s probably no coincidence that Bane first reared his head in the early, Image dominated nineties. He’s the purest articulation of the sinewy, tumescent, bloodmusclesweat tendency that presided over that era. And it makes sense that the ultimate self-perfected (bat)man would, eventually, have to confront a bad guy who embodied the most obvious earthly expression of that ideal. It’s Batman versus his fallen, real world, shadow: Bulk Meat. I mean, afterall, it’s not an easy thing for those of us over here in the infant universe of Qwerq to transform ourselves into a superhero. Most of us struggle to get to grips with one area of self improvement, let alone twelve. We become artists, businessmen, incredibly brilliant bloggers, musicians or, for those of us that need the whole world to know right from the get go how dedicated to narcissistic parthenogenesis we really are, musclemen. In Bane we see the triumph of the literal over the metaphysical, the body over the mind, ego over illumination, the flesh over the self. He makes us acutely aware of all of our limitations in that he symbolises the grotesque, cumbersome boundaries of the physical. In Bane all of Batman’s aspirations are scaled down to one, bloated point. We’ll never be more than a bag of sinews, bones and skin, he seems to argue and, in the final analysis, that’s what will break us.

It’s telling that Bane wears a mask that renders him faceless, in that he’s dissolved his humanity, his personality, in a sea of gristle. The guy’s one big bicep, hard, mechanical and cruel. This is not to say that he’s not intelligent – he’s quite brilliant and calculating, in fact – but his intelligence is in the service of his physicality and its implicit desire to dominate. Everything is geared towards the moment of conquest, the moment of breakage, and in that, like the Flash’s no 1 rogue, Gorilla Grodd, he’s a symbol of genius chained to the animal. There’s something fundamentally Darwinian about Bane. He takes the soul out of the evolutionary process (not that, scientifically speaking, it was ever there anyway) and underlines, with the help of a little back breaking, the idea that self-realisation can only be achieved in the material sphere. The mind is just another tool of domination and control, and enlightenment essentially reduces to transforming the body and it into a fist. In this he represents one of our worst fears as a species – that there is no real spiritual progress, only a refinement of symbol systems and cybernetic enhancements employed by a gaggle of grunting domesticated apes. That in the end, we are, and only ever will be, just the most aggressive, dominant animals on the planet. In my summation, Bane wouldn’t understand the source of his power, the venom drug, as a cheat, he’d view it as just plain good sense. What’s the point mucking about with the weights if you can obtain the kind of strength you need to take down Batman by simpler, more elegant, but necessarily more brutish, means? It’s a straight line from A to B in his head.

AND AGAIN!

Bane’s obsession with destroying the Dark Knight has something of a fetishistic, erotic, quality. The process of slowly chipping away at our hero until virtually nothing of him is left before steaming in and giving him a spinal has a ritualistic, masturbatory element to it. Bane needs to soften Batman up, make him weak and compliant, and only then, like some demented lover, can he establish true ‘intimacy’, true ownership over his body. And by the time Bane invades his cave, Batman’s as soft as a baby. It’s almost a perverted process of wooing – a love letter from the ultimate sadist, no longer able to distinguish via his lumbering, confused anatomy the difference between extremes of pleasure and pain. The sexual dimension really suits the character in that, as I mention above, there is something deeply rude and homo-erotic about the unrestricted, pure physicality of the body-builder and, also, that Bane’s is a body unfit for human sex. He must sublimate those urges, transforming them into juggernaut desires of smashing, destruction and violation. In short, he’s one big willy and Batman’s whatever he wants to punch it through. For Bane demolishing Superman and the rest could never be as exciting as demolishing Batman because he represents the pinnacle of human achievement and will, and in that he is to Bane a lie. They are, in Bane’s twisted, sinewy mind, soul mates of a kind.

And this is one of the wonderful things about the character – he’s the only villain since Joe Chill who has effectively succeeded in infantalising Bruce Wayne. I loved the Batbane ghost simply because Morrison had the imagination to stress that Batman has more seething away at the back of his mind than his parent’s death. He has other nightmares also and they’re just as grisly, and one of those nightmares involves Bane. It was a good conceit to start with, no matter how many of you resent Bane now, to introduce a villain who could break Batman physically and mentally. We’ve seen nothing like it before or since, perhaps with the exception of the RIP storyline, but that involves a group – the Club of Villains – as opposed to an individual. No, the backbreaker was inevitable, a tale that had to be told, and nineteen ninety two was exactly the right time for it because the backbreakers were out in force. So many of Batman’s enemies really operate and do their damage in the metaphysical sphere – it’s important and appropriate that Batman should have the odd foe who’s simply turned their body into a lethal weapon, and Bane’s the king of that crowd.

ONE TIME!

So Bane, like Batman, is a product of the Me Generation, and this even extends to the fact that, when serving time, he not only honed his intellect till it glistened like a blade covered in hot oil, but he also took some time out, it seems, to develop his own martial arts and meditation techniques. We could have great fun with this. I can just imagine Bane in his cell, crouched in the lotus position, his hands forming obscene mudras in front of a black, upside down Tree of Life, with Malkuth at the top and Kether at the bottom, chanting the terrible reverse mantras of the damned. Or rehearsing the dreadful scarlet killing katas taught to him by his unholy guardian demon, the dreadful bat-creature that has plagued him from childhood and inspired his terrible mission to destroy Bruce Wayne. If Batmite is the friendly, Invisible College style gatekeeper to the transcendent, then the thing lurking behind him, skulking on the peripheries of awareness, is his Outer Church equivalent. Perhaps Bane contacted this being years ago and he began to learn the ‘secrets of death’ from as early on as Bruce Wayne. Bane is Sir Miles to Batman’s Jack Frost, and his path to the transcendental (because, my cuddlies, that is exactly the path Batman is on in RIP) passes through the hell zones of pain and obliterating, machine-like consciousnesses before it can come out the other side. Whatever. It’s just fun to try and rationalise and contextualise Bane’s demonic bat-stalker in the light of recent bat-developments. Basically, I love the idea that Bane has mastered the infernal mysticism of anti-spirit, that, again, even though he’s ploughed a similar furrow to Batman in his efforts towards self-transformation, his approach to the teleological – his attitude to the fundamental source, schema and the inevitable historical conclusion of all human potential – is slaved to the mechanistic, the godless and the bestial, and that’s expressed in the esoteric and martial arts he practices.

To continue this theme, have you ever wondered exactly what venom is? All these miracle potions and super-drugs that litter the needle-tracked arms of the DCU… It’s all so weird isn’t it? What are these spooky fluids? Where do they come from? To quote Niles Caulder from the Doom Patrol, if anyone ever found out, I’m sure we’d all be shocked and appalled. Perhaps venom isn’t really from *here*, afterall. Is it some ghastly devil’s discharge? Is it alive? I like the idea that the tubes that pierce Bane’s body are more like veins carrying the black blood of a revised anti-person into him, where it mixes and mingles with his own, transforming him into the new-model negative man intuiting a savage new millennium. It’s his fast-track connection to a higher (or should that be lower) power that, until he has achieved it through his own efforts, will have to suffice as conduit between the human and superhuman. I get the feeling that Bane, who I believe no longer relies on venom, may well achieve a permanent hulked out condition without the drugs sooner than we think. In fact, I like the idea that he already has – that all that darque self help shit’s already paid off. Afterall, he looks the same as he ever did. That body’s not normal, guys. Fan spunk: it would be so, so cool to see him surprise Batman during a punch up by actually bleeding the venomy stuff:

‘My God! What have you done to yourself?!?’

the Dark Knight cries, aghast, as Bane lunges at him, bellowing like that scary dog in We3.

*sHIVER*

I’m getting carried away, I know, but I feel very strongly that Bane’s future story potential depends on writer’s taking full advantage of the inverted Batman stuff and what it is, aside from beating the Caped Crusader senseless, Bane’s setting out to do – what his goals are. If Bruce is headed for buddhahood, then Bane is a speeding arrow shooting towards the inferno. His strengths lie in two areas – that he is Batman’s shadow, and that he has effectively rendered Bruce Wayne as powerless as he was in crime alley – taken him so far back along his process, actually, that it was almost as though he had to relive his pre-year one/Batman days again, that he had to retrain and recreate himself. Bane reminds us that Batman can be destroyed, but he also reinforces what an incredibly fucking amazing superhero he is. The guy’s forged himself into the ultimate human not once, but twice, and Bane was responsible for it. And it makes poetic sense that the qliphothic (that word again!) self made man should force his healthy mirror image to renegotiate and remake himself anew, without the flaw that initially allowed his enemy a way in.

Now that really is hideous.

I’ve mentioned before that Batman’s Rogues fall into discrete categories, and Bane is no exception. He’s one of Batman’s monsters – the primal, physical, idic forces gone wild. Clayface, Killer Croc, Man-bat, Bane… they seem to emerge from some prehistoric swamp of the mind, pre-self awareness, reptilian, mud-cloaked and titanic. Bane is particularly interesting to me however because he is dressed, as it were, in flesh-armour – a mockery of our humanity and our deeply embedded dream notions of the huge, protective father figure. I think this makes him the most monstrous of all – especially because he is in no way tragic. Unlike Croc and the rest he brought his condition upon himself. As I keep arguing, he sees himself as the perfected man, and what is truly horrifying is that he has gone full circle. Instead of denying the dinosaur within, he’s embraced it – let it out. He’s accepted it as historical inevitability. In the end, Batman’s war with him is mankind’s answer to this – the noble, civilised, cultured man versus the howling ape.

Let’s hope he keeps on kicking Bane’s arse, eh?

Right, that’s enough now….

Click for a round-up of our Rogue’s Reviews

46 Responses to “Rogue’s Review #4: Bane”

  1. Bill Says:

    That makes two #3s.

  2. The Satrap Says:

    ‘Xactly, ‘xactly. This is what Bane is all about, brilliantly articulated.

  3. The Satrap Says:

    That being said, the post is somewhat lacking in the tags department. What if future scholars try to scour the archives of the internets, looking for, say, “crotchless monstrosities”, or “lovingly-rendered veiny appendages”?

  4. Qthgrq Says:

    honed his intellect till it glistened like a blade covered in hot oil

    This week’s best simile

  5. Leigh Walton Says:

    My first exposure to the whole storyline was reading Denny O’Neil’s novelization of KNIGHTFALL. Reading it at the age of 12 or so, I was totally captivated — O’Neil explores the history and psyche of both Batman and Bane and when they finally do collide, it’s with the emotional force of years of preparation. And, as you say, with a more-than-slightly erotic note of obsession.

    In fact, you’ve inspired me to hunt down a used copy of it (dirt cheap and ubiquitous)!

  6. Qthgrq Says:

    The dirty, dirty trash fan in me would quite like to read that ‘un

  7. BubbaShelby Says:

    I was at the edge of my seat when Bane was introduced in the early nineties, all the way through Knightfall, Knightsend, Knightgown etc. I keep telling myself to dust off those old comics and re-read that saga…your essay compels me even further.

    *walks into garage, sees huge stacks of boxes. Leaves defeated*

  8. Triplets Says:

    Great post. What stands out to me is the comment about all the super-serums floating about the DCU. Venom, Miraclo, 24-hour super birthday gifts, Manbat formula, and yet Bruce never dabbles in any of it, never gets Tyler on the phone at 3 in the morning to go down the shops… Bruce, with all his meditations and training, strikes me as the ultimate straight-edger. No easy ways to power, all graft. Bane, then, is another form of opposite, taking that straight line from A to B. It’s valid tactic for the Batbreaker but, for Bruce, it’s cheating.

    I recall Bruce used Venom once at some desperate point, with predictably disastrous lesson-laden consequences.

  9. Papers Says:

    Makes sense — Bruce is the natural bodybuilder, Olympic class out of pure willpower. `s why Owlman makes sense as his antimatter double; he`s got the “drug-addled super-cortex,” he’s got no qualms about bringing himself up to super-level using whatever means necessary. Bruce is the better version of Lex Luthor, committed to making himself as perfect and expert as possible but always in the human framework.

    This line of thinking regarding Bane is really great, even if I still don’t feel particularly attached to him; I’ve always preferred the effete gimmickry of the Riddler, say.

  10. Qthgrq Says:

    It’s interesting that you say that because the prime appeal for me of the Rogue’s Reviews is that I’m getting to see the appeal of characters that previously haven’t worked for me.

  11. Rogue’s Review #5: The Riddler « Mindless Ones Says:

    [...] Greatest Detective’s deductive abilities than the Riddler, no tougher puzzles to crack. As Bane is to physicality the Riddler should be to mystery. What I’m proposing here isn’t particularly radical. [...]

  12. Rogue’s Review round-up « Mindless Ones Says:

    [...] Rogue’s Review #4: Bane [...]

  13. A hall of mirrors II: the Prismatic Age « Mindless Ones Says:

    [...] really quite miserable, standing about moodily in the rain. Brutish, steroidal archnemeses like Bane, Doomsday and Venom. Nor, I think and I’m out on a ledge-of-little-knowledge saying so, was [...]

  14. Funnybook Babylon · Archives · Batman #679 - “Batman R.I.P. Part 4: Miracle on Crime Alley” Says:

    [...] Morrison’s recently made a deal about his admiration for our buddies at Mindless Ones’ breakdown of why Bane [...]

  15. When A Pillock Meets A Mindless One, Comin’ Through The Rye…Part II « A Trout In The Milk Says:

    [...] Without a doubt Amy’s Bane Rogue’s Review. I love the rogue’s review concept, and that post does everything I want to see a [...]

  16. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Rogue’s Review round-up Says:

    [...] Bane [...]

  17. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Heroic Hype: Martian Manhunter Says:

    [...] forced to shift into his avatar-of-war “body configuration”, i.e. a mountain of tumescent muscle, and wades through seas of claws and teeth in vaginal spaceships until he comes face-to-face with [...]

  18. Tweets that mention Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Rogue’s Review #4: Bane -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tim Rooney. Tim Rooney said: Hi. This is an old blog post about Bane. It is brilliant. Thanks, guy who wrote it. http://bit.ly/c46Gqv [...]

  19. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Alphabetical villain thing: B is for… Says:

    [...] Amy’s already done this one and it can’t be bettered. All that’s left to be said is that Amygdala and the rest of those muscle men live permanently in Bane’s liefeldian shadow. If Bane is leader of the cult of bulk then they can only ever be his disciples; Sweaty, raging, flesh machines lost in the stink of Bane’s meat locker come gymnasium. [...]

  20. Bucky Sinister Says:

    Bravo, Amy. Missed this one originally, and it’s brilliant. Thanks to Zom for linking back to it.

  21. RetroWarbird Says:

    I missed this originally as well … but it’s good times.

    Bane is a werewolf without the fur. He’s all alpha, all the time. That, I think, was my favorite part of Three Ghosts of Batman and the “Bat-Bane”. Bruce recognizing that an animal like that needed to face Alpha Male Plus.

    Perhaps Venom is distilled werewolf hormones. Although at that point the name Venom doesn’t make much sense.

    I also think that if Batman is a role model for “how far a man can grow”, Bane would be a similar role model for criminals. “If you work really hard, you too could break the Bat”.

    I think Gail Simone has him pegged, utilizing him as a demented father figure and pack leader of the Secret Six.

  22. Kieron Gillen Says:

    Yeah, I missed this too. Great stuff.

    (Though I’ve never read a comic with Bane in)

    KG

  23. Tweets that mention Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Rogue’s Review #4: Bane -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tim U, Mindless Ones. Mindless Ones said: NEW POST: KRAKT! BREAK YOU! It's Amy's Bane Rogue's Review. If you haven't read it you should. http://bit.ly/f9zIvk Team Nolan it ain't [...]

  24. Thrills Says:

    Reread this just a couple of days ago, is still fucking ace. A friend I linked it to said “What a brilliantly written article. I don’t read comics but I wish I did.”

    EARNEST PRAISE.

  25. Munkiman Says:

    “he guy’s one big bicep, hard, mechanical and cruel. This is not to say that he’s not intelligent – he’s quite brilliant and calculating, in fact – but his intelligence is in the service of his physicality and its implicit desire to dominate. Everything is geared towards the moment of conquest, the moment of breakage, and in that, like the Flash’s no 1 rogue, Gorilla Grodd, he’s a symbol of genius chained to the animal.”

    I love this article. Suddenly Bane seems to be about so much more…

  26. Alex Says:

    Lazy journalism

  27. bobsy Says:

    Too right. I happen to know for a fact he was actually in bed when he wrote this!

  28. Alex Says:

    rolls eyes.

  29. Noam Chomsky Says:

    Lazy criticism.

  30. bobsy Says:

    makes wanker sign.

  31. Alex Says:

    Points at chode

  32. Zom Says:

    Points at self.

    Whispers “Justice”

  33. James W Says:

    Missed first/great now #4

  34. James W Says:

    (Lazy praise)

  35. Zom Says:

    (Lazy thanks)

  36. MUSCLE MADNESS | The Slow Bullet Says:

    [...] I guess we’ll get the ‘gritty’ and ‘real’ Bane in the next Nolan film, and I’ll be interested to see how that works out! Personally, I hope they go for the Bane that’s in this still-definitive essay on the character’s potential. [...]

  37. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » “Doomed to a life of unimaginable solitude” - Kapow! 2011 Unimagined! Says:

    [...] too – Kapow! successfully attracted a crowd of cosplayers, from limping Gambit to steroidal Bane via lady-Deadpool, whereas at a Glasgow comics thing the most you could expect would be for someone [...]

  38. Munkiman Says:

    I feel like the line from the Return – “a knight without a standard, a warrior without a totem” – applies really well to Bane. Bane is a vision of Bruce Wayne driven so far in his quest to become physically and mentally perfect that he’s been stripped of his ideals and exists only to take what he wants and destroy anybody in his path. That’s why the name is so perfect – Batman stands for something, the Bat is a symbol, while Bane has no symbol and exists only in opposition to others.

  39. Anonymous Says:

    Bane has no “name” either. No family line to maintain, no family honor to uphold. Even his chosen name of “Bane” is directed at Batman – the very object or instrument created to bring somebody down.

    I think I’ve mentioned Simone’s take on him here before, but recent Bane-centric issues of Secret Six have furthered those thought processes, when Gail Simone had Bane realize after this long time since his heyday that it wasn’t Bane that broke the Batman … by getting back up, rebuilding himself and reclaiming his totem, it was the Batman who broke Bane, by absolutely and ultimately denying Bane his victory … and victory was his reason for existence. (Both psychologically, and for story reasons).

    Rewatching a lot of Star Trek lately I’d noticed a likeness between the “Jem’Hadar” and Bane. Bred for battle … drug-infused … “victory is life” … single-minded, and driven. In their case it went hand-in-hand with pure devotion to a higher power. Some mileage could come from Bane being more monk-like, particularly if that “god” was the one providing him with his drug addiction. (But specifically NOT making Bane into a “henchmen” or “servant”.)

    Actually Bane’s an irredeemable villain, so perhaps some sort of black ceremonial devotion to Humanism could cut it.

  40. DoctorSmashy Says:

    Ahh, my third favourite Rogue’s Review (after Catwoman and Scarecrow). Really wish you guys still did these.
    And what did Morrison have to say about this one?

  41. Nathan Says:

    Great, interesting read.

    Curious though what your take on Bane quite honestly seeing himself as a righteous man who feels he deserves to have things go his way because of his upbringing “I am innocent” and whatnot.

    also what do you think of him in Secret Six, adjusting to some semblance of a life with friends, and his surrogate relationship with Scandal Savage.

  42. Anonymous Says:

    Found this through ComicsAlliance. This is a really wonderful review. I really hope that this is the direction that Nolan takes Bane in for the third movie.

  43. Zom Says:

    So do I but I doubt it. It’s a bit too 4-colour for the Nolans.

  44. dallas hessler Says:

    dal
    vs.
    bane
    who will win?

  45. Mindless Ones » Blog Archive » Note 3 – Left 4 Dead Says:

    [...] hits you like one of the creature’s giant, meaty fists. You’ve never been one to crave the meat before, but you’ve got to admit, as your character cowers in the bathroom, firing uselessly [...]

  46. PapaPopGuru Says:

    Well, I’ll be the first obnoxious little wank to talk aboot the Nolan version, shall I?

    *SPOILERS ABOUND YE HEARTIES!*

    I read this article first, and it’s, in my mind, become my primary interpretation of the character that I use when i think about him. The Secret Six was jolly fun, but I couldn’t believe in a Bane that cared or thought about others… The guy’s pathological, barely being able to feel anything outside of his own body.
    The Anaesthesia-Mask was a tad obvious (for a “gritty, real world” version), but i liked the design of it, definitely Vader-ish…
    Also Vader-ish was his voice, but in the best way possible. Of course Bane should be genial, courteous and polite even while he’s breaking your neck! He’s as much a creature of privilege as Bruce is, when it comes to the horrible trauma and training that came after it. I can just imagine him taking corrective english lessons from an Alfred/Henry Higgins cut-out “This time when you say his name, put a little more emphasis on the “man” rather than the “bat”… ”
    Not a whole lot towards motivation. Even though he’s one tough mo-fo (doesn’t even flinch at the smoke-bombs) we can probably just assume he probably gets off dressing in revealing vests, acting like a loyal pet for Talia and the fiery oblivion that comes from nuclear suicide.

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