Originally refered to a kind of poison, and as Webster 1913 points out, an especially deadly one at that.

Today the poisons all have obscenely long names straight out of a chemistry textbook, so "bane" has moved on to a more poetic meaning. You may sometimes hear of someone describing another person as "the bane of my existence;" the toxic metaphor has not been misplaced.

Bane is a character from the Batman mythos.

He was born in a South American prison, due to his mother being imprisoned for a crime his father committed. He grew up under the eye of Bird, a criminal from Gotham City. Bane grew up to be the baddest, nastiest prisoner, and dreamed of going to Gotham. The Batman had come to represent all his fears and he believed that to defeat him would prove to all that Bane was the master.

The government was performing an experiment called Project Gilgamesh, which was to create an ultimate warrior. Aside from implanting plastic-polymer shielding into the subject to strengthen weak spots, like the temples, they also pumped him up using a steroid mixture called Venom. This stuff gave Bane incredible strength, but the kicker was that he could inject more of it right into his nervous system via a pipe from a box on his wrist to his head.

So Bane was the toughest guy in prison, and he had a burning crazy desire to kill the Batman. Some friends of Bird's broke them and two other prisoners out and they went to Gotham. There, Bane started by blowing a hole in the side of Arkham Asylum, letting out all the maniacs Batman had put away. Naturally, the Caped Crusader felt he should be responsible for catching them all, so he ran himself into the ground trying to catch them. In the meantime, Bane tracked him and watched him and worked out that Batman was in fact Bruce Wayne. Worn out from weeks of fighting loonies like The Joker, Batman didn't stand a chance, and Bane broke his back, leaving him paralysed.

Jean Paul Valley took over as Batman while Bruce Wayne was off finding a cure for his paralysis. He defeated Bane and then went absolutely gaga. Luckily, Bruce Wayne beat him, and took the job back.

Bane pops up every so often in the comic book. He was toned down seriously in the cartoon series, and was just a joke in Batman and Robin. I believe the best look at him is in the book Knightfall.

Bane is the only villain I can think of I truly despise. He is just a nasty, nasty man.

Among other things, Bane got himself off Venom, and popped up working for Lex Luthor (!) in the series No Man's Land - as Batman said to Bane in that book, "Without Venom, you're just another mook in a mask," and Bane ran away. Hahaha. The No Man's Land trade paperback also has a nice picture (which didn't happen) of Bane breaking the Joker's back over his knee, a pastiche of the Knightfall comic cover featuring the same scene with Batman. Bane did get to beat up the Joker, taking him by surprise as usual - the Joker wanted some attention from Batman and ended up with Bane: "I knew you'd come! Oh. This is gonna suck."

Though nice and all, the dramatic impact of the character is less when they bring him back every so often - it's like resurrecting Doomsday all the time in the Superman comics.

The Dark One.
God of Strife, Hatred, and Tyranny.

In the Dungeons and Dragons setting of Forgotten Realms, the deities have a very thick and rich history supported by vast novels and campaign settings. Bane is one of them.

A brief history of the Forgotten Realms as it relates to Bane:
  • 753 The Year of Strife: The Dark Shrine, temple to Bane, is built
  • app. 758: Bane spawned a half-demon child, Iyachtu Xvim.
  • 800 The Year of the Black Fist: the power of Bane rose in the realms.
  • 1272 The Year of the Shrieker: Zhentarim warriors and priests of Bane raise an army to assault Silverymoon but are repelled
  • 1356 The Year of the Worm: The temple of Bane in Voonlar is sacked by Shadowdale forces.
  • 1358 The Year of the Shadows: Destruction of Bane
Bane has quite a troubled history that starts around the time Bane plotted to overthrow all the Gods (the old Evil God Plans To Ruin All That Is plot). Three Gods (Bane, Mykrul, and Bhaal) conspired against all the Gods by stealing the ancient tablets that contained all the information of the Gods. Ao banished all of the gods, with the exclusion of Helm, to the world as avatars. Over time Bane and the god Torm were engaged in a fierce battle near a power artifact: an ancient bell. Midnight, a powerful human wizard, rang the bell. This act was described as “Ringing the Bell that can not be rung”. This created an anti-magic field that annihilated the avatars of both Gods. Both ceased to be and their shadows are burned into the ground at that site forever.

Some 600 years before his death, Bane spawned a half-demon child, Iyachtu Xvim. For many years, Xvim was trapped beneath the city of Zhentil Keep. Cyric, originally born a human and later rose to a godlike state, destroyed the city thus freeing Xvim, and a new church was formed, led by Fzoul Chembryl. For the next three years, the church grew, as did Xvim's power, even taking control away from Lord Cyric.

Then, on the night of Midwinter, 1372 DR, all of Iyachtu Xvim's priests received a vision of their god, torn apart from within, by an armored warrior surrounded in green flame. It was then that Toril knew the return of Lord Bane. Bane has reclaimed the portfolio of strife, hatred, tyranny, and fear. There now exists strong tension between Cyric and Bane. It is yet unclear how the balance of power will shift as a result.

Resources include: Forgotten Realms 3rd Edition, wizards.com, “The Life and Times of the Man who would be a God”, and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.

Alligators, crocodiles
music lovers, cinefiles

men who work at night for money
every kind of endless honey

when to crawl across the road
how to gut the common toad

all these things and others too
are now available to you

so much so that the normal glutton
barely looks beyond the button

nor needs to rise up from his bed
if he should wish to fill his head

yet still the heart remains unknown
and thus can humans die alone

for without the other to understand
bloodless data is the bane of man.


Icelandic bani (“bane, death”).

-A cause of misery or death; an affliction or curse
-Poison, especially any of several poisonous plants
-A disease of sheep; the rot.

Bane (?), n. [OE. bane destruction, AS. bana murderer; akin to Icel. bani death, murderer, OHG. bana murder, bano murderer, murder, OIr. bath death, benim I strike. .]


That which destroys life, esp. poison of a deadly quality.

[Obs. except in combination, as in ratsbane, henbane, etc.]


Destruction; death.


The cup of deception spiced and tempered to their bane. Milton.


Any cause of ruin, or lasting injury; harm; woe.

Money, thou bane of bliss, and source of woe. Herbert.


A disease in sheep, commonly termed the rot.

Syn. -- Poison; ruin; destruction; injury; pest.


© Webster 1913.

Bane, v. t.

To be the bane of; to ruin.




© Webster 1913.

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