Update: Chuck Dixon, the well-known conservative comic writer who created the character of Bane commented on this subject calling the idea of using Bane as part of a liberal agenda silly.
Unfortunately, I've traveled down this road before when Glenn Beck felt the need to blame Obama for the death of Peter Parker in the Marvel Ultimate Universe to be replaced with the multi-racial Miles Morales -- which ended up actually being pretty awesome, by the way. Now it's time for Rush Limbaugh to weigh in. He thinks that the choice of including the villain Bane in the Dark Knight Rises is a plot to make "brain-dead people" associate the criminal mastermind with Mitt Romney's company Bain Capital.
"Have you heard this new movie, the Batman movie, what is it, The Dark Knight Lights Up or whatever the name is," said Limbaugh. "That's right, Dark Knight Rises. Lights Up, same thing. Do you know the name of the villain in this movie? Bane. The villain in The Dark Knight Rises is named Bane, B-a-n-e. What is the name of the venture capital firm that Romney ran and around which there's now this make-believe controversy? Bain."
Okay, where to start...
First off, a personal note. Limbaugh has a broadcasting trick that rubs me the wrong way every time, that of pretending to be too busy or cultured to know the names of things which everyone else knows. There is literally no one in all of America who is not aware or is not excited about the final Nolan Batman film. Limbaugh knows its name, and this attitude of, "What's that? A comic book movie? Well, whatever you plebeians like, I suppose" is just obnoxious.
That being said, I am going to cut Limbaugh a little slack here because there is a nugget of truth to his conspiracy theorying. The Nolan films absolutely do have political messages, some overt, some hidden. It's no secret that the Dark Knight Rises filmed scenes in New York during the Occupy Wall Street protests, and the subsequent trailers of disenfranchised citizens rising up has drawn more than a few comparisons to the movement. So I don't think that Limbaugh is all that off when he says...
"The Bane character in this movie was a terrorist. He's out to destroy Gotham, New York City, which is the case in every Batman movie. But instead of sounding like Romney, he sounds like an Occupy Wall Street guy, in truth."
And yes, the Dark Knight drew a lot of parallels between Batman and George W. Bush with the widespread citizen surveillance and the forcible extradition of targets from foreign countries. Congratulations, Rush, you aren't completely wrong.
On the other hand, it's still a ridiculous idea that the character of Bane, who will celebrate 20 years worth of comic appearances in 2013 and who remains one of Batman's most dangerous and popular foes, was somehow chosen to subtly make voters associate Romney with villainy.
Originally, Warner Bros didn't even want Bane as the antagonist. They wanted the Riddler, but Nolan balked and insisted on having a physical opponent who could be more present in the story. Nolan told the Los Angeles Times...
"Bane, to me, is something we haven't dealt with in the films. We wanted to do something very different in this film. He's a primarily physical villain, he's a classic movie monster in a way -- but with a terrific brain. I think he's a fascinating character. I think people are going to get a kick out of what we've done with him."
Nolan is right, of course. All his previous villains, Scarecrow, Joker, Ra's al Ghul, and Sal Maroni were primarily psychological masterminds. Only Ghul was his physical match, but he preferred to use his League of Assassins and poison to accomplish his goals. With Bane the franchise gets its first opportunity to really pit the Bat against someone that exceeds his abilities in all areas.
And in truth, there was no other character or storyline that would serve to end the Nolan trilogy. With Two Face and Heath Ledger dead, Batman loses many of his best and most emotional story arcs. The Riddler has always worked better as a supporting character, and Hush just doesn't have the oomph to carry off a big ending. The only option was to bring in Bane, the man who broke the Bat, and use him to either kill Batman or to give Batman a final victory over the apex of evil ability.
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But I'm not going to debate comic book movies with a man who thinks Bane has four eyes and breathes fire. While the fact that the bad guy in one of the biggest summer blockbusters ever shares a name with a company run by a current presidential contender is an interesting coincidence, kind of like how the China Syndrome came out two weeks before the nuclear accident on Three Mile Island; it's not deliberate.
"You may think it's ridiculous, I'm just telling you this is the kind of stuff the Obama team is lining up," said Limbaugh. "The kind of people who would draw this comparison are the kind of people that they are campaigning to. These are the kind of people that they are attempting to appeal to."
Mr. Limbaugh, let me help you out here. Comic nerds are already on Obama's side. He teamed with Spider-Man and was on Doctor Who. If he somehow made it into a Star Wars film he would actually become Geek Emperor according to the ancient prophecy. Whatever Nolan is doing it's not aimed at getting us voting for Obama.
If someone is so "brain-dead" that they would base their sovereign franchise on a vague connection to a movie about a man that dresses as a bat and throws sharp bits of metal at the mentally ill then I can only hope that that person too gets a radio show because these articles practically write themselves.