Bane’s greatest claim to fame is his role in 1993’s “Knightfall” storyline. Upon arriving in Gotham, Bane decided to study the Dark Knight from afar and force him to a point of exhaustion and vulnerability. To accomplish this, Bane and his gang freed the criminal inmates of Arkham Asylum and left them weapons to arm themselves. Over the course of the next several days, Batman rounded up the inmates with little chance for rest, observed by Bane the entire time.
After wearing Batman down and deducing his identity, Bane confronted the exhausted hero at Wayne Manor. Despite Batman’s efforts, Bane overpowered him and broke his back.
Despite his victory, Bane wasn’t immediately accepted as the ruler of Gotham’s underworld. Not everyone was willing to believe Batman was permanently defeated, and it appeared their suspicions were confirmed when Bruce Wayne’s temporary successor Jean-Paul Valley appeared on the scene. When Bane fought Valley, he was unprepared for the different tactics of this new Batman and was defeated.
With his defeat, Bane believed his dependence on Venom had actually weakened him as a fighter and stopped using the drug. After a period of withdrawal, he teamed up with the terrorist Ra’s al Ghul (whose daughter Talia Bane sought to marry) in another scheme against Gotham, unleashing a plague on the city in the 1996 storyline “Legacy.” In the end, Bruce Wayne (who’d since returned as Batman) stopped his plan and defeated Bane once again.
For a time, Bane became more antihero than villain, working alongside the group known as the Secret Six (SECRET SIX #1, 2008). He even helped Dick Grayson stem the chaos that erupted in Gotham City when Batman was briefly believed to be dead (SECRET SIX #9, 2009).
In 2011’s New 52 universe, Bane returned to the use of Venom and made further attempts to gain power in Gotham. He even mixed Venom with a form of Scarecrow’s fear toxin in order to eliminate any fear in himself. But he was defeated by Batman with an assist from the Flash in 2012’s BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #7.
In BATMAN ETERNAL (2014-2015), Bane escaped Arkham Asylum. Poison Ivy used her chemistry skills to improve his Venom. In the process, he fell in love with Ivy (a common occurrence due to the chemical manipulations she uses on others). He was later enraged when he realized he’d been manipulated.
During The Joker’s “Endgame” scheme in 2014-2015’s BATMAN #35-40, the villain’s toxin was unleashed on Arkham Asylum’s inmates. But Bane found himself immune due to his repeated exposure to Venom. Not wishing The Joker to destroy the city, Bane aided Batman in holding off a mob afflicted with the toxin. At the end of “Endgame,” Batman was believed to have been killed along with The Joker. Bane then returned to Santa Prisca, determined to conquer the prison that was once his home and turn it into a power base.
In DC’s Rebirth, Batman encountered Bane once more in “I Am Suicide” (in 2016-2017’s BATMAN #9-13). By this point, Bane controlled a large portion of Santa Prisca, with Peña Duro his fortress. To control his addiction, he briefly employed the mind manipulator known as the Psycho-Pirate. Eventually, Bane led his original gang of henchmen on a mission to Gotham to break Batman once again. But the Dark Knight took a page from Bane’s “Knightfall” playbook and unleashed the Arkham inmates on the villain before defeating him in combat (in 2017’s BATMAN #19-20).