For as terrifying and capable as Nolan’s Bane is, however, he is equally mysterious. Aside from working with the League of Shadows, his origins are completely unknown. Nobody is sure where he came from or why he could beat Batman so badly.
All they know is that he’s another freak with a mask. Surprisingly, however, the mask is actually the key to unlocking a bit of Bane’s true backstory. We may not know his name or his full history, but we do know why he put on the mask.
Bane wears the mask to try to mask the pain
While the purpose for Bane’s mask is never stated explicitly throughout “The Dark Knight Rises,” it can be surmised from context. After Bane defeats Batman and traps him in The Pit, Batman learns what shaky details exist about Bane’s backstory.
At one point, Bane was also a prisoner in The Pit, where he received poor medical treatment after being beaten by the other inmates. Later, during Bane and Batman’s final fight, Batman breaks the mask and incapacitates him, indicating that the mask has something to do with his injuries.
Director Christopher Nolan confirmed this as the story behind Bane’s iconic mask, as reported by Rolling Stone.
“Bane is someone ravaged by pain from a trauma suffered long ago,” Nolan said. “And the mask dispenses a type of anesthetic that keeps his pain just below the threshold so he can function.”
This isn’t too far off from the function of Bane’s mask in the original comics, which dispenses the experimental chemical called Venom directly to his brain. Venom acts as a sort of super-steroid, further increasing Bane’s already impressive physique into something more superhuman.
Likewise, the key to beating the Bane of the comics is similar to “The Dark Knight Rises,” where dismantling the drug system he is reliant on severely hinders his ability to fight.