WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Harley Quinn Season 2, Episode 5, “Batman’s Back Man,” now streaming on DC Universe.
Bane’s beatdown of Batman in Batman: Knightfall is widely heralded as the most brutal attack on the Dark Knight ever. It’s an iconic moment from the ’90s as Bane broke Bruce Wayne’s back, paving the way for Jean-Paul Valley to take over. That event led to a feud between Batman and Azrael once Bruce recovered, and it stands out to this very day as a defining moment for him and Gotham.
However, in Harley Quinn Season 2, courtesy of “Batman’s Back Man,” the cartoon’s Bane pummels the Bat in a one-sided affair that makes the Knightfall beatdown look like a joke.
Bruce is on the mend after the Season 1 finale, with Alfred nursing him back to health. However, he’s as stubborn as ever and wants to take his city back, donning an Iron Man-like titanium Bat-suit to get the job done. He goes after Two-Face but instead meets Bane at the docks, leading to a massive brawl. And make no mistake, while Bane’s the butt of the jokes with his crew of villains, he’s still a lethal powerhouse.
No matter what the Bat throws at him, Bane can withstand. Bruce employs electric shocks, rocket-powered boots and even lasers, but Bane keeps powering up with Venom. What makes him even stronger is he’s driven by the anger from Batman recognizing Two-Face as the real brain of the operations. Bane doesn’t feel like an equal partner and at this juncture, he unleashes his rage in the worst way possible.
Bane eats every shot from Bruce — including a hilarious crotch-rocket — and then responds with some punches of his own. The villain then grabs the Bat and flings him through several containers down before stomping on him. It’s s an extreme wrestling clinic with elbows, leg drops and just about any other weapon Bane can get his hands on. And seeing as Bruce was previously damaged, he doesn’t put up much of a fight.
Bane effortlessly dismantles all Bruce’s attacks, making it clear he’s “the shadow that haunts your darkness.” When he picks the hero up and vows to break him, at this point you think it might be a knee to the back to pay homage to Knightfall, but instead, he flails Bruce around and smashes him into a metal pillar, breaking his legs. It’s a gruesome scene as he drops the Bat and we see his legs mangled. Shockingly, Bane forgets about the Bat and leaves like a spoiled kid to confront Two-Face, indicating he wasn’t even at full-threat mode.
This is such a scary notion and it’s clear that Bruce has fear in eyes he’s never felt before. Luckily, he’s saved by Batgirl and the vigilante known as the Macaroni (aka Alfred) when Two Face’s goons try to wrap things up, and by then they all breathe a sigh of relief. They know they nearly lost the Bat and as he sits on Gotham’s police rooftop in a chair in the closing act, introducing Batgirl to Commissioner Gordon, it’s clear the Caped Crusader won’t ever be the same again. Bane’s taught him instantly how badly he needs help for the mission ahead.
DC Universe’s Harley Quinn stars Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Diedrich Bader, Alan Tudyk, Rahul Kohli, Christopher Meloni, Tony Hale, Ron Funches, Wanda Sykes, Natalie Morales, Jim Rash, Giancarlo Esposito, Jason Alexander and J.B. Smoove. New episodes air on Fridays.
Harley Quinn Season 2 had Bane beating down Batman in a way that makes the Knightfall whipping look like a joke.