According to Right wing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, the villain Bane played by Tom Hardy in Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises," is a veiled reference to Mitt Romney's investment company, Bain Capital.
According to Media Matters, Limbaugh suggested in his syndicated radio show Wednesday, that "The Dark Knight Rises" is part of a liberal media conspiracy. He said:
"Have you heard, this new movie, the Batman movie -- what is it, the Dark Knight Lights Up or something? Whatever the name of it is. 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. The movie has been in the works for a long time, the release date's been known, summer 2012 for a long time. Do you think that it is accidental, that the name of the really vicious, fire-breathing, four-eyed, whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane?"
"Anyway, so this evil villain in the new Batman movie is named Bane. And there's now discussion out there as to whether or not this was purposeful, and whether or not it will influence voters. It's going to have a lot of people. This movie, the audience is going to be huge, lot of people are going to see the movie. And it's a lot of brain-dead people, entertainment, the pop culture crowd. And they're going to hear 'Bane' in the movie, and they are going to associate Bain. And the thought is that when they start paying attention to the campaign later in the year, and Obama and the Democrats keep talking about Bain, not Bain Capital, but Bain, Romney and Bain, that these people will think back to the Batman movie --'Oh yeah, I know who that is.' There are some people who think it will work.Others think -- 'You're really underestimating the American people who think that will work.'"
He concluded: "You may think it's ridiculous. I'm just telling you this is the kind of stuff the Obama team is lining up."
But avid DC Comic readers have said that DC Comic's "Batman: Vengeance of Bane No.1," featuring the villain Bane in his first appearance was published in 1993, long before the ongoing controversy over Romney's connection with Bain Capital erupted. The Huffington Post reports that Bane also featured in a previous Batman film, "Batman & Robin." According to The Huffington Post, the plan to include Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises" was announced early in 2011 at a time before the Bain Capital controversy was whipped up by Obama campaign ads.
The Hollywood Reporter similarly points out that Bane was not invented for the "The Dark Knight Rises" movie. He first appeared in 1993 in a story called "Knightfall," a year before Romney made his first bid for elected office against Ted Kennedy.
The Hollywood Reporter, however, acknowledges that the film touches on issues of wealth inequality, but points out that there is no politician in the film connected with an investment fund, who later comes under scrutiny for contradicting information on his SEC filings.
E! Online reports that Bane co-creator Chuck Dixon, responded to Limbaugh's comment with a post to a Dixonverse.net message board, saying: "Ridiculous."
E! Online notes that Limbaugh's Bane vs. Bain theory is not original. Other Right wing bloggers have speculated along the same line. According to E! Online, a former Bill Clinton aide Christopher Lehane, told the Washington Examiner:
"The 'Bain Romney' should at least endeavor to match the comic book Bane in at least one way: prove to be a worthy adversary. Bane never asked Batman to apologize--neither superheroes nor super villains nor candidates for president should ever ask for apologies from their opponents if they are to be taken serious."