Batman: The Dark Knight Rises part 11
While Bane’s army pillages Gotham City, Broken Bruce Wayne, in the pit on the other side of the world, is given some rough-hewn physical therapy and told the legend of the child born in the pit. Actually he is told two stories, one about the mercenary who falls in love with the warlord’s daughter, and another about the child of that union, the warlord’s daughter’s child, which is the child born in the pit. We have been told earlier that Bane was born in the pit, and so we latch on to that factoid, because Bane is super-weird, with his accent and his mask and his rage, so we want to know who that guy is. The Dark Knight honored tradition by keeping the identity of the Joker a complete mystery, but Rises is happy to give us a background for its bad guy — even though, we will find out, not the bad guy we’re thinking about.
So Bane, the story will have us believe, is the product of the union of a mercenary and a princess — true love, no doubt, true love punished by a cruel father in a harsh, fairy-tale land with an open-pit prison. A mercenary, by definition, has no dog in a fight, owes no one allegience, but Bane has been perfectly clear about his allegience to Ra’s Al Ghul, a man he thinks of as his spiritual father.
In the depths of his agony, Bruce hallucinates a visit from Ra’s Al Ghul himself, who helpfully fills in the blanks for the world’s greatest detective — poorly.
The Ra’s hallucination is deceptive, of course, because he is just a projection of Bruce’s, or, in another way of thinking about it, he’s Bruce’s conscience, he’s known all along that Gotham City is a plaything of the rich, a plaything of Bruce Wayne specifically, and that everything that has happened to it is Bruce’s fault, good and bad.
Winter falls on Gotham, and Selina, safely out of Blackgate, roams broken homes with her gal-pal. What Selina wants — to escape her identity — has not been granted with the advent of Bane’s revolt. She’s free, now, it’s true, but free to be a prisoner under a different system.
Blake, Daytime Batman, keeps in touch with the buried cops and watches after the orphans in the boys’ home. A true civil servant, Blake reminds us that a revolt like Bane’s always leads to civic collapse, because no one bothers to keep the lights on. When it’s every man for himself, there is no public good.