DC’s new, vampire-infested world can be grim, but there are sometimes moments of irony that are equally hilarious and morbid. In DC vs. Vampires: Total War #4 (by Alex Paknadel, Matthew Rosenberg, Pasquale Qualano, Nicola Righi, Troy Peteri) the issue picked up where it last left off, with the new Suicide Squad working to capture the Weather Wizard, but one of their members, Bane, had has already been killed. In the previous issue, Deadman possessed him and broke his neck to prevent Bane from turning on his allies.
The great irony of this is how that was the exact method of execution that Bane used to kill Alfred Pennyworth in the main DC universe. Adding insult to injury, this vampire-centric universe’s version of Alfred lives on, helping his family to the best of his ability. So while this Bane may have suffered the fate that befell the main Alfred, he tips the scales somewhat. The question now is whether this was an intentional nod to what happened to Batman’s butler in the prime universe.
How Bane’s Neck Was Broken in DC vs. vampires
Bane’s death was more of a necessity than a joke. While trying to free Starfire, he was tricked by Mirage, an illusion caster and servant of Nightwing. Mirage’s bite severely limited Bane’s ability to defend himself, giving him the opportunity to turn him. Seeing that Bane was in no condition to defend himself, Deadman took over his body to ensure that he would bleed out without fear of being turned. Unfortunately, Mirage made it clear that he would try to turn him no matter how hard Deadman resisted. Knowing Bane’s wounded body couldn’t stop her and fearful of what a vampire Bane might do, Deadman did the only thing that made sense to him at the time: he snapped Bane’s neck, denying the vampires a new soldier.
So, Bane was forced to break his neck to avoid a fate worse than death and give his allies a chance to succeed without him. It also happens to be poetic justice. in 2019 bat Man #77 (by Tom King, Mikel Janin, Tony S. Daniel, Norm Rapmund, Jordie Bellaire, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles), the villain broke Alfred Pennyworth’s neck as part of the “City of Bane” storyline. Of course, Bane ultimately lost his attempt to defeat Batman and take over Gotham City, but he suffered no long-term consequences for his heinous actions. The entire bat family may wish him the worst, but they will never act on those instincts due to his strong moral fortitude and Batman’s no-kill rule.
Why Bane’s death was ironic
At first glance, that sounds incredibly unfair. Batman, his family and the DCU fans are robbed of one of the most famous characters in comic book history, and Bane is only imprisoned. That hardly seems like a satisfying resolution. However, since Bane will always be a basic Batman villain, the main version of himself could never be killed. However, his alternate universe me is fair game and creates creative storytelling possibilities.
So it’s entirely plausible that the creative team behind dc vs vampires are giving fans a bit of catharsis. By having Bane break his neck, he subtly reminds readers of the worst thing he’s done in his life, while also allowing justice to come to him in truly poetic fashion. Eagle-eyed fans will no doubt remember what Bane did in the main universe, and hopefully find some justice and satisfaction for having suffered a similar fate in one of DC’s most violent alternate worlds. Most importantly, though, and truly the coup de grace of this moment, is that it’s done with the knowledge that the Alfred of this reality still lives. Neither of them will ever know how the karmic scales were balanced, but it’s a comforting thought that the heart of the Bat-Family survived the man who killed it in another world.