Interview: ‘Bane’ Co-Creator Graham Nolan

Comic book artist and Bane co-creator, Graham Nolan, speaks to Film Dumpster about the history of the character, his thoughts on the newest Batman franchise, and the current state of comic book movies.

Over a career spanning more than a quarter of a century, Graham Nolan has managed to carve out a small but significant niche in the comics lexicon. Nolan’s early career was spent working as an artist on properties like the TRANSFORMERS for MARVEL and DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, moving on to DC’s POWER OF THE ATOM and HAWKWORLD. He would eventually go on to illustrate the daily strips THE PHANTOM and REX MORGAN, M.D., on which he still currently works. But it was his work on DC’s DETECTIVE COMICS that put him on the comic cultural map.

For those not familiar, can you tell us a little about Bane? What is the background of the character, and why does he makes such a formidable foe for Batman?

Bane was created in 1992 By Chuck Dixon and I for the VENGEANCE OF BANE one-shot. It was his introduction to the world and the set up for the Knightfall storyline. Bane is Batman’s physical and intellectual equal and that’s what separates him from the rest of the rogues gallery.

Batman arguably has the largest and most recognizable rogue gallery in comics. Is there something about Bane you feel would translate better to film than other Batman villains?

That would depend on the direction of the story the director wanted to tell. I think Bane is the perfect villain for what Christopher Nolan wanted to do with the third part of his trilogy.

I’ve read that you you’ve never seen Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin” (in which Bane previously appeared). What are your thoughts on the current take on the character?

I am thrilled with Bane’s portrayal by Tom Hardy in “The Dark Knight Rises”. He steals every scene he is in with his swagger and imposing presence.

How do feel about the current state of comic book films in general?

Special effects technology is now so advanced that these type of films can now be made. Marvel’s movies have been fantastic, particularly The Avengers. It’s time for DC to catch up and they are off to a good start with The Dark Knight Rises. I am looking forward to Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel”.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a graphic novel to be published by IDW with my fellow Bane co-creator, Chuck Dixon called JOE FRANKENSTEIN and I have my MONSTER ISLAND graphic novel coming out in August.
In addition to JOE FRANKENSTEIN, MONSTER ISLAND, and REX MORGAN, M.D., Graham Nolan is also currently writing and drawing the daily strip, SUNSHINE STATE. For more information about Graham Nolan, you can visit his website.

Special thanks to Mr. Nolan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.

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