The children's book The Dark Knight Rises: I Am Bane is so ridiculous, it's laugh out loud funny.
It's not easy to write a children's book based on a movie like The Dark Knight Rises. Hundreds of guns, dozens of death and a general theme of pain, suffering and heartbreak. Along the way, someone decided kids would love it. So, they made a bunch of books for young readers. I first ran into The Dark Knight Rises: Batman versus Catwoman which is silly, but harmless fun. Then I read "I Am Bane" and discovered the most unintentionally hilarious book I've read in a long time. I'll walk you through it.
The book roughly follows the storyline of Bane's siege and car chase of the Gotham Stock Exchange. Roughly.
Like the movie, Bane and his men are disguised as workers in the exchange. Unlike in the movie where he wears a motorcycle helmet and pretends to be a messenger, Bane is cleverly disguised as a janitor. Which makes no sense since he's wearing a bulky overcoat and a gas mask.
The book says it's "like any other day" in the Stock Exchange which means it's normal for the janitor to wear a gas mask. Man, he's working with some toxic chemicals. They need to switch to Oxy-Clean.
Suddenly, Bane tears off his overalls and throws his mop to the ground. This gives the first big laugh. Because not only is he wearing his full vest and armor, but he's also wearing the heavy overcoat underneath. How he manages to squeeze all that in without raising questions is beyond me.
He should have looked like Beyonce in a bikini with all that junk in his trunk.
His men, shoe shiners and security guards all pull masks over their faces. You know, in case someone recognizes them from two minutes ago.
Bane yells, "Listen up. I am Bane and you are at my mercy. I'm not leaving here till I get what I want." Menacing indeed. Kids would wet themselves with this kind of threat. It's worth mentioning that being a children's book Bane's men don't use automatic weapons like in the movie. No guns for the kids. No, they pull out 50s style gang weapons like heavy chains, crowbars and baseball bats. But this is no West Side Story. These guys mean business!
Bane grabs the head security officer by the shirt and tells him to give him access to the computer or he'll "tear this place apart." Surprisingly enough, the head security officer is a wimp. "Trembling" like Barney Fife, he hands over the keys to the computer vault and Bane tosses him aside "like a dishrag." This is surprising at first, but this is the same idiot who hired Bane's men as security guards in the first place. So, he's obviously not all that competent.
After he wets himself, he manages to pull it together enough to press a button under the counter calling the police. Why would they even have this button. I'm pretty sure this is the first time anyone in history has ever even tried to break into the Gotham Stock Exchange, much less rob it.
Batman tapped into the police security system and gets a warning alarm in his underground chamber. I kind of wondered how he found out about it so fast. Maybe this was a deleted scene from the film. The book also explains where he got the EMP gun.
If you thought Batman made it, you're wrong. Turns out Alfred built it. After Bruce Wayne puts on his Batsuit, saying, "There's no time to lose" his butler hands him a "special new weapon."
"You might need this, sir." Alfred says, and I bet you were imagining Michael Caine's voice right there. Bruce gives him a terse, "Thanks," and roars out of his Batcave in the Bat-Pod. Yes, the book screams, "Batman was on his way!" Kids jump excitedly before turning the page.
The book cuts back to the stock exchange where we see things "have gone from bad to worse." Here's the second big laugh in the book as we see two terrified guards being threatened with a crowbar and baseball bat. I don't know which is funnier: Seeing grown mean threatened with bats or the fact that one of the goons is still wearing his security guard uniform. You can almost hear "mustache boy" whispering, "Hey Tom, could you ease it with the bat? And you still owe me that five bucks I loaned you."
Unlike in the Dark Knight Rises Bane is a computer genius and downloads "bank account numbers, security codes and personal records." Here's where I think the writers of the book got confused. This isn't a bank. It's a stock exchange. I don't even know why they would need a bank vault to make stock trades, but there's no explanation why the Exchange would have all this personal information stored about everybody in Gotham City.
Bane booms, "The days of the rich ruling this city are over." The book lays out Bane's brilliant plan. He figures "without money or control over the city" the city is doomed. This kind of fits with The Dark Knight Rises message, so this one's a pass.
Bane and his men hit the street on motorcycles, just like in the movie. Unlike in the movie, there are no hostages clinging to the backs of the motorcycles and Bane has a backpack full of computer gear. Thank goodness this computer genius didn't think to bring a flash drive or he would have gotten away. Oh wait. He did have a flash drive plugged into the computer. So what's all that stuff in the bag? No idea. But it'll make sense later for story purposes.
Just then Batman and his men spot the Bat-Pod tearing after them. This part is actually pretty exciting. Bane looks back in fear as the book declares "He was not slowing down!" As if Bane expected Batman would suddenly hit the brakes and pull into a Starbucks drive-thru.
Batman pulls out his EMP gun and drains the motorcycles of all power. To the book's credit, it actually uses the words "strong electromagnetic pulse" to describe it. Nice to know they're not talking down to the kids.
After an awkward jump in the air, Batman flattens the bad guys and ties the goons to a streetlight. But Bane's getting away! Batman growls to whoever is listening, "Your turn," and roars after him.
Instead of using the EMP gun, or the machine guns (Hi kids!) Batman throws a batarang and takes out the tires of the motorcycle, sending Bane "tumbling along the pavement." He let's go of the heavy bag filled with "downloaded information" and we finally see why Bane was carrying the bag. To prevent the awkward, and inappropriate, scene of Batman searching Bane's pockets to get the flash drive.
Instead, the bag neatly falls in Batman's hands while Bane screams, "No!" Batman snarls, "You're not going to rule this city. Not on my watch."
How did Batman know what Bane's plan was? All he had to go on was an alarm from the stock exchange. The bag could could have had Hostess Twinkies for all he knew. Bane's plan isn't obvious even after he opened the bag. Bane could have just been planning to make some quick cash. When did Bane tell him he was planning to "rule the city?" I'm assuming there's another ten pages of him beating the confession out of him like in The Dark Knight.
And that's it. Bane is tied up and Batman brings him to the police station along with the other criminals. The last page has Commissioner Gordon turning to thank Batman, but the Dark Knight is already gone.
Yes, unlike the two hour The Dark Knight Rises, "I Am Bane" wraps up the story in 11 pages. When you take out the broken backs, exploding bombs and looting, it goes pretty quick. The book gives many laughs for kid's and adults.
What do you think of the book "I Am Bane?"
[Image Source: Amazon]
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