Believe the hype: Wonder Woman is everything that we wanted it to be, and a breath of fresh air as it marks the first critical success for the DC Extended Universe. And despite the fact that Diana Prince's movie is set years before the Justice League were even a twinkle in Bruce Wayne's eye, it might just have set up a major villain to join the #DCEU after the League have assembled.
** This post contains major spoilers for Wonder Woman, you have been warned! ***
Mo Villians, Mo Problems
#WonderWoman introduced a variety of new enemies, from the god Ares to the Nazi General Ludendorff. But the understated villain of the piece was Dr. Maru — better known by her moniker, Dr. Poison. Dr. Poison was the terrible genius behind the deadliest gas of the war, and we don't mean that she had stomach problems.
Shortly after Dr. Poison has her secret notebook stolen away by Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman, Maru gifts her buddy Ludendorff with small capsules containing a mysterious gas, a potent mixture she created just for him. When Ludendorff inhales said gas, it causes a physical change in his body: His eyes turn black, his skin becomes almost transparent, and his whole body bulges with an electric power.
Now, does this physical change-causing chemical ring any DC bells? How about a certain back-breaking Batman villain?
If you are only really familiar with the Bane of The Dark Knight Rises this may not have been an immediately obvious connection, but Dr. Poison's super-steroid gas appears to be an early version of the Venom drug that gives Bane his terrible powers.
For the uninitiated, Bane is one of Batman's most dangerous foes, a great hulking beast of a man who possesses superhuman amounts of strength, stamina, healing ability and durability, as well as being a genius schemer and a talented fighter. One of his most famous moments was when he broke the Dark Knight's back in Batman: Knightfall, so you know he's a force to be reckoned with.
But all of Bane's superhuman aspects come from the Venom serum: a specially formulated chemical mixture which is injected directly into his veins, typically via a tank upon his person that Bane controls. The more Venom he injects, the stronger he becomes. Think the Incredible Hulk, but less green skin and more leather.
Now, we didn't really see this in The Dark Knight Rises version of #Bane. Christopher Nolan's Bane had a mask that administered a numbing gas to keep pain at bay, but no super-strength serum came into play here. And while Tom Hardy's Bane got a good reception (silly voice aside), the traditional version of the character is one that many fans feel deserves a proper big-screen outing: Venom and all.
And now, Wonder Woman has given the DCEU a very sleek way in which to bring the true blue #comicbook Bane to life. Dr. Poison's super-steroid gas demonstrated the same properties as Bane's Venom: It amplifies strength massively, fuels anger and aggression, and dulls pain.
The pumped-up Ludendorff is, of course, ultimately killed by Wonder Woman, but while Ares attempts to persuade Diana to kill the defenseless Maru during the climactic scene, she resists. Diana's deep rooted humanity wins out, because life is good and Wonder Woman is greater.
But, as we well know by now, a hero's strength is most always also their weakness, and so their undoing. By sparing Dr. Poison's life and allowing her to escape, Wonder Woman may have unleashed an even more dangerous opponent further down the line. All we're saying is, Batman had better be watching his back right now about.
Do you think Bane will appear in the DCEU? Have your say in the comments below!