Warning: spoilers ahead for Wonder Woman! Read ahead at your own risk!
One of the biggest differences between Wonder Woman and the rest of the DCEU films is how isolated the female-led movie feels from the other stories. Diana Prince's historic adventure tells its own tale and doesn't expressly reference any of the DC films that we have seen thus far. Having said that, the events that unfold during the movie lend credence to the possibility that there may be a Batman reference hiding in plain sight. Specifically, many astute DC fans are starting to think that Patty Jenkins' new DCEU adventure shows us the origin of Bane's Venom toxin.
Aside from Diana's fantastic abilities as a hero, Wonder Woman is a surprisingly grounded and gritty story about the struggle to bring World War I to an end. That's why Doctor Poison's (Elena Anaya) special strength-enhancing gas feels so out of place when watching the film. However, when viewed in the context of the entire DC universe, it seems to make perfect sense for Doctor Poison's potent toxin to pave the way for the creation of Venom -- the substance which Bane would eventually use to overpower Bruce Wayne and break his back. Bizarre steroids are not uncommon in the realm of comic book universes, but the similarities between Poison's gas and Venom are incredibly easy to pick out to even the most casual fan. From the sheer strength and durability that Ludendorff displays, to his aggressive and rabid behavior while using the gas, it all points to an early (and unstable) form of Venom.
The ending of Wonder Woman leaves this open enough to feel like an entirely possible outcome. Although General Ludendorff (Danny Huston) dies at Wonder Woman's hands during the assault on the airfield, Diana ultimately chooses to spare Poison, and the sadistic chemist runs off to an ambiguous fate. In the same way that Nazi war criminals allegedly escaped to South America after the end of World War II, Doctor Poison could've easily fled to Santa Prisca prison and set up a permanent refuge for herself. From there, her gas could've slowly evolved over the years, until Doctor Poison (or a successor of hers) eventually created the Venom formula that would become Bane's trademark weapon.
When we consider the sheer amount of Batman lore that has already been established in the DCEU, it's hard not to believe this fan theory. Numerous iconic Batman stories (such as A Death in the Family) have already played out in this universe, so there's no reason not to assume that the Knightfall story didn't already occur at some point before the events of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Moreover, Ludendorff's level of strength and durability during his fight with Diana (Gal Gadot) genuinely seems to match what most fans would expect from someone like Bane while under the influence of Venom. He's able to land a few good shots against her at the beginning of the fight, but he's still wholly outmatched once she understands what she's up against. If you have ever seen Bane face off against someone like Superman in DC Comics or cartoons, that's pretty much how those fights usually go.
Check out a fight between Bane and Superman (disguised as Batman) to see what I mean by that:
Of course, this is ultimately one of those theories that cannot receive confirmation until a solo Batman movie adequately establishes it as canon. Most rumors associated with Matt Reeves' Batman film have suggested that DC and Warner Bros. still want to proceed with a"villain heavy" story, which means the possibility of a Venom-enhanced Bane showing up (alongside several other rogues) remains high. However, until that happens, this will continue to be little more than an insanely awesome (albeit very well thought out) hypothesis regarding Wonder Woman's ties to the mythology of The Dark Knight.
Whether or not Wonder Woman laid the groundwork for Bane to enter the DCEU remains to be seen, but it's definitely a distinct possibility that will keep us incredibly excited for the foreseeable future. Wonder Woman and Batman will reunite when Zack Snyder's Justice League makes its theatrical debut later this year on November 17, 2017.
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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