Christopher Nolan is used to having his films overanalyzed, but we doubt he was expecting this one.
Rush Limbaugh has come under the impression that the villainous Bane, played by Tom Hardy in The Dark Knight Rises and Batman's most destructive nemesis yet, is a dig at Bain Capital, the financial services company once headed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney that's featuring prominently in President Barack Obama's campaign ads.
Hmm, this might be more of a headscratcher than Inception.
"Do you think it is accidental that the name of the really vicious fire-breathing, four-eyed whatever-it-is villain in this movie is named Bane?" Limbaugh lamented on his syndicated radio show today.
Well, considering DC Comics' Batman: Vengeance of Bane No. 1, featuring the villain's first appearance, was published in 1993, you can certainly call it a coincidence (if you have to call it something, that is).
Or you could call it something else. Like...
"Ridiculous," comic book writer and Bane cocreator Chuck Dixon wrote on a Dixonverse.net message board in response to Limbaugh's comments.
But it turns out the, er, garrulous right-wing commentator did not come up with the Bane vs. Bain thing himself—excited bloggers on both sides of the political spectrum have drawn comparisons.
"Whether it is spelled Bain and being put out by the Obama campaign or Bane and being out by Hollywood, the narratives are similar: a highly intelligent villain with offshore interests and a past both are seeking to cover up who had a powerful father and is set on pillaging society," former Bill Clinton aide Christopher Lehane told the Washington Examiner when asked about the alleged liberal conspiracy.
"The 'Bain Romney' should at least endeavor to match the comic book Bane in at least one way: prove to be a worthy adversary," Lehane continued (with, we imagine, a bit of relish). "Bane never asked Batman to apologize—neither superheroes nor super villains nor candidates for president should ever ask for apologies from their opponents if they are to be taken serious."
Not every conservative was as concerned as the radio host, however.
"Democrats are truly living in fantasy land if they think the Bain story is anything more than a little summertime blues for Romney," offered conservative analyst Greg Muller. "The election will be a referendum on Obama socialism and the Obama economy. Wonder if the Batmobile was made in China."
What a joker.
And speaking of the Joker, don't tell either conservative or liberal analysts that Mark Hamill (who voiced Batman's pasty-faced nemesis in Batman: The Animated Series and many more cartoons for nearly two decades) told an audience at Comic-Con that Romney only "imitates human behavior."
"He's not actually human himself, so...God bless him, I'm enjoying him running for office, but I just came out as a lifelong Democrat," the Star Wars hero said.
And before anyone starts overanalyzing his choice of words, we bid you happy conspiracy-theorizing.