August 2020 gave us something to lift our pandemic spirits: a trailer for the new Batman film. It features a Riddler resembling the police sketches of the Zodiac killer suffocating a person with gaffer tape; as well as Robert Pattinson’s hero mercilessly beating another human’s face into broken mush, for which he will presumably require reconstructive surgery and months in hospital. All good clean fun, but what I miss is a Batman who has ice skating blades stored in the soles of his boots in case he might ever need them, carries a Bat credit card, and you know, smiles occasionally.
Similarly, I miss a Bane who was portrayed as a muscle-bound lunk who wears a fedora and mac as a disguise, in contrast to a barely legible one who crushes people’s skulls in his hands and commits acts of mass terrorism to … expose Gotham’s underbelly or something? I forget what precisely Tom Hardy was doing in Dark Knight Rises. My Bane was portrayed by Robert “Jeep” Swenson.
Jeep Swenson was a stuntman, bodybuilder, and occasional professional wrestler. His most ntoable stint was a one-off showing at a WCW pay-per-view under the moniker “Ultimate Solution” – changed from the original, “Final Solution” due to complaints. At the time WCW claimed they were ignorant of the obvious, hideous connotations.
Sadly, due to his massive size and weight (6 foot 4 inches tall and over 400 pounds), he died at the age of 40 due to heart failure, just two months after Batman and Robin was released. Not much else is recorded online of Jeep Swenson, but he is still fondly remembered today as the best cinematic version of Batman’s nemesis yet.
Take care of yourselves and have a super day, Avocado!