The Joker #8 reveals the origin of Bane’s Daughter, Vengeance, as well as her real reason for hating the Clown Prince of Crime.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Joker #8, now on sale from DC Comics.
Bane’s daughter, Vengeance, has been one of the most intriguing elements of The Joker, setting up the new character as a potential heir to the classic DC villain while she hunts down the Clown Prince of Crime. But there are some additional layers to her personal mission that have quietly set her up to become a much more exciting character.
The Joker #8 (by James Tynion IV, Guillen March, Arif Prianto, and Tom Napolitano) tells the full origin of Vengeance — and it not only reveals her to be a clear parallel to a fan-favorite Marvel character, but radically alters Bane’s origin as well.
Since the events of A-Day, multiple forces around the DC Universe have been on the hunt for the Joker, notably including Vengeance. “Bane’s Daughter” made her way to Europe in pursuit of James Gordon, and successfully kidnapped him following his attempts to work with Interpol. But as she reveals to Gordon, she’s on a potentially different path now than when she began. She explains that while hunting the Joker, she found a file left behind by the Clown Prince of Crime that revealed the truth about her origins. It turns out that Bane’s development was all part of the Bane Project — and that his hatred for Batman had been planted within his subconscious by the military government of Santa Prisca.
Although he eventually proved too clever and willful to be controlled forever, this implies his original mission to break the bat was never really by choice, but a test run of a new kind of soldier. This resulted in further experimentation, including taking a DNA sample from Bane and growing an artificially created child. This is the young woman who would become Vengeance, with her lifespan seemingly sped up to allow her to reach maturity faster. She had her whole life programmed into her mind, including a hatred for the Joker, further proof that the Bane Project could effectively create living weapons capable of bringing down some of the DC Universe’s most fearsome forces.
It turns out that the lab Vengeance and her allies had been sent to contain all this proof and more (including DNA samples from various members of the superhero community), and upon discovering the truth Vengeance lashed out. She killed her fellow Santa Prisca soldiers and went rogue. Vengeance believes that when she finds the Joker, her programming will kick in and she will murder the Joker whether she wants to or not. She is furious that she wants to kill him, but not because of her own volition, but because of programming. In a twisted attempt to take control of the situation, she offers to kill the Joker for Gordon instead, believing that this gives her the option of killing him by her own choice.
It’s an interesting prospect that makes Vengeance more of a wild card than she was initially, especially in terms of what could follow her potential murder of the Joker. The question of whether or not Gordon will be able to restrain himself when he finally faces the Clown Prince of Crime again has hung over Gordon’s investigation since it began, and Vengeance could help alleviate his concerns. This is also an interesting way to further explore the origin of this interesting new character, effectively making her the X-23 of the DC Universe.
It’s an interesting place for her to be, especially with her “father” currently being resurrected to serve as an undead member of Task Force Z. It’ll be interesting to see how this further affects the character, and what role she takes in the DC Universe if she gains her freedom (and survives whatever encounter she’s fated to have with the Joker).
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