Tom Hardy as Venom and Bane
Tom Hardy as Venom and Bane

Tom Hardy’s comic book characters from Venom and The Dark Knight Rises have been combined in a new piece of fan art. Hardy has played characters in both Marvel and DC films; he portrayed Bane in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and Eddie Brock in Sony’s Venom. While the former was a villainous supporting role, the latter is an anti-hero headlining an entire franchise.

As a well-respected actor in Hollywood, Hardy has successfully oscillated between indies and blockbusters. He’s never shied away from playing established figures like Charles Bronson in Bronson or Max Rockatansky in Mad Max: Fury Road. This could account for his intimidating screen presence, that, and the fact that he’s put on a staggering amount of muscle for films like Warrior and The Dark Knight Rises. The Batman villain, Bane, famously breaks the Dark Knight’s back (both in the comics and onscreen). Eddie Brock and his symbiote, Venom, is one of Spider-Man’s most revered antagonists. In Venom, and the upcoming Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Hardy plays the character as an antihero rather than a villain.

Artist Mohammed Hibban recently shared a hybrid depiction of Hardy’s two comic book characters, Bane and Venom, in celebration of the actor’s forty-third birthday. This new piece of fan art sees Bane covered in Venom’s amorphous, liquid-like form. The post’s caption reads, “Both comic book characters he has played and is playing have one thing in common, they’re powered by Venom!” Check it out below.

Hibban’s “they’re powered by Venom” reference comes straight from the source material. Comic book Bane uses a super-addictive steroid called “Venom” to achieve/maintain his superhuman physique. The character is often equipped with a network of tubes pumping the substance through his body. Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy being grounded in reality, Hardy’s Bane ditched the tubes, pro-wrestling mask, and adopted a utilitarian mask that inhibited excruciating pain (due to a preexisting facial injury). His other character, Eddie Brock, of course, is the host of the Venom symbiote (with a range of abilities)—which looks closer to its comic book counterpart.

Hardy’s days playing Bane are long over, but fans eagerly anticipate his reprisal of Brock in Venom: Let There Be Carnage. That film, like its predecessor, is set to balance drama, horror, comedy, and push the limits of a PG-13 rating (even more so than The Dark Knight Rises). Hardy’s performance in Venom was the highlight of a film well-received by fans and panned by critics. That said, even when half of Hardy’s face is covered by a mask (playing Bane), he always seems to deliver. Hibban’s art celebrates both Hardy’s birthday and the success of his comic book characters.

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