The origin of Bane has similarities with another fictional character, Alexandre Dumas' Edmond Dantes. Born to serve the life sentence of his father, Bane's childhood and early adult life are spent behind the walls of Peña Duro, an infamous prison located in Santa Prisca. Though imprisoned, his natural abilities allow him to develop extraordinary skills within the prison's walls. He reads as many books as he can get his hands on, builds up his body in the prison's gymnasium, and learns to fight in the merciless school of prison life. Despite his circumstances, he appears to have found teachers of various sorts during his incarceration, ranging from hardened convicts to an elderly Jesuit priest, under whose tutelage he apparently receives a classical education. Bane murders this priest upon his return to Santa Prisca years later. However, he commits his first murder at the age of eight, stabbing a criminal who wanted to use him to gain information about the prison. During his years in prison, Bane carries a teddy bear heolani where the titular bumbling and goofy superhero has constant and heated discussions with a stuffed teddy called Piccettino, whose voice only he can hear).
Bane ultimately establishes himself as the "king" of Peña Duro prison. The prison's controllers take note and, eventually, force him to become a test subject for a mysterious drug known as Venom, which had killed all other subjects. It nearly kills him at first, but he survives and finds its effects useful towards enhancing his physical strength, although he needs to take it every 12 hours (via a system of cables pumped directly into his brain) or he would suffer debilitating side-effects.