New Photos Show the Bane of Batman's Existence

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Christopher Nolan must have been tearing his hair out for the last few months, what with all the unauthorized photos from the set of "The Dark Knight Rises" being posted all over the internet. After all, the guy does enjoy keeping his movies secret, something that's pretty hard to do when you're filming right in the middle of a giant city like Pittsburgh.

Now that filming is over, however, Nolan can get back to doing what he does best: Controlling the message.

And based on the new series of covers from Empire, that message appears to be that Bane is going to kick your ass.

Bane, of course, is the hopped up super-soldier played by Nolan's "Inception" star Tom Hardy. In that film, Hardy played a smooth-talking, dapper man of the world, which is a pretty striking contrast to the roided-up slab of evil that Hardy describes on the cover as "brutal."

"He's a terrorist," the blurb continues. "A really horrible piece of work."

As well he should be, considering that in the comics, Bane was responsible for breaking Batman's back. Which might explain this quote from Bale on his version of the Empire cover: "He has to answer the question: how long do you allow pain to dominate your life?"

We're guessing the answer is roughly two hours plus credits, but until "The Dark Knight Rises" hits theaters on July 20, we won't know for sure. In the meantime, though, check out the new Empire covers -- and see why Batman needs to watch his back: