Santa Prisca (DC Comics)

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Santa Prisca
File:Hologram of the island of Santa Prisca.png
A hologram of the island of Santa Prisca, as shown in the Young Justice episode "Dropzone".
Notable charactersBane
PublisherDC Comics

Santa Prisca is a fictional country appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. It is best known as the birthplace of the Batman villain Bane.[1] It was created by Denny O'Neil in the pages of The Question, and was used repeatedly throughout O'Neil's tenure as Group Editor for the Batman family of books.

Fictional history[edit]

Santa Prisca is a small island located in northern Caribbean islands and shows strong influences from the period of Spanish colonialism, the introduction of African slaves, and its prominent role in the illegal drug trade. The island's climate is generally that of a "tropical paradise" although like many Caribbean islands it also sees hurricanes. Thomas Wayne visited the island to aid in hurricane relief while his wife remained in America, pregnant with Bruce Wayne.

The country is also known for its island prison, Peña Duro (bad spanish for "Hard rock", correct spanish: "Peña Dura" or "Dura Peña"). This is where the Batman villain Bane grew up, serving his father's prison sentence.

In terms of how its atmosphere is usually depicted, the island is split into sections of opulence for vacationers and notable members of the drug trade, with the rest of the island living in poverty, and brutal oppression by various factions seeking to rule the island. Generally drug lords are seen as the true rulers of the island, and Santa Prisca has long been considered one of the key developers in the DC Universe's drug trade, and is the "birthplace" of the strength enhancing drug "Venom". The island has undergone many revolutions, and the villainous King Snake was blinded while working as a mercenary in the employ of anti-Communist rebels. Curiously the island is also the source of one of the key secret ingredients to "Zesti Soda", the most popular soda in the DC Universe, a fact that eventually led to a revolution on the island with the Zesti corporation largely having power over the island at the revolution's end.

The vigilante The Question visits Santa Prisca to hunt down and rescue his old friend, Aristotle Rodor. He fights against the corrupt police officers and eventually rescues Rodor from a fortress held by a rich madman.[2]

Bane returned to his homeland with the intent of removing the drug lords from power. He discovered that in his absence a new form of Venom had been developed and was being sold on the island. Enraged, he forgot his intricate plans to remove the drug lords and attacked them directly, only to be subdued and forced into their service.

The country later falls under the rule of Jefe del País. It also develops a problem with scurvy, a disease easily remedied with basic nutrition.[3]

In other media[edit]


  • In the episode "Bane" of Batman: The Animated Series, Batman explains that Bane was exposed to Venom in "Peña Duro Prison", though Santa Prisca is not named.
  • Santa Prisca serves as the primary setting for the Young Justice episode "Drop Zone", where it is described as the world's largest provider of the dangerous drug Venom. The members of Young Justice are initially sent to the island by Batman after all communications and shipments of Venom are cut off, and once there, they discover that the island's Venom factory had been forcibly taken over by the Cult of Kobra. Bane (who is portrayed as a drug lord who ran Santa Prisca's Venom trade prior to being ousted by Kobra) enlists the aid of the heroes in order to win back his factory, but the facility is ultimately destroyed after Miss Martian causes Sportsmaster's helicopter to crash through the factory's roof. It is also used as the meeting place between Superboy, Artemis, Miss Martian, and several members of The Light in the episode "Usual Suspects". The Island became the headquarters of the League of Shadows during the events of Outsiders, now run by Deathstroke and Lady Shiva.
  • Santa Prisca is referenced in Arrow's third season by John Diggle. It was also mentioned in the seventh season of Arrow as being the whereabouts of a suspect in the death of the mother of Emiko Queen


  • In 2012's The Dark Knight Rises, Alfred Pennyworth informs Batman that Bane was born and raised in a foreign prison that he allegedly escaped from.[4] Tom Hardy, the actor who portrayed Bane stated that one of the influences for the voice he developed for the character derived from his heritage.[5]

Video games[edit]

  • The corrupt nature of Santa Prisca is discussed in the video game Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu.
  • Santa Prisca is referenced on a poster located in the subways of Batman: Arkham City. The poster is one of the many items included in the Riddler's challenges.
  • Santa Prisca is mentioned by Bane's henchmen in Batman: Arkham Origins.
  • Santa Prisca is referenced on an animated billboard that reads "Visit Santa Prisca" in the Chinatown area of Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Santa Prisca is mentioned in Batman: The Enemy Within, as the Riddler is revealed to have been to the island and started a riot within one of its prisons, Pena Duro Penitentiary.


  1. Wallace, Dan (2008), "Bane", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, London: Dorling Kindersley, p. 36, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5
  2. The Question #10-13 (1987-1988)
  3. Catwoman Vol. 2 #3 (October 1993)
  4. The Dark Knight Rises (2012). "Alfred: ...You should hear the rumors surrounding Bane."
  5. "'The Dark Knight Rises' on EW's Summer Preview cover".

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