During the 1990’s Detective Comics gave us the ‘Knightfall’ story arc, which found Batman and his alter ego Bruce Wayne not only protecting a city facing complete anarchy but witnessed the Dark Knight fall against a giant, muscle bound, steroid induced criminal from South America, intent on literally breaking the back of the Caped Crusader.

Bane then became an instant success and a fan favourite and there is no real doubt that director Christopher Nolan has taken elements from one of the most famous Batman sagas to form the backbone (excuse the pun) to the final instalment of his Dark Knight trilogy.

The latest teaser poster for the forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises hints that the current screen incarnation of the Cape Crusader (Christian Bale) may indeed face the same fate as that found by his comic book incarnation.

This new image continues the highly stylised and brooding tone that we have come to expect from a Christopher Nolan feature with the image of a departing Bane and a shattered bat cowl perhaps hinting that both the crime fighter and the good law abiding citizens of Gotham City face perhaps their worst nightmare.

The apocalyptic nature of the image also continues the mood of the previous poster with its cryptic image of a crumbling skyline forming the shape of a disintegrating bat.

In casting Tom Hardy as Batman’s new nemesis, Nolan has paired the intensely physical and character based Bale with an actor who also shares a passion for method acting and intense roles, the early indication is that this new take on Bane may not necessarily be the criminal mercenary found in the comic book but rather a fanatical member of the returning League of Shadows, intent on finishing the destruction of a corrupt city that commenced in Batman Begins (2005).

The film’s prologue sequence was aired before a selected audience in Los Angeles last week, shown in full IMAX, the scene apparently finds the director returning to the thrilleresque leanings of Inception (2010) as the new villain is introduced via a mid air hostage situation that has been met with generally positive reviews from those in attendance.

Early reports hint that the scene is also slightly reminiscent of the recent Bond movies whilst the additional footage on show includes a glimpse of Anne Hathaway in full Catwoman mode alongside Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s uncover cop John Blake and a sneak glimpse of the Cape Crusader’s new aerial vehicle.

An additional trailer is also rumoured to feature prior to screenings of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (opening in cinemas this coming Friday) whilst the six minute opening sequence in its entirety will play in front of the forthcoming Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol at selected IMAX venues from 26th December onwards.

July 2012 is still a long way off, but hopefully Nolan and Warner Bros will not follow the recent trend favoured by Marvel Comics in revealing the bulk of a movie prior to its release; instead, we hope that the most anticipated blockbuster of next year as well as the fate of Gotham City continues to keep us guessing.

The Dark Knight Rises is released on 20th July 2012.

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