In his original appearance, Jonathan Crane was a professor of psychology. He was shunned by the other teachers for not dressing well, as he spent all his money on books. Crane was fired when he shot a gun in class, while teaching the psychology of fear. He then became the Scarecrow, to represent the combination of poverty and fear. In this incarnation he was shown as a good hand-to-hand fighter, but he used a gun rather than fear gas.
The Scarecrow's history was greatly expanded on in Batman/Scarecrow #1, and Batman/Scarecrow Year One. Unloved by his mother and abandoned by his father, Crane lived mostly with his grandmother, who was a religious zealot. Whenever Crane would do something she disapproved of, she would lock him in a church, where he would be attacked by crows. At school, he was also picked on, due to his skinny body and long extremities. One day, Crane secretly watched his grandmother, who was preparing the suit he was forced to wear when he was sent into the church. He learned how she managed to get all the crows to attack. Later, he snuck into the room his grandmother had strictly forbidden him to enter. He found a library. Without his grandmother's knowledge, he learned all he could about all types of sciences, particularly chemistry. He developed his own version of the mixture his grandmother had used to attract the crows. He tested it out on one of the bullies at school. He was attacked by birds, and half blinded. When he realized Crane's involvement, he beat him up again, leading him to develop stronger chemicals. Eventually, Scarecrow killed his grandmother.
When Crane was in high-school, he was still being mocked. In addition to being called Scarecrow, he was compared to Ichabod Crane. Eventually, Crane had had enough. Fueled with the fury at having been rejected - by Sherry Squires - and having put up with the torment most of his childhood, he dressed as a scarecrow and took a gun to the senior prom, brandishing it in the parking lot. He frightened a car driven by Bo Griggs, the leader of the bullies, off the road, leaving Griggs paralyzed from the waist down and his girlfriend - Squires - dead.
Crane finds that he takes tremendous pleasure in scaring people, literally to their deaths. He moves on to become a psychology professor at Gotham University but gets fired from his position for harming a student during a demonstration of his theories. He chooses to take the persona of the Scarecrow and use the emotion of fear as his main weapon to take vengeance on those responsible for his dismissal from the university.The Scarecrow leaves straws as a calling card much like the Joker's playing card.
During 2012 the DC Universe was reboot in the New 52, in this new version of the DC Universe, Crane was raised by his father, Dr. Crane, after his mother's untimely death. His father was working on a Fear Toxin for the U.S. Government. Part of his experiments was to lock his son, Jonathon in a basement full of scary objects, like dead bodies and creepy masks. Dr. Crane would then monitor his son's bio-levels. Then one day Dr. Crane died while Jonathon was locked in the basement. Several days later, police came to the house to find Dr. Crane and discover his dead body and Jonathon locked in the basement.
Do to this or for other reasons, Jonathon developed a studded, a fact that made him targets for bullies in school. He learned to push past it and became a professor at a college until he was fired for throwing spiders on a co-ed. He was trying to cure her Arachnophobia with a practice called Habituation.
He then started a private practice and became a psychologist, but after killing a patient he decided that wasn't the career for him. He then "practiced" on others, honing the persona of Scarecrow.
Later History/Notable Appearances
While he made very two appearances in the Golden Age. One being in World's Finest Comics and one in Detective Comics. However in the Silver Age he returned and became recurring villain in Batman's rogues gallery.
He was frequently a member of the Injustice Gang. During this time Scarecrow was sometimes shown with a trained crow named Nightmare. During the Knightfall story arc, Scarecrow teamed up with the Joker to hold the mayor hostage. Fed up with the Joker's tricks and games, he tried to use his fear gas on him. However, the Joker was immune, and hit Scarecrow with a chair. He appeared again whenAzrael was acting as Batman. Scarecrow planted fear gas bombs across the city, and threatened to detonate them if he was not declared the god of fear. He was stopped by Azrael and Anarky.
In Batman: Hush, Scarecrow worked with Hush and the Riddler.
During The Long Halloween, The Scarecrow worked with the Mad Hatter to rob a series of banks on Independence day. The plan was orchestrated by the Falcone crime family. They were taken down by Batman and Catwoman. It is revealed during Dark Victory that The Scarecrow was selling children's toys that had fear toxin in them. Batman confronts him but scarecrow flees into a car and drives it into the lake. The body was never found which means that he got away. He is seen at the end with The Joker and Two-Face at the final battle during the climax of the story.
During the As the Crow Flies story arc, Scarecrow was turned into the vicious Scarebeast. This was caused by genetic tampering byFright, Scarecrow's lab assistant, following orders from the Penguin. The Scarecrow only made one other appearance as Scarebeast: During the War Games story arc, Scarecrow was betrayed by Black Mask. In his fury he transformed into the Scarebeast.
Scarecrow was a member of Alexander Luthor's Secret Society.
One Year Later, Scarecrow confronted Batman and Robin, revealing their fears of their parallel selves from other parts of the Multiverse, as well as Robin's fear of Superboy -Prime.
In Superman/Batman: Torment, Scarecrow works with Desaad to capture Superman. He succeeds, but then turns on Desaad. He is captured, but later rescued and brought back to Earth by Superman and Batman.
During the Absolute Terror story arc, Scarecrow decided to stop using his fear toxin. He used his training as a psychologist to spread fear throughout the city. When confronted by Batman at his hideout, Scarecrow accidentally ran into one of his own scythe-swinging scarecrow machines, and was disemboweled. At the hospital, the doctors managed to save him.
During the Gotham Underground series, Scarecrow is apprehended by the Suicide Squad. However, he had rethought his decision to abandon his fear gas, and used it to escape. He teamed up with the Ventriloquist's gang. However, he betrayed them, leading them into a dead end surrounded by Tobias Whale's men. Whale then betrayed him, beating him up and hanging him, hurt but alive, up like a Scarecrow.
He later appeared in the Heart of Hush story arc. When he was younger, and interning at a mental institution, he met Thomas Elliot, later known as Hush. He taught Hush the power of fear, and had him released from the institution early. During the period before Batman R.I.P, when the Heart of Hush story is taking place, Scarecrow again teams up with Hush. He distracts Batman while Hush prepares. When sent back to Arkham Asylum, Batman shows up and forces Scarecrow into telling him Hush's hideout.
Scarecrow is one of the villains forced to work for Black Mask during Battle for the Cowl.
During Blackest Night, Scarecrow is immune to the Black Lanterns due to his inability to feel emotion. He claims that only Batman can scare him, and tries to lure Batman to him so he can feel something. During this time he is selected by the clone of Sinestro's ring to be a member of the Sinestro Corps for 24 hours.
The Scarecrow, Scavenger, The Cheetah, Captain Cold, Weapons Master, and The Key are attacked, captured, tortured, and interogated to find out information on members of The Justice League.
Batman: The Dark Knight- Knight Terrors
For More information see: Knight Terrors
Several Arkham inmates have been injected with a toxin, much like Scarecrow's fear gas mixed with Bane's Venom, and Batman has to investigate. His investigation leads him to Harmon Island where he is ambushed by Scarecrow. The Scarecrow sprays him with fear gas, just enough to make Batman lose his focus long enough for Scarecrow to inject him with the Venom/fear gas concoction. After Batman has been injected, Scarecrow sneaks away before Superman shows up. After Superman and Batman fight, due to the Venom/ fear gas, coursing through his veins, Batman finds Scarecrow sitting with the White Rabbit. Before Scarecrow can blast him again, Batman forces the fear gas into Scarecrows face and is able to tie him up.
A Court of Owls
For more information see : A Court of Owls
While Batman investigates Dan Matthews, a guard at Arkham Asylum who maybe on the take, Dan in a desperate attempt to get away, opens several of the inmates cells. Scarecrow is one of those inmates seen attacking the Batman before the Joker appears to come to Batman's aide and the pair work together to beat back the group of rampaging inmates.
Batman: The Dark Knight- Cycle of Violence
The Scarecrow has been kidnapping children from all around Gotham. He then takes them to his hid out and sprays them with Fear Toxin and harvests their sweat. He uses their sweat to create a super Fear Toxin called Super Toxin 451-A. When Batman shows up to stop him, Scarecrow injects Batman and tries to torque him, but Batman is able to escape. In a odd twist Scarecrow saves one of the children he kidnapped from being blown up. But Scarecrow is badly hurt and turns to the Penguin to finish his plan.
On Christmas eve, during the Gotham City Christmas parade, Scarecrow sprays the crowd from a blimp, with Super Toxin 451-A. Batman swoops in and saves the day, and later tracks the Scarecrow down to one of his hide outs. There Batman kicks down the door and finds the Scarecrow passed out from the injury he received earlier.
Scarecrow is then taken to Arkham Asylum, but he has a plan for escape, one last vial of 451-A sewn in his costume, but it breaks while he is in his air tight cell and he falls victim to his own Toxin.
Death of the Family
For more information see: Death of the Family
Scarecrow is one of Batman rouges, that the Joker uses in his plot to make Batman a better man. Scarecrow attacks Batman on the stairs in Arkham Asylum, as Batman asends the stairs to the room the Joker is held up in. The Joker refers to Scarecrow as Batman's physician.
Out of Continuity
Scarecrow has appeared in several Elseworlds stories. He has also appeared in some Batman crossovers, including one with Daredevil, and one with Judge Dredd.
Scarecrow appeared in Alex Ross' Justice.
Scarecrow also has a brief appearance in Sandman. He is one of the inmates that's in the same mental hospital as Doctor Destiny.
Scarecrow briefly appears in the Injustice Gods Among Us comic, killed and affected by Joker Gas near the same warehouse where Lois was kidnapped.
Powers and Abilities
Scarecrow is a master chemist, able to create powerful fear toxins. In some incarnations he is shown as a decent hand-to-hand fighter, though in others he is shown as physically unintimidating. During Knightfall Scarecrow says he knows his own style of fighting(dubbed Crane Style) which he uses against Jean -Paul Valley.
As the Scarebeast, he has immense strength and endurance. He is also able to breath a powerful fear toxin. Scarecrow is unable to feel emotion and says Batman is the only one capable of scaring him. He has just recently obtained a clone of Sinestro's ring and was a member of the corps for 24 hours, meaning he would have the regular abilities of one with a Sinestro power ring.
- Occupation(s): Professional Criminal. Psychologist.
- Base: Gotham City.
- Height: 6 feet tall
- Weight: 150 Lb.
- Eyes: Blue
- Hair: Brown
- First Appearance: World's Finest Comics #3 (Fall 1941)
In Other Media
The Batman/Superman Hour
The Scarecrow made his first animated appearance on the Batman/Superman Hour voiced by Ted Knight.
Challenge of the Superfriends
Scarecrow's next appearance was in the 1978 animated series Challenge of the Superfriends voiced by Don Messick. He was one of the members of the Legion of Doom lead by Lex Luthor. In this series it is shown he controls a flock of Crows.
Super Powers Team Galactic Guardians
In episode 4 of Super Powers Team Galacitc Guardians titled "Fear" Scarecrow is using a arsenal of Fear Transmitters on Gotham City. He also has trapped Batman in Crime Alley making his foe relieve the the night his parents died. In this series he was voiced by Andre Stojka.
Batman: the Animated Series
In the 90's Batman cartoon voiced by Henry Polic II. The Scarecrow was far more competent as an enemy of the Dark Knight. In several episodes he has caused Batman to nearly succumb to his greatest nightmares and fears such as being a failure to his father, the death of his parents, his enemies triumphing, or him failing his duties as the Dark Knight. His second appearance on the show he received a minor design change. He used his fear gas with adrenalin and uses it on Gotham's athletes, rendering them unable to play; and would bet against their teams in order to earn money to buy more chemicals to make his fear gas. He also made a cameo in "Joker's Wild" playing chess with the Mad Hatter.
The New Batman Adventures
In The New Batman Adventures he is given a much more sinister character design with a harsher voice, a noose aroud his neck and a strange and gruesome mask making him look like a corpse. In this series he is voiced by "Re-Animator" star Jeffrey Combs in the episode "Never Fear" and later voiced by Jeff Bennet in the episode "Over the Edge".
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Scarecrow appeared in Batman: The Brave and the Bold during the opening teaser of the episode "Trials of the Demon". He was working with Scream Queen to use Jack-O-Lanters filled with fear gas to terrorize a town on Halloween but were foiled by Batman and Jay Garrick. In this series he is voiced by Dee Bradley Baker.
List of Episodes the Scarecrow is in:
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
1. Trials of the Demon! (March 20th 2009)
The New Batman Adventures
1. Never Fear (October 1st 1997)
2. Over the Edge (May 23rd 1998)
Batman The Animated Series (1992)
1. Nothing to Fear (September 15th 1992)
2. Fear of Victory (September 29th 1992)
3. Dreams in Darkness (November 3rd 1992)
4. Joker's Wild (November 19th 1992)
5. Harley's Holiday (October 15th 1994)
6. Lock-Up (November 19th 1994)
The Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardian
1.The Fear (October 2nd 1985)
Challenge of the SuperFriends
1. Wanted: The Superfriends (September 9th 1978)
2. Invasion of the Fearians (September 16th 1978)
3. The World's Deadliest Game (September 23rd 1978)
4. Trial of the Superfriends (October 7th 1978)
5. Secret Origins of the Superfriends (October 28th 1978)
6. Swamp of the Living Dead (November 11th 1978)
7. The Final Challenge (November 25th 1978)
8. Doomsday (December 9th 1978)
This version of him wears a gas mask resembling a hooded scarecrow, and a glove retrofitted with syringes. He appears numerous times in the game, and you have to fight him while under the influence over his fear gas. On one of his patient interview files you can hear the names Dr. Murphy and Dr. Combs. They are most likely references to his past portrayals, Jeffrey Combs and Cillian Murphy.
He also appears in the Batman Begins video game, voiced by Cillian Murphy
He also was in a not advisable to buy PlayStation 1 game Batman Gotham City Racer.
The Scarecrow also appeared in the video game Batman Rise of Sin Tzu. He was the first boss you fight.
Although he doesnt appear directly, his mask appears near amusement mile, as a Riddler challenge. Scanning it unlocks his bio. A boat with a trap door can also be found in the river near Amusement Mile. After opening it with the Cryptographic Sequencer, a large corrider can be found, with the body of a henchman strapped to a chair. After zooming in on the henchman, he screams in and dies instantly. Next to the corpse is a clip board, stating Medical supplies have been succesfully ship to Professor Crane by the Falcone shipping company. Finally, during Protocol 10, dead henchmen can be found on rooftops, wearing costumes not resembling any of the current Arkham City crime bosses (Two-Face, Joker or Penguin). His bio reveals that after Batman defeated Joker and police scrambled to capture all the villains, Scarecrow fled into the sewers to avoid capture. Unfortunately, he ran into Killer Croc, who (according to rumor) ate him alive. Many prisoners can be heard saying somethings haunting their dreams, or they start feeling afraid like their under fear toxin.
His powers in game, are the ability to scare people for a short amount of time, and to unlock some areas where mind control is needed. (He is the only character besides The Riddler and the Mad Hatter that can do this) He does not have a scythe weapon in the game, only his fists. He also has a biplane; his biplane is the only aircraft that can go into areas filled with green gas.
DC Universe Online
The Scarecrow appears in as one of the first villains encountered by the heroes. He wears his more traditional Scarecrow outfit, and goes about terrorizing civilians by pumping fear gas throughout the city. In addition to the many hallucinogenic effects he uses to fight you, he also wields a machine gun. After getting his toxin of the streets, Scarecrow captures Batwoman and tortures her with fear gas. While fighting him, he attempts to show you his favourite phobias, such as Herpetophobia (fear of reptiles) and uses Killer Croc hullucinations, Philophobia (fear of betrayal) and uses hallucinations of Bat-Family members, and Astraphobia, fear of lightning.
Injustice Gods Among Us
Scarecrow appears as a stage hazard in the Arkham Asylum stage. After hitting the opponent into an intensive care room, Scarecrom injects them with fear toxin, then turns giant. He impales them with his syringe claws, then throws them through the floor to the next stage. Like other Arkham inmates, he appears in his Arkham Asylum costume.
In the Nolan series of movies, Dr. Crane (Portrayed by Cillian Murphy) is a corrupt psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum in cahoots with the mob and working under Ra's Al Ghul. He aids Carmine Falcone by keeping his criminals out of prison by falsely diagnosing them with insanity, while Falcone smuggles drugs needed for Crane's fear toxin for him. Crane then takes these drugs and dumps them into the Gotham Water System. When his activities are discovered by Rachel Dawes, he gives her a lethal dose of his toxin. Batman saves her, however, and Crane is sent to prison, after getting a taste of his own medicine.
When the League of Shadows appears in Gotham, they begin to enact their plan to destroy Gotham City through the fear-inducing effect of Crane's toxin, by vaporizing the poisoned water supply with a microwave-emitter that they stole from Wayne Enterprises (the toxin only works when inhaled). The league frees Crane as well as the various psychopaths from Arkham. While Batman defeats Ra's and saves the city, Crane is free at the end of the movie.
Crane appears briefly in the Dark Knight, confronting one of his customers who complained about drugs he sold them laced with his toxin.Suddenly a group of copycat Batmen armed with shotguns show up and crash the party. Once the real Batman appears, Crane attempts to escape. Scarecrow is then captured and left for the authorities.
In the Dark Knight Rises, Scarecrow acts as the judge of the sentencing court. He determines whether the 'guilty' should be killed or exiled...which almost inevitably ends in death. He attempts to stop Batman from getting to Bane, but is punched aside.
In all three movies he is played by Cillian Murphy. He is the only recurring villain.