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Batman: Scarecrow

Updated on April 23, 2012

Batman used something that scared him to frighten the scum of Gotham, and one of those scum specialized in fear. Dr. Johathan Crane, also known as Scarecrow, is an insane ex-psychiatrist who uses a variety of drugs and psychological tactics to use the fears and phobias of his adversaries. While he never committed crimes for his own personal gain, he did however use his crimes as a form of research the effects of fear on human beings. He enjoyed having the people of Gotham being his own personal unwilling guinea pigs. Frequently, Scarecrow would in fact use fear gas as his many weapon against his foes. He is one of the more popular villains in the Batman universe and has appeared in the Christopher Nolan Batman films. Cillian Murphy has portrayed the character in both films, and it is unlikely for him to appear in the final film.

Crane's childhood is shrouded in uncertainty as all that is known for sure is that he enjoyed scaring birds and that he was born out of wedlock. He also endured terrible abuse thanks to his evangelist great grandmother. His father ran off before he was even born and his mother never showed any love or affection for him. His taste for fear would develop as a child as well as his affinity for crows when his grandmother locked him in a church filled with birds. Eventually he would reach a breaking point, to where he snapped and killed his grandmother. When he did eventually kill her, he also learned that his mother gave birth to a baby girl, causing him to feel a great deal of jealousy and grief which explains his cold persona. Crane would go on to become a professor of psychology who ultimately turned to crime after being fired from his position. In order to prove a point on the topic of fear, he fired a gun into a classroom filled with students upon his termination. He was frequently the victim of bullying by his peers in his profession due to his odd appearance and reclusiveness which led him to a life of a crime. The main reason for his termination was when he attacked a student however. Upon making the change in his life, he noticed he had more of social life too boot. His alter ego, Scarecrow, which he would use to scare his victims to do anything he wants. In his alter ego he would wear a ragged black hat, trench coat, a mask while wielding a Tommy gun. He would go on to work as a psychiatrist in the walls of Arkham Asylum, where he performed more of his fear-induced experiments on his patients. He would go on to take the moniker of "Scarecrow," which he was so frequently called when he was bullied as a kid.

In the "Knightfall" storyline, Scarecrow was one of the prisoners that escaped when Bane get off charges around Arkham Asylum. Upon his escape, he attacks one of the Joker's henchmen, who tells Scarecrow that his boss is after the commissioner. Seizing the opportunity to do some real damage on the town, he goes to the Joker and the two decide to become partners in terrorizing the mayor. The two take to the sewers with the mayor but Batman quickly arrives. Scarecrow attacked him with his fear toxin but it only angers Batman. In a panic, Scarecrow hurries to flood the sewers but Batman manages to escape with the mayor in tow. Scarecrow and the Joker are able to escape as well. Later at their shared hideout the two get into a heated argument about the what had just transpired. The Joker ends it by savagely beating the Scarecrow with a chair after he tries to poison him. Scarecrow then gets sent back the Arkham Asylum. Scarecrow frequently escapes only to be thrown back into the depths of Arkham Asylum after committing or failing a crime in Gotham City.



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    • Dominique L profile image

      Dominique L 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      'Tis true. Jonathan is vastly underappreciated. ;)

    • Nickalooch profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Columbia, MD

      when i researched the character i was surprised to see so little, and then when I saw the Scare-Beast i just laughed and avoided it like the plague.

    • Dominique L profile image

      Dominique L 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      Yay! Thank you thank you! This was excellent and lovely, and thank you for avoiding the whole Scare-Beast dabacle.

      There really is never so much fun to be had in Gotham as when The Joker and Jonathan have one of their little spats!


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