Batman Scarecrow
The Scarecrow is a fictional character, a supervillain that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in World's Finest Comics #3 (Fall 1941) and was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger. His alter ego is Dr. Jonathan Crane, a psychologist who uses a variety ofdrugs and psychological tactics to exploit the fears and phobias of his adversaries. He is a member of Batman's rogues gallery.

Although he made only two appearances in the Golden Age of Comic Books,[3] the character was revived during the Silver Age of Comic Booksby writer Gardner Fox and artist Sheldon Moldoff in the pages of Batman#189 (Feb 1967) and has since become a staple Batman villain.[4] The Scarecrow has been featured in other DC Comics-endorsed products such as feature films, video games, animated television programs, and merchandise such as action figures. Irish actor Cillian Murphy portrayed the Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. He was voiced byHenry Polic II and Jeffrey Combs on Batman: The Animated Series. In 2009, the Scarecrow was ranked as IGN's 58th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[5]



Publication history[edit]

Finger and Kane introduced the Scarecrow in the fall of 1941 for World's Finest Comics #3. From Batman #189 (1967) onwards, the character becomes a recurring foe in the Silver Age Batman stories and also appears as one of the original members of the Injustice Gang.

Following the 1986 multi-title event Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot, the character's origin story is expanded in Batman Annual #19 and the miniseries Batman/Scarecrow: Year One. This narrative reveals that Crane has a fear of bats, and is obsessed with fear and revenge as a result of having been bullied throughout his childhood and adolescence for his lanky frame and bookishness, especially because of his resemblance to Ichabod Crane from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. After being humiliated by school bully Bo Griggs and rejected by cheerleader Sherry Squires, he takes revenge during the senior prom by donning his trademark scarecrow costume and brandishing a gun in the school parking lot; in the ensuing chaos, Griggs gets into a car accident, paralyzing himself and killing Squires.

Crane's obsession with fear leads to his becoming a psychiatrist, taking a position at Arkham Asylum and performing fear-inducing experiments on his patients. He is also a professor of psychology at Gotham University, specializing in the study of phobias. He loses his job after he fires a gun inside a packed classroom, accidentally wounding a student; he takes revenge by killing the professors responsible for his termination, and becoming a career criminal.[6] As a college professor, Scarecrow mentored a young Thomas Elliot.[7] The character also has a cameo in Sandman #5, seeming uncharacteristically friendly.

In stories by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, the Scarecrow is depicted as one of the more deranged criminals in Batman's rogues gallery, with a habit of speaking in nursery rhymes. These stories further revise his backstory, explaining that he was raised by his fanatically religious grandmother, whom he murdered as a teenager.

Scarecrow plays a prominent role in Doug Moench's "Terror" storyline, set in Batman's early years, where Scarecrow is broken out of prison by the mysteriously returned Professor Hugo Strange, who selects Scarecrow as a tool/ally to help him capture Batman. Scarecrow turns on Strange when Strange's therapy proves effective enough to turn the formerly-broken Scarecrow against his 'benefactor', impaling him on a weather vane and throwing him in the cellar of his own mansion. The Scarecrow then uses Strange's mansion as a trap for Batman, but it is less effective than Strange's plan of attack due to Scarecrow lacking knowledge of Batman's identity; Scarecrow uses Strange's plan to lure Batman to Crime Alley, but his 'trap' consists of simply decapitating one of his former classmates in the alley in front of Batman. With the help of Catwoman—whom Scarecrow had attempted to blackmail into helping him by capturing her and photographing her unmasked face—Batman catches Scarecrow, but loses sight of Strange, with it being unclear whether Strange had actually survived the fall onto the weather vane—he claimed that he lured rats to himself by using his sweat so that he could eat them—or if Scarecrow and Batman were hallucinating from exposure to Scarecrow's fear-gas, although Batman concludes that the subsequent explosion of the house has definitely killed Strange.[8]

Scarecrow appears in Batman: The Long Halloween, first seen escaping from Arkham on Mother's Day with help fromCarmine Falcone, who also helps the Mad Hatter break out. Crane gases Batman with fear toxin as he escapes, causing Batman to flee to his parent's grave as Bruce Wayne, where he is arrested by Commissioner Gordon due to Wayne's suspected ties to Carmine Falcone. Scarecrow robs a bank with Hatter on Independence Day for Falcone, but is stopped by Batman and Catwoman. He later appears in Carmine's office on Halloween with Batman's future rogue's gallery, but is defeated by Batman. Scarecrow returns in Batman: Dark Victory as part of Two-Face's gang, and is first seen putting fear gas in children's dolls on Christmas Eve. He is eventually defeated by Batman. He later appears as one of the villains present at Calendar Man's trial. It is revealed he and Calendar Man had been manipulating Alberto Falcone; Scarecrow had determined that Alberto feared his father, Carmine, and poisoning his cigarettes with fear toxin to bring out the fear; Calendar Man, meanwhile, had been talking to Alberto, with the fear toxin making Alberto hear his father's voice. Together, they manipulate Alberto into making an unsuccessful assassination attempt on his sister, Sofia Gigante. After Two-Face's hideout is attacked, Batman captures Scarecrow, who tells him where Two-Face is heading. In Catwoman: When in Rome, Scarecrow supplies the Riddler with fear gas to manipulate Catwoman, and later aids Riddler when he fights Catwoman inRome. Scarecrow accidentally attacks Cheetah with his scythe before Catwoman knocks him out.

Scarecrow is mutated into the "Scarebeast" in Batman#630. Art by Dustin Nguyen andRichard Friend.

The Scarecrow appears in such story arcs as Knightfall and Shadow of the Bat, first teaming with the Joker to ransom off the mayor of Gotham City. Batman foils their plan, and forces them to retreat. Scarecrow betrays Joker by spraying him with fear gas, but it has absolutely no effect; Joker then beats Scarecrow senseless with a chair. Scarecrow later tries to take over Gotham with an army of hypnotized college students, commanding them to spread his fear gas all over the city. His lieutenant is the son of the first man he killed. He is confronted by both Batman-Azrael and Anarky, and tries to escape by forcing his lieutenant to jump off of a building. Batman-Azrael knocks him out, and Anarky manages to save the boy.

In the 2004 story arc As the Crow Flies, Scarecrow is hired by the Penguin under false pretenses. Dr. Linda Friitawa then secretly mutates Scarecrow into a murderous creature known as the "Scarebeast", who Penguin uses to kill off his disloyal minions.[9] The character's later appearances all show him as an unmutated Crane again, except for an appearance during the War Games story arc.[10][11] Scarecrow appears in the third issue ofWar Games saving Black Mask from Batman and acting as the crime lord's ally, until Black Mask uses him to disable a security measure in the Clock Tower by literally throwing Scarecrow at it. Scarecrow wakes up, transforms into Scarebeast, and wreaks havoc outside the building trying to find and kill Black Mask. The police are unable to take it down, and allow Catwoman, Robin, Tarantula II, and Onyx to fight Scarebeast, as Commissioner Atkins had told all officers to capture or kill any vigilantes, costumed criminals or "masks" they find. Even they cannot defeat the Scarebeast, though he appears to have been defeated after the Clock Tower explodes.

The Scarecrow reappears alongside other Batman villains in Gotham Underground; first among the villains meeting at the Iceberg Lounge to be captured by the Suicide Squad. Scarecrow escapes by gassing Bronze Tiger with fear toxin. He later appears warning the Ventriloquist II, Firefly, Killer Moth and Lock-Up, who are planning to attack the Penguin that Penguin is allied with the Suicide Squad. The villains wave off his warnings and mock him. He later leads the same four into a trap orchestrated by Tobias Whale. Killer Moth, Firefly and Lock-Up all survive, but are injured and unconscious to varied degrees, the Scarface puppet is "killed", and Peyton Reily, the new Ventriloquist, is unharmed, though after the attack she is taken away by Tobias Whale's men. Whale then betrays Scarecrow simply for touching his shoulder (it is revealed Whale almost pathologically hates "masks" because his grandfather was one of the first citizens of Gotham killed by a masked criminal). The story arc ends with Scarecrow beaten and tied up by Tobias Whale, as a sign to all "masks" that they are not welcome in Whale's new vision of Gotham.

Scarecrow appears in Batman: Hush, working for the Riddler and Hush. He composes profiles on the various villains of Gotham so Riddler and Hush can manipulate them to their own ends. He later gases Huntress with his fear gas, making her attack Catwoman. He attacks Batman in a graveyard, only to learn his fear gas is ineffective (due to Hush's bug), but before he can reveal this he is knocked out by Jason Todd. Scarecrow also appears in Batman: Heart of Hush, kidnapping a child to distract Batman so Hush can attack Catwoman. When Batman goes to rescue the child, Scarecrow activates a Venomimplant, causing the boy to attack Batman. He is defeated when Batman ties the boy's teddy bear to Scarecrow, causing the child to attack Scarecrow. After he is captured, Batman attacks him in prison to get Hush's location.

Scarecrow's mastery of fear is such that the yellow power ring of Amon Sur tries to seek him out at Arkham after its master's death, though it does not reach him.

In the Battle for the Cowl storyline, Scarecrow is recruited by a new Black Mask to be a part of a group of villains who are aiming to take over Gotham in the wake of Batman's apparent death. He later assists the crime lord in manufacturing a recreational drug called "Thrill," which draws the attention of Oracle and Batgirl. He is later defeated by Batgirl and once again arrested.

Blackest Night[edit]

Scarecrow briefly appears in the fourth issue of the Blackest Night storyline. His immunity to fear (brought about by frequent exposure to his own fear toxin) renders him practically invisible to the invading Black Lanterns. The drug has taken a further toll on his sanity, exacerbated by the long disappearance of Batman in the Batman R.I.P. storyline; he develops a literal addiction to fear, exposing himself deliberately to the revenant army, but knowing that only Batman could scare him again.[12]He is deputized into the Sinestro Corps for 24 hours in order to combat the Black Lanterns. Overjoyed at finally being able to feel fear again, Scarecrow gleefully and without question follows Sinestro's commands.[13] His joy is cut short when Lex Luthor, overwhelmed by the orange light of Avarice, steals his ring.[14]

Brightest Day[edit]

During the events of Brightest Day, Scarecrow begins kidnapping and murdering college interns working for LexCorp as a way of getting back at Lex Luthor for stealing his ring. When Robin and Supergirl attempt to stop his plans, Scarecrow unleashes a new fear toxin that is powerful enough to affect a Kryptonian. The toxin forces Supergirl to see visions of a Black Lantern Reactron, but she is able to snap out of the illusion and help Robin defeat Scarecrow.[15] He is eventually freed from Arkham when Deathstroke and the Titans break into the asylum in order to capture one of the inmates.[16]

The New 52[edit]

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Scarecrow is a central villain in the Batman family of books. Scarecrow first appears in the New 52 in Batman: The Dark Knight #4 (February 2012), written by David Finch and Paul Jenkins. The Scarecrow had kidnapped Poison Ivy, and works with Bane to create and distribute to various Arkham inmates, a new form of Venom infused with the Scarecrow's fear toxin. With the help of Superman and The Flash, Batman defeats the villains.[17]The Scarecrow surfaces again in Batman: The Dark Knight #10, penned by Gregg Hurwitz, for a 6 issue arc. The Scarecrow kidnaps Commissioner Gordon, and various children, and eventually releases his fear toxin into Gotham.[18] Scarecrow is also used as a pawn by the Joker, for his "Death of the Family" plot; he is referred to as Batman's Physician.[19]

Scarecrow appears in Swamp Thing #19 (June 2013), clipping flowers for his toxins at the Metropolis Botanical Garden.Swamp Thing attempts to save Scarecrow from cutting a poisonous flower, not realizing who the villain is. Scarecrow attempts to use his fear toxin on Swamp Thing.[20] The toxin causes Swamp Thing to lose control of his powers, until Superman intervenes.[21]

He is later approached by the as-yet-unknown leader of the Secret Society of Super Villains to join up with the group. Scarecrow accepts the offer.[22]

As part of "Villains Month" in September 2013, Detective Comics (vol. 2) #23.3 will be titled The Scarecrow #1.[23] Scarecrow goes to see Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, and Riddler and informs them of a war at Blackgate Penitentiary is coming and learns where each of the alliances live. Through his conversations with each, Scarecrow learns that Bane may be the cause of the Blackgate uprising and will be their leader in the impending war. It was also stated that that Talons from theCourt of Owls were stored at Blackgate on ice. Later, looking over the divided city, Scarecrow claims that once the war is over and the last obstacle has fallen, Gotham City would be his.[24] Scarecrow approaches Professor Pyg at Gotham Memorial Hospital to see if he will give his supplies and Doll-O-Trons to Scarecrow's followers. Scarecrow goes to Penguin next, who has already planned for the impending war, by blowing up the bridges giving access to Gotham City.[25] Scarecrow and Man-Bat attempt to steal the frozen Talons from Blackgate while Penguin is having a meeting with Bane.[26] Killer Croc rescues Scarecrow and Man-Bat from Blackgate and brings Scarecrow to Wayne Tower. Scarecrow gives Killer Croc Wayne Tower as it no longer suits him.[27] Scarecrow begins waking the Talons in his possession, having doused them with his fear gas and using Mad Hatter's mind-control technology in their helmets to control them.[28] At Arkham Asylum, Scarecrow senses that he has lost the Talons after Bane freed them from Mad Hatter's mind-control technology. Scarecrow then turns to his next plan, giving the other inmates a small dose of Bane's Venom to temporarily transform them.[29] Upon Bane declaring that Gotham City is finally his, he has Scarecrow hanged between two buildings.[30]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Jonathan Crane is a brilliant scientist who specializes in the study of fear. He invented a gas that causes his victims to experience terrifying hallucinations. He wears his Scarecrow mask to enhance the effect of the hallucinogen. The mask contains filters to protect him from his own gas. Although not physically intimidating, Scarecrow is adept in physical combat, using a style called "violent dancing", based partly on the crane style of kung fu and on drunken boxing.

Prolonged exposure to his own gas has damaged Crane's brain, meaning that he cannot feel fear for anything except Batman. This is problematic for him, as he has an addiction to fear and compulsively seeks out confrontations with Batman to satiate it.[31]


The Scarecrow at times wields a scythe which he uses in addition to his "violent dancing". Scarecrow also uses a hand-held fear gas sprayer in the shape of a human skull, straws which he leaves as a calling card, special straws which can be snapped in half to release a fear poison (as seen in Batman: Hush), stuffed scarecrows which scare his victims, and a Sinestro Corps ring (as seen in the Blackest Night mini-series). In the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum, he has needles strapped to each of his fingers on his right hand with which he injects fear toxins into his victims.

Other versions[edit]

Other versions of the character appear in other DC titles. In Batman/Daredevil: King of New York, in which he attempts to use the Kingpin's crime empire to disperse his fear gas over Gotham. He is defeated when Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, proves immune to the gas. In DC vs. Marvel, he temporarily allies with his Marvel universe equivalent to capture Lois Lanebefore they are both easily defeated by Ben Reilly. He also makes a brief appearance in JSA: The Liberty Files.


The Scarecrow is one of the main characters in Alex Ross' maxi-series Justice as part of the Legion of Doom.[32] He is first seen out of costume in a hospital, injecting a girl in a wheelchair with a serum allowing her to walk.[33] Scarecrow was later seen in costume during Lex Luthor's speech alongside Clayface inside the home of Black Canary and Green Arrow.[34]Crane gases Canary while Clayface attacks Green Arrow, but the attack fails on Crane's end when Black Canary finds her husband attacked by Clayface. Oliver defeats Clayface by electrocuting him with a lamp, and the duo flee soon after Canary unleashes her Canary Cry. Scarecrow is later seen with Clayface and Parasite, having captured Commissioner Gordon,Batgirl, and Supergirl.[35] When the Justice League storms the Hall of Doom, Scarecrow does not appear to face any particular target and duels the League as a whole. He is one of the few villains to escape the League's initial attack.[36] The Justice League follows Scarecrow to his city, whereupon he sends his city's population to attack the League, knowing that they would not hurt civilians.[37] However, John Stewart's ring frees the city from Scarecrow's control, subsequently freeing Scarecrow from Brainiac's control. Scarecrow does not seem bothered by this realization, admitting he would have done it anyway. He causes a diversion by releasing his fear gas into his entire city, driving his citizens into a homicidal frenzy, and manages to escape capture, but he is ambushed and nearly killed by the Joker in retaliations for not having been invited to the Legion of Doom. Scarecrow's city is again saved by the Justice League.[38]

Crimson Mist[edit]

Scarecrow appears in the third and final chapter of Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, in which his suit has been adorned with laces of severed fingers from past victims — the bullies who tormented him in school. He is about to kill a former football player when vampire Batman appears, noting that Scarecrow is almost worse than him; he now has no choice but to kill, but Scarecrow has a choice and yet he chose to prey on innocents. Batman then grabs Scarecrow's vial of fear gas, crushing it along with the supervillain's hand, and cuts Scarecrow's head off with his own sickle, declaring that Scarecrow has no idea what fear really is.[39]

Dark Knight Dynasty[edit]

A stand-in for Jonathan Crane appears in Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty in the form of Scarecrone, a female henchwoman/consort under the employ of Vandal Savage. Scarecrone, whose real name is Jenna Clarke, also acts as a stand-in for Two-Face; she is typically a beautiful woman, but when her other personality is activated by drinking a serum, the right side of her face becomes disfigured, and she can invade a person's psyche and cause their deepest fears to manifest as illusions by touching them. The two personalities are rather antagonistic towards each other, and Savage takes advantage of her internal struggle to make her dependent on the formula. She is last seen sobbing in her Scarecrone form on a space shuttle that subsequently crashed into the asteroid that Savage was attempting to acquire; considering the circumstances, she was likely killed in the crash.[40]

Batman Beyond[edit]

In the 2010 adaptation of Batman Beyond, it is mentioned that Crane ended up retiring from his life of crime, and spent the last ten years of his life writing out experiments.[41]


In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Scarecrow is subsequently killed by Batman.[42]

Batman: Earth One[edit]

In the Batman: Earth One graphic novel, Dr. Jonathan Crane is mentioned as the head of the Crane Institute for the Criminally Insane, and one of its escapees is one Ray Salinger, also known as the "Birthday Boy", used by Mayor Cobblepotto his advantages.[43]

Injustice: Gods Among Us[edit]

Scarecrow makes a brief appearance in the comic book prequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us, where he is thought to have been murdered by the Joker and Harley Quinn.[44] The game later reveals him to be alive in the alternate timeline when he appears as a stage transition.

In other media[edit]


  • The Scarecrow appears in the 1968 The Batman/Superman Hour episode "The Great Scarecrow Scare", voiced by Ted Knight. Although he does not use fear gas in this series, he uses knock-out gas which he keeps in eggs.
  • The Scarecrow appears in the 1978 Challenge of the Super Friends, voiced by Don Messick; his voice is raspy, fitting with his scare theme. He appears as a member of Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom. Here he is shown to have control over a flock of crows, but no other powers. In one story, he beats Apache Chief in a contest to capture a two-headed snake by freeing a head Apache Chief had captured, then lassoing both heads.
  • The Scarecrow appears in the Super Powers Team: Galactic Guardians, voiced by Andre Stojka. In the episode "The Fear", he captures Batman, Robin and Wonder Woman; he then exposes them to his fear gas in what would be the first animated rendition of Batman's origin, as he forces the Crusader to relive his memories of his parents' deaths.

The Scarecrow designs throughout Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures.

  • Scarecrow appears in Batman: The Animated Series, voiced by Henry Polic II. In the episode "Nothing to Fear", he plots to use his fear gas to take revenge on the Gotham University Board members who fired him for experimenting on his students. Scarecrow drugs Batman with his fear toxin after Scarecrow tries to burn the University's funds, to which a hallucination of Thomas Wayne chastises the Dark Knight. Scarecrow kidnaps the Dean of the University and escapes in a stolen police blimp. But when Batman arrives, he activates a self-destruct mechanism and leaves the two to die. During the assault on the blimp, Batman wills himself to overcome the toxin, and uses Scarecrow's own weapon against him. Scarecrow hallucinates about his own phobia - fear of bats - and collapses into helpless terror; Batman then takes him to Arkham. Afterwards, the character received a minor physical redesign for subsequent appearances. In the episode "Fear of Victory", Scarecrow combines his fear gas with adrenalin to use on Gotham's athletes, rendering them unable to play; he then bets against their teams. He is defeated by Batman and Robin before he can realize the final stage of his plan: to use fear toxin on an entire stadium. In the episode "Dreams of Darkness", Scarecrow plots to taint the water supply beneath Arkham Asylum with fear toxin, in the process using it on Batman put in Arkham; Batman manages to overcome the toxin, and defeats Scarecrow. In the episode "Trial", Scarecrow is seen on the jury during the rogue's gallery's 'trial' against Batman (although he had no speaking role because Henry Polic had recently undergone throat surgery). In the episode "Lock Up", Scarecrow meets his match in Arkham security guard Lyle Bolton whose brutal interrogation methods terrify even him; he breaks out of Arkham to get away from Bolton, only to be brought back by Batman and Robin. Scarecrow joinsHarley Quinn and the Ventriloquist & Scarface in issuing a complaint, resulting in Bolton being fired. When Bolton asLock-Up ends up in Arkham, Scarecrow vows to "teach him new lessons in fear".
  • Scarecrow appears in The New Batman Adventures, voiced by Jeffrey Combs (in "Never Fear") and by Jeff Bennett (in "Over the Edge" albeit uncredited). The character was revamped from his earlier appearances because producer Bruce Timm felt the character never actually looked scary; this problem was finally rectified with the second redesign. DirectorDan Riba said that he 'evolved the most of all the characters', saying that "we got darker, darker, and darker with the character". Timm described the revamped look as resembling a "western preacher", complete with a noose around his neck, as well as a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre Leatherface, kind of look, and it really had nothing to do with being a Scarecrow per se. But he was definitely scary.". This version was never shown out of costume, because Paul Dini said "we weren't even sure if there was an actual guy in the suit." He also spoke in a low, rasping whisper, with which the show's creators felt he should have spoken with all along.[45] In the episode "Never Fear", Scarecrow creates a new toxin that completely eliminates fear and makes its victims reckless and dangerous. Batman is exposed to the gas, which renders him unafraid to kill. When Batman begins to lose control, Robin subdues Batman and goes after Scarecrow himself. Batman escapes and nearly kills Scarecrow, until Robin gives the Dark Knight the antidote; the Dynamic Duo then apprehend him peacefully and take him to Arkham Asylum. In the episode "Over the Edge", Scarecrow attacks Gotham City Hall, and sprays Batgirl with fear toxin. The poison makes Batgirl has a nightmare in which Batgirl's death causes a vendetta between Batman and Commissioner Gordon. Batgirl later awakes from this nightmare when the fear toxin wears off.
  • According to Bruce Timm, Scarecrow was meant to appear in Justice League Unlimited as part of the show's expanded version of the Secret Society but was prevented (along with almost all major Batman villains) from appearing on the show due to The Batman. Ironically, due to the character's role in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Scarecrow was subsequently unable to appear on The Batman as well.
  • Scarecrow appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Dee Bradley Baker. In the teaser of the episode "Trials of the Demon", he collaborates with Scream Queen to put jack-o'-lanterns filled with fear gas on a Halloween night in a local neighborhood. Scarecrow is defeated by Batman while Scream Queen is defeated by the Flash when he uses the toxin in some pumpkins in a patch against Scream Queen. Scarecrow appears as an inmate at Blackgate Penitentiary in the episode "Night of the Huntress", and is among the singing inmates at Arkham Asylum in the episode "Mayhem of the Music Meister!".
  • A teenage version of Jonathan Crane appears in Gotham, portrayed by Charlie Tahan. In his first appearance in "The Fearsome Dr. Crane", Jonathan helps his father Gerald Crane (portrayed by Julian Sands) conduct fear experiments on people, kill them, and harvest their adrenal glands to create a serum meant to eliminate fear. In "The Scarecrow", Gerald injects him with a large dose of the serum, which causes him to have hallucinations of a giant, demonic scarecrow. Detectives James Gordon and Harvey Bullock save Jonathan's life, but are too late to preserve his sanity: the hallucinations remain long after the serum wears off, leaving Jonathan in a state of perpetual terror.


  • Scarecrow was one of the villains planned to star in Batman Triumphant, the fifth in the Batman film series. Actors Nicolas Cage, Steve Buscemi and Jeff Goldblum were the most likely candidates for the role,[46][47] and would have appeared alongside Harley Quinn (who would have been portrayed by singer Madonna). Scarecrow's fear gas was meant to resurrect the Joker (who appeared in the first film portrayed by Jack Nicholson). Due to the almost universally negative reception of the series' previous film Batman & RobinBatman Triumphant was scrapped and the franchise was put on hiatus for eight years.[48]

Cillian Murphy as Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in Batman Begins.

  • Cillian Murphy portrays Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and is the only villain to appear in all three films. This version of the Scarecrow wears a burlap sack with a built-inrebreather, which doubles as a gas mask in his fear experiments. Murphy explained that the relatively simple mask, as opposed to the full scarecrow costume usually seen in the comics, was done because Murphy "wanted the Scarecrow to avoid the Worzel Gummidge look, because he's not a very physically imposing man—he's more interested in the manipulation of the mind and what that can do.".[48]
    • In the first film Batman Begins, Jonathan Crane is the corrupt head psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum, where he uses his fear toxin to conduct experiments on his patients. He helps Gotham mob boss Carmine Falcone and internationalterrorist Ra's al Ghul smuggle in a hallucinogenic chemical that he uses in his experiments. Crane testifies in court that Victor Zsasz is legally insane and should be moved to Arkham for rehabilitation. This angers Assistant District Attorney Rachel Dawes, accusing him of being corrupt. Crane then meets with Falcone to discuss having her murdered. When Falcone attempts to blackmail Crane, he dons his Scarecrow mask and douses Falcone with his fear toxin, which drives the mob boss insane and repeatedly uttering 'Scarecrow'. In Scarecrow's first encounter with Batman, he sprays Batman with his fear toxin and sets him on fire, though Batman narrowly escapes with his life and mind intact. With the help of Lucius Fox, Batman acquires an antidote to the toxin. Shortly thereafter, Batman has a second confrontation with Scarecrow, this time at Arkham where he rescues Rachel after Crane sprays her with the fear toxin. Batman overpowers Crane's henchmen and sprays the doctor with a dose of his own medicine. Crane hallucinates that Batman is a giant, monstrous bat with a demon voice and is so terrified that he tells Batman who he is working for. Crane is subsequently arrested by Sgt. James Gordon and institutionalized in Arkham, but later escapes in the mass release of the asylum's inmates prompted by Ra's al Ghul as part of his plot to destroy Gotham. As Ra's al Ghul unleashes Crane's fear gas on Gotham's slums, Crane, now calling himself 'Scarecrow', pursues Rachel and a boy through an alley on a horse, dragging a dead mounted police officer from its stirrups. To the boy affected with the gas, Crane appears as a fiery-eyed monster riding a fire-breathing horse. Rachel eludes Scarecrow by shocking him in the face with a taser. Thus incapacitated, Scarecrow aimlessly rides off into the night, screaming in pain. At the end of the film, Gordon informs Batman that Crane is still at large.
    • Crane has a minor role in the second film of the trilogy, The Dark Knight. He has been selling his toxins to customers on the black market. He meets with mob boss the Chechen, who complains about the effects that the toxin has on his customers. Suddenly, a group of Batmen impostors arrive with guns and attack the two criminals, only to be interrupted by the real Batman. Crane escapes in his truck after spraying a Batman imposter with the toxin, but the real Batman jumps on the van from an above floor, crushing it. Batman then ties Crane up along with the impostors for the police to arrest them.
    • He has a cameo role in the third film The Dark Knight Rises. He is released along with many other prisoners of Blackgate Penitentiary when Bane plunges Gotham City into anarchy. Once liberated, Crane presides over a show trial held by the less fortunate and the released inmates wherein the rich aristocracy of Gotham are given a choice between death and exile. Those who choose "exile" are made to cross over the frozen river connecting Gotham to the other shore where there is a chance that they will end up on the thin ice and fall through. In addition, Bane also grants him full control of the courts, to the extent that even Bane himself would not affect his ruling decision. When Commissioner Gordon, his men, and Miranda Tate are captured and brought into trial, Gordon tells Crane that he and his men won't go on the ice willingly and they choose death. Crane sentences them to "death by exile" while Bane has his men bring Miranda Tate to him. Gordon survives thanks to Batman.
  • Scarecrow appears in the direct-to-DVD animated production Batman: Gotham Knight, voiced by Corey Burton. During the character's appearance in the segment "In Darkness Dwells", Scarecrow gathers an army of Arkham inmates in the sewers and uses Killer Croc to get them from above. As Jonathan Crane, he had been Killer Croc's psychologist at Arkham Asylum. Scarecrow uses Killer Croc to capture the priest Cardinal O'Fallon to hold on a mock trial in the sewers because Scarecrow is angered by O'Fallon's attempts to help the homeless. Scarecrow sentences O'Fallon to death, but is saved by Batman triggering an explosion in the process. Nevertheless, Scarecrow escapes the authorities when the sewers begin to flood.
  • Scarecrow is referenced in Batman: Under The Red Hood by the Red Hood.
  • Scarecrow is referenced in Justice League: Doom mentioned by Batman. His fear gas is part of Batman's safety protocols against Green Lantern. Vandal Savage's Legion of Doom steal Batman's plans and use them against theJustice League, with Star Sapphire using the gas against Green Lantern. Batman rescues Green Lantern and offers an antidote to the fear gas. However, Green Lantern rejects it with his willpower now resolved.
  • Scarecrow appears in Batman: Assault on Arkham, voiced by Christian Lanz.

Video games[edit]

The Scarecrow appears in ten video games: Game Boy's Batman: The Animated Series, Super Nintendo and Game Gear'sThe Adventures of Batman & RobinBatman: Rise of Sin TzuBatman Begins (a tie-in to the 2005 movie), Lego Batman: The VideogameBatman: Arkham AsylumBatman: The Brave and the Bold – The VideogameDC Universe Online, plays a brief boss in Lego Batman 2: DC Super HeroesInjustice: Gods Among Us, and Batman: Arkham Knight.

  • Scarecrow appears in the Batman Begins video game, voiced by Cillian Murphy. At the beginning of the game, Batman tries to capture the corrupt Dr. Jonathan Crane at the asylum, but Crane dons his Scarecrow mask and douses Batman with fear gas causing him to go through a distorted version of the game with his worst fears and his childhood fear of bats. Batman thinks that Scarecrow is in front of a window but instead was an illusion and Batman jumps out of the window on fire. Later, after being informed by Detective Flass about Crane working with Falcone and using the asylum's water supply to install a liquid venom compound of his fear drug, Batman returns to Arkham Asylum to save Rachel who has been exposed to the poison fear gas by Jonathan Crane. In the game, you must take out his thugs and then fight Scarecrow while taking off his mask and exposing the doctor to his own fear gas, which will cause him to see you as a monstrous sight and tell you who he is working for. You then knock Crane out and continue to save Rachel. During the riots at the Narrows, Scarecrow tries to lower the bridge to release the maniacs poisoned by the venomous, fear toxin but is confronted by Batman. He detonates a bomb sending Batman flying out a window. He returns and confronts Crane who has been exposed to fear toxin, driving him insane and causing him to see a demonic, terrifying version of Batman. Panicking, he falls into the river. Alfred Pennyworth believes he is dead, but Batman thinks he survived.
  • Scarecrow appears in Lego Batman: The Videogame, with vocal effects provided by Dave Wittenberg. He is seen working for the Joker. He has only one special ability: mind control, with which he can make guards open doors. He also sprays his fear gas which petrifies his victims; however, it only works at close range. In addition he makes full use of his "violent dancing" martial arts skills in unarmed combat. Scarecrow also uses a biplane, which he uses to distribute his fear gas, and is a vehicle boss in the hero campaign.
  • Scarecrow appears as a recurring boss in Batman: Arkham Asylum, voiced by Dino Andrade. Jonathan Crane was not initially revealed as part of the cast of the game, with his appearance meant to surprise players. He has several fluorescent orange hypodermic needles strapped to the fingers of his right hand which he uses to inject his fear toxin, and wears a hood over his Scarecrow mask, which has gas mask tubes protruding from the cheeks, and a hangman's noose around his mask. Other than that, his costume is a pair of tattered pants, revealing his skinny figure. In the game he appears several times, flooding parts of Arkham Asylum with his fear toxin, causing Batman to suffer hallucinations. Scarecrow first appears in the medical building flooding the elevator with fear gas, and has inmates in rooms filled with fear gas for testing. Apparently, Scarecrow is holding Commissioner Gordon hostage, killing him a short distance from the morgue. When Batman enters the morgue, the cabinets begin to move on their own, and Batman leaves only to enter the same morgue, encountering the corpses of his pleading mother, begging to be saved, and disapproving father. The third body bag contains Scarecrow himself, scaring Batman enough to collapse briefly. Batman then goes on an obstacle course before shining a Bat-Signal representing his willpower on a giant Scarecrow to defeat him. Batman soon realises what he saw as Gordon's body was actually a dead guard. When Batman enters the library to rescue the captive Dr. Young, Scarecrow attacks again by releasing his fear gas through the vents. This time, Batman is forced to relive the murder of his parents; the hallway slowly becomes Crime Alley as he progresses. Another obstacle course follows, and the hallucination ends in the bell tower. In Scarecrow's final appearance, he attacks Batman as he heads to Killer Croc's lair. The game appears to suffer a glitch, only for a last horrible hallucination to begin, implying that Crane is messing with the player's head as well. This parodies the start of the game, with Batman being escorted into Arkham Asylum by the Joker, with Harley Quinn and Victor Zsasz acting as guards, and Crane himself as a doctor. This third nightmare plays on Batman's fear of his own failure and his mental instability due to his parents' deaths, shown by the fact his rogue's gallery appears to be in complete control of Arkham Asylum and possibly Gotham, several supporting character (Commissioner Gordon, Dr. Young, Aaron Cash and Warden Quincy Sharp) being escorted into the asylum, and Scarecrow displays knowledge of Batman's secret identity, even addressing him as Wayne and commenting on his murder of his father and mother. The Joker then kills Batman and the game over screen appears, stating Batman should "move the middle stick" to avoid the Joker's shot; this is scripted as there is no "middle stick" on a standard controller. When the player presses restart (or quits), Batman bursts out of his grave and begins a third obstacle course while listening to Scarface, the new warden, talk about Arkham Asylum, which, in the nightmare, is described as a "pioneeringslaughterhouse" and having to fight of a beastly Scarecrow and his stare. Batman is forced to fight skeleton-like creatures (which are actually goons and few TITAN-enhanced henchmen), until he shines his will on Scarecrow again. Frightened that Batman has endured "enough toxins to drive 10 men insane", Scarecrow flees down to Killer Croc's lair. As Batman confronts him, Scarecrow reveals that he intends to dump his most potent fear gas into Gotham's water supply and break the minds of everyone. However, Croc suddenly attacks Scarecrow from the water, viewing him as food. Before Killer Croc can eat, Batman activates his electric collar with a Batarang, and the monster disappears, taking Scarecrow with him. In one of the three post-credits endings, Scarecrow's hand is seen emerging from the water grabbing onto a box of Titan chemicals. On his tapes, A therapist takes the view that Crane is perfectly sane, just evil, as he has shown no sympathy for those he has hurt and his research appears to be the only motivating factor in his life. Later on, Scarecrow floods the asylum with his fear gas and manages to subdue his guards and psychologist. Before he can complete his study, Batman arrives and has Officer Cash run the antidote through the ventilation system.[49]
  • Scarecrow is a boss in the Nintendo DS version of Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame.
  • Scarecrow appears in DC Universe Online, voiced by Christopher S. Field.
  • While Scarecrow does not reappear in Batman: Arkham City, there are numerous indicators that Scarecrow survived being attacked by Killer Croc. His mask can be found in the industrial sector (the bridge right outside Joker's territory), revealing Batman had been investigating if the Scarecrow was alive for months, to no avail, though he does not believe that Scarecrow is dead, merely planning his revenge on Gotham in hiding. When Croc himself is confronted, he gives no indication if he actually murdered Crane on Arkham Island. The grunt population of Arkham City are split on the matter, with some believing he was killed while others claim Scarecrow is haunting their nightmares; a few even wonder if the Arkham City facility may be a hallucination from fear toxin. Barbara Gordon speculates Crane may be alive and manipulating Batman to become the "Identity Thief", while the Joker also comments Scarecrow had survived the previous game. Scarecrow's fear toxin can be found in the second Riddler Room, and there is a boat in the "Amusement Mile" that holds a captive inmate that screams and apparently dies once he is zoomed in on. There is also an invoice from Falcone shipping for the attention of Dr. Jonathan Crane, saying the first 15 shipments of "Live Insects for Medical Purposes" have arrived, and that more are on the way. During the Protocol 10 sequence of the game, three dead henchmen who are wearing clothes that do not resemble any of the current crime leaders in Arkham City are found on the roofs across the city, their clothes resemble the Scarecrow's burlap sack and hood, hinting that Scarecrow might have henchmen in the city. The final Easter egg to his survival can only be discovered at the end of the game using the cryptographic sequencer. There are three radio frequencies (500.00 and 900.00, 700.00 and 500.00, 200.00 and 500.00) that give off a seemingly random set of numbers followed by a musical chime, that say the message "You will pay for what you have done to me. I will return, Batman. Fear will tear Gotham City to shreds." when decoded, confirming his survival and likely foreshadowing Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Scarecrow appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, voiced by Nolan North. After the Joker breaks out of Arkham once again, Batman and Robin investigate. The elevator breaks and they fall under the asylum, where lots of rioting inmates are on the loose. Scarecrow is then seen watching and he tries to slow Batman down multiple times using fear toxin. After Batman shuts down all the fear venom barriers he finally faces Crane. Scarecrow then floods the room with fear toxin which makes Batman and Robin see visions of a giant Scarecrow. Once Batman and Robin turns on the fans to stop the fear poison, they easily take down Jonathan Crane. Later, when all the inmates of the asylum are on the loose, Scarecrow hides out in a pumpkin tent in the amusement mile. He is flooding the amusement park with fear poison, which you can see the citizens running and screaming. Batman confronts Scarecrow, but Scarecrow fills the tent with his fear toxin, which makes Batman see a giant version of Scarecrow once again. Batman then destroys the pumps that are producing fear venom, which makes Scarecrow look normal size again. Batman then easily takes down Crane and brings him back to custody. After you defeat Scarecrow, you can buy him and play as him anytime in free play mode.
  • Scarecrow makes a cameo appearance in Injustice: Gods Among Us. In the Arkham Asylum stage, if one of the characters is thrown through the cell door on the right side of the first tier, they will be attacked by Scarecrow. He will poison the player with his fear toxins, take a gigantic appearance, beats up the opponent before sending the player into the next arena. Scarecrow is also seen in many S.T.A.R. Labs Missions.
  • Although he does not appear in Batman: Arkham Origins, advertisements from Jonathan Crane looking for research subjects for his fear toxin experiments appear in various parts of Gotham City.
  • Scarecrow is the main antagonist of Batman: Arkham Knight.[50] He returns to Gotham City with a new, poisonous strain of fear toxin where he threatens Gotham City's inhabitants to flee the city or else he will unleash their worst fears, leaving Gotham as a battleground for only criminals, the police and Batman. He was badly disfigured in his encounter with Killer Croc in Arkham Asylum with his mask is falling apart and his face resembles a skull, missing most of his nose, with his missing lips exposing more of his teeth. Likely due to this, his voice is lower and more sinister. His eyes are also very pale and grey implying partial blindness. His outfit is also much more militaristic, having a jacket with canisters of his fear gas attached that also appears dirty and tattered, giving him an undead appearance.
  • Scarecrow appears in Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure. He is one of the villains ordered to collect Starites and one of 5 Batman villains to do so (along with Joker, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Ra's al Ghul). He is seen in Arkham Asylum where he douses Maxwell with fear gas. Maxwell then sees hallucinations of four of his brothers, which he destroys by giving them what they want. He then finds a hallucination of his father, which he destroys by shrinking it. Maxwell is then chained and hung upside-down, with Doppelgänger lowering him into a tub of acid. But the fear gas makes Maxwell thinks it is his beloved sister Lily. Luckily, Maxwell comes to his senses and the fear gas wears off. Scarecrow is then defeated by Batgirl and Maxwell is freed. Scarecrow can also be spawned by the player and is playable in the Wii U version of the game.
  • The Batman Begins version of Scarecrow appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham via downloadable content.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.