"Fright of the Scarecrow!": Jonathan Crane was a spindly and meek psychology teacher whose obsession with fear, his paranoia of his fellow colleagues and his reclusive behavior, would all contribute to him taking on the costumed identity of the Scarecrow, master of
Appearing in "Fright of the Scarecrow!"
- Scarecrow (First appearance of the Earth-One incarnation) (Flashback and main story) (Origin)
- Jeremy T. Fall (Single appearance)
- Batcomputer (First appearance)
- Scarecrow's Fear Toxin (First appearance; unnamed)
- Noah's Ark
- Laser beam
Synopsis for "Fright of the Scarecrow!"
Jonathan Crane was a spindly and meek psychology teacher whose obsession with fear, his paranoia of his fellow colleagues and his reclusive behavior, would all contribute to him taking on the costumed identity of the Scarecrow, master of fear.
Dick Grayson is out with some of his school friends exercising on a jungle gym, when his classmate Andy expresses his fear of heights, Dick however manages to talk the young man into conquering his fears. Spotting a submarine rising out the water in Gotham Park, Dick makes an excuse to go and investigate. Spying on the beaching submarine, Dick happens to see the Scarecrow exit from the craft. Coincidentally Bruce Wayne and Alfred arrive shortly after the Scarecrow's departure into the bushes, having come to offer ice cream to Dick and his friends. Telling Bruce what he has seen, the Dynamic Dup change into Batman and Robin and go after the Scarecrow to see what is he planning.
They track down the Scarecrow to a secluded part of the park where he and his henchmen are digging up buried loot from one of the Scarecrow's previous heists. Batman and Robin spring into action, fighting the thugs and knocking the Scarecrow to the ground. While Batman and Robin are distracted with the thugs, the Scarecrow activates a transmitter to activate a device on his submarine. The device throws a spray that causes Batman and Robin to suddenly become afraid of falling from a great height, prompting the two heroes to grasp for a tree in abject fear. Gloating over his victory over Batman and Robin, the Scarecrow leaves a clue to his next activities and flees the scene with his loot. When the Dynamic Duo shake off the effects of the ray, they notice the Scarecrows clues: pieces of straw spelling out the words Park, Ark, Mark. After briefly resuming their civilian guises to hand out ice cream, Batman and Robin return to the Batcave to try and puzzle out the Scarecrow's clues.
Running the clues through the Batcomputer and being assisted by Alfred, the Dynamic Duo learn that the Scarecrow plans on robbing the Floating Palace, an exact replica of Noah's Ark. Rushing out in the Batboat, Batman and Robin arrive on the Ark where they find the Scarecrow waiting for them. Once more using his special sensor, the Scarecrow has made the two heroes go blind and leave them at the mercy of two wild cats that he has left to finish them off. Fighting off the giant felines, Batman manages to frighten them off with a make-shift torch. Escaping the room and getting away from the Scarecrow's sensors, Batman and Robin's vision is restored, but they find out too late that the Scarecrow has escaped.
Puzzling out the final clue left by the Scarecrow, Batman and Robin realize that their foe intends on robbing Bruce Wayne's friend Jeremy T. Fall, a millionaire philanthropist who is intending on making a large donation to the United Fund the next day. Sure enough, when the Scarecrow attempts to rob Jeremy Fall the next day, Batman and Robin arrive on the scene to stop the robbery. Deciding to give the Scarecrow his own dose of ear, Batman purposely sets off Fall's security alarm. Due to the alarm's similarity to a police siren, the Scarecrow is frightened badly enough over the possibility of getting caught, he leaves himself wide open for Batman's knock out punch. The real authorities show up shortly after to collect the Scarecrow and his men.
The following day, Dick Grayson hangs out with his school chums and is proud to see that his friend Andy has completely conquered his fear of heights.
- Reprinted in Showcase Presents: Batman Vol 3.
- This issue marks The Scarecrow's first appearance since Detective Comics #73 (March, 1943). He appears next in Batman #200 (March, 1968). Here, Scarecrow was initially considered the same character from his previous appearances, but later changes to Batman's continuity wherein a distinction between Earth-One and Earth-Two events would dictate that the Scarecrow who appeared in previous issues of Batman was the one native of Earth-Two while the character featured here is the Earth-One counterpart; it can be concluded that the events occurred in Detective Comics #73 happened in both Earths, but more recently in Earth-One than the Two.
- This issue marks the first official appearance of the Batcomputer in the comics. However, the inclusion of this currently iconic item, was forced upon the books by the excesive use of the "Bat" prefix in the Batman TV Series from that time. It is worth mentioning that the Batcomputer might have appeared in the TV Series first, therefore a closer inspection of the episodes is needed in order to clarify this uncertainty. As noted, this Batcomputer version uses punched cards for data processing, the current computer media at the time.
- This issue also marks the first appearance of the Scarecrow's Fear Toxin, which would become his trademark weapon. However, in this issue it is not referred as such and only appears as a spray and smoke.
- On the "Letters to the Batcave" section, a letter from Mark Evanier was printed.
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