The Scarecrow is an enemy of Batman interested in the psychology of fear.
From an early age, Jonathan Crane was obsessed with fear, and enjoyed chasing birds to watch them flee in a panic. Growing up, he soon became a professor of psychology, where by day he would teach students the psychology of fear, while at spending his nights as a recluse spending his evenings alone reading books. His obscure behavior and gangily appearance made him an outcast among his peers. Jealous and paranoid of them, Crane would soon be inspired when giving a lecture on how criminals use fear to intimidate those into doing their bidding. The following evening while pondering this idea, Crane would decide to give up his academic career and become a costumed criminal known as the Scarecrow, employing his expertise on fear as his major tool in crime.
Crane started a criminal career and, although his first exploits as the Scarecrow remain undisclosed, he would eventually be confronted by the local vigilantes Batman and Robin. When the Scarecrow would once more go into action to recover loot he had stolen in a previous crime, he would be spotted by Dick Grayson who would report back to Bruce Wayne. He would clash with Batman and Robin once more, using special devices to induce fear into the Dynamic Duo. However, the Scarecrow would ultimately meet defeat when Batman and Robin would deduce his clues hinting at his next crimes.
Free from prison, the Scarecrow would attempt to get revenge against Batman by inducing fear on the Dark Knight using a pill that makes Batman and Robin afraid of him. However, after putting away a number of his other foes and escaping a deathtrap set by the Scarecrow, Batman managed to overcome the fear effects and Scarecrow's plan backfired. When released from prison, Crane would be met by Batman who has come to see if Crane had reformed. Jonathan of course, would not, and while feigning having turned over a new leaf would shake Batman's hand secretly injecting him with a fear drug that would make all those who see him become very afraid. Trapping Batman in a room of mirrors, the Caped Crusader would find that his own reflection causes him fear, however Batman would shake off the effects before he could die of fright and recapture the Scarecrow.
The Scarecrow would next be inducted in the Injustice Gang by Libra who had was manipulating villains to battle the Justice League of America in an attempt to steal half the heroes powers for himself hoping to become a god. Following the defeat of Libra, and the revelation of his true intentions, the Injustice Gang would disband.
The Scarecrow would return to menace Batman once more, setting up a fear-broadcasting device at an amusement park, a plot Batman would ultimately thwart. In jail, Scarecrow would witness the break out of Firefly's escape from jail. He would next clash with the Joker when the Clown Prince of Crime would steal a fear gas from S.T.A.R. Labs. The Scarecrow would become an entranced slave of the Construct who would reorganize the Injustice Gang in a plot to destroy the Justice League by fostering descent in the heroes ranks and attacking them with his villains, this plot is foiled by the JLA. When Batman is believed to have been killed, a "court" ruled over by Ra's al Ghul to determine which villain is the one responsible for killing Batman, the Scarecrow is one of the villains selected to stand witness of the trail.
After the previous absurdity, Scarecrow returned to crime, using a more potent version of his fear toxin. He used it to blackmail other criminals into giving away their loot and he even managed to dose Batman with the new chemical. However, the Dark Knight managed to overcome its effects and Scarecrow was defeated and captured once again.
Rejoining the Injustice Gang, now being led by Abra Kadabra who intends to use an alien device to take over the worlds energy sources, they are opposed by the Justice League of America. Although the battle is complicated by the meddling of Ultraa a hero from Earth-Prime, the JLA manages to defeat the Injustice Gang once more. Next the Scarecrow matches wits with Robin, by puzzling the Boy Wonder into determining which of the Scarecrow's intended victims is really the Scarecrow in disguise. Once more injecting Batman with a chemical to cause those around him to fear the Caped Crusader, this plot would be foiled by Batman with the aid of Robin and Batgirl, after which Scarecrow was infected with his own chemical and left in a catatonic state.
Scarecrow was released from Arkham by Joker and he was used by several of Batman's foes when they all teamed up to destroy Batman. However, Scarecrow wasn't much help as he was still in a catatonic state. When he recovered, Scarecrow was released from Arkham, deemed as "sane" and he started planning his revenge against Joker for having used him. Scarecrow created a high-frequency fear emmitter and planned to use it against Joker, but his plan was thwarted once more by Batman and Robin. Seeking revenge against the heroes, Scarecrow tried to use his new device against them, but the results were the same. The Scarecrow also joined Ra's al Ghul against Batman and his allies on their final confrontation.
During the conflict dubbed Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Scarecrow was part of the coalition of super-villains from the surviving multiverse led by Lex Luthor to conquer the multiverse while it's heroes were preoccupied with the Crisis. The plot would be foiled by the heroes and the battle ended when their attentions needed to be turned toward the Anti-Monitor.
Powers and Abilities
- Animal Training: Crane managed to train a crow to aid his in his crimes. He called the bird Nightmare.
- Chemistry: Crane is able to develop his fear toxin using raw chemicals.
- The Scarecrow first appeared in Earth-Two continuity in World's Finest #3 by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. He was reintroduced in Earth-One continuity in Batman #189 by Gardner Fox and Sheldon Moldoff.
- This version of Scarecrow, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985–86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.
- 34 Appearances of Jonathan Crane (Earth-One)
- 11 Images featuring Jonathan Crane (Earth-One)
- 4 Quotations by or about Jonathan Crane (Earth-One)
- Character Gallery: Jonathan Crane (Earth-One)
- Batman #189
- Batman #200
- Detective Comics #389
- Justice League of America #111
- Batman #262
- 1st Issue Special #7
- The Joker #8
- Justice League of America #143
- Batman #291
- Batman #292
- Batman #293
- Batman #294
- Batman #296
- Justice League of America #158
- Detective Comics #486
- Detective Comics #503
- Detective Comics #526
- Batman #373
- Detective Comics #540
- Batman #400
- Crisis on Infinite Earths #9