Jonathan Crane was born out of wedlock and suffered severe abuse as a child. His father took off before he was even born, and his mother was made to leave her new born son in the hands of her grandmother, a religious fanatic with less than pure intentions for the boy. As a child he was exposed to severe emotional and physical torment and torture from his great grandmother, the worst of course being the Keeny families chapel, where flocks of crows nested, and he was forced to dress in a suit contaminated with a homemade chemical designed to enrage nearby crows and force them to attack the source. It was because of this that Jonathan developed a crippling fear of his grandmother.
In his childhood and teenage years, Jonathan Crane was the victim of taunts and jeers due to his lanky frame and spindly legs. He was also bullied for his own personality traits. His grudge against the people who hurt him grew stronger and Crane was eventually tired of being a victim. He developed his own style of "violent dancing" which he combined with elements of Kung Fu and he learned the recipe for the fear chemical that his grandmother used to scare crows. Certain night, Crane dressed up as a ghoulish scarecrow to terrify some of the people who bullied him at high school. Unfortunately, his fear methods proved to be a bit too successful and caused the ultimate death of the bullies. Crane became fascinated with the whole event and he then proceeded to murder his grandmother using the same fear chemical she previously used on him.After high school, Jonathan enrolled at Gotham University where he became a professor of psychology after eliminating the main teacher by exposing him to his fear toxin. Crane strated his classes with an emphasis on the study of fear, which caused his eventual sacking for using harsh methods such as using firearms in class Later he went on to murder people responsible for his dismissal. Following this, he was transfered to Arkham Asylum and became the head psychologist, where he performed fear-inducing experiments on his patients. He took the moniker "The Scarecrow", the favorite taunt of the hated bullies.
Around his time, Crane also worked as an intern at a pshychiatric clinic, where he was left in charge of a young and disturbed Thomas Elliot, but instead of curing him, he allowed the kid's mental state to worsen.
First Encounter with Batman and Afterwards
The deaths of the Gotham University dean and four regents earned Crane the attention of Gotham City's newest guardian - the Batman. Batman, working alongside the recently promoted police captain James Gordon, investigated the case and fought with the Scarecrow. Crane was apprehended and sent to Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. The Scarecrow was soon recruited into a gang of super-villains led by Two-Face to battle Carmine Falcone's criminal empire. The group was also responsible for the Columbus Day Massacre of Gotham's mob bosses. The team disbanded after a battle with The Hangman and the battle at the Batcave with the newly-formed Dynamic Duo, Batman and Robin.
A psychopathic sadist, the Scarecrow was one of the many criminals in Gotham City to be confined to Arkham Asylum whenever Batman apprehended him. Ironically, the Scarecrow had a phobia of birds, possibly due to an attack by birds as a child, although he has been shown occasionally as having a pet crow named Craw.
The Scarecrow was a regular member of the Injustice Gang and briefly joined the Secret Society of Super-Villains. In later years, his modus operandi has made him unsuited to work in teams, and he is not often seen outside the Batman family of characters.
Crane escaped Arkham Asylum on the massive breakout orchestrated by Bane and after a few days he learned that Joker had teamed up with Cornelius Stirk. Scarecrow terrorized one of Joker's henchmen to learn the location of his boss and soon he found the Joker. Scarecrow was mad at Joker for teaming up with a lesser fear-themed criminal like Stirk and he offered Joker a partnership in order to terrorize Mayor Krol. That same night, they went to Krol's house and dosed him with Scarecrow's Fear Toxin, forcing the Mayor of Gotham to do as they will. Following Joker's suggestion, Scarecrow forced Krol to call the president of the union of firefighters to tell him that he was cutting their rolls. Scarecrow then used his Fear Toxin on Krol again in order to force him to call the GCPD and give them false information that would lead them to a death trap.
Later, Joker came up with the idea of using Krol to lure Batman into a trap and together, the villains took Krol to the Gotham River Tunnel, where they forced Krol to reveal his abduction. When Batman arrived, Scarecrow used his fear gas on him, hoping to cripple the hero, but instead, Batman's memories made him mad and he beat them both to a pulp. Scarecrow managed to pick a rocket launcher from their arsenal and fired the missile to the tunnel walls, causing the place to be filled with water and allowing them to escape from Batman, who stopped the fight to rescue Krol.
Scarecrow and Joker retreated to their hideout, where Crane complained of not making money out of their latest stunt and not being able to continue his experiments. When Joker mocked him, Scarecrow used his fear gas on Joker, but the gas had no effect on him and instead, Joker beat Scarecrow furiously, with a chair and ended their partnership.
God of Fear
After recovering from his encounter with Joker, Scarecrow conducted an experiment at the Gotham University and lured young students with the promise of money for being test subjects. Scarecrow turned a small group of students into his faithful minions by using hypnotic techniques based on fear. Scarecrow provided them with several of his costumes and he commanded them to spread across Gotham and release his fear toxin in crowded places, which caused mass hysteria. His ultimate plan was to take control over the entire population of Gotham, while the city is crippled with fear. Scarecrow almost succeeded, but he was found by Batman and Anarky. Despite his efforts against them, Scarecrow was stopped for good and he was carried to the authorities by Batman.
Some time later, Crane joined his once child pupil Thomas Elliot, who had taken the identity of the criminal Hush and Crane provided the psychological profiles of all of Hush's enemies including Batman. Scarecrow used his fear toxin on Huntress, but he was stopped shortly after that by Batman. However, thanks to Jason Todd's interference, Scarecrow managed to escape.
As the Crow Flies
Scarecrow was briefly transformed into a murderous creature known as the Scarebeast by the Penguin to kill off the Penguin's disloyal colleagues. In this incarnation, the Scarebeast possessed super strength and endurance and could release an even stronger hallucinogenic gas. After being defeated by Batman, the Scarebeast reverted back into Jonathan Crane.Some time later, Scarecrow was present at the massive criminal meeting at Robinson Park during the great gang war of Gotham and attacked Batman along with many other criminals. Batman grabbed and discovered Black Mask as the impostor posing as Orpheus and he was about to knock him down when Scarecrow attacked Batman, allowing Black Mask to escape. Later, Scarecrow joined Killer Croc and together they followed Black Mask to the North End of Gotham. Black Mask took Scarecrow to the Gotham Clock Tower, mistankenly calling it the Batcave and together went inside the tower. Black Mask used Scarecrow's body to overload the security system by tossing him into a room full of lasers, causing Scarecrow to be badly burned. Scarecrow recovered and the thoughts of revenge filled his mind, allowing him to transform into the Scarebeast once again. He was attacked by the combined forces of Robin, Batgirl, Onyx, Tarantula and Catwoman, but he was most likely defeated by the destruction of the Gotham Clock Tower.
The Scarecrow later became the pawn of Darkseid and his sycophantic toadie DeSaad. They used their resources to transform Crane into a being named Schrocken. Crane was taken to Apokolips, but was later rescued due to the efforts of Batman and Superman.
Heart of Hush
After the Black Glove's failed plan to destroy Batman, all the inmates from Arkham Asylum were transferred to Blackgate until Arkham was completely decontaminated. On their way back to Arkham, the vehicles that transported the inmates were assaulted by a new Black Mask, who freed the inmates, blew the asylum in front of all of them and forced them to join his army. Crane was among the inmates who joined Black Mask's group.
Around the time that Stephanie Brown became the latest incarnation of Batgirl, Scarecrow developed a new recreational drug called "Thrill." He and his minions worked on spreading "Thrill" throughout the city, specifically in the "Devil's Square" area. Batgirl managed to track Scarecrow to his hideout, and engaged him in combat. Scarecrow deployed "Thrill" against her, making Batgirl's innoculation against his standard fear-gas next to useless. Batgirl was given hallucinations of Tim Drake and her Spoiler identity telling her that she was a terrible person and deserved to be dead, while at the same time, Scarecrow beat her. She snapped out of it just in time when Oracle shouted over her comlink, "Batgirl! Wake up!" Batgirl then proceeded to defeat Scarecrow, and then left him tied up for the police.
During the Blackest Night, as the Black Lantern Corps rampages through Gotham City, Scarecrow wandered through the streets, wanting to feel the terror the Black Lanterns are causing the citizens, but revealing that overexposure to his fear gas has left him emotionally dead, unable to feel fear, courage, or any of the other five emotions on the Emotional Spectrum, except when facing Batman. When Ganthet causes the rings of the Seven Lanterns on Earth to duplicate and deputize others on Earth, the Qwardian ring selects Crane, inducting him into the Sinestro Corps. Overjoyed at being able to feel fear again, Scarecrow eagerly joins the battle against the Black Lanterns. However, Lex Luthor, who had received the other Orange Lantern Ring, is overwhelmed by the orange light of avarice and takes Crane's ring.
Some time later during the events of Brightest Day, Scarecrow begins kidnapping and murdering college interns working for LexCorp as a way of getting back at 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. He is eventually freed from Arkham when Deathstroke and the Titans break into the asylum in order to capture one of the inmates.
- Chemistry: Jonathan Crane is a proficient chemist and has used this skill to develop his infamous fear toxin.
- Intimidation: Using a variety of toxins that cause his victims to hallucinate that their phobias have come to life, the Scarecrow instills fear in all who see him.
- Violent Dancing: When forced to fight, Crane uses his own martial arts style he calls "violent dancing", which is based in part on the crane style of kung fu, and makes full use of his long arms and legs.
- Psychology: Jonathan Crane is an expert in the field of psychology, specifically the study of anxiety disorders. He is a walking textbook on the study of fear, and can recite the name and description of nearly every known phobia. He often demonstrates his intellectual prowess by analyzing his fellow patients at Arkham Asylum.
- Anxiety Disorder: Crane once suffered from corvidophobia, a fearful form of ornithophobia involving crows, after being attacked by a flock of crows at his family aviary. He managed to overcome this somehow and is often seen with a crow named Craw. Since his first encounter with Batman, he had developed a chemical-induced chiropteraphobia, the fear of bats.
- Obsession: Scarecrow is motivated by an obsessive need to spread massive terror around Gotham.
- Yellow Power Ring (formerly)
- The Scarecrow was once offered membership in the Sinestro Corps, but Green Lantern Corps officers Hal Jordan and John Stewart intercepted the Qwardian Power Ring before Crane could be initiated. If chosen, Crane would have worn the ring of the late Sinestro Corps member Amon Sur. He received another yellow ring during Blackest Night, but only temporarily as a deputy member.
- 248 Appearances of Jonathan Crane (New Earth)
- 92 Images featuring Jonathan Crane (New Earth)
- 12 Quotations by or about Jonathan Crane (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Jonathan Crane (New Earth)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Joker's Asylum: Scarecrow #1
- ↑ Year One: Batman/Scarecrow #1
- ↑ Batman Annual #19
- ↑ Detective Comics #847
- ↑ Batman #494
- ↑ Detective Comics #661
- ↑ Batman #495
- ↑ Batman #496
- ↑ Detective Comics #664
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #16
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #17
- ↑ Batman: Shadow of the Bat #18
- ↑ Batman #617
- ↑ Batman #627
- ↑ Detective Comics #799
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #184
- ↑ Batman: Gotham Knights #58
- ↑ Catwoman (Volume 3) #36
- ↑ Batman #633
- ↑ Superman/Batman #37-40
- ↑ Detective Comics #847
- ↑ Detective Comics #848
- ↑ Detective Comics #849
- ↑ Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1
- ↑ Batgirl (Volume 3) #2-3
- ↑ Blackest Night #4
- ↑ 27.0 27.1 Blackest Night #6
- ↑ Green Lantern (Volume 4) #50
- ↑ Blackest Night #7
- ↑ Superman/Batman #77
- ↑ Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special #1
- ↑ Green Lantern (Volume 4) #27
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