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Jonathan Crane (New Earth)

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Scarecrow 0004
Information-silkReal NameJonathan Crane
Information-silkCurrent AliasScarecrow
Information-silkAliasesSchrocken, Scarebeast
Information-silkRelativesKaren Keeny (mother), Marion Keeny (grandmother - deceased), Mary Keeny (great-grandmother - deceased), Gerald Crane (father - deceased)
Information-silkAffiliationFormerly Sinestro Corps (deputy), Injustice League, Secret Society of Super-Villains, Injustice Gang, Legion of Doom
Information-silkBase Of OperationsGotham City
Information-silkIdentityPublic Identity
Information-silkMarital StatusSingle
Information-silkOccupationProfessional Criminal; former Professor of Psychology
Information-silkHeight6' 0"
Information-silkWeight140 lbs (64 kg)
Information-silkUniverseNew Earth
Information-silkCreatorsBill Finger, Bob Kane
First Appearance

Quote1 He calls himself "Scarecrow." Psychologist turned psychopath. He preys on the innocent and instill them with fear. When I chose to wear my... costume, it was to prey upon the criminals, and instill them with fear. The irony is not lost on me... Quote2
-- Batman src



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 dressed 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 great grandmother.

As a youth, Jonathan Crane was the victim of taunts and jeers due to his lanky frame and spindly legs. The other boys in the neighborhood would throw rocks at him and call him cruel names such as Ichabod and Scarecrow. Because of this, Crane became overru with thoughts of revenge, but he was too overwhelmed by his own perpetual state of fear to ever take action. Some five years later, he learned the origin of one of his nicknames when he read Washington Irving's short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He regarded the story's main character, Ichabod Crane, as his personal hero, particularly, the man's skill at dancing. However, he also despised the fact that Ichabod was an utter coward and Jonathan swore never to allow himself to be scared into submission again. Inspired by the tale, Jonathan developed his own style of "violent dancing" which he combined with elements of Crane style Kung Fu. This new resolve was further enhanced by his discovery of why the crows attacked him on sight in the chapel, after finding the recipe for the concoction his great grandmother used on his suit.

When Crane was seventeen, he developed a crush on a high school classmate Sherry Squires. Unfortunately for Crane, Squires was romantically involved with another boy named Bo Griggs, a high school hot shot. Griggs embodied many of the traits shared by the bullies that used to torment Jonathan as a child, and was one of his prime tormentors in Crane’s adolescent years. In October of that year, Jonathan mustered up the courage to ask Sherry to be his date at a costume party. Sherry agreed, but in truth, she was conspiring with Bo Griggs to play a cruel trick on Crane. Sherry led Jonathan into a dark room, tell him her intentions were for them to share a kiss, before Griggs surprised him, wearing a Jack O'Lantern mask. Much like the antagonist Brom Bones from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Griggs chased Crane and threw the pumpkin where it smashed across the back of Crane's head. Crane swore that he would have revenge for the cruel deed which they had brought on him. On the night of senior, Jonathan, dressed in the ghoulish scarecrow costume that would later consume his identity, attacked Griggs and Squires in their vehicle armed with a water gun and an intention to terrify them, but the results were far more pleasing than that. His little stunt caused them to have an accident which resulted in Griggs paralyzation and the death of Sherry Squires. Crane then discovered a savage delight in frightening people -- literally to death. He later murdered his grandmother with the use of the very chemical she had used to torture him all these years.

After high school, Jonathan enrolled at Gotham University where he became the prized student of psychology professor Avram Bramowitz. Although he had great respect for Bramowitz, he was bothered by the fact that his mentor could so easily dismiss the importance of the psychology of fear. Despite this, Crane wanted to be Bramowitz' colleague, however, there were no available staffing positions at the school. Undeterred, Crane turned his interests towards chemistry where he developed a powerful hallucinogen that caused people to experience their greatest fear. He used this toxin against Professor Bramowitz, leading to the pedagogue's death. With Bramowitz out of the way, Crane was able to take his position as a professor of psychology with an emphasis on the study of fear. Crane was eventually dismissed for firing a bullet at a flower pot in a classroom as a demonstration of a body's reaction to fear. (a shard hit a student in the face, just missing her eye). Later he went on to murder people responsible for his dismissal. Following this, he transfered to Arkham Asylum and becomes a psychologist, where he performed fear-inducing experiments on his patients. He took the moniker "The Scarecrow", the favorite taunt of the hated bullies. [1] He later becomes a mentor to a young Thomas Elliot.

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.

War Games

Main article: Batman: War Games

During the events of "War Games", the Scarecrow was briefly transformed into a murderous creature known as the Scarebeast by the Penguin to kill off the Penguin's disloyal colleagues.[2] 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.

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.[3]

Batgirl Rising

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.[4]

Green Lantern Vol 4 51 Greg Horn Variant

Sinestro Corps

Blackest Night

Main article: Blackest Night

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.[5] 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.[6] Overjoyed at being able to feel fear again, Scarecrow eagerly joins the battle against the Black Lanterns.[7] However, Lex Luthor, who had received the other Orange Lantern Ring, is overwhelmed by the orange light of avarice and takes Crane's ring.[8]

Brightest Day

Main article: Brightest Day

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.[9] He is eventually freed from Arkham when Deathstroke and the Titans break into the asylum in order to capture one of the inmates.

Powers and AbilitiesEdit


  • 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.




  • Crane would later be given a ring, but only temporarily as a deputy member. [11]


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