- 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...
Jonathan Crane was born out of wedlock and also suffers severe abuse from his fanatically religious great-grandmother. His father takes off before he is even born, and his mother does not show any love or affection towards her son, leaving the baby with her grandmother without even attempting to bond with him. He develops a taste for fear and an affinity for crows when his grandmother locks him in a dilapidated church full of birds, with a suit previously contaminated with a homemade chemical designed to enrage nearby crows and force them to attack the source.
As a youth, Jonathan Crane was forever 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 obsessed with fear and 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 that no one would ever laugh at him again. Inspired by the tale, Jonathan developed his own style of "violent dancing" which he combined with elements of Crane style Kung Fu.
When Crane was seventeen, he developed a crush on a high school classmate named Sherry Squires. Unfortunately for Crane, Squires was romantically involved with another boy named Bo Griggs. Griggs embodied many of the traits shared by the bullies that used to torment Jonathan as a child. 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 prank on Crane. Sherry led Jonathan into a dark room where 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 revenge against both of them. He committed his first murder at the age of eighteen by brandishing a gun in his high school parking lot during the senior prom. Dressed in the ghoulish scarecrow costume that would later consume his identity, Crane attacked Griggs and Squires in their vehicle, causing them to have an automobile accident which paralyzed Griggs and killed Squires. Crane then discovered a savage delight in frightening people -- literally to death. Crane later murders his grandmother, and learns that his mother gave birth to a baby girl, who he tries to murder.
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 psychologically 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 demonstration of a body's reaction to fear. (a shard hit a student in the face, just missing her eye). After which, he killed the people responsible for his dismissal and became a career criminal. Following this, he transfers to Arkham Asylum and becomes a psychiatrist, where he performs fear-inducing experiments on his patients. He took the moniker "the Scarecrow", the favorite taunt of the hated bullies, as part of his revenge.  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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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. The same ring was offered to Batman.
- Crane would later be given a ring, but only temporarily as a deputy member. 
- 220 Appearances of Jonathan Crane (New Earth)
- 52 Images featuring Jonathan Crane (New Earth)
- 11 Quotations by or about Jonathan Crane (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Jonathan Crane (New Earth)
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