"Brothers and sisters. Look at you. Prisoners, all of you. My father would have freed you. But he was killed. Murdered by the GCPD. Men who couldn't understand. But they will. For you will be my army. And those men who killed my father shall truly know fear!"
—Jonathan Crane to a group of inmates.[src]

Jonathan Crane is a deranged, criminally insane teenage psychopath and anarchist. He is the son of the late Gerald and Karen Crane. As a child, his mother died in a house fire, causing his father to try to stop fear until his inevitable death. Not long before this, his father injected his son with the serum he made, which overloaded Jonathan's fear response causing his mind to create a boogeyman of what he feared the most, a scarecrow, driving him insane. He would later be transferred to Gotham Asylum for his condition, until Merton and his gang bribed the warden into releasing him so they could make Jonathan recreate his father's serum and pose as a threat to Oswald Cobblepot. However, the gang locked him in a closet with a scarecrow much to his dismay and horror until he became one with his fear, wearing the scarecrow as a costume and abandoning his birth-given name in favor of The Scarecrow. After spraying a member of the gang with fear toxin, he would return to the old asylum seeking revenge on the warden and attempting to "free" his fellow inmates until Jim Gordon would arrive and discover the serum's weakness, water. Crane would eventually be captured again and sent to Arkham Asylum however, he would soon escape with his new allies Jerome Valeska and Jervis Tetch. This alliance later evolved into the Legion of Horribles, reinforced with Oswald Cobblepot, Mr. Freeze, Firefly and Solomon Grundy, which operated with the goal to drive Gotham City into madness according to a plan by Jerome, while the other members were promised to rule the city after its downfall. On Jerome's request, Crane therefore developed the dangerous Laughing Toxin. The Legion was ultimately dissolved after their leader Jerome Valeska died once again, whereupon Scarecrow allied with Jerome's brother Jeremiah Valeska, assisting him in driving Bruce Wayne mad, while Crane also fought Selina Kyle in order to prevent her from ruining Jeremiah's plan.


Early life

Jonathan lived with both parents in a house outside of Gotham. Though most of the exact details of his childhood (along with the exact relationships he had with both of his parents) are unknown, it is known that his mother died in a fire when he was eight years old.[1]

Assisting his father

During his first appearance, a teenage Jonathan helped his father murder people by killing them with their worst fears, although he did so with some reluctance and second thoughts over his father's actions. While Gerald was in the process of drowning a bound and gagged Scottie Mullen at a swimming pool (due to drowning being her worst fear) he ordered his son to return to the van and feed the parking meter. But Gerald's plan to kill Scottie failed as detectives Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock arrived on the scene and save her, though Gerald managed to escape in the van with Jonathan.

Using the adrenal glands taken from his victims, Gerald created a serum which he believed would remove all fear. He uses it on himself in order to face up to the death of his wife, having felt extreme guilt over allowing her to die due to his fear. When the process works, Gerald planned to use it on Jonathan to eliminate his fear. The terrified young man flees their home and showing reluctance at his father's beliefs, says he isn't afraid, though Gerald manages to convince Jonathan to return home by saying that he's trying to help mankind. Later that evening, Gordon and Bullock track them down. Once they hear knocking at the door, Gerald grabs the serum and takes Jonathan out to a field, where he withdraws a large amount of the serum (which Jonathan tries, but fails, to tell him is 'too much') with a syringe and injects it into Jonathan's arm; as he looks up at a Scarecrow, the serum immediately kicks in, and he starts screaming in terror. At the scene Gerald ends up being killed when (due to not having fear) he opens fire on the two detectives, which leads to him being
Gthm115 2167

Jonathan's transformation

shot dead. Jonathan is then taken to hospital, where the doctor reveals to Gordon that he received a massive injection of condensed hormones (cortizal, and adrenaline, specifically), along with the Fear Toxin (which they were constantly trying to identify), the combination of which nearly killed him, and that they ran a catscan to determine if he had suffered any brain damage, but the results were like nothing they had ever seen before: the hormones themselves had long since worn off, but the effects seemed to be lingering and that Jonathan's brain activity showed that he was not just scared, but was constantly in a state of intense terror. When Gordon asks whether or not he will make a full recovery, the doctor says they can't be certain if he will, and that he'll be forced to see his worst fear every moment of his life. As the doctor leaves, Gordon sadly watches a terrified Jonathan, who is strapped to a bed and under a great deal of stress as he hallucinates a monstrous scarecrow sneaking around his bed, and eventually 'attacking' him.[2]

Sent to Gotham Asylum

At an unspecified point in time afterwards (and for unspecified reasons), Jonathan Crane was sent to Gotham Asylum. During his stay at the asylum, Jonathan was treated horribly: he received no treatment or therapy, just ice baths and electric shocks 'once in a while'. Three years later, Warden Reed was paid to release Jonathan from the asylum, and hand him over to Grady Harris and his cousin, Merton, whom wanted Crane's formula to use as part of their plan to send a message to Penguin, who wanted all criminals in Gotham to own a license so he would get part of their earnings.[3]

Becoming the Scarecrow

Its Only The Scarecrow

Jonathan spraying grady with his fear toxin.

A confused and still unstable Jonathan took the gang back to his family home, where he uncovered his father's notes from the floorboards of the porch, and was ordered to make a new batch of the formula. He initially tried to refuse saying that he only knew "some, but not everything" about his father's experiments, but the gang refused to hear it and made him comply by forcing him to be in the presence of a large scarecrow, causing him to go into a panic. Jonathan managed to replicate the formula, which the gang used to attack a bank. Later in the evening, just as Jonathan was finishing up a third batch that they would use to lead their planned attack on Penguin's new club, the Iceberg Lounge, he politely asked them to get rid of the scarecrow, but instead, they locked him in a closet with it. While begging to be let out, he heard a 'voice' call out to him (which he believed came from the scarecrow) and, his mind having finally snapped, Jonathan tore apart the scarecrow and began wearing it as a suit, giving him the form of a terrifying living scarecrow.[3]

The Scarecrow

Jonathan Crane becomes the Scarecrow.

Jonathan Crane isn't here anymore

When Grady returns after the attempt to rob the Iceberg Lounge failed, he initially begins barking orders at Crane to make another batch of Fear Toxin in order to bust Merton out of jail, but when he opens the door to the closet Jonathan is in, he is confused to see Jonathan standing in the corner and calls out to him. Under his new persona, Jonathan informs Grady that "Jonathan Crane [was no longer present]", before turning around and spraying Grady in the face with the Fear Toxin while identifying himself as 'The Scarecrow'.[3]

Tying up Grady, Jonathan dresses him as a scarecrow and leaves him outside for reasons unknown. He then invades Gotham Asylum and sprays Reed with his Fear Toxin, in vengeance for his hostile actions towards him. He then sprays the Asylum inmates with his fear toxin, and turns them loose, in order to convert them into his army. When Gordon arrives, he recognizes him as the one that killed his father and (after the inmates fail to kill Gordon), he confronts him and sprays him with Fear Toxin in an attempt to make Gordon kill himself to avenge his father's death, but this fails when Gordon overcomes the effects of the Fear Toxin. After Gordon activates the sprinklers which removes the fear gas in the area, Scarecrow gets away.[4]

Alliance with Valeska and Tetch

One of My Three Soups0286

Scarecrow brewing his toxin

At some point later, Scarecrow was recaptured and imprisoned at Arkham Asylum. Whilst locked up in Arkham, Jonathan managed to perfect an explosive liquid in his cell toilet. He formed an alliance with fellow prisoners Jerome Valeska and Jervis Tetch, and the three of them calculated a plan to break out of the asylum, which they managed by Tetch hypnotizing the guards and Jonathan destroying the lock of Valeska's cell with his new concoction.  In doing so, they released over 50 inmates in the process. Whilst Jervis kept the police distracted, Jonathan was able to go undetected whilst he gathered what he needed for his fear toxin. After Jervis is apprehended, Jonathan and Jerome hijack the prison van he is being transported in and Jonathan gasses the security guard. They untie Jervis in the back and make off in the vehicle as they head to St. Ignatius.[5]

Scarecrow Jerome bscap0758

Scarecrow and Jerome breaking out Jervis.

Member of the Legion of Horribles

Scarecrow Hatter Crane Tetch bscap0760

Scarecrow in his new costume

Scarecrow is then seen at Jeromes "mandatory brunch meeting." Scarecrow is asked about the "you know what" to which he says its going "dreadfully." Crane is then seen at Xander Wilde's secret hideout. He is told by Jerome to go with Tetch to stop Jim Gordon and Harvey Bullock. Crane and Tetch fail and escape back to the hideout with Jerome. Having occupied the ingredients for Jeromes toxin, Crane has it complete and uses it on a test subject and he bursts out into contagious laughter until death.[6]

Scarecrow Laughing Gas

Scarecrow spraying a test subject with laughing gas.

Following the display of the laughing gas he had created to the legion, Scarecrow and the rest of the legion proceeded to kidnap the interim mayor Holden Pritchard and other powerful Gothamites as part of Jeromes plan. After obtaining the hostages Jerome presented the laughing gas to the terrified hostages by having Scarecrow gas a female member of the of the group.

Scarecrow was later seen alongside Mr. Freeze raiding a lab in order to make and obtain a large amount of laughing gas. During the commotion a staff member was accosted by Crane into doing the legions bidding after asking how much gas was required, Scarecrow had proceeded to show her the containers that would be filled and the amount required at the same time to the horrified lab staff. After the raid on the lab Scarecrow, Mad Hatter and Penguin where next seen at a hanger in which the legion planned to steal a blimp in order to disperse the laughing gas on the attendees of the music festival Jerome was holding hostage in Gotham. Noticing the unwelcome guests one of the pilots attempted to deter the members of the legion only to be gassed by Scarecrow whilst Mad Hatter proceeded to hypnotize the remaining pilot in order to pilot the blimp. Finally losing his edge, Penguin tried to put a stop to the plan by questioning Jerome's plan himself, which then revealed that Scarecrow knew that Oswald would go to Gordon and betray the group, as Jerome himself had also deduced and proceeded to command a thug to knock out Oswald and lock him in the Blimp.[7]

Assisting Jeremiah Valeska

Weeks after Jerome's death, Scarecrow allied with Jeremiah Valeska to help drive Bruce Wayne insane. They filmed there torturing of Alfred Pennyworth and played the footage to Bruce as he traveled through their maze. When Selina Kyle came in to help Bruce, Scarecrow and his thugs battled her before escaping.[8]

Claiming his territory

Scarecrow kills a drug maker

Scarecrow murders a drug maker.

When Gotham City became a no man's land, all the villains started to claim territory. Scarecrow, took over a drug maker's lab and began to use his tools for his own experiments. Once the drug maker returned to his home, he immediately noticed that someone had invaded his laboratory. As he thought out loud asking 'what the hell', Crane suddenly appeared behind him. Scarecrow's response was 'no, not hell', before spraying the man with his fear gas, causing the drug maker to scream in dread. Right then, Scarecrow drew his scythe and used it to behead the man. Afterwards, Crane slowly lifted the severed head, before announcing that hell is what's coming.[9]

Powers and Abilities


  • Illusion casting: Using his Fear Toxin dispenser, he is capable of casting illusions which can make people hallucinate their deepest and darkest fears in twisted demonic forms.


  • Chemistry: Despite claiming to have only helped his father's experiments "sometimes," and not knowing everything about them, he is a masterful chemist, having used his father's notes to recreate the Fear Toxin, even while he was under the stress of being in the presence of a scarecrow (his greatest fear). While in Arkham, he managed to create an explosive substance that helped free Valeska from his cell. Following his escaped, he helped Valeska, create a gas that causes people to laugh uncontrollably upon exposure.
  • Psychology: He is able to make people embrace their fears after exposing them to his Fear Toxin. Only those with the strongest of wills, such as Jim Gordon, can overcome the effects of the toxin.
    • Intimidation: While people are under the influence of his Fear Toxin, he can easily incite fear into them and make himself appear more terrifying while wearing his Scarecrow suit.
  • Skilled Hand to Hand Combatant: Crane has some skill in hand to hand combat. He was able to temporarily contend with Jim Gordon and briefly held the upper hand in his fight with Selina Kyle.


Former Weaknesses

  • Formidophobia: At some point in childhood, Jonathan developed a fear of scarecrows. After being injected with the Fear Toxin, he would hallucinate seeing a living demonic scarecrow coming towards him. Later on, the effects of the toxin would only be triggered if he saw an actual scarecrow. It wasn't until he was locked in a room with a scarecrow that he decided to embrace and in turn, become his greatest fear.


  • Scarecrow Suit: After being locked in a closet with a scarecrow, Jonathan's sensitive fear-filled mind snapped, and thus, he tore apart the scarecrow (and apparently modified it, as it featured an air hose across the mouth, and eye holes for Jonathan to see through) and began wearing it as a costume. After escaping Arkham, Crane made a new suit that looks similar to his original one except the mask also includes a hood attached to it and the mouth area of the mask does not have tubes on both sides and stitches that form a smile. When Gotham City became a no man's land, Crane added a brown hat to his suit.
  • Fear Toxin Dispenser: On the right arm of his Scarecrow suits, Jonathan wears a device that is capable of spraying Fear Toxin onto his victims.
  • Scythe: Crane wielded a Scythe during his attack on Arkham Asylum. He later used the weapon aginst Selina Kyle, as well as a drug maker whom he beheaded with it.



  • Unlike every other depiction of Scarecrow, whom are methodical and calculating (to the point that even skilled psychiatrists diagnose them as very sane [instead of crazy like most Gotham's other criminals, excluding Mr. Freeze], but genuinely evil), this incarnation displays traits often associated with clinical insanity (best seen during his confrontation with Reed), such as being very calm and collected one moment, and very angry the next moment.
    • Also, unlike other incarnations of Scarecrow, this one is much younger, and is not a college professor.
  • It is unknown when and how Jonathan Crane ended up in Arkham Asylum in "A Dark Knight: One of My Three Soups" since he was able to escape the GCPD at the end of "A Dark Knight: The Fear Reaper".
  • He tends to work fear-related puns into his speech. For example, he says "fear" instead of "think" or "believe"; he says "scarcely" instead of "barely" or "hardly". He also says "dreadfully" instead of "well" or "Good."
  • He is the creator of Laughing Gas in this universe, albiet the prototype version.
  • He is seen wearing his classic hat from the comics in A Dark Knight: No Man's Land.


  • Jonathan Crane, otherwise known as the fear-based supervillain "Scarecrow", was created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger and he was introduced in World's Finest Comics #3 (Fall 1941). Although he initially made only two appearances, the character was revived during the Silver Age of Comic Books by writer Gardner Fox and artist Sheldon Moldoff.
  • This is the second live-action version of the Scarecrow, with the first being in the 2005 live-action movie Batman Begins (and its two sequels The Dark Knight in 2008 and The Dark Knight Rises in 2012) played by Cillian Murphy.
  • Jonathan having a device on his arm capable of dispensing Fear Toxin is likely a nod to the Arkham Asylum and Arkham Knight video games, in which the "Arkhamverse" incarnation of Scarecrow (voiced by Dino Andrade in Asylum and John Noble in Knight) used a glove to inject Fear Toxin directly into his victims' bloodstream, and the "Nolanverse" incarnation (portrayed by Irish actor Cillian Murphy), which also used a wrist-mounted device to expose his victims to the Fear Toxin.
    • As a further nod to the "Arkhamverse", his second Scarecrow suit strongly resembles his incarnation from Arkham Knight and his Fear Toxin dispenser features numerous tubes and needle-like fingertips like the one used by his Arkham Asylum incarnation (but unlike those two incarnations, this incarnation wields two dispensers, one on each arm, rather than one).


  1. Stephens, John (writer) & Behring, John (director) (February 2, 2015). "The Fearsome Dr. Crane". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 14. FOX.
  2. Woodruff, Ken (writer) & Copus, Nick (director) (February 9, 2015). "The Scarecrow". Gotham. Season 1. Episode 15. FOX.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Stephens, John (writer) & Cannon, Danny (director) (September 21, 2017). "A Dark Knight: Pax Penguina". Gotham. Season 4. Episode 1. FOX.
  4. Cannon, Danny (writer) & Milito, Lous Shaw (director) (September 28, 2017). "A Dark Knight: The Fear Reaper". Gotham. Season 4. Episode 2. FOX.
  5. Huston, Charlie (writer) & McKenzie, Ben (director) (March 29, 2018) "A Dark Knight: One of My Three Soups". Gotham. Season 4. Episode 16.
  6. Lilien, Steven & Wynbrandt, Bryan (writer) & Vrvilo, Maja (director) (April 5, 2018) "A Dark Knight: Mandatory Brunch Meeting" Gotham. Season 4. Episode 17.
  7. Cannon, Danny (writer) & Copus, Nick (director) (April 12, 2018) "A Dark Knight: That's Entertainment" Gotham. Season 4. Episode 18.
  8. Chun, Tze (writer) & Bailey, Rob (director) (May 10, 2018) "A Dark Knight: One Bad Day" Gotham. Season 4. Episode 21.
  9. Stephens, John & Boston, Seth (writer) & Hope, Nathan (director) (May 17, 2018) "A Dark Knight: No Man's Land" Gotham. Season 4. Episode 22.

External links