|“||How many more bones will you crush? How many lives will you destroy in the pursuit of what you call justice? You are the product of everything you fear: violence, darkness, helplessness. All that remains is for you to watch, as I drag your beloved Gotham into oblivion.||„|
|~ Scarecrow to Batman.|
|“||Wayne? Bruce Wayne? Now the world can see you for what you truly are. A legend laid bare. Powerless. Human. Afraid.||„|
|~ Scarecrow to Bruce Wayne after revealing his identity.|
Jonathan Crane, better known as Scarecrow, is one of the main antagonists of the Batman: Arkham series. He serves as one of the two secondary antagonists (alongside Harley Quinn) of Arkham Asylum and the main antagonist of Arkham Knight where he commands an alliance of super-villains. He is a former psychologist and sadistic criminal determined to break the minds of Batman and every citizen of Gotham City.
Crane was obsessed with human fear and realized he could gain power if he could control it. He then invented a fear-inducing chemical that douses the victim with crippling anxiety before becoming the professional criminal known as the Scarecrow.
Batman: Arkham Asylum
When the Joker escaped and released the inmates in Arkham Asylum, one of them was the Scarecrow. During his attempt to recapture the Joker, Batman encountered the Scarecrow on multiple occasions.
The first time Batman encounters the Scarecrow is when he entered the Asylum's morgue. However, due to his gas, Batman started to hallucinate. The first hallucination Batman had to endure is that he thought that Commissioner Gordon was killed and that he failed to save him. When he entered the morgue, he kept on hearing multiple voices telling him to leave. When he does, Batman was still in the morgue, only this time, Batman comes across three body bags. The first two he opens revealed the corpses of his parents. But when he opened the third one, The Scarecrow jumped out of the bag, causing Batman to collapse in fear. When he woke up, Batman ended up in a different "world". In this world, The Scarecrow is gigantic, and Batman must avoid his gaze while getting to the Batsignal in the twisted broken down mess of his psyche. After Batman managed to reach the Batsignal and gaze on the Scarecrow, the villain exploded into light, defeating him and granting Batman a clean mind, where he found out Gordon wasn't dead at all.
The second time Batman encounters the Scarecrow is when Batman exits the Mansion. While walking through the hallway, Batman began to relive his parents' death. After which, Batman fights Scarecrow in the same world, now being a broken down mansion instead of the hospital, and must do the same thing in terms of defeating the criminal. But now, The Scarecrow summons an army of skeletons to fight the Batman, and after reaching the Batsignal for the second time, the vigilante managed to fight off the Scarecrow's Fear Toxin and somehow wound up in the Clock Tower.
The third time Batman faces the Scarecrow is in the intensive treatment halls, but this time, he hallucinates that the Joker and the other villains are running the asylum and all heroes are inmates of Arkham. During which, Batman gets shot by the Joker and appeared that he had died. But Batman rose from his grave and arrived in Scarecrow's twisted world of a voidful prison. Batman had to do roughly the same thing as he did previously, but when Batman was going to shine the light upon Scarecrow, the latter decided to inject more Fear Toxins inside his rival. After which, Batman ended up in a different world where Scarecrow was watching him fighting off skeletons that he summoned. After dealing with a certain amount of minions, Batman was finally able to beat his foe by shining a trio of Batsignals upon him.
|“||Too late, Batman! One step closer and this goes into the water...the caves will fill with your deepest, darkest nightmares and you will never reach your precious venom roots.||„|
|~ Scarecrow's last words before being attacked by Killer Croc to Batman|
But then, Killer Croc emerged from the sewers, grabbed Scarecrow and prevented him from dropping the Fear Gas in the waters, dragging him deep into the sewers.
Despite him appearing to be killed by Croc, it's revealed that Crane survived the attack. During one of the three endings in Arkham Asylum, a crate of TITAN was floating around the sea harboring Arkham Island. Then all of a sudden, one of Scarecrow's arms reemerge out of the water and grab the crate, hinting that he escaped Killer Croc's grip somehow.
Batman: Arkham City
|“|| I will return Batman.|
You will pay for what you have done to me.
Fear will tear Gotham City to shreds.
|~ Decoded messages from Scarecrow, foreshadowing his return.|
Though Scarecrow doesn't appear in Batman: Arkham City, there are brief cameos all through the titular prison, indicating that he was alive and that he has something big planned. It has also been confirmed that Scarecrow did survive Killer Croc and is alive, via decoding a message at the end of the sequel. Scarecrow's mask can also be found on a bridge near the Steel Mil.
Batman: Arkham Knight
Revenge against Batman
|“||Do you really think you've won? Fear makes you predictable. I am in complete control.||„|
|~ Scarecrow when Batman faces him at ACE Chemicals.|
Locating Scarecrow at ACE Chemicals, where he planned to cause a giant chemical leak which covered Gotham and the surrounding area in fear gas, Batman faces him in the main chamber. There, Scarecrow assures Batman that he is still in complete control. When Batman throttles him, Scarecrow tells Batman to let him go, else his men would kill Barbara. Batman drops Scarecrow to warn Barbara and Scarecrow use the opportunity to leave the room, trapping Batman inside. Intending for Batman to die in the explosion, Scarecrow leaves ACE Chemicals. However, Batman manages to reduce the blast of the explosion so that only the building itself is destroyed.
Batman eventually meets Scarecrow again on the airship of industrialist Simon Stagg. Stagg, who worked together with Scarecrow until betraying him, developed a machine called Cloudburst, which would be able to act as a mobile distributor for Scarecrows fear toxin, being able to cover a vast space with it in seconds.Facing Scarecrow on a airships bridge, Batman's mind is weakened by the influence of the toxin combined with the Joker sickness, and he temporarily loses control, thereby beating up several of Scarecrows thugs so severely that they almost die. Surprised, Scarecrow notes the brutality of Batman's attacks, but Batman regains control over his body before he can kill Scarecrow. Uncomfortable because he senses that something changed, Scarecrow then flees the airship as the cloudburst is ripped out of the airship by a helicopter, taking Scarecrow with it.In a vision caused by the fear toxin, Batman sees Barbara, who had been captured by Scarecrow, commit suicide under the influence of the fear gas. Unaware that it is only a hallucination, Batman is deeply affected by what he thinks is his protegee's demise. Batman finds out the truth later when facing Scarecrow together with Gordon on a rooftop. Having Barbara as a hostage, Scarecrow forces Gordon to betray Batman. When Gordon shoots at Batman, knowing that Batman's armor is thick, thereby dropping him off the roof as a means to escape, Scarecrow throws Barbara off the roof. Though Batman manages to save Barbara, Scarecrow escapes with Gordon, eventually capturing Robin too. After the Knight failed Scarecrow, he let his ally Deathstroke take control of the militia.
|“||Do you understand, Gotham? You have no savior. No more hope. No more Batman. I've won!||„|
|~ Scarecrow believing that he has defeated Batman|
Towards the end of the game, Scarecrow has captured Batman's allies Robin and Gordon and forces Batman to give up his tools and turn himself in at the now abandoned Arkham Asylum in order for Robin to live. At the asylum, Scarecrow forces Jim Gordon to take off Batman's mask to show the world who he really is. Gordon initially refuses, but Scarecrow shoots Robin in the chest, threatening that the next shot will kill him., so Gordon complies.
Once the mask is taken off, Scarecrow knows that Batman is Bruce Wayne and he plans on breaking Wayne with fear toxin and face people hurting Wayne's loved ones and himself. But Batman overcomes Scarecrow's toxin and overpowers Scarecrow with the help of a now redeemed Arkham Knight. Batman then infects Scarecrow with his own fear toxin. Scarecrow is now scared of Batman and everything around him. Eventually overpowered by the fear, Scarecrow tries to run away but is knocked out by Gordon and taken to GCPD for incarceration. Broken and trembling with fear in front of Gotham police officers, Scarecrow ironically ended up as the very same thing he had hoped and failed to turn Bruce Wayne into a frightened and cowering man for the entire world to see. It's presumed that he received life imprisonment for his actions and that he spend the rest of his days in prison.
Between his traumatizing encounter with Killer Croc and the events of Arkham Knight, Scarecrow's personality took a drastic change however in both incarnations he retained several traits; utter sadistic and psychopathic personality, borderline megalomania, complete brilliance and extreme dedication to the concept of fear; in fact he saw it as a religion rather than a human emotion.
Scarecrow was first introduced as a deranged, unstable and completely sadistic villain who ruthlessly exposed Arkham Asylum orderlies and patients to his Fear Toxin, then later laughed at their terror and madness. Scarecrow's remorselessness and manipulative traits were also shown during his therapy sessions with Doctor Murphy, he was able to fool the doctor into believing that he himself was a sane individual just an evil one instead. The only thing he showed any care towards was his own work; the mass production and utilization of his toxin as a weapon. The cause of Scarecrow's fixation was presumably from his own traumatic past; viciously taunted and bullied into his childhood and because of this, he dedicated himself as an adult to overpower any terror he encounters through biochemistry. Ironically in AK, Scarecrow not only showed no fear (including when he was attacked by an enraged Batman) he displayed no emotions whatsoever being extremely calm and apathetic, that is until he overdosed with his own Fear Toxin, becoming a cowering mess.
Though he was a genius in his own regard, what made Scarecrow more despicably intelligent was his knowledge of people's pressure points. During his therapy sessions, he used cutting words and veiled threats to drive his psychiatrist into a state of paranoia until he revealed that Scarecrow had secretly been dosing Murphy with his toxin for weeks. This was also shown when he kidnapped Barbara Gordon as to fend off Batman then constantly, sadistically attacks him with threats against her life during Stagg's Airship as to leave him off guard. He also deduced that Commissioner Gordon's greatest fear was that he blamed himself for his daughter's paraplegic condition and needed to protect her, however buried beneath this was the fear that he'd fail and used this as an advantage to control Gordon after he and Batman confronted him.
His personality change was extremely evident during his terrorist threat to Gotham. In AA, when he was the essence of a fear-obsessed madman, who was always undertoned with a constant maniacal laugh, In AK, he became a powerful and calculated mastermind, speaking in a calm deep voice with a monotone and displaying an emotionless persona but still shows sadistic humor and momentary fury at times.
Whereas originally Scarecrow saw fear as the foundation for every action that humanity does and humans were driven by it more than anything else, in Arkham Knight he began to see it as a part of life itself, even claiming to Batman when he was defeated at Arkham Mansion that "without fear life is meaningless". He also became derangedly obsessed with Batman and more specifically destroying his legacy by showing the world he was just an afraid man like everybody else, which failed.
The Scarecrow also has an entry in the Character Bios. His profile states: Taunted and bullied as a youth, Jonathan Crane vowed to overcome his fears through the study of psychology and biochemistry. Kicked out of his university for experimenting on human subjects, Crane then adopted the identity of the Scarecrow and armed himself with a specialized fear-inducing gas that makes a person’s deepest phobias become frighteningly real. His ongoing criminal reign of terror makes him one of Batman’s most psychologically dangerous foes.
- "There is no Crane...only Scarecrow!"
- "Poor little Bat! You're in my world now!"
- "What are you doing, little Bat?"
- "I will break you!"
- "Oh, there you are!"
- "Everything you see is under my control!"
- "Is your mind playing tricks on you? Or am I?"
- "What are you, Batman? Chicken?"
- "Dare to step into my gaze!"
- "Tell me, what Demons do you have left to beat? Shall we see?"
- "You're fighting back. Good. It can only weaken your resolve."
- "You cannot escape my gaze! You will die here!"
- "Look around you! These are the broken fragments of your mind!"
- "Your mind will shatter like glass!"
- "I see you, Batman."
- "What was that?"
- "You're in my realm now. Everything is as real as I choose it to be."
- "What are you trying to do?"
- "Stand still. This won't hurt."
- "No, his not. We really should feel sorry for him. He never fully got over his parent's death. It left him quite insane."
- "I THINK YOU NEED A LITTLE MORE!"
- "He's all yours, Joker."
- How are you doing this? You've ingested enough toxins to drive ten men insane! What Are YOU!?
- "Why fight it, Batman? You're as crazy as the rest of us. You need us as much as we need you. And to prove it, I'll flood the catacombs with enough Fear Gas to break the minds of everyone in Gotham for a 100 years."
Game Over Quotes
Batman Arkham Asylum
- "And at the end of fear... oblivion."
- "You failed, now suffer!"
- "Now madness takes you, forever."
Batman Arkham Knight
- "Die knowing that I will make them suffer, every one."
- "Didn't you know, Dark Knight, you can't fight fear?"
- "Prepare yourself, Batman. My reign of terror starts now."
- "You die here, and your legend dies with you."
- "This is the end, Dark Knight, you've got nothing to be afraid of anymore."
- "You have failed to stop me, Batman, now Gotham will fall."
- "I wanted more than your death and Gotham's destruction, but you forced my hand."
- Scarecrow has some traits similar to Freddy Krueger:
- From a certain point of view, Scarecrow won his last battle against Batman, as the Dark Knight's identity was revealed to the world, which forced Bruce Wayne to kill himself, though his legend was kept intact. His remark of this night being Batman's last was ultimately correct. His unveiling of Bruce Wayne's identity to the people of Gotham and presumably the world gives him the distinction of not only being the only incarnation of Scarecrow to do so, but the only Batman villain in any medium thus far to succeed at this(although he only did it with the combined efforts of himself, Arkham Knight and Deathstroke). In-game, a Gotham criminal was overheard by Batman questioning Scarecrow's victory, stating that, if you were broken and in jail, then you didn't win.
- This version of Scarecrow is similar to Emperor Palpatine. Both of them are master manipulators, leaders of their respective groups, have a broken man as their second-in-command, serve as the Bigger Bads of their series, and they're Pure Evil.
- This version of Scarecrow is more serious and evil than other versions, which is probably due to the character being more of a minor villain in his appearances than the main antagonist. He also plays highly sadistic mind games throughout Batman: Arkham Knight and actually came close to destroying Gotham more than any other version has before.