Scarecrow Jonathan Crane (DC Comics): Character Characterization

Comics are illustrated magazines that are most often published as stories. Translated from English, comics means “funny”, which indicates a very unusual presentation of these stories. Today, there are two companies that compete with each other and publish unique and interesting stories - these are DC Comics and Marvel. The first publisher is known for such characters as Batman and Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Aquaman. Let's find out about another - Jonathan Crane - the Scarecrow from Gotham City.

Jonathan Crane

Who is that?

Jonathan Crane is an ordinary person who, for many years, starting from early childhood, nurtured resentment and hatred towards others. He was constantly attacked by peers, which greatly offended and disappointed the guy. For this reason, Jonathan always sought to understand their character and subsequently entered the Faculty of Psychology at Gotham University.

scarecrow dc comics

The antagonist and protagonist in the universe proved himself and was able to become a professor. The guy overcame his insecurity, changed outwardly with age, but so far no one knew about his inner world. After graduation, Jonathan went to work at the Arkham Clinic for the mentally ill, where the professor began to conduct experiments not on rabbits and rats, but on living patients. Ultimately, the guy was fired, but the experiments did not end there.

Why exactly "Scarecrow"?

Many people ask, “Why is the psychologist called the Scarecrow in DC Comics?” The fact is that Jonathan's obsession has led to the fact that all his experiments began to get out of control. The psychologist began to use narcotic substances and gas of his own production to influence the psyche of people and exert powerful pressure on them. To cause panic, fear and instill certain thoughts in his head, Jonathan Crane put on a terrifying rag mask, which had many seams, bloody smudges and a distorted grimace.

Patients, like ordinary people, being under the influence of psychotropic substances, perceived the professors in the mask as a hallucination. This caused wild horror, and then Crane began to exert pressure on their identities, creating from people weak-willed vegetables that performed any tasks. And this is not surprising, because what kind of person wants to get acquainted again with a terrible scarecrow. This trick Jonathan Crane used repeatedly. Moreover, all his patients did not know that at the time of hallucinations they were in an inadequate state.

Jonathan Crane Scarecrow

Character character

The scarecrow in DC Comics is a typical self-doubt person who harbored a deep grudge against all people. The guy was not able to respond to bullying and sarcastic jokes of his peers, so he hatched a plan of revenge. It is for this reason that Jonathan went to study as a psychologist to conduct experiments undercover. And he succeeded - he created a hallucinogenic gas that was used to intimidate and manipulate.

Hatred for batman

The only desire that arises in Crane’s head is to avenge everything. However, almost immediately Batman comes across him with his successor and assistant Robin. As such, the Scarecrow did not have hatred for the superhero, perhaps they would have lived in the same city without interfering with each other. However, Batman vowed to defend the city and eradicate the bad guys once and for all.

The superhero stopped the scarecrow of Jonathan Crane when he tried to kill his father and then colleagues. However, several times the psychologist managed to escape and hide in order to harbor a plan of revenge against Batman.

jonathan crane


In ordinary life, the inhabitants of Gotham City saw a young guy who was barely 25 years old. At first glance, it might seem that this is a very nice, balanced and sweet person, well versed in psychology. He friendly talked with strangers, could tell passers-by on the street the road and help convey the bags to his grandmother-neighbor.

When the supervillain of the DC Comics universe put into action a plan of action, it radically transformed. Firstly, instead of a psychologist, his victims saw a terrible thing, on whose head a canvas bag was worn. Only eyes full of hatred were visible, and his nose and hair remained closed. And only the seams and cuts in the mouth caused genuine fear. Secondly, instead of the usual shirt and jacket, the patient saw an untidy jacket, which was partially wrapped with twine. At the end, the psychologist put a hangman loop with a huge knot around his neck.

Under the influence of hallucinogenic gas, the usual wheezing, whispering and growling seemed an ominous and homeric laughter, as if escaping from the depths of the underworld. There were syringes instead of fingers, and solid scars covered the other arm. It’s an interesting fact, but it’s not shown in comic books or film adaptations that Jonathan Crane actually used a respirator in his scary costume. After all, before the scarecrow appeared in front of the victim, the psychologist launched the gas, invisible even to the armed eye.

master of fear

Interesting facts about the character

Jonathan Crane is called the Master of Fear, because his image is truly terrifying and drives people crazy. After the Scarecrow appears, a person will not become the same, and his mind will forever lose touch with reality. This was what the psychologist sought - to destroy his offenders morally, to avenge that they had caused him mental pain.

There is a version that explains why Crane became a supervillain in the DC Comics universe. A little boy grew up without parents with an old great-grandmother. They were not poor, but simply donated to their relative in the suburbs to live for their own pleasure. Great-grandmother was a cruel man, so she constantly mocked young Jonathan. Could beat or completely shut in the chapel. Every year the boy became withdrawn, which is why his peers offended him. Hatred grew stronger, but Crane was able to overpower himself and began to bear a plan of revenge.

The first victim of the guy was his great-grandmother. He killed her slowly, trying to make her suffer and gradually go crazy. It was at great-grandmother that Jonathan tried hallucinogenic gas and put on his famous horrific costume for the first time. When the relative was finished, the guy went to his father, but could not revenge because of Batman. A little later, Scarecrow killed his mother and little sister.

Jonathan Crane on the Gotham Series

Character abilities

Indeed, the characterization of Jonathan Crane is striking and surprising. From early childhood, the boy developed a brilliant mind that even the best intellectuals could envy. But no one noticed the potential and abilities of the child. Thanks to his genius, Crane perfectly studied chemistry and psychology, was able to graduate with honors from the university and prove himself in the best possible way. No one could even think that this man is the supervillain that Batman himself has been looking for for so long!

The best abilities:

  • The ideal chemist. Created a gas that enhances a person’s fear. Under its influence, the victim begins to perceive simple things as terrible, absurd and unimaginable.
  • Leader in everything. Jonathan strove to become the best, then to get into the Arkham Psychiatric Clinic.
  • Analysis. A guy can build tactics and work out several options for the development of events in advance. That is why catching the Scarecrow is so difficult.
  • The real fighter. Jonathan mastered perfect hand-to-hand combat, so he can survive in the battle even against Batman or Robin, but not for long. Still, the main trump card of the antagonist is his intellectual abilities.

Screen adaptation

You can see Jonathan Crane in the series Gotham and in the movie Batman. Let's start in order:

  • Batman The first part was premiered in 2005, which was directed by the talented Christopher Nolan. Then the viewer could watch the debut of Killian Murphy, who played the famous supervillain - Scarecrow. We see that the character is a psychiatrist who did his best to help law enforcement. From time to time, Jonathan Crane was summoned to a prison or clinic where he conducted legal investigations, with the help of which he determined whether the criminal was mentally ill or was just pretending to be. Gradually, the film all boils down to the fact that the real identity of the Scarecrow is revealed, and the viewer sees how the psychologist Crane uses his abilities. In the film adaptation, the main task of the supervillain is to release a hallucinogenic drug into the water pipe so that the whole city experiences fear. That is how the Scarecrow intended to take revenge on absolutely all the haters in Gotham.

supervillain dc comics universe

  • Gotham. In the series, Jonathan Crane is the sworn enemy of Jim Gordon, a policeman who has repeatedly helped Batman. The producers and directors decided to include this character in the film adaptation for one reason - the picture was sorely lacking in a colorful supervillain. However, the Scarecrow did not cause violent emotions in the series, because the viewer already fell in love with Killian Murphy.

Video game scarecrow

Repeatedly, the character appeared not only in films and series, but also in the video games Lego Batman and Batman Rose of Sin Tzu. The creators tried to convey the true image of a supervillain, which would match the comic book as much as possible, but at the same time scare it by modern standards. The image of Jonathan Crane is somewhat reminiscent of the main character from the popular Assassin's Creed game, only now scars, stitches, finger-syringes similar to Freddy Krueger's claws have been added to him.

In the Lego video game, everything is different - there it did not work to transform Crane and make him a terrifying monster. In any case, all games are delightful, because still the professor is the real villain and the main enemy of Batman.


Interestingly, some comics say that Jonathan received a terrifying mask from his father. Today, there are many opinions about how a psychologist became the main villain in the fictional world of DC Comics. While fans around the world are building theories and making assumptions, we will observe the character and admire his ingenious mind, resourcefulness and hatred of all offenders.


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