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Characters / Batman: Arkham Series – The Scarecrow

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The Scarecrow (Dr. Jonathan Crane)
"Fear is not a cudgel, Batman. It's not a sword, nor a shield. Fear is a scalpel, slicing cleanly through your victim's pathetic pretensions to civility and exposing the whimpering beast within."
Scarecrow in Arkham Asylum
Voiced by: Dino Andrade (Arkham Asylum, Arkham Underworld), Christian Lanz (Assault on Arkham), John Noble (Arkham Knight) Other voice actors

""How many more bones would you crush? How many lives will you destroy in 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."

Dr. Jonathan Crane is a brilliant psychologist and biochemist obsessed with studying people's fears. He turned to experimenting on humans with a specially-developed fear gas, becoming the terrifying villain known as The Scarecrow. Scarecrow is one of the Dark Knight's two deadliest and most personal foes, second only to the Joker himself. When the Jester of Genocide took over the Asylum, Scarecrow roamed the island, testing his newest fear gas on the staff and attempting to break Batman, but is defeated and mauled by Killer Croc.

Crane went into hiding during the events of Protocol 10 note , but he returns in Batman: Arkham Knight as the main threat to the people of Gotham. Having further refined his fear toxins to be even more powerful, surgically remodelling his face to resemble his trademark burlap mask — as a result of being mutilated by Killer Croc during the events of Asylum — and making the titular Arkham Knight and his militia to serve as his muscle, Scarecrow unites the greatest enemies of Gotham together and sets in motion one final plan to destroy the Dark Knight forever.

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  • Abusive Parents: His grandmother was implied to be abusive to Crane.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: According to his bio in Knight, Scarecrow has been exposed to his toxin for so long that it has granted him partial immunity to it. The key word, however, is partial. If injected with enough of his fear toxin, it can overpower his immunity as Batman happily demonstrates.
  • Adaptational Badass: Especially in Arkham Knight, where Joker's death left a power vacuum allowing Scarecrow the chance to step in as the new Big Bad of Batman's rogues gallery. While most incarnations are legitimate threats in their own right, they have always been minor villains or part of a Big Bad Duumvirate, and they rely on their fear toxin. This Scarecrow on the other hand is a cunning and manipulative mastermind who serves as one of the greatest foes Batman has ever faced, on par with Joker and Bane, and is feared by the other members of the Rogues Gallery. In Knight, he also accomplishes something that none of the Rogues has ever done: he exposes Batman's secret identity to the world, and at that moment destroys the mythos Bruce spent years building up. This makes the Arkham Scarecrow more than likely the most terrifying and dangerous incarnation of the character yet.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: In the comics, Scarecrow has sympathetic qualities. But in the Arkhamverse, he can best be described as straight-up monstrous. In Asylum, his psychiatrist's tapes reveal he doesn't even think Crane's crazy so much as he is just pure evil.
  • Adaptational Wimp: He gets a case of this as well. In the comics, Scarecrow was a skilled martial artist who used a style called "violent dancing", a combination of drunken boxing and Crane-style kung fu, along with being adept with a scythe or sickle. Here, he's a Non-Action Big Bad who gets thrown around like a rag doll every time Batman gets close enough to attack or interrogate him. In this case, it's justified, since Killer Croc's attack on him in Asylum left him crippled and in a leg brace.
  • All for Nothing: Crane may had exposed Batman's identity to the world as a part of his plan to prove that Gotham's savior was nothing more than a mortal man, but all Scarecrow did to the Caped Crusader was in vain as the people continued to admire him and because of that, his legend was stronger than ever before.
  • Arch-Enemy: Following Joker's death, Crane becomes this to Batman deeply, especially after all the destruction he caused to Gotham, capturing his surrogate daughter and forcing Batman to reveal his identity by threatening to shoot his adopted son.
  • Ascended Extra: In Asylum, he was just a very dangerous enemy of Batman as he appeared only three times; albeit in the most terrifying sequences of the game. In Knight, he has become the Big Bad among the Rogues and the Final Boss of the entire series.
  • Asshole Victim: In Asylum, Scarecrow gets mauled by Killer Croc, who had mistaken him for a guard. But then again, he was just about to poison Gotham's water supply with his fear toxin, so he doesn't exactly elicit sympathy from the player. In Knight, sympathy for him is nonexistent when his mind is completely shattered by his fear toxin after exposing Batman's identity to the world.
  • A Taste Of His Own Medicine: His ultimate defeat has him injected by an overdose of his very own fear toxin, breaking his mind and reducing him to a whimpering, perpetually-terrified mess.
  • Badass Boast: Arkham Knight. The majority of his lines are a mix of this, Breaking Speech, and "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
    Scarecrow: Remnants of Gotham: I have messages for you all. To the vandals who stayed behind to pick the still-warm flesh from Gotham's bones: have your fun. You are under my protection. To the cowards quaking behind the police department's walls: you will not be spared. And to Batman: I have already won. Emptied your city with a vial of toxin and a few threatening words. That's how little the safety you provided was worth. And when the dawn comes, when Gotham lies in ruins and I turn my gaze to the world beyond, the legend of the Batman will be worth nothing at all.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's a psychologist, after all.
  • Bad Boss: Not as bad as the Arkham Knight, but it's there. The other villains such as Penguin and Harley are clearly afraid of him. Even some of the Militia admit they're afraid of him. He never tells his men that their protective equipment isn't up to protect them from his latest version of fear gas. He also doesn't give them nearly enough warning to get clear before he tries to disperse it. He tries to kill Poison Ivy for not joining him and gasses one of his men in the process. He nearly gasses Simon Stagg with a fatal dose for double-crossing him. And during the predator mission when he is in command after the Arkham Knight's final defeat, he exacerbates their situation at being alone with Batman by waxing poetic about how afraid they are.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Sort of. In Knight, Scarecrow's plan to permanently cover Gotham in fear gas is foiled, but he manages to out Batman's secret identity to the world, something no Batman rouge has ever done, forcing he and Alfred to blow up Wayne Manor and ultimately go into hiding so their family could be safe, until five years later as Batman would come back to the light.
  • Batman Gambit: In Knight, his city-wide evacuation of Gotham was just a cover so he could take over Ace Chemicals and build a bomb big enough to cover the Eastern Seaboard in fear gas.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In his biography, Crane is stated to be immune to fear which he craves and the only thing he's afraid of is Batman. At the end, he gets a dose of his toxin and becomes permanently scared.
  • Beetle Maniac: A comparatively mild instance. After Asylum, he concentrates and amplifies his toxin with the psychotropic innards of a certain variety of beetle, and relishes describing their properties to his captive in the harbor; crushing one in his hand and mixing it into the concoction.
  • Big Bad: Of Arkham Knight and the entire series' latter half. The plot to destroy the Dark Knight and his legend is his idea, with the titular character being his right hand man in the war against Batman.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: With Joker's hallucination for Arkham Knight. Scarecrow may be the larger threat to Gotham, Joker plays a more personal foe to the Dark Knight as the long night continued. Though both share the same role as the most personal threat to The Dark Knight.
  • Body Horror: When he returns in Arkham Knight, he looks almost leprous, with a rotting, lipless jaw, a caved-in nose, and milky-white eyes. The official website confirms he was mauled by Killer Croc and performed crude reconstructive surgery on his own face to resemble his traditional mask, with horrifying results; it's almost impossible to tell what's burlap and what's flesh.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Throughout Knight, he repeatedly passes up chances to simply kill Batman because he wants to break him down mentally and emotionally first. The Arkham Knight even tells him how stupid this is.
  • Book Ends: Scarecrow and Batman's final confrontation ends in the same place where the series began... Arkham Asylum.
  • Breaking Lecture: His patient interviews constitute an extended one on fear, and how it drives the human condition. His final tape ends with him getting one from Batman. Then in Knight virtually every line out of his mouth, apart from orders to his men, is some form of this.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: As seen in his third challenge in Asylum. He tricks the player into thinking that he broke the game. He also does something very similar in his reveal trailer for Knight.
  • Breakout Villain: He was a minor antagonist in Batman: Arkham Asylum, but was so popular with the fandom that he returned in Batman: Arkham Knight this time as the Big Bad.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returns after a long absence in Batman: Arkham Knight, now the main villain behind the plot.
  • Came Back Strong: Disappearing after the events of Asylum after being maimed by Croc, Scarecrow apparently stitched himself back together, refined his fear toxin to truly nightmare-inducing levels, hired an army of Private Military Contractors to serve as his main muscle, and a formerly second-tier member of Batman's Rogues Gallery almost single-handedly manages to start a war in Gotham and be the absolute greatest threat Batman has ever faced.
  • Characterization Marches On: In Arkham Asylum, the Scarecrow was a nutty Giggling Villain with a Creepy High-Pitched Voice, who didn't have much of a game plan outside of constantly injecting fear gas into Batman and was very much a Plot-Irrelevant Villain. By the time Arkham Knight rolls around, the Scarecrow had become a stoic, calculating Chessmaster who rises up to be the Big Bad of the entire game, who is so intelligent and cunning that Batman is forced to sacrifice his secret identity to stop him for good and protect his family from him.
  • The Chessmaster: In Arkham Knight, he perfectly orchestrates everything that happens in the game.
  • Circling Monologue: He does this after gassing Batman on Stagg's airship. If you let him, he'll do it again after Batman takes down the present Militia troops.
    Scarecrow: You're not dying, it just feels like you are. My toxin is filling your lungs, drowning you in your greatest fears. What can you see? A city engulfed in fear? Betrayed by those you trust the most? Your darkest secrets revealed? As I tear your mind apart, Gotham will watch. I will cut that mask from your face, and the whole world will watch. Then they too will understand: There is no savior. No more hope. No. More. Batman.
  • Cold Ham: In Asylum he's a typical Large Ham, but in Knight, while the actual language he uses drips with theatricality (see his Badass Boast above for details), he speaks in a measured Creepy Monotone. Unlike many examples of this trope, it is legitimately scary.
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Although this line's never said, its typical follow-up line is used by Scarecrow if he spots the Dark Knight. Batman must avoid him by hiding in the shadows, but if he's seen, the follow-up line is spoken:
    Scarecrow: Oh, there you are... (SLASH) (Or, if not that, "I see you, Batman!")
  • Composite Character: His costume from the torso to legs is based upon the general Scarecrow look, but the noose is from his New Batman Adventures incarnation, and he also wears a gas mask akin to the one from The Dark Knight Trilogy.
    • His "resurrected" version in Knight also parallels the character's resurgence and revamp in TNBA - he now has a more unsettling, corpse-like face, and creepier, moldering clothing. In both instances, his voice has also deepened and he appears to have grown in height.
    • Coincidentally, he bears a resemblance to the Scarecrow that was supposed to appear in the canceled Batman Unchained movie; as he is the main antagonist, forms an alliance with Harley Quinn, and his toxin results in vivid Joker hallucinations.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: In Knight, he's this to Hugo Strange from City. Both characters are Psycho Psychologists with a twisted obsession with Batman, both characters are cunning strategists who managed to take over Gotham, and both characters have a private military corporation working under them. However, Strange managed to deduce Batman's identity while Scarecrow simply unmasked him on live TV, something Strange couldn't accomplish. Also, Strange truly believed he was doing the right thing despite his insane methods. Scarecrow, on the other hand, makes no pretensions about being driven by some higher calling and just wants to revel in the fear and suffering of others.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: In Asylum, his voice had a creepy shrill to it. By direct contrast, however...
  • Creepy Monotone: In Knight, he always talks in a quiet, creepy whisper that always carries an undertone of menace and practically drips with barely concealed hate.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Simon Stagg laments that Scarecrow has the potential to create what could be an effective cure for most psychological problems, which would easily net him many Nobel Prizes and a considerable fortune, but he's focused on using his knowledge and research only for cruelty and revenge. This realization is why Stagg tried to betray Scarecrow in an attempt to cut his losses. This is justified in Scarecrow's case, as he has an obsession with fear and usually finds no other meaning in his life than experiencing and causing fear; he wouldn't really want to give people something that helps them feel better and is perfectly fine with being a supervillain/terrorist, rather than wanting to change the world positively. While Stagg mentions the pharmaceutical applications of a retrofitted fear toxin, he also intended to sell his own refined version of the fear toxin as a weapon of war to whichever opposing army paid more — in other words, his methodology is actually worse than Scarecrow's.
  • Darker and Edgier: He had already shown signs of departing from the usual Scarecrow image in Asylum, with his Freddy Krueger-esque syringe gloves and torn, ragged costume, but in Arkham Knight, he looks like a grave-rotted zombie. It might be one of the factors in getting Arkham Knight an "M"-rating. Also, his personality has become far more sinister and vindictive, his motivations extending far beyond just causing fear. Even beyond the looks, he is likely the single most dangerous iteration of the character yet.
  • Deadly Doctor: On top of creating his own fear toxins, he's an incredibly skilled biochemist and psychologist who relishes in mentally breaking his human test subjects.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments. Particularly in the audio logs in Knight.
    Riddler: I know what you're doing, Crane... talking to me away from Cobblepot and the others! You're trying to appeal to my ego.
    Scarecrow: (deadpan) Is it working?
    • And when Riddler, in his own condescending way, agrees to help Scarecrow?
      Scarecrow: How kind, Edward. I shall keep my fingers crossed.
    • Also, during the Nightmare Missions, some of Scarecrow's taunts, when not outright threats, are surprisingly snarky.
      Scarecrow: You can die now.
      Scarecrow: My dear Batman... rumor is... you created the Joker. Nice work. Really, I applaud you. Too bad you couldn't keep him alive.
      Scarecrow: Having trouble seeing, Batman? Here's an old remedy I used to prescribe to my patients in Arkham. Just throw a little salt in your eyes and rub. Try it. You'll feel a lot better.
      Scarecrow: Welcome to your own personal hell. Please stay a while.
  • Death by Secret Identity: Subverted. He permanently loses his mind from an overdose of fear toxin after discovering Batman's Secret Identity as Bruce Wayne. But he also had Batman's unmasking be broadcasted live for everyone to see, forcing Batman to permanently retire his identity as Bruce Wayne and destroy his mansion to keep his loved ones safe.
  • Death Glare: His permanent facial expression is one of these after being mauled by Killer Croc.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: His character bio in Knight lists him as being a "Criminal Mastermind".
  • Don't Create a Martyr: In Knight, this is the main reason he doesn't want to kill Batman right away. Killing him as he currently is would only solidify Batman's status as a symbol of hope to people, whereas utterly breaking him in every regard and making the whole world watch before then killing him would turn him into just another man, and destroy that legendary status. This leads to friction between himself and the Arkham Knight, who couldn't care less about Batman's legacy after he's gone and just wants him dead.
    Scarecrow: Kill him, and you martyr him. You make him a legend. But break him, humiliate him, terrify him, and hold him up for the world to see? Then he's nothing but a man.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Alongside the other villains of Gotham, it seems even he just hates Riddler. When he's recruiting Riddler for the plan to overwhelm Batman, it sounds like he doesn't want to put up with Eddie, but has to. During his conversation with Riddler, you can practically hear and feel Scarecrow rolling his eyes when he talks.
    Riddler: You're appealing to my ego.
    Scarecrow: Is it working?
    Riddler: Ha! I don't have an ego, Crane. I'm far too brilliant.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Scarecrow's obsession with Batman stems from his inability to understand why Batman isn't quaking in fear when induced with the fear toxin. He never realizes that Batman's greatest fear is becoming the Joker, a man who exhibits no fear or restraint at first.
  • Evil Cripple: After his mauling by Croc, he returns in Knight with a brace over his left leg, walking much more slowly and cautiously.
  • Evil Genius: He's a psychologist and biochemist turned villain.
  • Evil Gloating: Subjects Batman to constant mockery during the latter's fear gas hallucinations. Exaggerated in Knight. Over half of his lines are him constantly reminding Batman of how much he plans to torture him and make everything and everyone he loves suffer by association.
    Scarecrow: Do you still see it, Batman? The terror in her eyes as she looked upon your true self? Savor that image. There are many like it still to come.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: In Asylum, he loves to cause fear in others and jokes about their suffering. This trait is mostly downplayed in Knight, though it still comes up occasionally, specifically with his particularly snarky one-liners as you chase him down in the Nightmare Missions.
  • Evil Laugh: Makes these most often in Batman's hallucinations, where it echoes through the area. Conversely in Knight, he only snickers once during his intercom messages, and lets out a quiet chuckle near the end of the game. That said, in the DLC Scarecrow Batmobile missions, he can belt out a loud cackle yet again during the boss battle portions.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: In Knight, he speaks with a deep, menacing tone. This was due to the mauling Croc gave that damaged his vocal cords.
  • Expy: His design in Arkham Asylum takes much inspiration from Freddy Krueger, another psychopath who preys on his victims through their worst fears. Crane even wears a five-syringe glove in that game that resembles Kruger's iconic claws.
  • Eye Beams: In Arkham Knight's Nightmare Missions, Scarecrow attacks with red lasers from his eyes.
  • The Faceless: Crane’s real face in the Arkhamverse is never revealed, leaving players only his horrific mask. Or at least, his face before he made it look like his mask.
  • Facial Horror: Part of the result of his mauling by Killer Croc. He makes use of it.
  • Fame Through Infamy: In Arkham Knight, he plans to envelop the whole Eastern Seaboard of the United States with his Fear Toxin through the Cloudburst just for the notoriety after he destroys Batman and Gotham.
  • Fate Worse than Death: His mind is destroyed after Batman overpowers him and injects him with his own toxin. Judging from Simon Stagg's analysis of Scarecrow's improved toxin as heard on his airships, the process is irreversible.
  • Fatal Flaw: His obsession with fear. For Scarecrow, it's not enough to just win. He has to see his opponent cowering before him terrified out of their mind, so he can fully drink in his victory. This leads to his downfall, as if he had just left Batman alone after he was showing definite traits of the Joker's personality being in charge, he would have beaten him forever. By not accepting that loss without fear, he destroys the Joker's influence on Bruce's psyche with more injections and allows Jason Todd the opportunity to free Bruce.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Especially in Arkham Knight. Scarecrow is very soft-spoken, eloquent, and cordial to both ally and enemy alike, but his sadism is so barely-concealed and thinly veiled that it's easy to tell it's fake. His voice actor, John Noble, even describes him as such in an interview.
    John Noble: He's actually quite a reasonable man in the way he talks, but he's obviously very disturbed.
  • Final Boss: Of Arkham Knight, and the Arkham series as a whole.
  • Fission Mailed: In his third illusion (when Joker shoots you), the game produces a fake Game Over screen that advises you to "wiggle the middle stick/tilt the mouse/press the J button". For reference, those don't exist on any controller available to the player.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Of Batman's unwillingness to let others help him in Knight. He captures Robin and used him as bait in Arkham Asylum when the latter gets imprisoned by Batman in Panessa Studios because he's insistent on doing everything by himself. This ultimately leads to Batman's unmasking, making EVERYONE lose any reason to fear him in the process.
  • Flunky Boss: Both Asylum and Knight have him summoning enemies to fight.
  • For Science!: In his interview tapes, Doctor Kellerman believes that the Scarecrow's only motivation is continuing his fear research, whatever the consequences are for his test subjects.
  • For the Evulz: Another reason for his actions. Seems like he truly loves what he does.
    Dr. Stephen Kellerman: I believe he is quite sane. Just evil.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In the third challenge, he actually makes the player feel the same sensations Batman felt during the first two hallucinations.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Both in and out of universe.
    • In-Universe, His Asylum biography describes him as a bullied youth who wanted revenge against those who caused him fear. A few years later, he surpassed them by a lot.
    • Out of Universe, in Asylum he was essentially a side-show to Joker, providing three nightmare platform missions with Unexpected Gameplay Change, in Arkham Knight, he's the Big Bad and inflicts long-term damage on Batman and his allies. In addition, there are very few stories (even in the comics) where Scarecrow has ever been portrayed as being as dangerous as he is here.
  • Giggling Villain: He boasts a rather impressive chortle in Asylum. Come Knight, he only laughs once, though it's very clear in his voice that he's enjoying himself.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: When under the effects of the gas in Asylum, Batman sees him with yellow lamplike eyes.
  • A God Am I: The Scarecrow has this in Knight; while he does not boast that he is a god of some type, he surely has the behavior; with his unaltering calm bravado and goal to break the Batman's legacy in its entirety; then proceed to cover the Earth with Fear Toxin so that he can rule a planet full of fear as his own.
  • He's Back!: After a long absence in City, Scarecrow returns as the main antagonist of Knight, ready to give Batman one final night of unholy terror.
  • He's Just Hiding: In-universe, several of the inmates speculate that Scarecrow was killed by Killer Croc during the events of the first game, but there was evidence (such as The Stinger in the first game, as well as his mask being found near hay as part of a riddle by the Riddler in the second game) that he actually survived.
    • Batman can find a boat in the Arkham City harbor full of fear toxin, documents in Crane's name, and a near-catatonic inmate tied to a chair. Scarecrow definitely set up shop at some point. The Numbers Stations you can listen to via the cryptographic sequencer also hint at his return.
    • And then, of course, he does return, to be the main antagonist of the grand finale, Batman: Arkham Knight. It's not every day that dear old Jonathan Crane gets such a serious upgrade in badassery.
  • Hidden Depths: For all his calm boasting and monologuing, he’s revealed to be terrified of Batman. His core motivation isn’t just to destroy and humiliate Batman for revenge, but to overcome his own fear as well.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Although ostensibly the main antagonist of Knight, Batman's personal conflicts against the Arkham Knight and the Joker inside his head are given slightly more immediate focus.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In Knight, he is eventually defeated by being injected with his own fear toxin, reducing him to a sobbing wreck who can do nothing but rock back and forth in a Troubled Fetal Position.
    • A more minor one, but attempting to kill Poison Ivy for not joining him is what ultimately foils his plan for the Cloudburst as she uses her power to dispel the toxin, and she's initially motivated by getting revenge on him.
  • Hope Crusher: This is his driving motivation in Arkham Knight. He feels that as long as people have a symbol of hope, they'll never be truly afraid. Because of that, he doesn't just want to kill Batman but utterly crush his myth.
    Scarecrow: I will empty this city of hope, and fill it with fear.
    Scarecrow: All hope for Gotham dies with you!
  • Iconic Item: His hypodermic syringe-enhanced gloves. He indeed gives Expo Speak about them in the Arkham Knight audio logs where he explains why he uses them, noting that the aerosol version of his toxin is not as pure and terrifying as a direct dosage of the toxin into the victim's bloodstream.
  • In the Hood: Wears a hood in both of his appearances.
  • Irony: He's afraid of bats. When dosed with his own fear toxin, he screams at the sight of a giant, demonic Batman, surrounded by millions of bats that look like they follow him.
  • Jerkass: Only in the Nightmare Challenges of Arkham Knight. This version of Scarecrow is Batman's exaggerated, Flanderized subconscious image of him who knows his identity, similar to the Joker hallucination. In this form, he has no pretenses of politeness and acts as petty and spitefully as possible.
    Scarecrow: Having trouble seeing clearly? Here's an old remedy I used to prescribe to my patients in Arkham; just throw a little salt in your eyes and rub. Try it. You'll feel a lot better.
    Scarecrow: Your parents are in Hell, and you're about to join them.
    Scarecrow: I will chew your soul and spit out the pieces, you pathetic little bug.
  • Kick the Dog: Does this quite a lot in Knight.
    • He drives Barbara Gordon to commit suicide by exposing her to fear toxin and making her see Batman as a monster, then gloats about it to Batman, though it is later revealed to be an illusion created by dosing Batman himself.
      Scarecrow: You will bring death to all who follow you.
    • Later, when Jim shoots and seemingly kills Batman, Scarecrow becomes enraged and decides to toss Barbara off the construction site to spite him.
      Scarecrow: Do you know what happens when a man refuses to be controlled by his fears? He must face them.
    • At the finale of the game, he orders Jim to remove Batman's mask on national television, threatening to kill Robin if he doesn't comply. He even shoots him non-fatally in the chest to prove he's not screwing around.
      Scarecrow: Take off that mask, or my next shot will kill him.
  • Knight of Cerebus: As bad as things get when the Joker releases the patients from the Arkham Asylum, things start to get more horrifying once he shows up. There's a reason why Batman: Arkham Knight received its M rating once it was revealed he would be the Big Bad of that game.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When Batman gets over a large dose of his Toxin in Asylum, Crane wisely makes a break for it.
  • Lack of Empathy: Everyone is just an unwilling test subject for his fear toxin, nothing more.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: When he tries to strike Batman for the last time, Jason saves Bruce, who overpowers Crane and gives his own portion of fear gas, which drives him permanently insane and scared. What's more, it's Gordon, who he's given no end of grief that night (instigating the whole city evacuation and letting the villains run roughshod on Gotham, kidnapping his daughter, kidnapping him, trying to kill Barbara despite giving into his demands and forcing Gordon to pull off Bruce's mask) is the one to lay the knockout blow on him.
  • Large Ham: In Asylum his speech is very exaggerated with frequent Evil Laughs. In Knight he is a Cold Ham.
  • Lean and Mean: He's quite skinny, to the point of his ribs showing. Downplayed in Knight. He appears to be a bit bigger and his clothing mostly covers his body.
  • Level in Boss Clothing: In both Asylum and in Knight's Nightmare Missions.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: Played with. When Batman defeats the last of Scarecrow's forces at ACE Chemicals, the facility is primed to blow up by Scarecrow himself, injured but undefeated, who locks Batman in the central chamber and abandons him to die. Batman is even forced to try and contain the blast by mixing neutralizing agents into the core so that the city won't be blanketed with fear gas in the explosion. Further subverted in that Scarecrow, in preparing his master plan, fully expected Batman to find a means of escape and survival, otherwise Crane would not be able to expose his identity first.

  • Mad Doctor: An evil psychologist who invented a toxin that simulates a person's worst fears.
  • Mad Scientist: How else could he have created his fear toxin?
  • Malevolent Masked Man: He wears an unsettling burlap sack/gas mask.
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • In a rather impressive move, he managed to charm Dr. Young into thinking that he was both sane and innocent and that he might qualify for a job as a researcher in the Titan Program. It's also implied that he was able to persuade Carmine Falcone into helping him with his plot; there's a note implying that Falcone is arranging for Mr. Fine (a.k.a. the Broker), to arrange a more permanent base.
    • In Knight, he also manipulates Commissioner Gordon into betraying Batman, using his daughter Barbara as leverage.
  • Mind Rape: Inflicts this on people with his toxin. Inflicts this on the Bat family in Knight. He also tells Arkham Knight in the audio logs why he prefers doing this over outright killing Batman:
  • Misplaced Retribution: Blames Batman for his disfigurement at the hands of Killer Croc.
  • Mistaken for Insane: One of his psychiatrists in Asylum suggests that Crane might not actually be mad, just evil and utterly cruel.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Given that Crane's a psychologist and all.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Out of all of the villains in the Arkham series, Scarecrow was the closest to achieve victory. He succeded in revealing Batman's secret identity, and for a while he even succeded in mentally breaking Bruce, basically turning him into the Joker. However, as noted in the "Nice Job Fixing It, Villain" section below, Scarecrow just couldn't handle his enemy being fearless, giving him another dose of fear toxin and accidentally creating Joker's worst fear instead: being forgotten. This allowed Batman to regain control of his body and defeat Scarecrow.
  • Never My Fault: Scarecrow blames Batman for his near-death experience and mutilation in Arkham Asylum, thus leading him to set up his Evil Plan to break Batman in Arkham Knight for the sake of revenge. He not only ignores the fact that he decided to go into Killer Croc's lair himself, getting mauled by the latter for his troubles, but it was because of Batman's intervention that he survived at all.
  • Nerves of Steel: According to his bio in Knight, Scarecrow's repeated use of his Fear Toxin has not only rendered him immune to it but unable to feel any fear apart from his fear of Batman. Batman overdoses him with his toxin, leaving him permanently afraid.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Scarecrow inadvertently created Batman's worst nightmare in real life - being turned into the Joker via psychological breakdown. If Scarecrow let him loose at that point he would have completely and utterly won. Unfortunately, the Joker isn't scared of a shambling corpse with metal cheeks... and Scarecrow couldn't handle his fallen champion being fearless, causing him to inject Batman with another dose in frustration, inadvertently showing Joker his greatest fear and weakening his hold on Batman enough for him to retake his body.
    • Another one, though more indirect. By ousting Batman's identity, Scarecrow made it possible for Red Hood, who, in comparison to Batman, does kill villains, to operate with more freedom.
  • Nightmare Face: His new look in Knight, where his mask is directly stitched into his face as part of a crude self-reconstructive attempt, and exposes his glazed eyes, corpse-like teeth and caved-in nose and jaw from when Killer Croc attacked him in Asylum. Many members of his crew don't even realize that's not a mask until told by other members, and are understandably horrified that he did that to himself.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Scarecrow has a very particular goal in mind (unleash his fear gas, humiliate and mentally break Batman through fear, and out his identity), and while Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? applies to him in that he doesn't want to kill Batman outright if he can help it, he never loses sight of that plan and all his actions are geared towards achieving either or both of these goals in the game. This explains why he succeeds partially in releasing the fear gas in Gotham, and definitively in outing Batman's secret identity and (seemingly, at least) putting an end to his career as a superhero.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: In Knight, despite being the main antagonist of the game, he never fights Batman directly (unless you count the Nightmare Missions). Justified, however, in that Crane is a doctor, not a fighter. Despite having an army backing him up, he knows full well he wouldn't stand a chance against Bats in a straight-up fight. Also, his encounter with Killer Croc left his left leg injured and in a brace, thus he is in no condition to fight anyway. Indeed, whenever Batman gets close enough to attack or interrogate him, Crane is thrown about like a rag doll.
  • Noodle Incident: Just how he managed to survive his encounter with Killer Croc is unknown.
  • Noose Necktie: A classic part of his look. Albeit the one in Knight seems to be a part of a series of life support tubes.
  • "Not So Different" Remark:
    • Gives this speech to Batman in Asylum as he retreats.
      Scarecrow: 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 hundred years.
    • And he gives another one to Batman in Knight after watching him nearly kill his men while under Joker's control.
      Scarecrow: Astonishing. Such brutality. You almost killed these men. You were ready to abandon your beliefs, everything you stand for. You tell yourself you are not like us. You tell yourself you are something more, something better. But fear reveals the truth, erodes your self-control. Soon you will kill and become that which you hate the most. Soon, the Bat will be broken!
    • During the Nightmare Missions in Knight, Scarecrow mocks Batman's Thou Shall Not Kill rule, claiming that by letting Joker die, he has broken his rule and is no better than the rest of Gotham's villains.
      Scarecrow: You let him die on purpose, didn't you? Deep down, beyond your moral code, you knew what had to be done to save Gotham. For every rule, there's an exception. He was the exception, wasn't he? We both know it wasn't an accident. Batman doesn't make mistakes that cost lives. Not even on his worst day.
      Scarecrow: How did it feel to kill him? You can convince yourself it was an accident... but we know the truth, don't we?
      Scarecrow: How many died because you're scared to break a rule? Let go. Relax. Kill someone. You might save a few lives. Who knows? You might even enjoy it.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: In Asylum, his role was simply placing Batman in Nightmare scenarios, but he posed no actual threat. In Knight, he serves as the main villain of the game and quickly cements himself as one of Batman's deadliest adversaries.
  • Not So Stoic: Crane's typically composed nature also makes the few times he does get noticeably angry in Knight equally jarring.
    • When broadcasting after the defeat of the Cloudburst tank, he's absolutely seething — furious at both Batman for destroying it, and at the Arkham Knight, for disobeying his orders to fall back and letting his obsession with Batman jeopardize the linchpin of their operation. Enemy chatter afterward confirms that when the Cloudburst was destroyed, Crane, a frail and hobbled man, suddenly turned on one of the militia members and "used his face for a catcher's mitt" while the others watched, stunned.
      Scarecrow: Batman, the Cloudburst was mine... my greatest weapon, my instrument of fear! I will exact terrible vengeance for this, upon you and all your allies. Like Poison Ivy — my toxin attacks the mind of humans, but it leeches her life of her. She's paying the price for opposing me right now.
    • After Gordon seems to panic and shoot Batman during the standoff at the construction site, Scarecrow hisses "Did you think I wanted him dead?" and immediately begins pushing Barbara off the edge of the building himself. It's not clarified if Crane actually thinks his plans are ruined, or if he too knows about the Batsuit's plated symbol and is punishing Jim for letting Batman get away, but his sadistic anger comes through loud and clear.
    • As Batman is taken over completely by the Joker inside him, Crane, obsessed with the idea of Batman knowing fear, can't handle Bruce laughing hysterically instead of looking terrified and giving him yet another dose. Bruce injects him with his own fear toxin shortly after, overpowering his immunity and finally shattering his unflappable demeanor for good.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In Knight, Scarecrow's dialect infrequently wavers between his usual American and John Noble's native Australian.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: In Knight, Scarecrow manages to take over Gotham in a manner of hours, unleashing more destruction on a scale, not even the Joker could manage. He also managed to do the one thing no Batman villain has ever done and out Batman's secret identity to the world, forcing Batman and Alfred to go into hiding and causing long-term damage to Batman and his allies.
  • Playing with Fire: In Knight's Nightmare Missions, he attacks by throwing fireballs.
  • Playing with Syringes: Sports some on his glove to directly apply his fear toxin to victims, but in different ways depending on the game. In Asylum, they're directly on his fingertips (ala Freddy Kreuger's knife glove, and in particular like the heroin needles he uses to kill Taryn White), whereas in Knight, they're mounted on a claw-like frame that attaches to the back of his hand.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: He made it seem like he drove Barbara Gordon to commit suicide through careful application of fear gas, keeping her alive and hostage to serve as leverage against Commissioner Gordon, who has no choice but to help apprehend the Batman.
  • Psycho Psychologist: Unlike Hugo Strange who was a Knight Templar Well-Intentioned Extremist who was still competent enough to correctly diagnose many of his patients and used those skills to correctly deduce Batman's identity from a distance, Scarecrow merely uses his training to drive his patients insane with fear, there's no pretense about any of this having any larger meaning or purpose. He's just a torturer who uses hallucinogenic drugs to torment his victims.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue Oni To Arkham Knight's Red Oni. He is cold and detached in his movements, unlike the rather unhinged and theatrical Arkham Knight.
  • Revenge: His whole motivation in Knight. He blames Batman for his disfigurement at Killer Croc's hands and seeks to make him suffer any way he can.
  • Sadist: Especially in Knight. It's not enough for Scarecrow to simply kill Batman. He has to make him suffer.
  • Sadistic Choice: Scarecrow forces Commissioner Gordon into betraying Batman to save his daughter. Though Commissioner Gordon takes a third option by shooting at the center with the heavily armored Bat Insignia, knowing that Batman will survive the fall off of the building. Later, Scarecrow once again guilts the commissioner to remove Batman's mask and reveal his identity by threatening to kill Robin. This time there is no way out and Batman permits him to go ahead and do it.
  • Sanity Slippage: In Asylum, he was already unstable, but no more than any of the other villains. His defeat and disfigurement at Killer Croc's hands have driven him completely off the deep end, leaving him with a burning desire for revenge against Batman.
    • The very end of Knight implies that the shock and lingering after-effects of his concentrated dose of toxin have driven him into helpless, mumbling, fearful catatonia.
  • Scary Scarecrow: His general motif.
  • Secret Identity Apathy: Played With. Scarecrow admits that he doesn't care who Batman is underneath the mask, but he knows that the people of Gotham would because Batman is a symbol to them and unmasking him would destroy that symbol. Upon unmasking Bruce, his reaction is just to mutter "Bruce Wayne?" in a tone of voice that says "oh, huh, that's interesting". He then just continues the final step of his plan without really dwelling on it otherwise.
    Scarecrow: I don't care who you are. But they will.
  • Secret-Identity Identity: His public identity is Dr. Jonathan Crane, but his obsession with fear and Batman has caused him to identify himself as Scarecrow only, even going as far as stitching his mask onto his face after he was disfigured by Killer Croc.
  • Self Stitching: After being dragged into deep water and badly mauled by Killer Croc in Asylum — resulting in him going blind in at least one eye, his nose and jaw being caved in, and losing several teeth at the very least — Scarecrow went into hiding and performed crude reconstructive surgery on himself, the horrifying results of which can be seen fully in Knight. For reference, that's now his actual face and not just a mask.
  • Shipper on Deck: In Knight, believe it or not, he seems to agree with Batman and Poison Ivy being together based on some small comments. He even asks Batman if he won her over by using his charm. Of course, being a villain, he hopes they're Together in Death.
    • Even more humorously, in the Nightmare Challenges, Scarecrow insultingly refers to Joker as "Batman's better half", as if the two were married.
  • Sinister Scythe: Holds one in his profile.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: For Asylum, interestingly enough. Watch every trailer made for Arkham Asylum prior to it's release. Despite he and the toxin hallucinations he gives Batman showing up a couple times in the game, he never shows up once in the trailers.
  • Shout-Out: By the time of Knight, Scarecrow heavily resembles Psychopathic Manchild Mason Verger of the Hannibal Lecter series. Both are sociopathic individuals who seclude themselves and don't face their opponents man-to-man unless completely necessary, both have very terrible means of Cold-Blooded Torture (Crane's fear gas and Verger's man-eating pigs), and both suffered heavy physical and mental injuries from a convicted cannibalistic serial killer (Croc for Scarecrow, Lecter for Verger), and both are Hoist by His Own Petard (Scarecrow ends up with a heavy dosage of his fear gas and ends up perpetually frightened, while Verger is either forced to eat his pet eel or is thrown to his own pigs).
  • The Sociopath: Cold, sadistic, indifferent to the suffering of others, and incredibly manipulative.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Present in his interview tapes in Asylum, but when he returns in Knight, he's especially calm and collected, even though he's almost hissing each word with contempt. His line to Barbara as he throws her off the construction site displays this perfectly.
    Scarecrow: Shhhh... It's okay to be afraid.
  • Stalker without a Crush: Followed Batman's entire heroic lifestyle and perfectly gained a thorough knowledge of the Dark Knight, all so he could find a way to cause him pain and suffering.
    • This is shown quite unnervingly in Arkham Asylum. It's possible to find a hidden room in the Intensive Treatment Center that was evidently Scarecrow's hidden lair on the island. As well as his equipment, it also contains a map of the Arkham facility, as well as photographs of Batman exploring the Asylum. Meaning that Scarecrow had been watching and following Batman the entire time and waiting for the opportunity to strike.
  • The Stoic: In Knight. Almost to the point of Dissonant Serenity. Nothing seems to faze Scarecrow and he rarely emotes as he gives his Breaking Speeches in that same even tone. Even as his plans systematically fall apart, his army is destroyed, and his loyal Dragon is defeated, he takes it in stride and calmly comes up with a backup plan when he experiences a setback.
  • Stronger Than They Look: In Arkham Asylum, despite being skinny and hunched over, the guard who Batman hallucinates is Commissioner Gordon is dragged off screen and killed by Scarecrow. Given that the guard is clearly clinging to the vent and is not under Scarecrow's fear toxin, this indicates that Scarecrow managed to drag the guard three or four feet by his ankle despite the considerable body armor the guard is wearing. Given that Crane is not carrying any weapon, and the fact that the guard is found dead two seconds later, it is also indicated that Crane killed the guard by breaking his neck, showing that Crane is far stronger than he appears.
  • Take Over the World: Although he shows no interest in specific conquest, he aims to do it ideologically in Knight, vowing that when he moves beyond the ruins of Gotham and begins to exact his further plans of shrouding the Eastern Seaboard with fear gas, he will see a world terrified of his growing legacy, and absent of the hope that the Batman's legend has inspired.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With the Arkham Knight. Both of them want to kill Batman, but their methods on how to do it differ greatly. The Knight wants to just pump him full of bullets and be done with it. Scarecrow wants to draw out Batman's suffering and humiliate him, then kill him. This trope comes to a head when the Knight challenges Batman to a tank battle with the Cloudburst as bait. Scarecrow is obviously pissed and demands he stop, but the Knight is done taking orders.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: In Knight, he freely admits that his actions throughout the game, especially with the Cloudburst, amount to terrorism. He has no actual cause aside from shrouding the world in fear.
  • That Man Is Dead: His first words in Arkham Asylum are "There is no Crane, only Scarecrow".
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives this constantly throughout Knight detailing how Batman has failed the city, directly blames him for all his friends and allies who were maimed and/or killed along the way, and how he won't stop him and that he'll eventually have his revenge.
  • This Cannot Be!: Batman managing to overcome his toxin tends to get this reaction.
    • In Arkham Asylum after the final fear toxin section, Scarecrow is aghast that Batman is still standing, much less still in his own mind, having injected him with enough toxin to drive ten men insane.
    • At the end of Arkham Knight it happens again — this time, however, due to Joker's personality buried deep down within Bruce's mind; all the first dose does is bring that personality to the surface, which is exactly what Joker wants. Out of frustration Scarecrow injects him again, with the effect this time being that Bruce can wrestle control of his own mind back from Joker. Scarecrow injects him one final time after that, seemingly to confirm his victory and prove his point, only for the toxin to have no effect due to Bruce overcoming his innermost fears.
      Bruce: I'm not afraid, Crane!
      Scarecrow: Impossible! Without fear, life is meaningless!
  • Took a Level in Badass: In Arkham Knight, Scarecrow really steps up his game, going from a minor but memorable opponent in Asylum to the main villain of the fourth game. He also manages to cause more destruction to Gotham than Joker ever could and manages to out Batman's identity to the world, a feat no Batman villain could ever accomplish. This is even reflected in his boss fights in both games. In Asylum, Scarecrow only attacked if Batman stepped into his line of sight. In Knight's Nightmare Missions, Scarecrow actively attacks Batman with fireballs and Eye Beams. It's mitigated, however, as Batman is in the Batmobile, thus giving him the firepower to fight back.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: He goes from an Ax-Crazy Giggling Villain in Asylum to a stoic Soft-Spoken Sadist in Knight. Very likely from his near-death experience from Croc.
  • Tranquil Fury: His default mood switches from Dissonant Serenity to this after the Cloudburst plan is foiled. He's still as calm as ever, but his voice now carries a slight edge to it.
  • Tricked-Out Gloves: His signature weapon in the Arkhamverse is a metal glove tipped with syringes — mounted on the fingertips in Asylum, and in a claw-like setup on the back of his hand in Knight — allowing him to inject his victims with fear toxin directly.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Arkham Knight confirms that Crane is still alive, but doesn't mention how he survived his encounter with Killer Croc. However, he didn't escape without some issues.
  • The Unfettered: By the time of Knight, Scarecrow has become this. His mauling at the hands of Killer Croc made him unhinged and ruthless, and he would stop at nothing to destroy every single aspect of Batman. Even the Joker, for all of his heinous crimes and actions, has one line that he would not cross: unmasking the Batman and outing it to the public simply because it would ruin the fun for him. Scarecrow, on the other hand, disregards these compunctions and this allows him to expose Batman as Bruce Wayne for the whole world to see; with full intent to destroy his legend and the hope he brings.
  • Villain Has a Point: Arkham Knight has the good doctor call out Batman on his uselessness of being a hero and his failure to make Gotham City a better place, though it's a lot more unearned compared to Hugo Strange who genuinely believed his crazy plan was superior and more effective as opposed to Scarecrow who wants to terrify people into fear-crazed zombies For the Evulz.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Subtly at first; despite his normally unflappable demeanor, he begins to speak with slight irritation after his Cloudburst plan is foiled. Then at the end completely loses his shit after Batman makes him inject himself with a concentrated dose of fear toxin.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In Asylum.
  • Wolverine Claws: In Asylum, he sports a Freddy Krueger-Esque glove with syringes acting as the claws. In Knight, the syringes are wrist-mounted, making them resemble the actual Wolverine's claws.
  • Worthy Opponent: One of his quotes in the Nightmare Missions shows that he views Batman as this.
    Scarecrow: I find it amazing that you're still alive, let alone driving. You're quite the adversary, Batman. I never had to work so hard to rip a person's soul apart. I must say I appreciate the challenge.
  • What the Hell Are You?: His near word-for-word reaction in Asylum when Batman can retain his sanity after being injected with enough fear toxin to drive ten men insane.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: The Arkham Knight constantly berates him for this, stating that Batman is too dangerous to be left alive and should be killed immediately. Scarecrow reasons that killing Batman would only make him a martyr in the eyes of Gotham, and that it would be more effective to break his spirit and humiliate him.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: Knight shows that Scarecrow is a master at this, immediately and instantly coming up with a new scheme should he experience a setback.

Without fear, life is meaningless!