Have you ever wonder about the psychological state of Batman’s villains? I do. So, let’s dive in and learn more!
The Beginning of Scarecrow
Scarecrow secret mental file is now available!
Jonathan Crane‘s character is one that developed depth over the years. The creation of the character comes from Bill Finger and Bob Kane in 1941 and belongs to DC Comics. Scarecrow’s persona made its first-ever appearance.
The creation of Scarecrow’s inspiration comes from the iconic Ichabod Crane from the folklore tale of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” It is quite interesting to know where the villain’s idea comes from and even more fascinating when realizing how it grew.
While some might consider Scarecrow a Supervillain, the man in question doesn’t have superpowers. Crane uses his knowledge of chemistry and psychology to create his fear gas and dress accordingly.
Crane’s beauty is his capability to use fear to manipulate people and threaten them by the mere thought of their hell. But again, he has no superpower.
The Origin Of Dr. Jonathan Crane, Ph.D.
The first appearance of Scarecrow was in the #3, World’s Finest Comics. That happened during the Golden Age of Comic Books. His name was Johnathan Crane, and he was a professor of psychology.
At the time, the character was a specialist in fear. To make a point, he fired a gun in a class filled with students. When the school fired him, Dr. Crane turned to crime.
His most potent weapon is his concoction of fear gas. However, that idea didn’t show in the comics until Detective Comics #46. The fear gas’s first mention was in December 1940. The gas itself came along in a storyline featuring Hugo Strange.
At the time of his creation, criminal psychology had next to no existence. Most people believed that if you were dangerous, it was from birth. So, backgrounds on villains in comic books were simpler.
Crane’s childhood depicted him as someone who liked to scare birds. He turned to crime due to how his teachers described him. Introversion and fascination with threatening others made him Scarecrow.
The Evolution Of Fear
Like many other villains, Crane received a revamp over the years. Readers want more than just a 2D villain. They want a story and a background. See, the Batmanverse attracts more than just comic book readers but also people who are into criminal psychology.
Scarecrow is a villain that has much to share and much potential to grow. After all, it was not until the 70s that the slow start of criminal psychology started. If you want a good entertaining story lesson, watch Netflix‘ MindHunter to learn more.
Crane’s character went under scrutiny with Nolan‘s Dark Knight movie trilogy, and most recently, Gotham and the Arkham franchise. The oversimplified origin of his character in the 40s allowed for change.
The Gotham Treatment
My favorite idea was from the series, Gotham. We see a young Jonathan Crane raised by his father, who appears as a mad scientist.
If we take Gotham as an example, the father was a fear specialist and psychologist. His main test subject, his son, and the abuse he went under marked him for life with an O.D. on the fear toxin given by his father.
Crane grew up at the mercy of his father, who showed to be verbally and physically abusive. Slender, mostly underweight and malnourished. He has a ghostly appearance feeding the abused environment he is in.
When trapped, Dr. Crane and his son try to flee the G.C.P.D. Despite the boy being a victim. In a last attempt to prove his life’s work to eliminate fear altogether, Dr. Crane gives the last dosage to his son. Dr. Crane is shot dead, but the son is at the feet of a scarecrow in an overdosed stage.
He is later slowly recovering in the hospital but in a constant state of fear despite the best medical efforts.
Scarecrow Has A Brain
Crane is a complex character despite his simplified origins. This person grew up in an abusive environment. It doesn’t matter if the hurt or bullying came from his teachers, schoolmates, parents, or strangers.
The first sign of his trauma comes from insults and physical abuse. Scarecrow secret mental file shows many revamps and similar back stories.
The life of Crane starts from a desperate attempt to please the people surrounding him. He wants to be someone who is “normal” or have validation. Crane wants to be, what every one of us wants, love. However, life wasn’t kind to him, and instead, he fed on violence and torment.
Instead of growing weak and insecure, Crane was a victim who let all the abusive methods feed him. Living in pure fear was not what he wanted, but the one feared. In many ways, Crane is a Batman who snapped. Crane used his fear to impose himself as a frightening sight. Meanwhile, Batman used his fear to overcome it and become a symbol of justice.
That is the difference between a childhood drama dealt with order and discipline and grew out of proportion.
Antisocial Personality Disorder
Crane grew up as an adult with unresolved childhood traumas. He was left on his own to deal with fears that took over his entire mental state. We are talking about a ticking bomb ready to explode. We don’t know when. But now, Scarecrow secret mental file is under my study.
In that regard, Crane has an antisocial personality disorder and has next to no empathy. Some wonder how he earned his degree but having no sympathy for humankind doesn’t mean you cannot be a good actor.
The abusive past Crane is a victim of created his apathy toward humankind. Humans are the enemy and he doesn’t want them around. After all, one of them could be his next bully. Instead, he turns to science to make his fear toxin.
Multiple Various Phobias
His antisocial personality disorder and apathy are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Crane. The fact that he could carry on with his research in amplifying fear in others demonstrates his residual trauma. But it also reveals his paranoid personality.
Crane had ornithophobia, which is a natural fear of crows. His diagnosis with anxiety disorder, his phobia quickly took over his life without treatment. His fear, readers know, comes from a murder of crows attacking him at his parents’ aviary.
However, when meeting with Batman, Crane developed chiroptophobia, which is the fear of bats.
Growing up in fear, either from an abusive grandmother or father or schoolmates, Crane grew up in fear. Attacked by a murder of crows, he became the one thing known to frightened them away, a Scarecrow.
It is his obsession to lead others by fears that molded his personality. First abused by humans, developing apathy toward them, questioning fear to the point of obsession, and recalls the murder of crows becoming Scarecrow.
His obsession with his fear of trying to eliminate them had him become immune to the fear toxin himself. However, it became his weapon, and one sought after as well. His obsessive personality has him continually wanting to poison everyone, not for wealth or murder, but have them live the pain he went through.
My Unprofessional Diagnosis
Dr. Jonathan Crane needs in-depth psychological therapy and cannot receive chemical treatments, i.e., pills due to his high resistance to them. Because of his education, Dr. Crane cannot be alone with a therapist.
His past encounters with professionals and other people had him recite their psychological state to the point of them committing suicide. His genius-level I.Q. and knowledge of self-defense makes him dangerous to himself and others.
His crimes should direct him to solitary confinement in the Blackgate Penitentiary. But his mental state would benefit more by receiving Arkham Asylum treatment.
Scarecrow secret mental file is now available as is Mr. Freeze and Joker! I wonder who is coming up next! If you have a suggestion, leave those in the comments. I do DC Comics characters.