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"Addendum, psych profile, Jonathan Crane. After a detailed study of Crane's criminal record, as well as an assesment of his particular form of psychosis, I can conclude that Crane's efforts are most effective via the use of proxies. Unwitting associates commonly drugged into submissive complacence, as opposed to any direct actions of the dominant personality. In other words, Jonathan Crane, the victim of abuse and neglect, was ill equipped for the Scarecrow's unique form of brutality. Taking into account that Crane's alter ego was the mastermind, while Crane himself, the scientist, the diligent student, was wholly ineffectual. It is my opinion that Crane is one of the most pitiable among Gotham's violent criminals. A broken man without a voice doomed to speak through others."
Batman's dossier on Jonathan Crane.[src]


Dr. Jonathan Crane is an inmate of Arkham Asylum and a criminal under the alias Scarecrow. He was also a consultant for the Gotham Police Department until his escape, where he began working with Red Hood to mass-produce his anti-fear gas.

Biography[]

Early life[]

Jonathan Crane was born to unnamed parents, who worked as doctors.[1] His mother abandoned him to start a new life and family. In his later years, Jonathan became a graduate student and befriended Leslie Thompkins; also secretly conducting illegal experiments, Jonathan created the fear-inducing hallucinogen fear gas and poisoned Leslie after she learned of his activities. However, Batman was able to stop Crane and save Leslie.[2]

Becoming the Scarecrow[]

Following his failed attack on Leslie, Jonathan began operating in Gotham City as a criminal under the name "Scarecrow", often clashing with Batman. He also came into contact with Cyrus Beake, who became one of his henchmen. During one confrontation with Batman, Jonathan was defeated and taken to Arkham Asylum, where he spent several months as Inmate #36215,[3] with a sample of his gas kept in the Batcave as a keepsake. During his imprisonment, he discovered one of Ra's al Ghul's secret Lazarus Pits under the building, left undiscovered by everyone including Batman.[2]

Mentoring Jason Todd[]

Crane in Arkham Asylum.

In Arkham, Crane became a consultant and profiler for the Gotham City Police Department, acquainting himself with Commissioner Barbara Gordon. He also developed a taste for cannabis, as it helped slow down his mind.[3] Sometime during this, Crane was visited by a despondent Jason Todd, mistaking him for Cyrus Beake and requesting a lighter from him. Upon looking up at his visitor, Crane asked him "whose little boy he was" before being told that he was from the G.C.P.D.. Easily seeing through he façade, Crane stated that lying must make him feel "icky" and once again asked if he had a lighter for his cannabis, to which Jason said he didn't, causing a disheartened Crane to shoo him away. Crane was then ordered by Jason to cut the pothead act and said he knew of his Scarecrow persona. An unimpressed Crane informed him that everyone knew this, and that Scarecrow is now his former life thanks to his time in Arkham; Crane goes on to inform Jason that he was on the G.C.P.D.'s payroll as a consultant and once again dismissingly asked Jason to run along. Instead, Jason asked Crane that, since he created fear gas, he could make something to get rid of fear as well. Half-mockingly admiring his logic, Crane pointed out a lack of motive for him sharing such a thing with a C-list impostor. Jason proclaimed to Crane that he's special, unveiling to him a canister of his fear gas. Now interested, Crane began asking where he found the canister as Batman destroyed all of them; Jason tells Crane that Batman keeps trophies, and that he'll reveal how he got the canister if Crane helps him. Putting the pieces together, Crane realized that Jason was Robin, the notorious side-kick to Batman, and stated that he always imagined him as having wings. Crane is then told of Jason's plan to concoct an antidote to fear and is offered information on Batman, his jailer, in return. Taking a liking to the perverse poetry in Robin betraying Batman, Crane says that he wants specific information and a way out of Arkham, with Jason's help, before accepting the deal.[2]

Sometime after giving him the formula, Crane is visited by a returning Jason and asks to see his eyes as proof that the formula worked; pleased that it had, Crane is told that the formula is off. Crane dismisses this, saying that it's enough for him to have skin in the game, and asks Jason how it feels to be fearless. Jason tells Crane that he feels nothing, causing Crane to proclaim that their job was done and now they can only truly know by testing their concoction against Batman's most fearsome enemy.[2]

Later, Crane is in Arkham when he hears about the death of Robin at the hands of the Joker. However, Crane secretly sends Cyrus Beake to retrieve Jason's corpse and returns to the hiding place of the remaining Lazarus Pit. Crane has Jason's body thrown into the Lazarus waters, causing its mystical properties to resurrect him. Crane then calms Jason as he returns to the living in a panicked state, having recalled his own murder, and reassures Jason that he's safe and secure. Crane then informs a confused Jason on what occurred and tells him that he should really thank Ra's al Ghul. Putting on some music on a vinyl player, Crane urges Jason to let go of his death and to relish in his conquering of both fear and death. Retrieving a ventilator mask of their anti-fear gas, Crane coaxes Jason into taking it, causing Jason to begin experiencing visual hallucinations as Crane dances and laughs along to the music; Crane tells Jason that he'll give Gotham City what it really needs, without hesitation, guilt or fear, giving Jason a new mask, name and identity as a symbol of terror: Red Hood. Crane then gives Jason a new suit and arsenal of weapons.[2]

Helping the G.C.P.D.[]

As the G.C.P.D. begin an investigation into the new Red Hood attacks, Dick Grayson visits Crane's cell in order to elicit information from him. Instead, Crane states that he'll help only if he was given cannabis, specifically sativa. Dick brushes off the deal and accuses him of putting on an act, though Crane clarifies that it helps slow down his brain, and that Arkham isn't much of a place for depressants. Dick asks Crane if he's on the G.C.P.D.'s payroll, to which Crane falsely denies. Dick discusses the details of the case to him as Crane searches for rolling papers; Crane asks Dick if he has any instead, and is granted some before revealing what Barbara told him regarding the case. Despite seeing the perpetrator as vicious, Crane calls their methods clever. Moving the topic of conversation to Dick's history with Bruce Wayne, Crane refers to the story as "biblical" and labels Dick as the prodigal son, though Dick tries to remind Crane that he isn't here to talk about himself and requests any ideas from him regarding the case. Crane asks for a lighter but Dick alleges that he has none, causing Crane to state that it's okay since he "has connections" within the asylum.

Reading the file on the unidentified suspect, Crane describes that the man knows Nightwing and bears a jealousy complex. Dick asks Crane if that's all he has and he confirms it is, though does say that the suspect likely has a background in explosives, military and/or construction, possibly from heavy Internet research. Unimpressed, Dick begins to leave as he criticizes his academic skills before Crane reveals one final detail: that the attack is akin to the chess opening move "Bird's Opening". Dick questions Crane on how he knew this from the police file, to which Crane shows him a note written on the back of a chess manual, detailing a possible code an new lead on the case.[3]

Afterwards, Crane is visited by Dick once again, who passes Crane an eighth of cannabis from Lemon Lyric. Satisfied, Crane informs Dick that Red Hood isn't working alone and requests a profile on them, calling Red Hood a follower who may be searching for a father figure. Dick indulges in Crane's theory and asks him if he knows any criminal father figure who enjoys grand gestures. Crane replies by saying he would've guessed the Joker if not for his death; Crane goes on to say he'll need time thinking about it and that, since Red Hood is in a battle with his father, he will use the weapons of his father, making the abused turn into the abuser. Just then, Dick turns to leave with an apparent epiphany, leaving Crane.[4]

Escape from Arkham Asylum[]

During the morning, Crane is attacked in Arkham by an inmate on orders from Red Hood. Despite the man's failure, Crane is left wounded and is told that Red Hood is after him. Due to the attack, Crane is later transferred to Blackgate for his protection on orders of the Bureau of Prisons. During the transfer, Crane is taken by Dick after attacking the guards, putting him in his Maserati and driving off. In the passenger seat of the car, Crane attempts to talk to Dick and asks if he should be concerned about the gun he took from the B.O.P., going on to call himself a bound and defenseless man. Dick responds that it depends.

While in the car, Dick receives a call from Barbara Gordon and tells her that he'll return Crane soon. Crane states that he'd get that in writing if he were in Barbara's position; Barbara asks if that's Crane listening to their call, to which Crane confirms by greeting her. Barbara reaffirms her orders to return Crane, but Dick ends the call. Once again just the two of them, Crane once again tries casual conversation with Dick by exclaiming that he learned about Red Hood murdering Hawk, calling the former a monster.[1]

Contaminating Gotham City's Water Supply[]

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Taking over Wayne Manor[]

Crane listens to Batman's dossier on him.

After contaminating Gotham City's water supply and framing the Titans for it, Crane and Jason took over Wayne Manor, with Crane now calling it, "Crane Manor". Crane then decided to destroy the portrait of the Wayne family. Before carrying out the task himself, he decided to have Jason do it. Hesitating for a moment, Jason then slashed the portrait apart. Soon after, Crane shaved his beard and danced around Wayne Manor, exploring various items that Batman had collected over the years, including Crane's Scarecrow mask. Crane then listened to Batman's dossier on him, reacting with annoyance and anger at Batman describing his Scarecrow personality as his main criminal personality, with his Crane personality described as "ineffectual" and "pitiable".[5][6]

"Jason. Ah, finally home. Finally home. I see you lost the hood, too. Good call. You know, the time for masks is over."
—Jonathan Crane to Jason Todd.[src]

Not long after, Crane ordered a pizza and took Owen, the delivery guy, captive. With his personalities raging inside himself, Crane attempted to prove that Scarecrow wasn't the only side of himself that could carry out criminal acts. After attempting to cause fear in Owen, Crane found himself unable to kill him and broke down on the floor. Urging himself that he no longer needed a mask, he used a straight razor to carve up his own face before disemboweling Owen. Jason soon returned from a fight with Nightwing where he had left Nightwing for dead. Crane noticed that Jason's hood was missing, stating that it was a good call and that the time for masks was over.[6]

Personality[]

Jonathan Crane is cunning and meticulous with a Hannibal Lecter-type personality. Known as crazy and psychopathic to the vigilantes and law-keepers of Gotham City, Crane's experiments and fascination with fear led to his transformation from a passionate grad student to a terrifying master of fear; his expertise in the criminal element, and his genius, set him apart from other fellow Batman rogues as, unlike other fellow criminals, the vigilante saw use in Crane's ingenuity as a consultant for the Gotham City Police Department.

Abilities[]

  • Genius-level intellect: Crane is a highly intelligent individual, being well known for his expertise in both psychology and chemistry.[3]
    • Master psychologist: Crane is highly accomplished psychologist. His skill was great enough that he became an informant of the police.[3]
    • Master tactician: Crane is a highly skilled planner. Able to uses Jason's activities as Red Hood to orchestrate his escape from Arkham Asylum. He later organized an underground lab to enact his plan to send his anti-fear toxin across Gotham, even getting the crime families to aid him.
      • Master manipulator: Crane is an expert at manipulation, as he was able to manipulate and orchestrate Jason Todd's death without any suspicion. Even the Gotham City Police Department and the Titans were oblivious to his involvement,[2] as Crane was able to infiltrate the Red Hood investigation and feign his own assassination attempt.[1]
    • Master chemist: Crane is a skilled enough chemist that he was able to invent the hallucinogen fear gas,[2] later teaching Jason Todd a way to even reverse-engineer his compound in order to eliminate fear.[3]
  • Skilled hand-to-hand combatant: Crane has some skill in hand-to-hand combat as he fought off an assassin, even disarmed him, but was eventually over powered. Though this was a setup to help him escape Arkham.[1] He also possesses enough strength to snap a person's neck.
  • Sickle expertise: Crane is skilled at using his chained sickle in combat. He used it to attack Jason Todd, slashing at him from a distance.
  • Marksmanship: Crane has some skill at using a firearm. This is seen when he was able to shoot Tim Drake in the back while he was running away.
  • Intimidation: Crane's reputation as the Scarecrow has made him a feared figure in Gotham, even the crime family heads are afraid of him.

Equipment[]

Scarecrow Mask.png

  • Scarecrow Mask: Crane wore a special mask while committing crimes as the Scarecrow.
  • Sickle Chain: Crane uses a farming sickle attached to a metal chain as his signature weapon as the Scarecrow.
  • Snub Nosed Revolver: Crane used this gun when infiltrating a building, when Tim Drake saw him, he shot him in the back.
  • Folding knife: Crane used this knife to free Jason from his restraints when escaping from the Titans.

Appearances[]

Season 3[]

Trivia[]

  • Jonathan Crane is an avid cannabis user, preferring Lemon Lyric's sativa.[3]
  • This is the first incarnation of Johnathan Crane that has a beard, though shaves it off later on.
  • The sickle on a chain that Crane uses is possibly a reference to his Injustice video game counterpart, who uses a similar weapon.

Behind the scenes[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Coggins, Stephanie (writer) & Shelton, Millicent (director) (August 19, 2021). "Blackfire". Titans. Season 3. Episode 4. HBO Max.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Mojsovski, Boris (writer) & Hill, Bryan Edward (director) (August 26, 2021). "Lazarus". Titans. Season 3. Episode 5. HBO Max.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Pabst, Tom (writer) & Banker, Carol (director) (August 12, 2021). "Red Hood". Titans. Season 3. Episode 2. HBO Max.
  4. Gorenberg, Jamie (writer) & Shelton, Millicent (director) (August 12, 2021). "Hank & Dove". Titans. Season 3. Episode 3. HBO Max.
  5. 6.0 6.1
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