All the Scarecrow Wants is a Brain from the Wizard…and to Defeat the Batman

In Rocksteady's final Batman adventure, will the Dark Knight defeat all foes as he has done so many times before or will he be driven mad by what he has done and the crumbling of his "beloved" city around his pointy ears.

Next year we will once again return to glide through the deserted streets of Gotham City as the caped crusader in Batman: Arkham Knight, but this time with the added bonus of commanding the infamous Batmobile. From everything we have seen so far, it seems that the Batman will be facing his biggest physical threat yet in the Arkham Knight alongside the dangerous psychological threat that is the insane supervillain – Scarecrow, bent on dragging Batman’s “beloved Gotham into oblivion”.

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Many people might be unaware of the fact that just like Cillian Murphy who played Scarecrow in all three of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films, Scarecrow has been present or at least referenced in every one of the Batman Arkham games.

This obviously leads to the conclusion that Rocksteady has had big plans for Scarecrow for many years, possibly ending with him being the penultimate villain for Batman. Batman has never truly been bested physically in the Arkham series and there is a chance that even the Arkham Knight won’t stand a chance in the end. Perhaps Rocksteady are taking a different approach and they believe that the Scarecrow can dominate him mentally.

Scarecrow, or Jonathan Crane’s first appearance was in Batman: Arkham Asylum where he was apparently eaten alive by Killer Croc who is obviously not choosey about what he eats. Naturally those of us who played the first game assumed he had died until we were treated to a scene where we saw Scarecrow’s needled hand clinging onto a crate of “Titan” after surviving his crocodilian encounter much like Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter. Much speculation exists around the Internet that Crane simply injected Killer Croc with his fear toxin thereby driving him mad with fear and allowing him to escape. This explanation does seem rather flimsy but nevertheless the results of Scarecrow’s encounter with Croc can be seen in the E3 2014 gameplay trailer where Scarecrow looks scarred and disfigured.

Scarecrow did not appear in the next games from either Rocksteady or W.B. Montréal but he was mentioned and hinted at with a variety of not so subtle easter eggs. In Batman: Arkham Origins, several posters seeking research subjects can be found if you look closely enough but this by itself is not that strange seeing as how this game takes place before the events of Arkham Asylum. If you spent enough time in Batman: Arkham City you may have noticed Crane’s hideout in a barge located between… you guessed it – two Cranes.

This is pretty concrete evidence that Crane survived and that he is either plotting his next scheme or trying to patent his “fear toxin” which I would advise in this city full of thieves.

All jokes aside (I’ll leave that to the Joker), we have already seen that Batman with his iron will and strength can resist Crane’s fear toxin and snap out of his hallucinations involving his dead parents. This would normally leave you confident that Batman will be able to handle the masked villain except for the fact that he is now in the possession of Titan, which is the stronger older brother of the super-steroid “Venom”. We never found out what Crane intends to do with this crate of Titan or if he even still has it. There exists a possibility that Crane has somehow managed to fuse his own fear toxin with that of Dr. Penelope Young’s enhanced Venom formula.

Without evidence this all sounds like the ramblings of a writer who does not know the Batman series back to front except that something similar to this happened in The New 52 comics series where Bane hired Crane to create a new and improved fear toxin fused with Venom. If Crane has succeeded in creating this new compound then maybe it is strong enough to finally affect the Batman.

The details surrounding the Arkham Knight and his identity have been left intentionally vague by Rocksteady and there is a chance that he might only exist in the imagination of a Batman driven to the brink of insanity by a superior psychological foe.

The Arkham Knight could be a projection of how Bruce Wayne sees himself after the events of the previous games or the secret identity of the Arkham Knight could be that of the Joker who is the one person that Batman could have saved but failed. Although I do believe that the Joker is finally dead, I can’t help but feel that Rocksteady aren’t willing to let him rest and that they may try to resurrect him in some sort of “Frankenstein” fashion.

Whatever ends up happening in Batman Arkham Knight I can’t deny my excitement for the game and what it will do to try and shock and surprise me.

How do you feel about the upcoming Batman Game? Have you had enough of the Arkham series and do you think it will be the Arkham Knight or the Scarecrow to face Batman in the end?

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Simon Costelloe
From an early age I knew I was destined to not only play games in my parent's basement but to also write about them poorly. It is my sincere hope that one day I will achieve my dream and become "CEO of Games". I don't know if that position exists but it should. Please follow me on twitter @SicoShock for absolutely no reason as I am still learning how to use the "ol twitter machine".