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Batman Wiki

Fear Toxin, also known as Fear Gas, was the signature weapon used by the Scarecrow. It induced involuntary and sometimes irrational fear in its victims' minds, driving them insane.


Scarecrow's Pipe Smoke

Crane originally used a Smoking Pipe to blow the fumes of the toxin at his victims

Originally Crane blew the fumes of this toxin into his target's faces with a Smoking Pipe. Wealthy mansion owner Jeremy T. Fall was the first known victim of Crane's poison.[1]

Background Information and Notes[]

Although Bill Finger created Scarecrow in 1941 within the pages of World's Finest Comics #3, Crane never used any fear inducing weaponry to commit his crimes. The fear gas used by Scarecrow was created by Gardner Fox in 1967, two years after the Daredevil villain Mister Fear used an identical gas in Daredevil #6. However, in Detective Comics #46 Finger wrote a story where Hugo Strange experimented with using Fear Dust on his victims, but it never occurred to anyone at DC between 1940 to 1965 to give this kind of poison to Scarecrow, nor did Professor Strange ever use it again.

Outside Media Adaptations[]

Super Friends[]

In the 1985 Super Friends episode "The Fear" written by Alan Burnett, Scarecrow uses an electronic Fear Transmitter instead of poison as a form of censorship. This is also the first time the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents was ever depicted in any kind of media outside comics as a result of Burnett's Fear Transmitter.

Batman: The Animated Series[]

The Scarecrow used his Fear Toxin in the Batman: Animated Series in all of his major schemes. In the animated series the gas was coloured red (possibly to make it distinguishable from the Joker's green laughing gas). In his first appearance, the Scarecrow simply uses it as a weapon to protect himself or ward off interferences (by spraying it through vents in the fingers of his gloves). Batman, however, finds his lair and opens the tanks containing the toxin, exposing Scarecrow to his own gas and showing him his own fear of bats. Batman sends him to Arkham Asylum. When Scarecrow returns, he makes the gas into a powder that he uses to rig some sports games and collect bid money to fund his "experiments." He attempts to drop a vial onto the audience in the stadium, but Robin catches the vial and Scarecrow is captured by Batman. In his next appearance, Scarecrow exposes Batman to a large dose of the gas (causing him to almost lose his mind). While Batman struggles to get a grip on reality, Scarecrow plans to vent the fear toxin into the city's water supply. Batman shows up and stops Scarecrow's men, but Scarecrow hits the lever and runs. Batman, however, manages to stop the machine before it can vent the poisonous gas and the whole thing explodes. Scarecrow attempts to escape but is exposed to all the gas that escapes from the destroyed machine. He is then sent back to Arkham, scared out of his wits.

Batman Begins[]


Scarecrow using Fear Toxin.

The Fear Toxin is the main part of Ra's al Ghul's master plan to destroy Gotham. The gas is actually made from the blue poppies near Ra's al Ghul's dojo. Dr Jonathan Crane is the corrupt chief therapist at Arkham Asylum. Crane's work on medicine for his patients grants him the knowledge he needs to work with the substance. Crane makes an alliance with Ra's al Ghul and Falcone and uses the flowers to make his fear toxin, Crane also has Falcone sneak in necessary ingredients for the toxin. Crane tested the gas on his patients while doing so he creates a special mask that resembles that of a scarecrow. Crane keeps a large amount of the gas for himself and uses it through special gas sprayers he keeps on his wrists.

Crane puts the final steps of the plan into action when Ra's al Ghul's men deliver him a special Wayne Industries device that can convert liquid into gas. Crane has a liquid form of the fear toxin poured into the water supply and it is soon activated on a moving train, gassing the parts of Gotham it passed and putting all citizens caught in it into a state of panic. Crane escapes from Arkham after a defeat from Batman (where he was stripped of his mask and sprayed with his own toxin which destroyed the rest of his sanity) and rides through the streets on a horse, terrorizing the citizens of Gotham. Scarecrow, however, is forced to retreat after being shot in the face with a taser gun by Rachel Dawes. Batman manages to make a cure for the toxin and it is reproduced to cure the victims poisoned by Crane's gas. The toxin is later halted and flushed out of the water supply.

Batman: Arkham Asylum[]

"How are you doing this? You've ingested enough toxins to drive ten men insane! What... are you!?"
―Scarecrow shocked at Batman's amazing resilience to his toxin[src]

Fear toxin plays an important part in the player's confrontations with Scarecrow in the game. After being exposed to a gaseous form of the toxin while walking, Batman experiences elaborate hallucinations- ranging from finding his parents' bodies in the Arkham Asylum morgue, reliving his last moments with them as they lived, his shock at finding what seemed to be Gordon's corpse, and an 'inversion' where he is the lunatic who has been brought into Arkham by the Joker-, culminating in him being forced to travel through a twisted, nightmare-esque version of Arkham Asylum while evading a giant Scarecrow who will crush him if caught. These confrontations end when Batman shines the Bat-Signal on Scarecrow at the end of the 'maze', the Signal apparently representing Batman's strength of will as he focuses to bring himself out of the hallucination; Scarecrow himself notes that Batman continued to resist even after taking in enough toxins to drive ten men insane.

Also through one of the Riddler's riddles, you find a few canisters of Fear Gas which make its victims go into utter fright, terror, horror, and panic.

Batman: Gotham Knight[]

Scarecrow uses his fear toxin to keep people in constant fear of him. He injected Killer Croc with the toxin so that it coursed throughout his body and Croc could pass the toxin on by biting people.

The Dark Knight[]

The fear toxin features only briefly in this movie. Scarecrow had apparently kept a large amount of toxin for himself after the events of Batman Begins, even peddling it to Gotham's gangs for downmarket sale as a street drug. Crane holds a nighttime meeting at a parking deck with a group of his buyers. Their leader expresses anger at the severe side effects of the toxin as a recreational drug, demonstrating these effects by showing an addled user to an indifferent Crane. Crane and his buyers are interrupted by novice vigilantes dressed in imitation of Batman. One attacks Scarecrow, but Crane repels him by spraying him with the toxin. After the real Batman shows up, he captures the gangsters and, eventually, the escaping Scarecrow.

The Dark Knight (novelization)[]

It's implied in The Dark Knight's novelization that the Joker Poison that the Joker used against P.I. Hamlin was probably a modified version of the Fear Toxin.

Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Gotham City Breakout[]


Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg panicking after getting infected by Fear Gas.

During a battle at Joker’s Funhouse, the Penguin ordered Scarecrow to douse Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg with his Fear Gas, making them cowardly enough for the criminals to torment them. Penguin makes his Deadly Duckies Ferris wheel spin fast enough, launching the three scared heroes onto Poison Ivy’s Carnivorous Fall. Superman is being chased by a Robo-clown, Wonder Woman is getting poked by Joker and Harley Quinn‘s pitchforks and Cyborg is hung upside down by Penguin. Then Harley Quinn torments them with her Wheels of Fire by driving above flaming trash cans causing the Leaguers to freak out, then Superman and Wonder Woman are paralyzed by the laughing mirrors while Cyborg is being chased by one of Joker’s Robo-clowns. Then Superman is placed in a mine cart much to his terrified dismay (Joker shoves Spoony in front of the three cowering heroes and mocks them with a buckle up joke). Lastly Superman, Wonder Woman and Cyborg are running away from three Robo-clowns. With Robin (Damian Wayne) watching them on the Bat-Computer, he sets off to rescue the three Justice Leaguers from Joker, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Scarecrow.



  1. Fright of the Scarecrow! - Batman #189