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Batman: How Scarecrow Passed Joker to Become Gotham's Greatest Threat
Amer Sawan
2021-07-05T19:53:27
Batman Scarecrow Infinite Frontier
Batman Scarecrow Infinite Frontier
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman #108 by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jiménez, Tomeu Morey and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
The Scarecrow has been making serious strides in Gotham since the Joker's last attack. In fact, he seems to be two steps ahead of the entire Bat-Family, manipulating the city by using their own fear against them and playing the role of puppet master more than a direct agent of chaos. But while Scarecrow has yet to make his major move, he is already building enough fear within Gotham that people are beginning to fear that it's another Joker-level attack.
But is this a sign that Scarecrow is trying to usurp the Joker as Batman's greatest enemy or, even more terrifying, is Batman just a roadblock to Scarecrow on the way to bigger and greater things?
Batman #106. Scarecrow has Bruce Wayne tied to a wheelchair in a straight jacket
Batman #106. Scarecrow has Bruce Wayne tied to a wheelchair in a straight jacket
In the latest run of Batman, Scarecrow has been hard at work behind the scenes. He has been manipulating the mysterious Simon Saint to engineer the implementation of the Magistrate, revealing that his hand in the existence of Magistrate in Future State reaches all the way back to its creation. But Scarecrow is no fool, he knows exactly what the Magistrate would entail for the city and anyone thinking rationally would also realize that the Magistrate would turn any city its "protecting" into a police state.
Therefore, he's been making sure that Gotham isn't thinking rationally. Dipping into his psychological background instead of his chemical one, the Scarecrow has been taking advantage of Gotham's fear of another major attack and pushing it to the limit. Leaving Scarecrows all over the city like some kind of marker of targets, even one inside Mayor Nakano's home. But while it seems unlikely that there is a pattern, the end goal is to instill more fear in the populace, and it's working. People are buying gas masks and getting into fights over supplies to hunker down in case of another attack.
Batman Scarecrow
Batman Scarecrow
But all of this build-up is implying that Scarecrow is as dangerous or more so than the Joker himself. It would seem that Scarecrow is trying his hardest to prove that he is Batman's greatest enemy by staying ahead of the Dark Knight. And if his inevitable capture of Batman is anything, it is proof of this. The Joker never caught Batman and attempted to brainwash him, but the Scarecrow will. It's as if the Scarecrow has evolved, learning to fight on a more strategic level than ever before. He is no longer lashing out at the city or Batman, instead, he's slowly chipping away at both until he's actually ready to strike. And when that happens, he'll only need to hit once.
But in light of his long-term plans with Simon Saint and the fact of his position within the Magistrate years down the road, it seems unlikely that the Scarecrow is actually trying to usurp the Joker as Batman's greatest nemesis. Yes, he's going about this the entirely opposite way of the Joker by trying to instill a desire for absolute order within the city instead of chaos. But based on his actions, the Scarecrow is doing something far more terrifying than trying to become Batman's nemesis: he's leaving Batman behind. His plans for the future have him functioning as the law with Batman as a relic of the past, in effect turning the tables and making Batman the villain of the story.
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