Doctor Jonathan Crane, once a successful psychiatrist, now dons the costume of the supervillain Scarecrow. Scarecrow is known for being one of Batman’s most dangerous foes and is a villain known for inducing fears in his opponents, both heroes and villains alike. Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin has – throughout the years – become his major weapon and the villain has perfected it over the years, managing to create new types each time. In today’s article, we are going to examine the effects of Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin on a very unlikely target – the Joker! Does the toxin even affect the Clown Prince of Crime?
What is Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin and what is it made of?
Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin or Fear Gas (depending on the iteration), is Scarecrow’s signature weapon and the weapon that best embodies his villainous persona. The Toxin is a chemical compound – usually in gaseous form (although it was known to be in liquid form likewise) – that causes a neurochemical reaction in the victim’s brain that induces their biggest fears and causes trauma; sometimes, the effects can be so strong that the victims go completely insane.
Interestingly enough, Scarecrow didn’t use his Toxin from the start; he used a gun in his initial appearances. The Fear Toxin debuted in Batman #189 (1967), in the story “Fright of the Scarecrow!”, written by Gardner Fox. Since then, it has become one of Scarecrow’s signature elements.
The exact structure of the Fear Toxin is now known, i.e., it was never revealed in the comics, but it does in involve advanced knowledge in both chemistry and neurology. We assume that it includes hallucinogenic compounds, as well as neurotoxins and hormones. It is difficult to completely identify its structure because Scarecrow keeps changing (i.e., perfecting) his formula, creating different variations.
Is the Joker immune to Fear Toxin?
Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin is a really dangerous weapon that can either seriously damage or completely destroy the psyche of the individual victim. People usually don’t have immunity to Scarecrow’s Toxin, but the comic books have shown that some characters are – in fact – immune to his Toxin; ironically, Scarecrow himself wasn’t always among them.
But, since we are talking about the Joker, we need to answer whether he is immune to the Toxin or not. In most iterations, the Joker is known for being “immune” to Crane’s Toxin, but if we define immunity as being able to fight off the effects of the Toxin, we are not exactly sure if Joker’s immune. He certainly has no fears and the Toxin wouldn’t really have any effect, but we’re still unsure what happens in Joker’s body.
If he were immune, the Toxin wouldn’t do anything to his body, to his neurochemistry and would just dissolve inside his body like any other harmless substance. But, the lack of any visible effect of the Toxin might also be due to the fact that Joker is so specific that he has no fears, meaning that the Toxin doesn’t really have anything to trigger, despite having the same effects on the body. Until someone dissects the Joker, we’ll probably never know.
What would happen if Joker was exposed to Fear Toxin?
We could speculate as to what would happen to Joker if he were to be exposed to Crane’s Fear Toxin, but luckily we have this panel from Detective Comics #664, which shows us exactly what happens:
And as you can see, what happens is – absolutely nothing! Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin doesn’t have any visible effect on the Joker, it’s just like an air freshener to him. Whether that is because he is immune or because the Toxin doesn’t have any fears to trigger remains a mystery, but we know for sure that the Toxin does absolutely nothing.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments below!