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Scarecrow: The Underappreciated Bad Guy

August 6, 2012

SPOILER ALERT! Do not read if you have not watched The Dark Knight Rises.

The majority of the Batman coverage has revolved around the greatness of The Joker and the banality of Bane (sorry). I am not using that word to be cheeky. I feel like Bane is just another bad guy who wants carnage and achieves this with physical might and an endless army. He is the kind of boring, brawling and badass villain that quotes philosophy whilst hurting vertebrae. To be fair Christopher Nolan was looking for the complete opposite of what he and Heath Ledger created. Thus, he put a baboon mask on a great actor and had Batman go out against a physical rival as opposed to a psychotic soul mate.

Cillian Murphy and his creepy intelligence provide a backbone to the series and a perfect representation of the Gotham villain. He is a survivor that will always be a thorn in the side of Batman and JGL.  I am paraphrasing and rephrasing in dude speak an excerpt from a Viking history book. King Charlemagne supposedly wept as he spoke about the Vikings. He said “They will never destroy the empire but they will always be a pain in the ass.”  He knew that they would always be chipping away at his empire. They wouldn’t destroy it but they were crafty enough to be an annoyance to a powerful man.

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The Scarecrow is a survivor. He threatened Batman in Batman Begins. He escaped from jail and became a crafty criminal in The Dark Knight. Then, he rose to great heights as judge, jury and executioner in Bane’s Gotham. Also, you don’t know what happens to him after the film ends. My guess is that he will continue to be the thrifty bad guy who will no doubt battle JGL’s new crime fighter.

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I love this type of villain. He is not all-powerful or too snarky. He is good enough to stay alive and prosper in the craziest city in the world. He does not have any fight training or great resources. He gets by on being a Viking. Instead of slick boats and axes he uses his intelligence/insanity to survive. It says something when Ral Al Ghul the worlds supreme bad guy trusts you to do his dirty work.

His character reminded me of Loki. Loki is smart enough to almost destroy planets and rally naive armies to attack Earth. However, he never thinks his plans through and he ends up defeated but never caught. He manages to escape precarious situations and lives to fight another day. With Loki around the world will never be destroyed. It will just be annoyed. He leaves the planet killing to Thanos and Galactus. The Scarecrow takes second fiddle to The Joker and Bane.

At the end of the day The Scarecrow will never get the appreciation he deserves. However, he is what Gotham is about. A constant threat that justifies a man in a bat suit.

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