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Mad Men alum Vincent Kartheiser playing a classic Batman villain in Titans season 3

Vincent Katheiser as Pete Cambell in Mad Men
Vincent Katheiser as Pete Cambell in Mad Men. Pic credit: AMC

A classic Batman foe is coming to face the Titans.

Vincent Kartheiser of Angel and Mad Men will be playing Jonathan Crane, aka the Scarecrow, in season 3 of the DC Comics series and is ready to bring fear to the young heroes.

Who is the Scarecrow?

Debuting in 1941, Jonathan Crane was a professor of psychology at Gotham University who was fired for embarking on illegal experiments with his students.

Turning to crime, Crane took on the identity of the Scarecrow, dressed as the classic character. He would use gases and chemicals to instill fear in people for various crimes. 

The Scarecrow actually made only two appearances and vanished for years. He was revived in the 1960s for a more fearsome appearance and he began seeing the world as a lab for his experiments. 

The 1990s twisted Crane into a true madman who often tries to break Batman and other heroes with his games but ironically has his own phobia for bats. 

The character got recognition as part of the “Legion of Doom” in the old Challenge of the Superfriends cartoon. The 1990s Batman Animated Series had him becoming a more fearsome fighter using a scythe in battles.

Batman Begins starred Cillian Murphy as Crane, who takes on the Scarecrow persona while aiding Ra’s al Ghul in spreading his fear toxin across Gotham City. Murphy would briefly reprise the role for The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

Fox’s Gotham show had Charlie Tahan playing Crane, who was subjected to a fear toxin by his father that turned him mad. The fourth and fifth seasons had him embracing the Scarecrow persona (with a comics-accurate costume) to plague Gotham. 

The new Scarecrow

Titans had aired for two seasons on the now-defunct DC Universe platform and will have its third season on HBO Max.

Adapting the popular comic, it focuses on the former teenage heroes Robin, Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, and others now united as a team. 

The second season had Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) moving from Robin to become Nightwing. Iain Glen appeared in season 2 as a semi-retired Batman. 

Crane will appear in season three with the description stating that he is now imprisoned in Arkham Asylum after attempting to use his fear toxin on Gotham City but has information on a new threat.

Kartheiser had a breakout role as Connor on the WB Angel series. He then gained more fame playing Pete Campbell in the Emmy-winning Mad Men. 

It appears the show will be moving into more of the Bat-Lore with Savannah Welch playing Barbara Gordon, the former Batgirl now computer hacker Oracle. 

While filming is still ongoing, Kartheiser seems ready to bring the fear to the Titans and audiences alike.

Titans seasons 1&2 now streaming on HBO Max, season 3 coming summer 2021.

Michael Weyer


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