Ebenezer Laughton was raised by an alcoholic mother who beat him viciously, but would be reward him with presents when she was overcome with guilt over her actions. Hereby learning that rewards followed punishment, Laughton began deliberately misbehaving to receive beatings.
Naturally flexible, lithe, and double-jointed, a young Laughton became obsessed with emulating a “rubber man" after seeing him perform at a traveling carnival. Training himself almost nonstop, Laughton became increasingly proficient in his contortionist skills and also learned to perform various acrobatic stunts. Growing into a socially stunted young man, Laughton worked as sideshow rubber man "Umberto the Uncanny," and a brief audition of his abilities gained him a job at a live variety show.
During one of his performances, Laughton helped Iron Man stop a criminal with his acrobatics and agility. Realizing the criminal potential he possessed. Laughton stole a flock of trained birds from a fellow performer and became "Scarecrow."
Ebenezer Laughton, the Scarecrow, was created by Stan Lee and Don Heck and first appeared in Tales of Suspense issue 51 (1964).
He is not to be confused with Marvel's Straw Man, who is has also been called "Scarecrow," or DC's character of the same name.
Ebenezer Laughton, the Scarecrow, began his criminal career as an accomplished burglar and professional thief. He worked largely alone, except for a flock of trained crows which served as carriers and even killers, and he possessed no superhuman powers save for his "rubber man" abilities.
After being enlisted at the Firm, Laughton was raised from the dead by a sorcerer and gained superhuman strength, speed, and endurance as well as the supernatural ability to induce fear in his enemies.
Laughton's physiology and mentality would fluctuate quite a bit over the years, given his employ and manipulation by various evil entities. His affairs with demonic beings resulted in continuing conflicts with Ghost Rider and his allies, with Laughton even becoming a body-hopping ghost during one such campaign. Eventually, Laughton would be abandoned by his various "magical employers," and stabilize physically, if not mentally.
Major Story Arcs
After defeats from Spider-Man and Iron Man, Scarecrow took part in the super-villain attack on Reed and Sue Richards' Wedding. He also joined Count Nefaria's super team and battled the X-Men.
With the Cowled Commander and his partners, Scarecrow helped spread chaos for the Commander's plot. He was eventually defeated by Captain America, causing Scarecrow to develop an intense hatred towards the hero. After yet another unsuccessful clash with Captain America, Scarecrow was placed in solitary confinement for nearly a year, making the already unstable Scarecrow go mad. Escaping his imprisonment, Scarecrow went on a killing spree, only to be stopped by Captain America once again.
Acts of Vengeance
Scarecrow was imprisoned in the Vault, and tried to escape when the Wizard helped lead a breakout. Iron Man and Hawkeye came to thwart this breakout, only for Scarecrow to sneak up on Hawkeye from behind and threaten to slash his neck with a shiv. The Avenger flipped Scarecrow onto his back however and aimed an arrow at him to coerce Scarecrow into returning to his cell.
Scarecrow eventually escaped and committed further serial slayings, seeking to "free the fear" within his victims and draw out Captain America, but instead Danny Ketch, the Ghost Rider arrived to stop him, and the Scarecrow was killed when he fell on his own pitchfork during their struggle. His body was taken by the organization called The Firm who brought him back to life, now with super strength and the ability to instill fear within his foes. He had countless battles against Danny Ketch as Ghost Rider and even faced off against a team-up of Captain America and Ghost Rider.
Dying in another battle with Ghost Rider, Scarecrow was resurrected by the demonic Blackheart, who sent Scarecrow's disembodied spirit to possess the dead body of Barbara Ketch, sister of the Ghost Rider's human host. Following a harrowing battle, Scarecrow's soul was once again cast into Hell. Somehow returning to physical life, Scarecrow battled the Falcon before being sent to the Raft super-prison, where he escaped during a massive breakout.
Scarecrow was hired by the Chameleon to kill Spider-Man during the events of the Civil War story arc where everyone found out Spider's identity ,along with Molten Man, Will-O-The-Wisp, and Electro. Later he would join the hero hunters of the Thunderbolts, also during the Civil War conflict. He has recently resurfaced again as part of the Hood's Gang. He is seen as a paranormal consultant due to his experience in the occult.
Secret Invasion/Dark Reign
While in the Hood's Gang, Ebenezer and other villains helped the planet Earth against the Skrull Invasion during the Secret Invasion story arc. He would also later, in a small way, aid the Hood by giving him contact information on Satana who the Hood figured she could help him in his situation with Dormammu. He went to Scarecrow due to his past involvement with supernatural forces.
Heaven's On Fire
Recently he left the Hood's gang and joined with other Hood's Gang member Blackout in forming a group consisting of other paranormal villains to track and kill both Ghost Riders, Johnny Blaze and Daniel Ketch. He and Madcap would end up fighting Hellstorm and Jaine Cutter. Scarecrow was nearly close to scaring Hellstorm with haunting memories of Hellcat. However he was stopped and defeated in a contorted position.
Shock and Awe
Scarecrow teamed up with Raoul Bushman as his right-hand man by breaking out most of the residents of the Ravencroft Institute, and Scarecrow promptly began lobotomizing them - using an ice pick. When Moon Knight got onto the streets and started fighting the insane people, he asked for Frenchie to bring the plane. Frenchie told Moon Knight that he couldn't, and to look at the sky. Upon looking up, Moon Knight saw that the sky had filled with crows. Moon Knight then told Frenchie to press a certain button, and Frenchie did so, which dropped a net over all the crows. As the crazy people ran off, Moon Knight confronted Scarecrow. Before Moon Knight could hit him, Scarecrow pointed out to Moon Knight that he wasn't the one he wanted. Moon Knight then pinned Scarecrow to the wall using his pitchfork, telling him that he was lucky that his ride was there.
Scarecrow is in New York City terrorizing numerous civilians with his fear gas and flock of crows during the path of destruction caused by Sin and the Worthy. Wolverine is in the city witnessing the Scarecrow's carnage when he gets pierced in the back by a burning pitchfork. Wolverine removes the pitchfork and hears Scarecrow rambling on, claiming to be the new king of fear. Scarecrow sends his crows to attack Wolverine but the mutant keeps slashing away. Scarecrow keeps rambling on when Wolverine tells him that he talks too much and stabs him in the back with his claws. Wolverine grabs a gas canister and places it inside Scarecrows mask. Scarecrow's reign of terror is nullified and he is taken into custody by the police.
A Council Of Masters
Max Fury, the leader of the Shadow Council has assembled a new Masters of Evil in the sovereign nation of Bagalia where Scarecrow is presently a member. Scarecrow is present when Max Fury and the Masters of Evil capture John Steele after he attempts to escape Bagalia with the Serpent Crown and the Crown of Thorns.
Powers & Abilities
Ebenezer Laughton the Scarecrow is a highly adept contortionist, being extremely flexible and agile due to heavy training. He is double-jointed and can fit his body through any aperture at least one foot wide, thereby making him able to escape from most conventional locks and chains. Scarecrow is also a trained acrobat, tumbler, and a master at training birds. He often carries a pitchfork as a weapon.
The crows Scarecrow uses in his crimes are taught to perform a variety of actions in response to his hand gestures and tones of voice. They're trained to attack anyone who rushes at Scarecrow or points a gun at him, as well as to carry off jewels, valuables, and anything else at which the Scarecrow points. His crows will attack and even kill people at his command.
As a result of surgical implants given to him by doctors at the Firm, the Scarecrow's body produces a pheromone that affects the adrenal glands of humans and other living things within twenty feet of him, causing a sensory overload which triggers a panic attack. The same pheromone affects the Scarecrow's own adrenal system, giving him superhuman strength and stamina.
When the Scarecrow was raised from the dead by a Firm sorcerer, he became able to induce fear in his victims, and could survive and quickly recover from any injury he suffered by feeding off the fear of others. He could even survive injuries that would otherwise be fatal to normal human beings.
After being raised from the dead by Blackheart, Scarecrow became a spirit that was able to possesses the bodies of others, both living or dead. He lost this ability after failing Blackheart however.
In Other Media
- Scarecrow appears as a boss character in the video game adaptation of the Ghost Rider movie, voiced by Dave Wittenberg.
- Scarecrow was featured in ToyBiz's The Spider and the Scarecrow box set based on Spider-Man: The Animated Series, even though Scarecrow never appeared on the show.
- Scarecrow was featured in the HeroClix figure game.
- Scarecrow was featured in Hasbro's action figure line for the live-action Ghost Rider movie, even though he does not actually appear in the film. His design was based on his appearance from the tie-in video game.