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The Fear 10: FEARNET's Favorite Fear Eaters Part 2


Phobia Friday: Formidophobia -- FEAR of scarecrows

Last week we started counting down The Fear 10: FEARnet's favorite Fear Eaters, starting with Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King's It, and the somewhat less scary Redjac (a.k.a. Jack the Ripper) from the original Star Trek series.

Let's see who's here to haunt your dreams this week...

Name: Dr. Jonathan Crane, aka The Scarecrow

First Appearance: World's Finest Comics #3, Fall 1941.   He has been scattered throughout a variety of Batman cartoons, comics, and films, as well as a number of crossover comic books. 

Bio: Part of Batman's "rogue's gallery," The Scarecrow is really just a man, Dr. Jonathan Crane.  He is a psychologist who is obsessed with fear.  He uses a variety of drugs to experiment on his patients in Arkham Asylum.  When these experiments get too weird, he is fired, and this pushes him over the edge, using fear to manipulate victims into doing his criminal bidding.  His moniker comes from the scarecrow masks he wears to further amplify his victims' fears.

Weakness: His own airborne toxins.  The Scarecrow frequently utilizes these toxins on his victims.  In addition to being fuck-all scary, the scarecrow mask also acts as a gas mask for this villain.

Fear Factor: 4.  The Scarecrow's mask is scary, and he can launch a drug-induced attack in seconds, but remember, he is still just a man.  If you stab him, he will bleed.

Name: Polymorph

First Appearance: November 28, 1989 in the Red Dwarf episode entitled "Polymorph."

Bio: The polymorph, as the name suggests, can change shapes at will; however, his native form seems to be that of an oversized, slimy, tentacled beast.  The polymorph feeds off people's negative feelings: fear, anxiety, guilt, paranoia, anger.  It may sound like a treat, but it leaves you emotionally crippled – more so than you would be otherwise.

Weakness: Remastering.  In the original broadcast version, the episode ends with a second polymorph sneaking off the ship with the crew, but there was no real closure.  When the show was remastered in the 1990s, an epilogue was added that showed the second, less-intelligent polymorph crawled into Lister's underwear drawer, where it died of old age.

Fear Factor: 3.  On the scary side, he can transform into anything.  On the less scary side, apparently the polymorph is too dumb to get out of an underwear drawer.