Born in Rhinebeck, New York, Ebenezer Laughton was raised by an alcoholic mother who beat him viciously, and afterward her guilt drove her to give him presents. Learning that rewards followed punishment, Ebenezer began deliberately misbehaving to receive beatings.
Ebenezer Laughton was a naturally flexible, lithe, double-jointed youth who saw a "rubber man" perform at a traveling carnival and became obsessed with emulating him. Training himself almost incessantly, Laughton learned to twist and bend his body into numerous unusual positions and perform various acrobatic stunts. Growing into a socially stunted young man, the abnormally flexible and agile Ebenezer worked as sideshow "rubberman" Umberto the Uncanny. A brief audition of his abilities gained him a job at a live variety show.
During one of his performances, Iron Man entered the theater in pursuit of a criminal whom he observed robbing the ticket vendor outside. Seeking publicity, Laughton stopped the thief with a simple acrobatic move. As Iron Man carried the criminal away, Laughton realized the criminal potential of his abilities. Laughton stole a flock of trained birds from a fellow performer to assist him in his new costumed criminal guise as the Scarecrow.
One of his victims was multimillionaire Tony Stark (secretly the alter ego of Iron Man). After robbing Stark's penthouse, the Scarecrow discovered some plans for cutting edge armament. He decided to sell them to the Cuban military, but not before squeezing a few more dollars from Stark. Laughton contacted Stark and offered him to buy back the plans. When they met at a harbor, Scarecrow took the briefcase with the money and fled in a boat still with the plans, in order to meet up with the Cuban Navy in the middle of the ocean. As Iron Man, Stark followed the Scarecrow and sunk the ship. Before he could fall at the grasp of Iron Man, the Scarecrow fled to Cuba.
He was later defeated by Spider-Man and then took part in an unsuccessful mass super-villain attack on the wedding of Reed and Sue Richards. Next, he joined the Maggia under Count Nefaria, battling the X-Men alongside Eel, Plantman, Porcupine, and Unicorn.
The Cowled Commander later had Scarecrow and his partners spread chaos to emphasize the need for a stronger police force, but they were defeated by Captain America and Falcon, sparking Scarecrow's obsessive hatred of the Captain. Placed in solitary confinement for nearly a year after another unsuccessful clash with Captain America, the already unstable Scarecrow snapped. Upon escaping, he went on a killing spree until Captain America captured him. He was later imprisoned in the Vault, where Hawkeye and Iron Man recaptured him during a mass breakout. Scarecrow eventually escaped from the psychiatric hospital he was put in and committed further serial slayings, seeking to "free the fear" within his victims, but he was defeated by the Ghost Rider. Left for dead, Scarecrow was rescued by the shadowy organization the Firm, who instilled in him the ability to feed off fear, after which he again battled the Ghost Rider.
Dying in another battle with Ghost Rider, Scarecrow was resurrected by the demon Blackheart, who sent Ebenezer'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, from where he escaped during a massive breakout caused by Electro.
Scarecrow showed up when Peter Parker unmasked himself, as one of a band of costumed villains (including Electro, the Molten Man, and Will O' The Wisp), hired by the Chameleon to attack Peter Parker in a lopsided revenge effort. Scarecrow was eventually defeated and incarcerated alongside the other villains.
He was sent alongside the Molten Man in a rampage to flush heroes out of hiding which was halted by Captain America and the Punisher. Cap was forced to prevent Punisher from killing Scarecrow once he'd been apprehended.
Ebenezer was identified as one of the 142 superhumans who registered as part of the Initiative. At the time he also was part of the Hood's criminal army, but was incarcerated along the other villains after the Siege at Asgard.
Before the Siege 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 ended 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.
Max Fury, the leader of the Shadow Council had assembled a new Masters of Evil in the sovereign nation of Bagalia where Scarecrow was presently a member. Scarecrow was present when Max Fury and the Masters of Evil captured John Steele after he attempted to escape Bagalia with the Serpent Crown and the Crown of Thorns.
Scarecrow went to Veridgris, Kansas and fed off the fear of the townspeople by forcing them to watch their greatest fears on a movie screen in Emerald Cinema. Some of them couldn't handle their fears and dropped dead. The reports of missing people drew Bruce Banner. Scarecrow invited Banner into Emerald Cinema and subjected him to his greatest fear: he would destroy everything as the Hulk. The shock from the display killed Banner, which allowed him to resurrect and transform into the Hulk, much to Scarecrow's surprise. Scarecrow tried fighting back, but he was no match for the Hulk. Scarecrow then saw a scene on the movie screen of him being pursued by an angry mob. Scarecrow fearfully ran to the projector room to stop the projector with the Hulk in hot pursuit. Hulk told Scarecrow that his greatest fear wasn't the mob but how his life would end.
Powers and Abilities
As a result of undergoing augmentation procedures as an operative of the Firm, Scarecrow possesses various superhuman attributes:
- Mutated Pheromone: Scarecrow is able to secrete an odorless pheromone into the air that can affect the adrenal gland of most beings within a distance of 20 feet. The pheromone triggers intense panic attacks and causes his victims to experience intense and irrational fear. Scarecrow is also able to cause the same reaction in a number of higher animals, including crows. The pheromone he secretes affects his adrenal gland as well, though in a different way. The pheromone augments a number of his own physical attributes to superhuman levels.
- Superhuman Strength: Due to the affects of the pheromone on his own body, Scarecrow's natural physical strength is augmented to superhuman levels. At his peak, he possesses sufficient strength to lift between 2 and 10 tons.
- Superhuman Speed: Scarecrow is able to run and move at speeds that are beyond the natural physical capabilities and limits of the finest human specimen, able to achieve a top speed on foot of 35-65 mph.
- Superhuman Stamina: Scarecrow's augmented musculature is much more efficient than that of a normal human. As a result, his muscles produce significantly less fatigue toxins during physical activity. At his peak, he is able to exert himself for up to 24 hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his bloodstream starts to impair his capabilities.
- Superhuman Agility: Scarecrow's agility, balance and bodily coordination are enhanced to levels that are significantly beyond the natural physical capabilities and limits of the finest human specimen.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Scarecrow's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those possessed by the finest human specimen, making his responses virtually instantaneous.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Scarecrow possesses an accelerated healing process enabling him to recover from physical injury much faster and more extensively than a normal human. His healing powers have enabled him to fully heal injuries as severe as gunshot wounds and impalement within a matter of minutes. More severe injuries, such as broken bones, have fully mended within a matter of hours. Scarecrow's healing powers aren't sufficient, however, to regrow severed limbs or regenerate missing organs.
- Fear Empowerment: Scarecrow can feed off the fear of others. The greater someone's fear is, the more it feeds Scarecrow. Scaregrow grows stronger from the fear he feeds off and augments his power to heal.
- Possession and Resurrection: During his time as a disembodied spirit, Scarecrow could resurrect the dead and possess the bodies of others.
Scarecrow possesses the agility of a professional contortionist. He has trained himself to be able to escape from conventional locks and chains. He is also an expert bird trainer, often using crows to help him in committing his crimes. Although he's had no formal training, Scarecrow is a formidable hand to hand combatant.
- Trained Crows: The Scarecrow is assisted in his crimes by a flock of crows whom he has trained to perform a variety of actions, according to signals he gives them through his hand gestures and tone of voice.
- Attack Targets - At the Scarecrow's command, the crows will attack and even kill designated living targets.
- Defense - The crows have been trained to automatically attack anyone who rushes at the Scarecrow or points a gun at him.
- Carry Objects - The Crows are are trained to find and carry off jewels, valuables or anything else at which the Scarecrow points.
- Pitchfork: Scarecrow usually carries a pitchfork with which he attempts to disembowel his opponents.
- 86 appearance(s) of Ebenezer Laughton (Earth-616)
- 9 minor appearance(s) of Ebenezer Laughton (Earth-616)
- 4 mention(s) of Ebenezer Laughton (Earth-616)
- 38 image(s) of Ebenezer Laughton (Earth-616)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Ebenezer Laughton (Earth-616)