James Tynion IV and Jorge Jimenez have promised that the Scarecrow will feature prominently in Batman this year. As I mentioned in a previous post, Jimenez has come up with a very creepy Scarecrow. Let’s take a look at this villain and see if there are keys we should be looking for.
The Major Keys
Scarecrow dates all the way back to 1941. His origin and first appearance is in World’s Finest Comics #3. As you might imagine, this is a tough book. A CGC .5 is offered for around $1000 at the time of this writing. Perhaps that’s a bargain. GoCollect’s FMV for a .5 is $1750.
The first Scarecrow cover is found on Detective Comics #73 from 1943. Again, this is an expensive book. A very nice-looking 4.5 sold for over $5800 in January of this year.
Jonathan Crane’s first Silver Age appearance is Batman #189. This is the book most of us are familiar with. This 1967 entry in our list is a bit more attainable with a GoCollect FMV of $450 in 6.0. I am actively looking for a nicely centered mid-grade copy of this issue. In fact, I think the first Silver Age appearances of all Batman villains should be picked up.
So if those are the big dogs, what about some secondary picks to keep an eye out for?
Year One Batman Scarecrow is a good place to start. This two-issue prestige format mini-run from 2005 goes back to the terrifying origin of Jonathan Crane. Copies are inexpensive. I don’t see any spec value here, but if you are looking to understand the character and perhaps compare Tynion’s version, I think it is worth it, especially since both issues can be purchased for the price of an average trade.
Batman #457 presents an interesting opportunity. It’s an early Tim Drake key and Scarecrow cover. I have a number of copies of this one (and I’ve graded a pair of them, though they both came back 9.6). GoCollect has a FMV of $110 for 9.8. I don’t expect this to blow up, but it could become a steady performer. If you do have some raw copies in your collection, be sure to check them, there are some valuable variant printings of this one.
Scarecrow has featured prominently in several successful maxi-series runs, including The Long Halloween, Dark Victory, and the Catwoman series, When in Rome. Again, these books and graded copies can be pricey, but there isn’t a compelling reason to think there is spec value here.
Look for Bronze Age Covers
I do think an argument can be made to collect high-grade Scarecrow covers. We’ve seen Joker covers fetch high prices in recent years and if this character gains traction, you might see some appreciation. However, as always, I would focus on what you love. If you live for spooky covers, then Scarecrow might fit the bill. I’d take a look at some Bronze Age beauties, like Batman #296 or Detective Comics #540. Good luck out there!