The Reach are an alien species that feature in DC Comics.
The Reach are a civilization of ancient alien conquerors that worked through the conquest of planets in order to gain profit. Around 50,0000 to 40,000 years ago, the Guardians of the Universe encountered the Reach and with the Green Lantern Corps fighting a war with them that ended in a draw. In the aftermath, a treaty was established by both sides to establish boundaries of peace and quell the Reach's destructive expansion. (Blue Beetle v8 #14)
This peace would not satisfy the Reach who decided on more deniable methods of conquest which could be used to take over a world without anyone realizing until it was far too late. They would begin the development of the tool to accomplish this which they found Space Sector 2 which were the Scarabs which were a native hive-mind intelligence. (Reach v8 #20) The Reach would genetically manipulate these creatures to serve as living weapons with an engrained loyalty given to the Reach themselves.
Once this was accomplished, the next step of their plans was leaving the Scarab and its database on an inhabited world where it would lay dormant until the planet reached a certain level of technological development. Once this happened, the Scarab would activate and bond with one of the natives where it would overwrite the hosts personality with Reach programming thus creating an ideal infiltrator. These agents would work for the Reach where they would make use of a wide range of weaponry built into the Scarab and work slowly to bring the planet into the Reach's domain.
One such Scarab was dispatched to the planet Earth where it bonded to the Human Jaime Reyes. However, the Scarab became corrupted by magic during its time on the planet which made it an independent entity. This brought the planet to the attention of the Reach and they became concerned when their engineered weapon was not following their commands. Not tolerating the threat posed by an independent tool of theirs, the Reach approached the Blue Beetle and the people of Earth as advanced peaceful alien traders. They worked to subvert the planet into their domain while finding a means to destroy the threat of the rogue Blue Beetle. Their plans were eventually revealed which forced the Reach to their own territory where they claimed that the invasion was the work of rogue negotiators. However, they were not aware that the Blue Beetle's scarab communicated with those of its kind on the Reach vessels which may mean that they might likewise become independent.
The Reach continue to finds ways to eliminate the Blue Beetle through deniable means such as recruiting supervillains for the task but remain content to bid their time as their bases remain hidden on the planet. They also hired the mercenary Lobo who was tasked with preventing the launch of a rocket containing anti-Reach technology. This operation failed and the rocket was launched safely when Jaimie Reyes teamed up with the Teen Titans who stopped Lobo from his task.
During the Sinestro Corps War, the Reach had secretly implanted a Scarab onto Peacemaker when he was being selected by a Sinestro Corps Power Ring. They intended to use the cover of being a Sinestro Corpsmen to have their own agent that could achieve their goals with deniability. (Reach v8 #20)
The New 52
The goal of the Reach was the acquisition of planets in order to gain a profit. Originally, they would do this openly but after their war with the Green Lantern Corps, they decided to use more subversive means to accomplish this which was through the Blue Beetle Scarabs. Not much is known about their technology except that they were advanced enough to challenge the Green Lantern Corps and genetically engineer creatures to serve as tools as seen with the Scarab. Due to the terms of their truce with the Guardans, the Reach often claim that those invasions that fail were made by rogue negotiators before retreating.
A world that was approached by the Reach had a member of their kind designated as a Negotiator. (Blue Beetle v8 #12) These Reach were said to never lose their composure as they enacted the various schema of their people. (Blue Beetle v8 #23) A lower ranking position was that of an adjunct. (Blue Beetle v8 #24)
Risk and reward were considered the very foundation of their culture. Success could lead to a member of the Reach elevated to the ruling caste whilst failure could lead to death. Reach believed that they deserved their profit due to the risk they made to achieve their reward. (Blue Beetle v8 #23)
They saw planets for their profit potential that were factored in their business plans according to the holy writ. Reach activities had seen them claim ten thousand worlds with their plots spanning centuries. (Blue Beetle v8 #13) Reach made use of a strategy guide that contained approaches of different plans for taking over worlds. These contained thousands of plans and hundreds of steps which showcased how the Reach acquired a planet. One involved using world-ripper stations that masqueraded under the cover of magical temples which detonated in order to ravage the world. The broken survivors were then recruited as a workforce to strip vital resources as payment an the inhabitants had been poisoned by a drug placed within their water. This was the means through which the Reach created entire slave races. (Blue Beetle v8 #22) For thousands of years, the Reach had never gone off schedule as they planned for every option as they followed their master plan that contained a complicated checklist of activities to achieve their goals. (Blue Beetle v8 #23)
Reach protocol during field manoeuvres was that the leader held command access for entire units. (Blue Beetle v8 #36) Considering the nature of the Scarabs, another aspect of the Reach is their capacity to genetically engineer powerful living weapons that bond with their hosts giving them a wide range of abilities. These entities are programmed to be loyal to the Reach ultimately and are encoded to know of threats to them such as when the new Blue Beetle's Scarab teleported him away from a position where the Green Lanterns were present.
The technological databases and facilities of the Reach that are spread on inhabited worlds are protected by being phased out from the real world which makes them inaccessible to others. Only a Scarab bonded host is capable of finding these facilities.
Reach tech allowed them to genetically engineer life forms such as humanoids or Scarabs. (Blue Beetle v8 #22) The Reach Empire was built on the use of the Scarab program. (Blue Beetle v8 #23) They could equip a variant of the Scarabs to attach themselves onto hosts and make them into a drone mob to attack targets. Those implanted only manifested surface armour but used dimensional technology to hide it from outsiders except from those that could see their frequency. This allowed the Reach to infect a large number of native inhabitants and turn them into a group hostile to others without revealing the Scarabs on them. (Blue Beetle v8 #13) According to the Reach, the Scarabs had no will except the one that they granted them. (Reach v8 #20) A shutdown signal could be sent to a Scarab to deactivate it but if it became rogue it could enact its mental defences to prevent it from being shutdown. (Blue Beetle v8 #23)
Individual Reach were known to wear instrument goggles over their eyes. (Blue Beetle v8 #24)
One type of weapon available in their arsenal were psi-stunners. (Blue Beetle v8 #24)
Their motherships were noted to hold the computing power of an entire planet. (Blue Beetle v8 #25) Reach vessels had enough power to travel galaxies and bend dimensions. (Blue Beetle v8 #24) They could beam energy to Reach installations to boost their shielding. (Blue Beetle v8 #23)
Reach tech had the means of hiding in-between normal reality and artificial ones through the means of using vibrational frequencies. (Blue Beetle v8 #7) Their dimensional capabilities allowed them to go invisible by diving briefly into the Bleed. (Blue Beetle v8 #23) Reach vessels were capable of transporting people to different sites through teleportation. (Blue Beetle v8 #24)
Probes could make use of pocket dimensions allowing them to phase out of reality to avoid damage before phasing back solid. (Blue Beetle v8 #12) Reach ships retained this ability that was derived from their engines which, if shut down, made them visible in real space. (Blue Beetle v8 #24) Such dimensional capabilities allowed the Reach to hide entire structures within N-Space. This allowed them to hide their World-Ripper Stations outside three-dimensional space with these machines capable detonating with such power as to shred the surface of their target worlds. (Blue Beetle v8 #22)
- Negotiator :
- Dawur : a male soldier drone that accompanied the Negotiator in the attempt to conquer Earth. (Blue Beetle v8 #23)
- Lu-Kreeza :
- They were created by John Rogers and Guy Major where they featured in Blue Beetle v2 #12 (February 2007)
- Keith Giffen mentioned in an interview that in Threshold that Reach space bordered that of the Tenedrian Dominion which was ruled by Lady Styx.
In other media
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the Reach were referenced in the animated television series in the episode "Revenge of the Reach". Reach Scarab warriors were shown to be world conquering cybernetic insectoids that seeded scarabs on numerous worlds in order to create agents to destroy them. These scarabs attached themselves to sentient hosts and granted them great powers until their true programming activated whereupon they became point men for a Reach invasion. They were noted for being enemies of the Green Lantern Corps who learnt of Jamie Reyes being a Reach Infiltrator when he came to Oa to incarerate the captured Evilstar. Afterwards, he fell under Reach control and sabotaged Oa's defenses allowing the Reach to invade the planet which was only stopped when Reyes resisted the alien programming of the scarab. He later channeled Green Lantern energy into his armor's energy core thus poisoning the Reach programming which he spread to the invaders which freed them from their respective scarabs. The scarabs were destroyed but Jamie's was allowed to retain his own.
- In Young Justice, the Reach appeared in season 2 of the animated television series where they were revealed to be the Light's partner during the episode "Before The Dawn". They were shown to be the Competitor's of the Kroloteans and their purpose for arriving on Earth was to study the Metagene in humanity. After the Justice League's team discovered their true intentions, the Reach revealed themselves to the United Nations where they claimed to be peaceful explorers who wanted to share their knowledge with mankind. Impulse revealed in the episode that he came from a future where the Reach ruled the world. The Team would infiltrate a Reach vessel in order to free a large number of human hostages that were being kept for study. On Earth, they claimed to be peaceful explorers that were secretly lacing energy drinks in their name with drugs designed to make mankind more docile. When Mongul learnt of their plans, he arrived in the system in Warlord intending to wipe out Earth forcing the Reach to deploy their ships to help protect the planet leading to heavy casualties among their forces and revealing their vessels to mankind. This caused public outcry and the continued difficulties led to them meeting their allies among the Light with hostilities being high. A battle erupted when the Team revealed that they had infiltrated the Light battling both sides. The Black Beetle would turn against the Ambassador and activate a doomsday contingency but this was stopped by the Team and the Justice League leading to the Reach's defeat on Earth.
- In LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, the Reach feature as villains who were engaged in an invasion of the Blue Lantern world of Odym. This forces Saint Walker to send a distress signal where he summons the aid of the Justice League to protect the planet from the alien invaders.
- Blue Beetle v8: #12, #22, #25