The Reach Scarab is a bio-weapon that featured in DC Comics.
The Scarabs were living organisms native to Sector 2 that were manipulated by the alien race known as the Reach. (Blue Beetle v8 #20) The Reach claimed that they had sent Scarabs to more primitive worlds in order to save them from themselves as only 2% of civilizations were capable of surviving past the threshold tragedy. They claimed that these machines activated on worlds in the various galaxies in perilous times to create a guardian for the world. However, this was a cover as the Reach worked about covertly circumventing a planet and taking it over. (Blue Beetle v8 #13)
It was placed within the tomb of the Pharaoh Kha-ef-re with its existence being discovered by the modern age by the archaeologist Dan Garrett who went through great pains to smuggle it out of Bialya. Garrett became obsessed with it and studied the relic where it imparted him powers allowing him to operate as the superhero known as the Blue Beetle. (Blue Beetle v8 #8)
Afterwards, the Reach approached Earth where they dispatched a Probe that encountered Jaime Reyes and the Peacemaker. (Blue Beetle v8 #12)
Through communion with his Scarab, Jaime Reyes was able to learn the serial number of the construct. This allowed him to call upon its name to activate its full infiltrator mode thus freeing it from the Reach. The Scarab became the first of its kind that claimed its serial number as its name. It was responsible for crippling the Reach mothership and exposing their hidden operation on Earth that was a clear violation of their peace treaty with the Green Lantern Corps. (Blue Beetle v8 #25)
In the aftermath, Khaji Da transmitted across the Scarab information web a series of ideas surrounding freedom and liberation. These Scarabs took the message to heart and rebelled against the oppressive control structure of the Reach. The Reach had not expected such a response from their own weapons and lacked a matching protocol on how to respond leading to the end of their domination of dozens of worlds. Thus, the Khaji Da Revolutionary Army was formed with them dedicating their lives to dismantling oppressive control structures in order to bring freedom to all. (Blue Beetle v8 #35)
The New 52
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of history was created with a different series of events. At some point, the Reach established a Scarab manufacturing plant designed to produce more of these living armors for their forces. The source of them was a planet within their territory that was called Scarabworld. On this planet, the Scarab hatchery was heavily guarded by a number of soldier drones and the entire complex was powered by a central reactor. (Blue Beetle v9 #14)
One of the Scarabs spawned was Khaji-Da who was deployed to arrive on a world in Space Sector 2814. During the journey, a passing Green Lantern discovered the Scarab and attacked but failed to destroy it as it escaped into subspace. However, the Reach weapon was damaged causing it to malfunction and crash onto Earth to be discovered by primitive humans. (Blue Beetle v9 #1)
Knowledge of the Blue Beetle Scarab was discovered by both the El Paso crime lord La Dama and by the supervillain team known as the Brotherhood of Evil with both looking to acquire it as it was considered extremely valuable. (Blue Beetle v9 #1)
Khaji Kai was responsible for enlisting Jamie Reyes with the task of eliminating the Reach's key advantage in Scarabs by destroying Scarabworld. Thus, they travelled to the planet where Khaji Kai initiated an overload in the Scarab manufacturing plants reactor that destroyed the entire planet. (Blue Beetle v9 #14)
They contained within them a command sentience parameters that served as their programming. (Blue Beetle v8 #20) Their directive was to infiltrate a target world, disable planetary defences and prepare the world for conquest. (Blue Beetle v9 #6) It possessed visual recognition processors allowing it to identify targets within a database. (Blue Beetle v8 #35) Scarabs were able to engage in full surveillance features allowing the user to witness multiple events surrounding them as well as instruct the wearer on its features. It could also track anyone it had encountered around the world. (Blue Beetle v8 #3) A Scarab was also able to detect as a form of energy alongside other types of power sources for technology. (Blue Beetle v8 #7) Scarabs were able to recognise the genetics of the wearer allowing them to know a person being a descendent of one of its previous hosts. They could monitor the health of an individual and determine potential health conditions they could experience by their life styles. Such information provided by the Scarab could be used tactically by the host. (Blue Beetle v8 #8) When activated, the Scarab encased their wearer in armour with this capable of being retracted which could either leave the user naked or they could get the device to fashion clothes for them. (Blue Beetle v8 #3) It was believed that this clothing was created from dead skin and recycled waste from the host body. (Blue Beetle v8 #4) It could fashion numerous weapons or tools from its own substance including weapons, blades or armored plating. (Blue Beetle v8 #3)
Scarabs were divided into two categories that had a difference in their programming:
- Khaji : the Infiltrator class who were noted for being proud and clever. (Blue Beetle v8 #35)
- Djo : the Enforcer class who were ever-watchful and merciless. (Blue Beetle v8 #35)
Infiltrators operated by evolving and unlocking their combat capabilities until they were fully functional. (Blue Beetle v8 #20)
They were noted for being a hive mind species that had no will except for that given to them by the Reach. Scarab neural pathways operated as a brain that could be interfaced. (Blue Beetle v8 #20) Communication was capable of being exchanged between Scarabs through manual means where tendrils were able to upload data such as schematics directly into the exo-cortex. It was also able to translate most known languages thus allowing their hosts to commune with alien languages. (Blue Beetle v9 #14) Messages were similarly exchanged with other Scarabs across their information web. (Blue Beetle v8 #35)
It could generate a range of weapons that included:
- Particle Cannons : form a particle energy weapon from the arms to discharge energy blasts. (Blue Beetle v8 #34)
- Neural Scramblers : a non-lethal weapon that targeted the nervous system of enemies leaving them paralysed for a time. (Blue Beetle v9 #4)
- Large Hadron Accelerator : a potentially fatal weapon. (Blue Beetle v8 #30)
- Strong-Force Disruptor : a fatal weapon. (Blue Beetle v8 #30)
- Implicate-Order Annihilation Field : a fatal weapon with potential theological complications. (Blue Beetle v8 #30)
There were a number of other armaments some of which had no official name. The Scarab could deploy a small number of beetle shaped homing projectiles designed for non-lethal use where they launched themselves at targets to knock them out upon impact. (Blue Beetle v9 #4)
There were a number of specialised battle modes the suit was capable of configuring into and included:
- Hibernate Mode : a mode that essentially killed the host to generate no life-signs in order to hide from danger whereupon the Scarab initiated resuscitation protocols to restore the host to life. (Blue Beetle v8 #34)
- Pillbug Mode : an armored mode that all allowed the increased protection and the ability to roll into a ball shaped form to ram targets. (Blue Beetle v9 #16)
- Speed Mode : a slimmer configuration designed to enhance the speed of the user and included blades on the arms. (Blue Beetle v9 #14)
- Strength Mode : this armored mode was designed to enhance the strength of the wearer. (Blue Beetle v9 #14)
Scarabs were capable of diving into the Bleed and could be controlled in a way to manipulate causality allowing the user to produce three temporal copies of themselves that were seconds apart for a short period of time. (Blue Beetle v8 #23)
When deployed on worlds, they were often accompanied with a charging station with the Scarab residing inside and contained a Reach database. (Blue Beetle v8 #13) Scarabs were programmed to not harm their masters or their technology with this being against the rules and the organisms scared of the Reach. (Blue Beetle v8 #12) When facing extreme danger, Scarabs shunted their hosts into the space in-between dimensions until the threat had passed away. (Blue Beetle v8 #7) Scarabs were equipped with a transbiotic antitrauma unit that were small hand-held insects that could be formed. These machines merged with an organic body where they served as an emergency back-up protocol that transformed the host into a warrior. (Blue Beetle v9 #5) The Backup Scarab Protocol activated if the unit detected that a Scarab was compromised where it turned its host into a warrior that sought to eliminate the defective Scarab warrior with it seeking to continue the mission. (Blue Beetle v9 #6)
Magic had a corruptive effect on a Scarab due to it being quantum improbability energy. Such an infection could cause the Scarab to half-activate and not follow its programming. (Blue Beetle v8 #13)
- Khaji Da :
- Djo-Mek : (Blue Beetle v8 #35)
- Khaji-Ro : (Blue Beetle v8 #35)
- Djo-Sut : (Blue Beetle v8 #35)
- Khaji-Tal : (Blue Beetle v8 #35)
- Djo-Zha : (Blue Beetle v8 #35)
- Khaji Kai :
- In Countdown: Arena v1 #2 (2008), a swarm of scarabs from Earth-26 formed the Blue Beetle of its respective world. Monarch took this entity to battle two other Blue Beetles from across the Multiverse. Prior to the battle, Scarab silently communicated with Blue Beetle Daniel Garrett of Earth-39 and during the battle that Reach Scarab abandoned its host to join the mass entity.
In other media
- In the Smallville episode "Booster", the Scarab makes an appearance where it was a creation of Kord Industries that attached itself to Jamie Reyes and assumed it attacked in its armored configuration but was stopped when Reyes was convinced to take control of the suit.
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the Scarabs were revealed to be weapons of the Reach who seeded them on numerous worlds to create advance agents where their armor eventually took over their hosts in order to pave the way for an invasion of the respective planet.
- In Young Justice, one such device survived the destruction of Kord Enterprises headquarters where it attached itself to Jamie Reyes. Initially, it was mistaken for a new creation of the deceased Ted Kord but eventually its revealed that the Scarabs are creations of the Reach who sent them to every inhabited world to create an infiltrator to serve them. Mars also had a Scarab sent to it where it was discovered by a Green Martian archaeologist but the living armor was not prepared for the shapeshifters physiology and thus it was taken over by its host leading to the creation of Green Beetle.
- In Justice League vs. Teen Titans, the Scarab featured in the animated film where it was fused to Jaime Reyes. It allowed him to operate as Blue Beetle but was not entirely under his control.
- In Young Justice: Legacy, Blue Beetle was introduced as a playable character in the DLC for the game. His Bio referred to the Blue Beetle Scarab as having an artificial intelligence that he disagreed with during their actions as a superhero.
- In Infinite Crisis, the Scarab was identified in the champion profile for Blue Beetle in the video game where it was constructed by an alien empire bent on conquest with the one arriving on Earth being programmed to take over its hosts to pave the way for an invasion but its systems were affected by the time it bonded to Jamie Reyes who used it to become the superhero known as Blue Beetle. A Blue Scarab was a purchasable item that could be bought by player Champions with its description stating that it was an alien weapon that provided its hosts with superhuman abilities.
- In DC Legends, the Scarab appeared in the mobile video game though it was referred to as a mysterious parasitic entity with its origins not explained.
- In Injustice 2, the Scarab appeared in the fighting video game where it was equipped on Jaime Reyes who called it an alien war machine but its origins were not explained.
- Blue Beetle v8: #1-35
- Blue Beetle v9: #1-16