|“||Apologies, "meat"... But no one goes anywhere...||„|
|~ Black Beetle to Superboy.|
Black Beetle is a major antagonist appearing in the second season of Young Justice. He is Blue Beetle/Jaime Reyes's archenemy and an agent of The Reach. He was voiced by actor Kevin Grevioux.
Black Beetle's alien exoskeleton is nearly identical to Blue Beetle's, with the exceptions of its black color and bulkier appearance due to Black Beetle's heavier build. For some reason, his eyes are red while wearing the black scarab,
Underneath the armor, he is of the original Reach race, a humanoid alien with light green skin. He possesses no hair and no nose. When the scarab was destroyed, his eyes turned from red to yellow.
Black Beetle is a ruthless, sadistic, power-hungry, dangerous foe whose power easily outmatched several opponents, even when significantly outnumbered. In fact, he actually preferred multiple opponents at once, saying that he would enjoy the challenge. This lust for battle can sometimes sway him to become reckless and make him forget priorities, as noted by his former ally, Green Beetle. He is known to be cold, brutal, and sadistic and despises humans, calling them 'meat'. He extends this dislike to other races who aid them like Martians and Kryptonians.
While he does display loyalty to The Reach, he would occasionally question the Ambassador's decisions and even physically threaten his allies, The Light. Eventually, once the young superheroes revealed their plans and ambushed them, Black Beetle's tolerance reached its end for all of the countless errors The Ambassador committed, declaring him unfit to lead the delegation. Despite this, he is shown to be rather intelligent and is willing to save those who are of use, as seen when he saves the head scientist of The Reach, and almost managed to destroy the Earth using a clever plan of setting multiple devices to disrupt the Earth's magnetic field.
He is an associate of the Reach and is present onboard their underwater base when Aqualad, the newest member of the Light, comes to visit the Reach and delivers a new specimen for the Reach to experiment upon. One of the specimen is Blue Beetle. When one of the scientists fails to suppress Blue Beetle's scarab, Black Beetle advises her to just reboot the scarab - aware that the process would kill Blue Beetle. Once a rescue party has arrived to save the captives, Black Beetle is sent to stop them. When Superboy crosses his path, Black Beetle throws him back into the hangar and steps into the hangar himself, arrogantly announcing that no one will go anywhere. He locks down the hangar, preventing the young heroes from escaping. Wonder Girl orders him to open the doors again and promises to go easy on him in return. Black Beetle only laughs at that. He then brutally engages the trapped heroes in combat and easily and brutally overpowers them all. He also seems immune to most of their attacks and even uses them to incapacitate the heroes with their own powers. In addition, Shimmer joins the fight and assists Black Beetle. After Lagoon Boy, Batgirl and Bumblebee are taken down by Black Beetle and Shimmer, Black Beetle manages to take down Superboy as well. With only Batgirl and Wondergirl remaining, the situation seems hopeless. When Miss Martian uses her phase powers to get through the locked hangar doors, Black Beetle simply shifts the density of the door by touching it - trapping Miss Martian inside it. He then threatens to put Wondergirl halfway through the door as well and brutally slams her into the door multiple times until she drops down unconscious. However, eventually the doors open and Beastboy, Blue Beetle and Impulse manage to reach the hangar. Upon seeing Blue Beetle, whom Black Beetle calls "Little Brother", he claims that he will put down Blue Beetle one way or another because he is of the Reach and cannot escape that fact. To defeat Black Beetle, Blue Beetle unleashes the full powers of his scarab for the first time which allows the two to battle as equals. Eventually, Blue Beetle activates his jetpack which lifts both of them into the air and rams Black Beetle against the ceiling. Black Beetle activates his jetpack in return, slamming Blue Beetle to the floor. While the two fight, the rest of the heroes and the surviving test subjects escape, leaving the two Beetles to their duel. The Beetles both shift their energy beams at each other. The detonation throws both men backward but while Black Beetle slams into a wall, Blue Beetle is hurled out of the underwater base through the hole the rest of the team escaped through. With the water rising, Black Beetle chooses not to pursue him and instead saves the unconscious Shimmer from drowning.
After the Reach has revealed their presence on Earth to the public, claiming to have come as benefactors to humanity, they start working together with Lex Luthor to use their technology on increasing food production. When the Young Justice team, who are aware of the true colors of the Reach, investigate the farming facility, they trigger an alarm. They suddenly find themselves confronted by Black Beetle who immediately attacks. Although Roy Harper shoots a missile from a rocket launcher at him, Black Beetle is unimpressed. Eventually, Blue Beetle joins the fight as well. Although Impulse comes close to defeating Black Beetle, Black Beetle manages to free himself and pin Impulse to a wall with a projectile. While he is fighting Black Beetle, Blue Beetle realizes that their opponent is only toying with him. He merely fights with Black Beetle long enough so that Robin can blow a hole in a nearby wall, then flees the building together with his team. Before he escapes as well, Arsenal fires an arrow at Black Beetle that detonates and covers Black Beetle under a sticky substance but Black Beetle breaks free immediately and confronts the fleeing heroes in one of LuthorCorp Farm's cornfields. In addition, he is joined by another scarab-powered entity, the Green Beetle. However, to the surprise of everyone, Green Beetle attacks Black Beetle and ignores the ream. Taken by surprise, Black Beetle is hurled into a cornfield but regains his composure swiftly. While he is fighting he angrily asks Green Beetle how he dares to fight him. Green Beetle replies that it is better to be a reject than to be a slave. During the battle, Black Beetle eventually uses his jetpack to blast away Green Beetle and set fire to the cornfield. However, the Young Justice team joins the Green Beetle and in combined efforts, they manage to distract Black Beetle long enough to strap an explosive to his back and detonate it. Although he is blasted backward, he immediately jumps back up laughing. While he approaches the team, both Green and Blue Beetle shoot their energy beams at him. Although one beam would be ineffective, the combined beams have an effect on Black Beetle. Part of his armor is ripped off his body and he falls to the floor unconscious. The team uses the opportunity to flee the compound.
Despite the Reach's success in obtaining the crystal key that powers Warworld, the Reach is unable to activate Warworld because the Justice League is guarding the engine room of the vessel. Black Beetle is furious and blames Mongul, who has brought Warworld to earth. After the former captives of the Reach, who have obtained superpowers by the Reach experiments, have invaded Warworld to free the Young Justice captives aboard, the Reach ambassador sends Black Beetle to terminate them. Black Beetle confronts the youngsters and fights them, easily taking out their strongest fighter in seconds. However, Arsenal joins the youngsters and manages to free Mongul from his stasis pod. Mongul immediately attacks Black Beetle and the youngsters and Arsenal escape.
Black Beetle is eventually joined by Green Beetle and together, they manage to lock Mongul back up in his cell. However, once he returns to his position, Black Beetle realizes that the fight was only a distraction and that the crystal key of Warworld has been stolen while he fought Mongul. He reveals to Green Beetle that it must now be their priority to guard the key chamber so that Warworld cannot be activated. However, the key chamber is guarded by the Justice League and the Reach cannot wage open war with the League.
The Light and the Reach gather for a meeting in Santa Prisca. Black Beetle scouts the cave the meeting is to be held in before deeming it safe and beckoning the Reach inside. When a confrontation threatens to arise, Manta challenges Black Beetle, claiming that not even the Reach will make him a slave. Beetle responds by slamming Manta backward, causing the Light to attack him and the Reach. Eventually, the ambassador orders Beetle to stand down. When eventually, battle ensues when the Young Justice team turns up, Black Beetle watches as Vandal Savage and Klarion escape the area, much to his fury. He then joins the battle by easily beating and throwing away Superboy as he attacks the sole member of the Light, killing Ra's al Ghul by impaling him through the chest. However, Ra's al Ghul's body was taken by one of his servants who promised to resurrect his master in time. The ambassador and his scientist were tied up by Blue Beetle and the latter ordered Black Beetle to free him and help him retreat. However, Black Beetle refuses, being fed up with the constant failure of the ambassador. Using their planetary code, Black Beetle declares him unfit to lead the Reach and instead only frees the Lead Scientist, as she may still be of use before flying off with her. The ambassador is left behind with the Young Justice team. After having fled the cave, Vandal Savage and Klarion take down the remaining Reach soldiers on Warworld, taking over the station. Meanwhile, the UN openly announce the Reach as enemies to humanity. Aboard their space station, Black Beetle announces to the Lead Scientist that they will leave the system but destroy the Earth before they do so.
Before they can fulfill their plans, the command center of the ship is attacked by Aqualad and Green and Blue Beetle. Black Beetle manages to take down Aqualad and then attacks his brethren. Green Beetle intends to remove Black Beetle's corruption and sends out tendrils but instead, Black Beetle sends his corruption into Green Beetle, annihilating his scarab. Black Beetle then tries to do the same to Blue Beetle, who manages to fight back. He reaches out into Black Beetle, annihilating his scarab and thus destroying his powers. However, Blue Beetle learns that Black Beetle already set his plans to destroy Earth in motion. In the end, the team partner up with Lex Luthor and deactivate the device saving the earth. The Justice league who returned after being cleared of their guilt escorted the defeated Reach and their army off earth for trial over their actions. Now powerless both Black Beetle and the Ambassador angrily glared at the scientist for bringing up her desire to study the scarab.
- Though a minion of the Reach, Black Beetle is arguably the true main antagonist of season 2 as he betrayed the Ambassador and plotted to destroy the Earth and was the Team's strongest and most dangerous enemy during the season. He also killed Ra's al Ghul and his plan resulted in Wally West/Kid Flash's death.
- Ra's al Ghul was likely resurrected through the Lazarus Pit.
- Black Beetle is likely a change in the timeline as a result of Bart Allen's traveling into the past to prevent Blue Beetle from turning evil.