- Who do you think God really favors in the web? The spider, or the fly?
A reaper is the name given to a breed of genetically enhanced vampires. They differ from traditional vampires in many areas, the most prominent of which is, they gain nourishment by consuming the blood of other vampires. Reapers will consume human blood if necessary, but the blood of a vampire has an addictive quality to it, and they will always opt for it over human blood. The rate of blood consumption for a reaper is greater than that of a vampire, and a reaper must feed at least three times in a single evening. As one witness pointed out, "It's like crack to them".
The creation of the reapers came about due to the machinations of the overlord of the Vampire Nation, Eli Damaskinos. Damaskinos sought to correct the flaws within a vampire's genetic code that made them vulnerable to sunlight. In essence, he wanted to create hereditary markers that simulated the biological makeup of a Daywalker such as Blade. With no inherent weaknesses, vampires would then have the power to truly take control of the world. Damaskinos tested his process on his own son Jared Nomak, making him Patient Zero. The experiment did not produce the desired results however. Nomak was transformed into a super-vampire, though he still possessed a vampire's vulnerability to sunlight. Further, the enzyme that produced the transmutative effects acted as a parasitic virus that could be carried from one vampire to the next, altering them on a genetic level, creating new parasitic organisms. This virus was dubbed the Reaper Strain.
Nomak escaped Damaskinos' control and he went rogue. Terrorizing the streets and various vampire blood banks throughout Prague, he transmitted the Reaper Strain to dozens of vampires. In short order, the reaper population tripled in number, the new Reapers possessing enhanced strength but reduced to a feral mentality; Nomak was the only Reaper who seemed capable of thinking of anything beyond his next meal. It became clear to Damaskinos that the growth of new reapers would soon outnumber the existing vampire population and the entire Vampire Nation was on the verge of extinction. Without revealing his involvement in the creation of the Reaper Strain, Damaskinos hoped to contain the situation by recruiting the most feared enemy of the Vampire Nation - Blade. The vampire lord's motivation behind this was twofold: On one hand, he wanted to save the vampire race, but secretly he also wanted access to Blade. As his goal to create a race of Daywalkers had faltered, he believed he could correct his mistakes by studying Blade's physiology directly.
At Damaskinos' behest, a temporary truce was formed between Blade and the Vampire Nation and he placed Blade in control of a vampire combat unit known as the Bloodpack. Blade and the Bloodpack executed a recon mission at a vampire safe house called the House of Pain, but this turned into a full-scale battle between the unit and a number of bloodthirsty reapers. During this mission, one of the Bloodpack members, Priest was killed, and another,Lighthammer was infected with the Reaper Strain. Blade's original armorer Abraham Whistler managed to trap a reaper in a culvert and from there the Bloodpack was able to examine its physiology.
Blade and the Bloodpack engaged in a second battle against the reapers, this time in the sewers beneath Prague. During this battle, Bloodpack members Asad, Lighthammer, Snowman, Verlaine and Chupa were killed, and Damaskinos' daughter Nyssa was severely injured. The battle ended when Blade detonated a makeshift UV bomb, killing all of the Reapers in the sewers. Abraham Whistler had an encounter with Nomak whereupon he learned the truth about the origins of the Reaper Strain. Before long, Blade and Nyssa learned of Damaskinos' involvement as well.
Blade and Whistler were brought back to the headquarters of the Vampire Nation. After several harrowing incidents, Blade succeeded in killing Nomak (after the latter had already murdered Damaskinos and infected his sister with the virus) and Whistler was able to destroy the laboratory facility, insuring that no future reapers would be created. It is unknown if all of the existing reapers were destroyed during the course of these events, but considering their rapid rate of infection and their inability to think it seems likely that they have all been eliminated as their nature would make it impossible for them to operate in secret.
Powers and Abilities
- Reapers do not have powers in the traditional sense, but they do have traits unlike those of normal vampires. Reapers possess a bifurcated lower jaw, lacking a traditional mandible bone. This split jaw contains two hollow fangs at the ends of the open gap. These fangs contain a paralytic neurotoxin that immobilizes their prey. The efficacy of this toxin is not explicitly stated, as Lighthammer is able to fight off the reaper biting him, though presumably with great effort.
- Reapers drink blood using a muscular proboscis-like tongue ending in barbed tendrils. The barbs inject the virus as well as anchoring the tongue securely to the victim. It is revealed during the attack on Lighthammer that the reapers have a gill system on their backs at the shoulder blade. These gills seem to excrete a trigger pheromone, causing other reapers to swarm to the scent to prey. The reapers are implied to have a superior sense of smell, but the presence of both nostrils and gills leave it ambiguous weather or not they actually breathe.
- Reapers seem to have exponential thresholds for injury, but their capacity for regeneration is also unclear, although they do not suffer the severe allergic reactions to silver and garlic like other vampires. They can conceivably survive any injury. When Priest becomes infected and the other members of the Bloodpack try to end his misery, they cut off a large piece of his head before Blade exposes the body to sunlight. Intriguingly the excised portion of Priest's head remains alive for some time. Also, when Snowman skewered a reaper through the abdomen with one of his katana, it ripped its body in half to escape, spilling its entrails. It is not indicated whether the Reaper regenerated or died later from this injury. The only explicit indication of regenerative capacities is that Jared Nomak survives several doses of anticoagulant and large caliber gunshots to the head, but whether these capacities are unique to Nomak or are true of other Reapers is not indicated.
- A reaper theoretically possesses the same abilities it possessed prior to being turned into a reaper. However, their actions are governed by a primal instinct to feed, and this may minimize their proficiency with whatever skills they possess.
Average Strength level
- Superhuman Strength: Reapers are tremendously strong, possessing a strength level that surpasses most vampires.
- Ultraviolet Radiation: Reapers really only have one major weakness: they are completely vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation be it natural or artificial. Exposure to direct sunlight will cause a reaper's body to blister and disintegrate within seconds. The same effect is produced if a reaper is exposed to ultraviolet radiation generated by artificial sources such as UV lamps and other UV-related devices like flashbang grenades and assault rifles equipped with UV mounted scopes.
- Need to Feed: Reapers must feed regularly or they become rapidly weak; the average Reaper burns out within twelve hours if they do not feed, although their physiology results in their bodies still trying to feed even if their brains have been removed; Nomak is the only Reaper with control of his hunger.
- Limited Mental State: The average Reaper is reduced to a feral mentality incapable of planning or thinking of anything beyond its next meal; Nomak is the only Reaper capable of making plans.
Habitat: Reapers require an environment completely devoid of all sunlight.
Gravity: 0.99732 g. (Earth gravity)
Population: 50-100 (approx)
Type of Government: *None; Reapers behave in a pack mentality and they do not recognize any one member of their breed as an "alpha male".
Level of Technology: *Reapers have access to whatever technology is available to them, but they generally don't employ it.
Cultural Traits: *Reapers do not have a complex social structure. They are pack animals and will generally hunt with three or four other Reapers, though some have been known to be solitary hunters. Reapers appear to instinctively recognize their own kind and will not attack another reaper or a vampire who has already been infected with the Reaper Strain.
Representatives: * Jared Nomak (Patient Zero)
- Reapers are exclusive to the continuity of the Blade film and television franchise.
- No trivia.
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Links and References