- "I grew up in a small village in Africa, a country whose name has changed a dozen times over the years. One day, bandits came to my village. They wanted water and gold and women. Once they left with them, the only thing remaining of my village was ash. My home and everyone I loved was wiped from the earth and I was helpless to stop it and I swore I would never feel helpless again."
- —Baron Reiter to Oliver Queen and Taiana Venediktov[src]
In 2005, Reiter was in Afghanistan, leading Shadowspire in operations against the rebels while also leading his unscrupulous men, such as Lieutenant Joyner, in a quietly lucrative drug business. After Joyner successfully gained the assistance of Andy Diggle in this side operation, Reiter showed up in person to congratulate the two men on their profitable shared venture, and then showed the two of them what he had purchased with his cut: a map of an island he claimed had long been lost, and which possessed mystical powers.
Years later, in 2010, Reiter had set up an encampment on this island, which he referred to as "Purgatory." He and his ruthless men ran a drug-harvesting operation, using slave labor to grow, cultivate, and harvest the plants required to make a particularly potent drug called Slam, although this was a cover. After Oliver Queen was captured by Shadowspire operatives while roaming the woods of Lian Yu, he was brought before Reiter, who recognized Oliver from his fame as a wealthy playboy and, being a man down, offered Oliver a job in his ranks, over the protests of his second-in-command, Conklin. He let him cut his hair and gave him a uniform.
Conklin brought to Reiter, Oliver, to his tent. Reiter at that time tortured the captured prisoner - John Constantine, who, after uttering strange words, freed himself from his shackles. He stunned Conklin and threatened Oliver with the weapon, forcing he to surrender. The man took the survivor and fled deep into the island's forests. After Constantine escaped, Oliver led Reiter to the underworld John had entered. The man found an inscription in the form of symbols on the wall, which directed the reader into the water on the beach by the rock. Reiter ordered Oliver to take the people there and had the waters searched for the "gift." Immediately after that, he sent Conklin after him, who was to follow the survivor and check what he was going to do, and whether he was a traitor and was monitoring their ranks.
Later after Constantine had escaped Queen took to the chamber and Reiter used what Constantine had left behind to find writing on the wall that led them to the body of water on the island and sent Oliver and Conklin to take some workers and see what they could find. It was then that Oliver began to realize that Reiter was interested in something more mystical than just narcotics.
Later on, when Oliver was questioned for killing a prisoner by Reiter and Conklin, Oliver maintained his cover by saying Conklin's been hostile to him since he found the A.R.G.U.S. device. Reiter then seemingly used a mystical item capable of detecting lies and asked Oliver why he killed the prisoner, which he replied because he attacked him, which apparently showed he was telling the truth. He then asked Conklin did he order the prisoner to attack Oliver to which Conklin said no, but it showed he was lying. He then ordered Oliver to whip him as punishment.
Conklin brought Oliver and Taiana Venediktov to Reiter, also showing him the maps that Oliver salvaged from the sunken Amazo ship. Reiter told Oliver that he was done trusting him and handed him over to Conklin to kill him, but Conklin instead wanted payback and severely whipped Oliver. Reiter stopped Conklin upon noticing the spell on Oliver's torso was glowing when the Orb of Horus was near him. Despite the pleas of Conklin that Oliver can't be trusted, Reiter spares Oliver and Taiana for now and imprisons them, informing Conklin that there is no part of his plans that require Conklin surviving.
Reiter tortured Oliver with electric shock in order to learn what the markings on his torso meant but Oliver refused to break and ultimately passed out and witnessed a hallucination in which Reiter and his men were killed by Shado, who then rescued Oliver. After Oliver woke up back in his cell with Taiana, Reiter glared at Oliver through his cell door before walking off. Taiana, angry at Oliver for his confession that he killed her brother Vlad, summoned Reiter and gave him the stone that Oliver had woken up from his hallucination with in hopes for a release. Reiter refused to do so and told her to watch after Oliver as if he was her own brother and care for him because if his health drops then he will kill Taiana too as Oliver is an important piece of his mission. Reiter later informed Oliver and Taiana that the stone was the last piece to his puzzle and they will dig at daybreak as the Heaven he seeks is below them.
Later, Reiter returns to tell Oliver that the stone was the last piece in the map he was searching for, and that they will begin digging at daybreak. Reiter forces the prisoners to start digging the next day. When Oliver appears, Reiter tells him that he is glad Oliver is well again, as they have much to accomplish together.
A handcuffed Oliver is brought before Reiter, who tells him that the map conceals deeper truths Reiter could not uncover until Oliver brought the survey maps to Reiter, and that he was able to decipher the encryptions on the stone which was also provided by Oliver. Reiter further claims that according to legend, in a hidden place on the island lies a device of great power. To find it, a man who has been granted passage by the gods is required and Reiter thinks that that man is Oliver. Conklin then appears in the room, claiming that Reiter is needed upstairs. Reiter tells Conklin to keep Oliver company. Oliver uses the moment to steal a letter opener from Reiter's table and uses it to break his cuffs. He then grabs a razor blade. Surprised, Conkin draws a knife, claiming that he will enjoy watching Oliver die. A violent fight then ensues which ends with Conklin's death at Oliver's hands. Reiter has Oliver brought back into his cell, claiming that while he needs Oliver alive, there are differences form of alive. He tells Oliver to not test him again. Reiter then leaves the prison.
After his men have almost reached the goal, Reiter frees Oliver and Taiana from their cell so that they can witness his moment of triumph. However, when they breach the wall Reiter is thrown back when he is faced by a spirit that is in the shape of Conklin, which claims that all of them deserve death for their sacrilege. Afraid, Reiter and the Shadowspire mercenary's flee from the room, locking up Oliver and Taiana inside. After the spirit is gone, Reiter and his men return. While entering, Reiter claims that he had all the faith that Oliver would survive. When Oliver asks whether Reiter also had this confidence about the survival of all other prisoners to which Reiter answers that Oliver is his only concern. Handing Oliver a flashlight, he says that Oliver seems to behave best when Taiana is along. He orders the soldiers to take her with them and Oliver, Reiter, Taiana and the soldiers then climb through the breach, arriving in what is revealed to be a gargantuan cave underneath Lian Yu.
Inside the cave, Reiter and his group find the Khushu Idol. He told him about his home village, which was destroyed by evil people. He replied that with the power of the artifact, he would be able to take revenge. He shoots one of the workers and activated the idol. Once the man dies, it seems that his life force is drawn into the idol. At the same time, insignias appear on Reiter's arm. So he ordered his men to kill the slaves when he was suddenly stunned by Oliver. When he woke up, he contacted Oliver on the walkie-talkie and confessed that he had gone to a dead end. He gave him the choice of returning with the artifact for goodness or waiting for him to visit him himself. He also sends in his men to search the caves, two of them are ambushed and defeated by Oliver.
After a while, Oliver came to Reiter and surrendered. Suddenly, Taiana appears and shoots him into the chest thrice but is shocked to see that the bullets do no harm whatsoever. Reiter tells them that while the powers of his idol are wearing off, there is still enough left to make short work of the two. Reiter promises to kill them both quickly should they reveal where they hid his idol, but Oliver declines. Reiter then grabs Taiana with his magical powers and hurls her through the room. Oliver then attacks Reiter but is overpowered. Reiter says that Oliver should remember that his power comes from the death of only one man and that after the death of the workers above, his powers would be god-like. He grabs Oliver by the throat and tries to use his powers but at that time, the powers he gained from the killed worker are drained. Using Reiter's confusion, Oliver knocks him out. When Oliver rushes to Taiana's side, both turn to see that Reiter has gone.
After some time, Reiter found the idol Khushu in the tunnels and was on his way to the exit when he noticed two soldiers. The men were surprised that, despite Taiana's assurances, Reiter was safe when they suddenly heard an explosion. The tunnels began to collapse and the Baron, believing in the possibility of survival, killed the two and absorbed their life energy, after which the tunnel buried his body.
He later resurfaces. When all the slaves tried to escape and were killing the soldiers behind them, Reiter stopped Oliver. He said that he was no longer the same person, but a demon with extraordinary powers, and then began to fight the man using his magical abilities. As the latter stabbed him in the chest, Reiter grabbed Oliver by the neck, pulled the blade out, and aimed it at his opponent. After a while, Taiana appeared, shooting at the enemy, allowing Oliver to escape. Despite the massive fire and the grenade explosion next to him, the Baron continued to get up and try to catch the two.
With their newly-obtained weapons, Taiana and Oliver return to Reiter, whose only concern is the whereabouts of the idol. Taiana shoots him into the chest thrice but is shocked to see that the bullets do no harm whatsoever. Reiter tells them that while the powers of his idol are wearing off, there is still enough left to make short work of the two. Reiter promises to kill them both quickly should they reveal where they hid his idol, but Oliver declines. Reiter then grabs Taiana with his magical powers and hurls her through the room. Oliver then attacks Reiter but is overpowered. Reiter says that Oliver should remember that his power comes from the death of only one man and that after the death of the workers above, his powers would be god-like. He grabs Oliver by the throat and tries to use his powers but at that time, the powers he gained from the killed worker are drained. Using Reiter's confusion, Oliver knocks him out. When Oliver rushes to Taiana's side, both turn to see that Reiter has gone. Realizing that he will be searching for his idol, Oliver and Taiana plan to free the prisoners on the surface while Reiter is occupied. Returning to the surface, Oliver and Taiana shoot Reiter's men and plan to trap him in the cave by blowing up the entrance. Hearing the explosion, Reiter shoots his two remaining men, claiming that their deaths might just be sufficient to keep him alive, before he is buried alive.
He resurfaces eventually and follows Oliver and Taiana to get his totem back. Taiana paused beside Oliver and stared at her enemy as her eyes began to glow. Reiter shot Oliver and showed Taiana that he had tattoos so that his brain would not be warped. Taiana, however, did not care and attacked Reiter after he destroyed the departing plane with most of the prisoners. Injured Oliver wanted to attack the criminal, but he only managed to draw his knife. When Reiter wanted to suck in the life energy of Taiana, something incomprehensible to him happened to him and he began to feed on his own life energy. While Reiter is weakened, Oliver hurls a knife into Reiter's back and kills him.
- "The difference between insanity and belief lies only in the number of believers."
- —Baron Reiter[src]
Despite his villainous status, Baron Reiter does possess some nobility in him. One example being he "blessed" his slaves. Another being even though Oliver Queen appeared around the time two of his men died, he still gave Oliver the benefit of the doubt until Conklin gave conclusive evidence Oliver was in fact, a spy. He also put his gun down when John Constantine held Oliver hostage, showing he considers his soldiers to be family. Reiter's desire for power and knowing more about the supernatural forces on Lian Yu stems from his helplessness from preventing his village from being invaded and destroyed by bandits.
Powers and abilities
- "There are primordial energies that flow through all things. I now command them."
- —Baron Reiter[src]
- Dark magic: In his quest to gain power, Reiter learned much about magic, able to perform minor magic including lie detection and . In making contact with the Khushu Idol, Reiter obtained various powers. To manifest these abilities, he is required to kill people before the idol and sacrifice their life-force to it. For the magic to last, Reiter has to kill multiple people as a single sacrifice only lasts a few minutes before his powers disappear. Reiter theorized that the more people he offers to the idol, the more power he will gain, until ultimately becoming a "god." His eyes would briefly turn completely yellow when he used the power, as well as when his ability to use it expired. This power is revealed to be fueled by feeding off of the negative aspects of its victims. As such, the idol and its user draw strength from death and fear, overwhelming their victim with their own inner darkness. However, the positive aspects of some victims could overwhelm the idols power through light magic. He possessed runes tattooed on his arm that glowed yellow and allowed him to use the idol without his mind deteriorating.
- Accelerated healing factor: With his empowerment, Reiter was rendered seemingly unkillable, as demonstrated when several bullets were shot at him, from which he emerged barely fazed. By killing others, their life-force was given to Reiter, allowing him to heal if damaged when his power begins to run out.
- Telekinesis: Reiter is able to grip, move, and generally exert great amounts of force on objects and people without physically touching them. He caused Taiana to fly through the air, incapacitating her, with a simple hand gesture. He did the same to Oliver, throwing him to the ground without touching him and pulling a machine gun out of his hands. With multiple kills, he was able to cause a plane several stories in the air flying away from Lian Yu to explode with a hand gesture.
- Enhanced strength: Reiter gained considerable raw strength using the idol, and was able to effortlessly brush off Oliver's attacks and lift him into the air above his own head single-handedly.
- Enhanced durability: While drawing power from the idol, Baron's resilience, stamina and endurance are enhanced to inhuman levels, to the point where most damage cannot slow down or weaken him at all when he has absorbed enough life.
- Expert combatant: Reiter has displayed proficiency in combat.
- Military training: Reiter served in the army and received extensive military training.
- Peak of human physical condition: As a former soldier, Reiter is in top physical condition.
- Master tactician/Leader: As the leader of Shadowspire and former high-ranking soldier, Reiter is capable leader and presumably great tactician.
- Occult knowledge: In his quest to gain power, Reiter learned much about magic, granting him a degree of knowledge in the occult. However, as noted by John Constantine, Reiter's understanding of magic is still crude, only focusing more on the raw power of it rather than the nature of its creation.
- Light magic: Since Reiter feeds on dark magic in order for his powers to work, one who can manipulate light magic can overwhelm the idol as well as Reiter himself.
- Time limitation: Since the idol's magic is fueled by the life-force of those he killed, the powers only last for a period of time as killing only a single person made his powers last but a few minutes. To which, Reiter is left powerless unless he sacrifices people to maintain his power.
- Khushu Idol: Although this is the source of Reiter's powers, it can also lead to his downfall. If someone aware of magic has the power to destroy it, Reiter will remain a normal human.
- Khushu Idol: After finding the mysteries of magic on Lian Yu, Reiter found this idol, which he used for his powers.
- Diviner: Though its inner workings were never explained, Reiter carried what appeared to be a magical diviner, capable of telling when a person was lying. This was shown when he discovered Conklin was lying about sending a prisoner to kill Oliver Queen.
- Reiter does seem to use the incantation, "Kanjigar Septum Vohostrum", which Damien Darhk uses as well.
- It is possible that the village of Reiter is Zambesi, the same village of Vixen, which was also destroyed in Africa.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Baron Blitzkrieg was a Nazi supervillain and frequent opponent of the All-Star Squadron during World War II. His first appearance in the comics was World's Finest #246 (September, 1977).
- Reiter served as the main antagonist of the "flashbacks arc" of Season 4 of .