I was given the TPB volume 1 of Reaver as a free promo from my comic book guy. It looked like an interesting comic so I gave it a shot. The trade covers issues 1-6 of the run published by Image comics. This is a fantasy series, billed as a heist story by Image, and created by Justin Jordan and Rebekah Isaacs under the Skybound imprint.
Reaver is a fantasy tale set on the continent of Madaras where a war has raged for 200 years between colonists and natives. In the middle of it, dark magic is rising and threatening everyone, and it must be stopped. The comic is sort of a Suicide Squad meets Dirty (half) Dozen story, where a group of criminals, expendable people, are gathered together to go on a mission to stop a practitioner of that dark magic who is using human sacrifice in massive numbers to help his side of the conflict.
The story in Reaver is good, due to the interesting characters involved. The plot, and theme are pretty routine by themselves. I also found, early on, that there was some editing work needing to be done but either that got better after the first few pages or I got into the story enough to stop noticing. Overall Justin delivers a familiar story in a unique way through the cast. There’s the typical band of misfits, murderers, thieves, cannibals, sent on a mission they aren’t meant to come back from. You have a couple of interesting twists in the plot, and one that was (I believe) intentionally revealed early, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when it happened. I enjoyed the read, and like I said, it got better once you got out of the initial setup of the first issue. The world-building and character development kept me turning the pages.
Rebekah Isaac’s art is where Reaver truly shines. Rebekah has a unique style that I liked from the first panel. It brings the world they’ve created to life with such detail and action. Each panel is cleanly designed to set the scene and deliver the story as well as the dialogue does within the bubbles. Good lines and motion, combined with great colors makes each page interesting to go through. The art helps elevate a relatively formulaic story to a more interesting whole that made the book a great read. Jordan and Isaacs make a wonderful team for this tale which is well worth checking out.
This is a book I recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy, or just looking for something new to read. You can still pick up the trades on Amazon and individual issues at your local shop. It’s worth a read, and a good introduction into a world different from most fantasy settings.