[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]
Sergeant Ash Mahan is a soldier in the imperial army. A brutal battle took place at the Reach between the Empire and the Escalene where Ash abandoned his post after a fellow soldier went berserk and began killing imperials. Some time later, Mahan is in an imperial prison when a general makes him an offer. The Escalene and their Rael allies are believed to have a massive sacrificial outpost at the Anvil, and the imperial general is putting together a small team that will infiltrate and destroy the outpost at the Anvil, giving the Empire an advantage once again in their war against the Escalene. In addition to Mahan, this team is made up of another treacherous soldier, a cannibalistic barbarian woman, the aforementioned soldier who went berserker and turned traitor, and a mysterious sorcerer with his mute servant. This is a suicide mission, but Mahan may be able to regain his honor if they succeed.
Reaver #1 sets up the tale of what could best be described as a fantasy Dirty Dozen (or Suicide Squad for us DC fans). Our heroes are killers, traitors, and barbarians being offered a modicum of freedom in exchange for their participation in a deathtrap mission deep inside enemy territory. Further incentive is provided with a poison for which only the sorcerer can concoct an antidote.
It’s a good premise, and Justin Jordan sets up an interesting world in which all of this takes place. Territory wars, medieval-style battles, and unholy magic tend to make for some good fantasy fun, and the cast of Reaver are an interesting and motley crew. I can’t wait to see how they work together in this suicide mission.
Plus, Mahan seems to be the only moral true believer on the team, and he is very far out of his depth with the other members of this group.
Rebekah Isaacs is the artist on this venture, and she provides an excellent and coherent art style that clearly depicts the proceedings of the story. The visual design is brilliant, with the armor and war paint of the various characters making for striking visuals. Color artist Alex Guimarães gives an atmospheric palette that maintains a compellingly dark tone.
Reavers #1 is a hell of a ride, introducing a crew of killers and traitors bent on completing a suicide mission that will have them going into the dark and unholy bowels of the enemy’s territory. It’s a great read and easily earns a recommendation. Check it out.
Reaver #1 comes to us from writer Justin Jordan, artist Rebekah Isaacs, color artist Alex Guimarães, letterer Clayton Cowles, and cover artist Becky Cloonan.
Final Score: 8.5/10