Reaver #1 (Review): High Fantasy, Blood, with a Dash of Hell's "Dirty Half-Dozen"

July 11, 2019

 

REAVER #1

 

Writer: Justin Jordan

Artist: Rebekah Issacs

Colorist: Alex Guimaraes

Letterer: Clayton Cowles

Publisher: Image

Rating: 8/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When this book was first announced I jumped up and down for joy. It seemed as if the whole left by Game of Thrones would finally be filled. Well this is more than I could have hoped for. With their debut issue, Justin Jordan and Rebekah Issacs have masterfully set up the world of REAVER. While it may seem like we were given a TON of information, at times maybe too much, it definitely sets up an interesting tale.

 

 

The story focuses mainly on disgraced warrior Ash Mahan, who then gets recruited for a suicide mission along with some of the most vile criminals in the Empire.

 

One thing Jordan does, is he makes the Empire the protagonists, which goes against the usual tropes. For two centuries the Empire has been fighting for dominance over the continent of Maderas. Some of the rebel factions even have access to magical abilities. The beginning of the issue focused mainly on backstory, which at times felt kind of dragged out, but it pulls you in from the opening pages.

 

Once we get into the part where we meet our "suicide squad", the book really picks up. Jordan has clealyr taken some influences from D&D while constructing this team. We have a disgraced warrior, a wildling rogue, a berserker, a sorcerer... one hell of a group. Each character is unique and intriguing, in just a few pages, Jordan made me want t o learn more about each character. I honestly wouldn't mind a backstory in each issue focused on the individual characters history.

 

The antagonist that our team is going after seems absolutely sadistic. He uses blood and sacrifice to gain knowledge which is shown at the conclusion to our story. My only gripe is that we didn't get to learn much about him, but I guess that's what the rest of the series is for.

 

Ok let's get into the art. Rebekah Issacs has illustrated one hell of a book. From the opening pages of a battlefield ravaged by centuries long war, to her character designs, this book is beautifully illustrated. The focus of her art seems to be more character focused then the world in which those characters inhabit. But it's those character designs where she really let's loose. It's the design of berserker, Essen Breaker that really stands out to me. The dude is walking around with a massive dent in the side of his head. Her action scenes are well paced as well, which makes for one hell of an enjoyable book.

 

While I wouldn't say this was a perfect debut, it was definitely a book I would recommend. Maybe my expectations were a little high going into it. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I thought we would get a little more action. Jordan gave more than enough to pull me into the story and Issac's art was another major draw for me, so I'm excited to see where this goes.

 

 

If you're a fan of D&D, Game of Thrones or Suicide Squad, I would give this book a shot. This is the high/dark fantasy book that we've all been missing.

 

 

 

 

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