One of the best parts of any great story is learning as much detail as possible about the characters we grow to love. Think about character storylines like The Bride from Kill Bill, or Luke Skywalker from Star Wars for example. The second volume of writer Justin Jordan’s incredible Reaver series does just that. The first chapter took us on a journey with a bunch of ragtag criminals tasked with saving the world from sudden doom.
Reaver #8 continues to give us further backstory and adventure on one of the breakout stars of the series, Essen Breaker aka The Devil’s son. Along for the ride in this issue is another fan favorite: Rekala, the skin eater.
Issue #7 saw Essen Breaker return to Haas Haaden, “the city at the edge of the world.” He was looking to start over and perhaps put his sinful past long behind him, but things didn’t quite pan out the way he hoped. Barely escaping death thanks to some assistance from Rekala, Essen continues pursuit of his assailants who look to inflict harm to the children of Haas Haaden. Reaver #8 clearly displays a message that an old priest named Rana told Breaker in issue #7: where Breaker goes, death follows.
Picking up where the last issue left off, we see Breaker in a condition we are not used to seeing: hurt. It’s small, sentimental details like this that makes Jordan’s writing remarkably clever and irresistibly entertaining. Here you have a man who has killed thousands with no remorse suddenly growing a conscience. The writing shows a great deal about the virtues of humanity and serves as a great example that anyone can try to start over in their life.
Most of the issue plays out as sort of a good cop/bad cop routine which ends up being more like bad cop/bad cop. One of the story dynamics that most readers will enjoy the most is the undeniable chemistry between Breaker and the spontaneous and chaotic personality of Rekala. Jordan does a brilliant job with bouncing the pacing, story, and energy of the book back and forth off Rekala and Breaker. The dialogue is as solid as ever and overall has some pretty emotional moments.
Henrichon continues to set an amazing tone during Reaver #8. Each page will have you at the edge of your seat as Henrichon’s illustrations are filled with so much life that it draws you closer into the story. He does an amazing job of bringing the raw emotion that connects us with Essen Breaker. At the same time, he makes us laugh with his great facial designs for Rekala, which always looks like she enjoys torturing people.
Reaver #8 is a great issue that raises the stakes and makes us care even more about these awesome characters. If you haven’t read the first arc, I’d highly recommend it before reading this one to get the full effect. Jordan and Henrichon work well together and it’s shown beautifully throughout the entire issue. Make sure to grab yourself a copy of Reaver #8 during your next trip to the comic shop.