There are a lot of different words I could use to describe Reaver #9, but “masterful” just about sums it up. This issue finds our main protagonist Essen Breaker and his crazy companion Rekela in hot pursuit of Stagger, who has abducted the children of Haas Haden. Riddled with the demons of his past, Essen also struggles with his inner self to move his life forward. Meanwhile, Rekela impatiently waits for him to figure it out.
Reaver #9 manages to talk about the reflection of a man’s path, the choices we must learn to accept, and ultimately who we see ourselves as at the end of the day. What makes the story and material so good is how relatable it is to the reader. For many of us, at some point or another, we’ve had an internal struggle of some kind. It’s a great example of a human being coming to grips with reality. And for Essen Breaker, that realization is that he’s a killer. The only difference now is that he’s doing it for a good reason.
In terms of the writing, Justin Jordan remains a tour de force. His dialogue is insightful, at times humorous, and always entertaining. But more importantly, it’s his drilled-in approach to character development that takes his stories to the next level. So much so that when you think about it, Jordan has us rooting for a guy who has slaughtered dozens of innocent people in his lifetime. But you feel for Essen Breaker.
The first part of the story deals with Essen battling himself. It’s within this time that Essen reveals a lot about his past to the reader and you learn so much about the man he has become, and it makes sense why he’s trying to rescue the children. The rest brings the intensity and awesome action we’ve come to expect from the series.
This issue wouldn’t be complete without the continuously great pencil work by Nico Henrichon. Henrichon is good at balancing both progress and struggle within the characters. The world that he’s created around Jordan’s script seems like it’s been lived in for quite some time. And that creative effort shows the most on Essen Breaker. You can easily feel the carnage, rage, and emotional connection that he has brought to the second arc.
Reaver #9 brings a lot of clarity to the Devil’s son, Essen Breaker’s character. It combines his past with his present and creates a clear future for what he’s going to do next. Henrichon’s illustrations remain solid, realistic, and adds just the right flavor this story needs. Bravo to all parties involved. Reaver #9 is worth checking out.