Review: Reaver Vol. 1: Hell’s Half-Dozen

Reaver Vol. 1Author: Justin Jordan
Artists: Rebekah Isaacs, Alex Guimaraes, Becky Cloonan
Released: February 18th, 2020
Received: NetGalley
Issues: Reaver 1-6
Rating: 4 kitties

I received a copy of Reaver Vol. 1 through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Reaver Vol. 1 is an all-new and dark fantasy series, one that pits cultures against one another, as one ragtag group strives to complete their goals. Or die. Madaras is neck deep in a war, one that never seems to end.

That is how this story begins, with the war well underway. One nation, in what is arguably a desperate attempt for success, opts to choose six prisoners to send out on the latest in a series of missions. Under threat of death, they comply.

Spoiler Warning

So you might be thinking to yourself: is this a fantastical version of the Suicide Squad? And you wouldn’t be entirely wrong in thinking that. This is a political and bloody tale, one where the squad all has their own goals – and reasons for being arrested. They’re also doomed should they dare run off…so yeah not too far off of a comparison.

At the helm of this project, you’ll find Justin Jordan (author), alongside Rebekah Isaacs, Alex Guimaraes, and Becky Cloonan. So get ready for a gory and fantastic read!

An evil magician, a war, politics, and six unwilling prisoners working together. That sounds like the making of a dramatic story, if ever I’ve heard one. Reaver is a dramatic series, one that is seriously full of bloodshed and violence, yet his highly entertaining.

This is a series that doesn’t hesitate to throw you into the action, as we quickly learn just how bad the circumstances have gotten. On the bright side, that went a long way in explaining the characters and their predicaments to us.

I was surprised by the few truly human moments snuck in throughout this volume. It really grounded it, and gave us a chance to get to know a few of the characters. Granted, in some of their cases it never really felt like we knew them.

The epic scale of this quest was outstanding. I didn’t appreciate that fact as much as I should have. Not at first. But as the series progressed that fact became more and more clear. It was impossible to avoid – and explained why they wanted doomed men (and girl) to take on the job at hand.

There were some seriously shocking twists in this series, but honestly? I kind of loved that. I love that this series was able to surprise me. Yeah, it hit me in the gut a time or two as well, but that’s just further proof of solid writing, right?

I’ll confess that it was the cover of the first issue that really caught my attention – I couldn’t resist picking it up and giving it a read. I was fascinated from the start. But for whatever reason, I failed to pick up the rest of the series as it released. So thank goodness for volumes, as I finally had the chance to follow-up on this story and find out what the heck happened next.

Speaking of, I’m slightly conflicted about the conclusion here. I actually loved the way it ended – it made complete thematic sense. But I’m also not sure if the story is done. I could honestly see it going both ways. It felt complete to me, while leaving the door open to tell more stories in this world? That is how I’m interpreting it, and I’m good with that. What does everyone else think?

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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