Reaver #3 is published by Image Comics as part of their Skybound imprint. It comes from the creative team of writer Justin Jordan, artist Rebekah Isaacs, colorist Alex Guimarães, and letterer Clayton Cowles. In the previous issue, our protagonists and resident ne’er do wells had just survived a barbarian ambush.
Reaver #3 opens with them just having arrived at a Raelish outpost. However, their arrival is no accident. Marris’ plan requires three of the members to enter the outpost and collect two things. The first is the documentation of an Eskalene officer. The second is the head of one. Marris sends the duplicitous Styrian, Mahan, and Rekala to complete the mission, choosing to keep Essen Breaker behind. Once inside, Styrian and Mahan begin looking for a suitable officer to behead. Meanwhile, Rekala sneaks her way inside the Esk fort within the outpost.
As the group works, Breaker and Marris have a discussion about the stakes of the mission. Marris reveals a portion of his reasoning. He knows the workings of the Eskalene forces and their magical channeling device known as The Anvil. If the group were to fail, then the Esk forces would overtake all of the empire. As the story shifts back to the infiltrators, we see treachery both from outside and within the group.
With this issue, Justin Jordan continues to produce a compelling and interesting dark-fantasy story. He continues exploring more aspects of the world he’s created. The protagonists remain interesting and compelling, though Rekala is quickly becoming the true standout. Her wisdom, skill, and unassuming intelligence make for a fascinating character. One thing that could use a little more fleshing out is the bodyguard of Marris. But that can be forgiven as this is only issue number three and the pacing within the entire series has been fairly quick.
Isaacs’ art is as solid as ever. Additionally, the further into this world that the script digs the more evident it is that Isaacs is a co-creator. Her design choices are clearly informed more by an understanding of the world than by aesthetic. Additionally excellent is the expressiveness of the characters. Everyone feels so alive that it is not difficult to feel immersed in the world. Guimarães’ colors further reinforce this. This world doesn’t seem like a particularly nice place, despite the fantasy trappings. As such, the palette used by Guimarães provides a striking but grounded tone. The letters from Cowles are tight, clean, and easy to read.
Overall this series remains solid, but I can’t help but find myself wanting a little more. It is evident that there are things going on behind the scenes in Reaver #3. However, everything so far has felt just a little too easy for the characters. I am hopeful that in future issues there is a little more struggle. Nevertheless, I am excited to see where this is going.
Reaver #3 is in comic book stores everywhere now.
Rating: 4/5 Decapitated Captains (Decapitains?)