Essen Breaker came to bring the pain on child traffickers in the medieval city of Haas Haaden.
The Law of Conservation of Characters comes knocking on the door with extreme prejudice in this very thrilling emotional roller coaster of an issue. In the brutal seaside city of Haas Haaden, children are being taken off the street and horribly mutilated for commercial purposes. There's no way to clean that up; it's messed up from top to bottom.
With fire and bloodshed, the superbly violent soldier Essen Breaker and his diminutive and murderous colleague, the torturer Rekala make an attack on the men responsible for this horrible practice. This gives the reader a Man on Fire styled assault on docks, but with blades instead of bullets. Niko Henrichon and Clayton Cowles bring this fast-moving, hard-edged narrative down like an avalanche. Henrichon is especially good with facial expressions — the horror on a man's face as the blade sinks into his collarbone, the rage of his colleagues as they respond, the shock of a huge disappointment. Cowles' subtle lettering for sound effects and quiet realizations is also very effective.
All of that brings us to Justin Jordan's script, grabbing you by the throat and hurling you through a door. Essen Breaker has had to experience a lot of cognitive challenges and knocks on his understanding of things throughout this storyline, and his biggest surprise comes to bear here. Jordan develops it with great care and great deliberation, so when you get to the last page, it's a gut punch.
This is one of the best fantasy comics on the stands, is well worth your time and money, and Reaver #10 picks up the pace after a couple of issues covering the same ground. RATING: BUY.
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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