Reavers (comics)

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Art by Jim Lee
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Uncanny X-Men #229 (May 1988)
Created by Chris Claremont
Marc Silvestri
In-story information
Member(s) Donald Pierce
Lady Deathstrike
Pretty Boy
Skullbuster (Cylla Markham)
Josh Foley

In the fictional Marvel Comics universe the Reavers are a team of criminal cyborgs. The most significant team of Reavers were dedicated to the destruction of the mutant X-Men, and a number of them especially wanted to take revenge on one particular X-Man, Wolverine. The name was originally used by a gang of Australian cyborgs. The name later referred to a group under the leadership of Donald Pierce, consisting of the three survivors from the original Reavers along with other cyborgs.

These Reavers should not be confused with the Reavers of the planet Arcturus IV, who exist in the future of the alternate reality Earth-691 and are involved in the histories of the Guardians of the Galaxy members Starhawk and Aleta.[volume & issue needed]

Fictional group history[edit]

Donald Pierce and the Hellfire Club[edit]

The first of the future Reavers to encounter any of the X-Men was Donald Pierce, when he was the White Bishop of the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, who bears bionic arms and legs. In the climax of their first direct confrontation with the X-Men, Colossus overpowered the strength of Pierce's cybernetic arm, severely damaging the appendage and forcing him to retreat.[1] Months later, Pierce rebelled against the rest of the Inner Circle, which was dominated by mutants led by Black King Sebastian Shaw. Pierce abducted Shaw's aide Tessa and held her captive. However, Pierce was thwarted by Professor Charles Xavier and his new team, the New Mutants. Tessa regained her freedom, and Pierce was expelled from membership in the Inner Circle.[2]

Three other future members of the Reavers, Cole, Macon, and Reese, were formerly mercenaries employed by the Inner Circle. On the same night that he first met Pierce, Wolverine also encountered a squad of Hellfire Club mercenaries who had been sent to find and kill him. Wolverine lashed out at three of them — Cole, Macon, and Reese — with his adamantium claws, leaving them severely wounded.[3] The Inner Circle then had the three men converted into cyborgs. Cole, Macon, and Reese took Wolverine prisoner when the Inner Circle attacked the X-Men's Westchester County headquarters months later, but Wolverine overcame the three men once more.[4] They were seen again working directly for Donald Pierce when he rebelled against the rest of the Hellfire Club, and made themselves responsible for the kidnapping and subsequent death of Juliana Sandoval, the girlfriend of the young mutant Roberto DaCosta.[2]

Lady Deathstrike had herself transformed into a cyborg by the other-dimensional being called Spiral, in an attempt to gain the means to kill Wolverine, as adamantium had been bonded to his bones in a process stolen from her father, Lord Dark Wind. She then led Cole, Macon, and Reese in an unsuccessful attempt to slay Wolverine in Manhattan. Wolverine was assisted in his escapes by the young Katie Power.[5]

Ghost town[edit]

Meanwhile, a group of cyborg thieves calling themselves the Reavers had been operating out of a base in Australia, in an underground complex beneath the town of Cooterman's Creek in North Central Australia. The Reavers acted as a commando-style team of thieves, with apparently dozens of members. Their base was a ghost town which was inexplicably equipped with advanced computers and a sub-basement and tunnel system. The Reavers coerced the mutant teleporter Gateway to teleport them from Australia to locations around the world to conduct their violent robberies. In one such instance, Bonebreaker led the Reavers in a robbery of Hoan International Bank in Singapore, and abducted and brainwashed Jessan Hoan. Informed of the Reavers' existence by Roma, the X-Men defeated the Reavers in battle and expelled them from their Australian base, which they then co-opted for their own use. The X-Men destroyed some of the Reavers and forced most of the rest to enter the mystical Siege Perilous to meet unrevealed fates. However, three Reavers (Pretty Boy, Skullbuster, and Bonebreaker) escaped.[6]

The Reavers were then reassembled under the leadership of Donald Pierce, who reorganized the team as an assassination squadron to undertake para-military style commando operations, and dedicated to taking vengeance on the X-Men in particular and eliminating superhuman mutants in general. Pierce combined the three survivors of the original Reavers with Lady Deathstrike and the three former Hellfire Club mercenaries into a formidable team.[7] While the X-Men, whose numbers had dwindled, were away from their Australian base, the Reavers retook the ghost town. When Wolverine returned from a leave of absence in Madripoor to find the X-Men gone, he was taken by surprise, captured, tortured and crucified by the Reavers. Meanwhile, Psylocke who had a premonition (her sporadic powers of precognition combining with Gateway's Aboriginal "dreamtime") of danger waiting in the ghost town, took drastic action to escape when the X-Men were teleported back to the ghost town. Through telepathic mind control, she forced the remaining X-Men (herself included) to travel through the Siege Perilous, barely escaping the approaching Reavers and mystically rebirthing the X-Men elsewhere with no memory of their real lives. Wolverine later escapes the Reavers only with the aid of Jubilee. The Reavers then attacked the Muir Island Mutant Research Center, theorizing that it was Wolverine's most likely destination. They fought Freedom Force and Moira MacTaggart's alternate X-Men team, and killed Stonewall and Sunder. During the assault on Muir Island, Skullbuster was rendered inoperative by sniper fire from Forge.[8] Donald Pierce rescued a gravely wounded pilot named Cylla Markham, who agreed to be converted into a cyborg.[9]

Around this time, three Reavers, Bonebreaker, Reese and Pretty Boy, are dispatched to a New York warehouse after Microchip, an associate of the Punisher, in a self-confessed mistake, infiltrates their computer system. The temporary absence of Gateway gives Punisher and Micro enough time to evacuate and set up resistance. One of the Reavers' biggest obstacles is a device designed by Micro, nicknamed Dalek. Its telescoping guns and multi-directional fire become very difficult to overcome. Even though, Punisher and Microchip barely survive. The Dalek and the warehouse are destroyed and the two escape through the sewer.[10] The Reavers face off against the Punisher again, this time he is wearing a robotic exoskeleton he receives from Microchip's cousin. In the firefight, the Reavers kill Microchip's cousin along with damaging the exoskeleton. The Reavers finally force the Punisher, still in the exoskeleton, to the ground, and pile on top of him. The Punisher escapes by ejecting from the apparatus, but not before setting the exoskeleton's auto-destruct charges. The explosion causes heavy damage to the three Reavers, particularly Bonebreaker, whose cybernetic lower body was demolished. The Reavers, retreat, defeated.[11]

The Reavers then successfully attacked the White Queen's company, Frost Technotics.[12] They soon captured Rogue, who had returned from inside the Siege Perilous, although Rogue was then rescued by a recreation of Ms. Marvel. Donald Pierce successfully transformed Cylla Markham into the new Skullbuster (although she usually just went by the name Cylla).[13] Lady Deathstrike later sought Wolverine in Madripoor and Vancouver. Pierce created an android named Elsie Dee and a Wolverine android double named "Albert" to kill Wolverine. The attempted failed, however, when Elsie Dee rebelled against her programming.[14]

Upstarts and humans[edit]

As part of the Upstarts' game, Trevor Fitzroy dispatches his own Sentinels to the Reavers' Australian hideout to kill Pierce (and anyone else they found there). In the ensuing battle, only Pierce, Lady Deathstrike and Cylla escape the massacre, Pierce seemingly only making it as far as the Hellfire Club before he was "killed".[15] Cylla later resurfaces, allying herself with Bloodscream in an attempt to murder Wolverine. However, Bloodscream betrayed her and sucked the life from her, killing her.[16]

However, most Reavers somehow survive their supposed deaths. They later return to battle the X-Treme X-Men on behalf of the Shadow King.[17]

Donald Pierce puts together a new group of Reavers, composed of young anti-mutant humans (with the exception of Elixir, who at the time was unaware that he was a mutant).[18] They are defeated by Karma, Elixir, and a handful of young mutants.[19] The group later breaks Pierce out of prison, but with Elixir as bait, they are lured into an ambush and captured by the same five mutants who stopped Pierce when he first betrayed the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle.[20]

Messiah Complex[edit]

The latest incarnation of the Reavers in Messiah Complex by Humberto Ramos.

The Reavers returned to play a role in the Messiah Complex event, under the leadership of Lady Deathstrike.[21] Judging from the design of their costumes, as well as their rhetoric in battle, these newest Reavers are simply existing members of the Purifiers upgraded with cybernetics rather than classic members of the team.[citation needed] Deployed as an elite commando unit designed to eliminate organized mutant resistance, the Reavers manage to track down and confront Cable in Alberta, Canada before being attacked by the new X-Force.[22]

In the ensuing battle, Deathstrike and the Reavers are all terminated by Wolverine's strike team, but not before killing the mutant Caliban and injuring Cable. To this date only Deathstrike's fate was revealed and it remains to be seen whether the Purifiers will be able to upgrade more of their fighters with Reaver technology to replace the ones lost in Canada.[23]

Known members[edit]

First Team:

Second Team:

  • Donald Pierce (leader)
  • Lady Deathstrike
  • Cole (deceased)
  • Macon (deceased)
  • Reese (deceased)
  • Bonebreaker (arrested)
  • Skullbuster
  • Pretty Boy (arrested)

Third Team:

  • Donald Pierce (leader)
  • Elixir (quit)
  • Duncan
  • Various unnamed other members

New Line-Up:

  • Lady Deathstrike (leader)
  • Various unnamed other members (all presumed deceased)

Other versions[edit]

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In the Age of Apocalypse, Reavers were a band of human traitors serving Apocalypse. They have been enhanced with Apocalypse's techno-organic virus, which allows them to merge with both organic and mechanical materials.[24]

Ultimate Reavers[edit]

Rather than being a specific team of supervillains, the Ultimate continuity's version of the Reavers are human gladiators who have undergone surgery to become cyborgs for the specific purpose of hunting down mutants on live television. They are led by the deranged Mutant-hunter Sgt. Wade "Wadey" Wilson aka Deadpool. Some do retain the names of the Earth-616 Reavers, such as 'Bonebreaker'. Another known one is named 'Cruise'.[25]

In other media[edit]


  • The Reavers, led by Lady Deathstrike, make an appearance in the 1990s X-Men TV series.
  • The Reavers appeared in Wolverine and the X-Men, with their vocal effects provided by Charlie Adler in "X-Calibre" and by Steven Blum in "Hunting Grounds." They are shown as servants of Spiral. The identified Reavers are Reese, Cole, Macon, and a female named Ricochet (who was exclusive to the TV series).

Video games[edit]


  1. ^ Uncanny X-Men #134
  2. ^ a b Marvel Graphic Novel #4
  3. ^ Uncanny X-Men #133 (May 1980)
  4. ^ Uncanny X-Men #152
  5. ^ Daredevil #197-199; Alpha Flight #33-34; Uncanny X-Men #205
  6. ^ Uncanny X-Men #229
  7. ^ Uncanny X-Men #247-249
  8. ^ Uncanny X-Men #251-255
  9. ^ Uncanny X-Men #261
  10. ^ Punisher Volume II #33
  11. ^ Punisher Volume II #34
  12. ^ Uncanny X-Men #262
  13. ^ Uncanny X-Men #269
  14. ^ Wolverine #35-39
  15. ^ Uncanny X-Men #281-282
  16. ^ Wolverine vol. 2 #77-78
  17. ^ Chris Claremont (w), Salvador Larroca (p). "Queen of Shadows" X-Treme X-Men 2001 Annual (2001), Marvel Comics
  18. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #5 (November 2003)
  19. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #6 (December 2003)
  20. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #13 (August 2004)
  21. ^ IGN: X-Men: Messiah Complex - Day Thirteen
  22. ^ New X-Men #44-46
  23. ^ Uncanny X-Men #504
  24. ^ Weapon X #1-4
  25. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #92

External links[edit]