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Reavers (comics)

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.[1]

Fictional group history


The first group of cyborgs calling themselves the Reavers operated out of an underground complex beneath the ghost 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 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 robberies. Informed of the Reavers' existence by Roma, the X-Men defeat the Reavers in battle and expel them from their base, which they then co-opt for their own use. The X-Men destroy some of the Reavers and force most of the rest to enter the mystical Siege Perilous to meet unrevealed fates. Only Pretty Boy, Skullbuster, and Bonebreaker escape.[2]

Donald Pierce's Reavers

The Reavers are reassembled under the leadership of Donald Pierce, who reorganizes the team as an assassination squadron to undertake para-military style commando operations, dedicated to taking vengeance on the X-Men in particular and eliminating mutants in general. Pierce combines the three survivors of the original Reavers with Lady Deathstrike and the three former Hellfire Club mercenaries Cole, Macon, and Reese.[3] No explanation is given for why Pretty Boy, Skullbuster, and Bonebreaker came to be involved with the group, aside from Pierce claiming to have created the original Reavers.[4] Lady Deathstrike's reasons for joining the Reavers are even more unclear, as she professes a lack of interest in their goal of eliminating mutants.[5]

While the X-Men are away from their Australian base, the Reavers retake the ghost town and wait for the team to come back. However, on their return the X-Men escape the Reavers through the Siege Perilous. Only Wolverine, who is on a leave of absence in Madripoor, remains. Once he returns, they capture him, and proceed to torture and crucify him.[4] Wolverine escapes the Reavers with the aid of Jubilee. The Reavers then attack the Muir Island Mutant Research Center, theorizing that it is Wolverine's most likely destination. They fight Freedom Force and Moira MacTaggart's alternate X-Men team, and kill Stonewall and Sunder. During the assault on Muir Island, Skullbuster is rendered inoperative by sniper fire from Forge.[6] Donald Pierce rescues a gravely wounded pilot named Cylla Markham, who agrees to be converted into a cyborg.[7]

Around this time, 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 Microchip enough time to evacuate and set up resistance. The warehouse is destroyed, but the two escape through the sewer.[8] The Reavers face off against the Punisher again. In the firefight, the Reavers kill Microchip's cousin. The Punisher sets off auto-destruct charges which cause heavy damage to the three Reavers, particularly Bonebreaker, whose cybernetic lower body is demolished. The Reavers retreat.[9]

The Reavers then successfully attack the White Queen's company, Frost Technotics.[10] They capture Rogue, who has returned from inside the Siege Perilous, although Rogue is then rescued by a recreation of Ms. Marvel. Donald Pierce transforms Cylla Markham into the new Skullbuster (although she usually goes by the name Cylla).[11] Lady Deathstrike later seeks Wolverine in Madripoor and Vancouver. Pierce creates an android named Elsie-Dee and a Wolverine android double named "Albert" to kill Wolverine. The attempt fails, however, when Elsie-Dee rebels against her programming.[12]

Upstarts and humans

As part of the Upstarts' game, Trevor Fitzroy dispatches his own Sentinels to the Reavers' Australian hideout to kill Pierce and anyone else they find 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 is "killed".[13] Cylla later resurfaces, allying herself with Bloodscream in an attempt to murder Wolverine. However, Bloodscream betrays her and sucks the life from her, killing her.[14]

However, most Reavers somehow survive their supposed deaths. They later return to battle the X-Treme X-Men on behalf of the Shadow King.[15]

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).[16] They are defeated by Karma, Elixir, and a handful of young mutants.[17] 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.[18]

Messiah Complex

File:The New Reavers.jpg
The latest incarnation of the Reavers in Messiah Complex by Humberto Ramos.

The Reavers return to play a role in the Messiah Complex event, under the leadership of Lady Deathstrike.[19] 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.[20]

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.[21]

Known members

First Team:

Second Team:

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

Age of Apocalypse

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.[22]

Ultimate Reavers

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'.[23]

In other media


  • 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


  1. ^ Marvel Presents #9
  2. ^ Uncanny X-Men #229 (May 1988)
  3. ^ Uncanny X-Men #247-249
  4. ^ a b Uncanny X-Men #251 (November 1989)
  5. ^ Uncanny X-Men #249 (October 1989)
  6. ^ Uncanny X-Men #252-255
  7. ^ Uncanny X-Men #261
  8. ^ Punisher, volume 2, #33
  9. ^ Punisher, volume 2, #34
  10. ^ Uncanny X-Men #262
  11. ^ Uncanny X-Men #269
  12. ^ Wolverine (vol. 2) #35-39
  13. ^ Uncanny X-Men #281-282
  14. ^ Wolverine vol. 2 #77-78
  15. ^ Chris Claremont (w), Salvador Larroca (p). "Queen of Shadows" X-Treme X-Men 2001 Annual (2001), Marvel Comics
  16. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #5 (November 2003)
  17. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #6 (December 2003)
  18. ^ New Mutants vol. 2 #13 (August 2004)
  19. ^ IGN: X-Men: Messiah Complex - Day Thirteen
  20. ^ New X-Men #44-46
  21. ^ Uncanny X-Men #504
  22. ^ Weapon X #1-4
  23. ^ Ultimate Spider-Man #92

External links