Best known for his work providing gray tones on THE WALKING DEAD, artist Cliff Rathburn is returning to his own creator-owned work this July. REAPER is the second installment of a horror/fantasy tale first published in 2004, as a black and white one-shot written by Robert Kirkman. Seven years later, Rathburn is picking up the threads of that initial story in an all-new full color one-shot that looks even more amazing than the first.
The original REAPER one-shot told the violent and gutsy story of a deadly assassin, Reaper, who had been hired by a mysterious figure to kill a supposedly indestructible tyrant ruler. That mysterious figure turned out to be none other than Death, though, whose ultimate aim was to wipe out all life on Earth. Rathburn’s knack for handily illustrating brutality and dismemberment, however, brought the story to vivid (and often unsettling) life.
“REAPER was the first time I worked with Robert KIrkman, and he really took my creation and improved it,” explained Rathburn. “His script kept me driven to penciling, toning and lettering the first volume of REAPER, which is a lot of work for one person to do on their own.
“As of right now in my career, I have done everything you can do in comics apart from writing my own script. Writing the second REAPER has given me the a chance to play to my strengths as a penciler and helped me produce a final product where I can finally say I am proud of my work.”
The second installment of REAPER begins 400 years after Death failed to eradicate life. Now, the magical gem that gave Lord Shirak his power has fallen into the possession of our hero, allowing Reaper to become a warlord himself. Unfortunately, as Reaper should know full well, Death is not easily deterred…
“REAPER is a gem from early in Robert Kirkman’s writing career, and seeing the story continue should be a real treat, not just for his fans, but anyone who likes visceral, over-the-top artwork,” said Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. “Cliff has spent several years now doing gray tones on THE WALKING DEAD and he’s inked several issues of INVINCIBLE over Ryan Ottley, but he’s an amazing artist and storyteller in his own right. And if you thought REAPER looked good when it first appeared in black and white – just wait ’til you see it in color!”
The original REAPER one-shot (JAN041314) is available now for $6.95, while REAPER #2 (MAY110438), a 48-page part color and part black & white comic book priced at $4.99, which will be available for order in the May issue of Diamond Previews catalog, with an in-store date of July 21, 2011.