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. Once, when Wolverine broke into the Club's Manhattan mansion, he severed Pierce's cybernetic arm from the rest of his body. 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. 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 the three of them severely wounded. 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. They were seen again working directly for Donald Pierce when he rebelled against the rest of the Hellfire Club.
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.
The Reavers were created by Chris Claremont and Marc Silvestri in 1988 and first appeared as a group in Uncanny X-Men # 229. Many of the members however had already appeared before in Uncanny X-Men issue 133.
Major Story Arcs
Meanwhile a group of cyborg thieves calling themselves the Reavers had been operating out of a base in Australia. 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. Informed of the Reavers' existence by Roma, the X-Men 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 Siege Perilous. However, three Reavers ( Pretty Boy, Skullbuster, and Bonebreaker) escaped. The Reavers were then reassembled under the leadership of Donald Pierce. Pierce combined the three survivors of the original Reavers with Lady Deathstrike and the three former Hellfire Club mercenaries into a formidable team. 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 re-birthing the X-Men elsewhere with no memory of their real lives. Wolverine later escapes the Reavers only with the aid of Jubilee.
Versus the Punisher
Around this time, in Punisher Volume II #33, 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 Reaver's 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.
The Reavers then attacked Muir Island, theorizing that it was Wolverine's most likely destination. During the assault on Muir Island, they where counter-attacked by the make-shift mutant team known as the Muir Island X-Men. Durimg the attack, Skullbuster was rendered inoperative by sniper fire from Forge. Despite this loss, the Reavers managed to take out a number of mutants. Donald Pierce later transformed a gravely wounded pilot named Cylla Markham into the new Skullbuster (although she usually just went by the name Cylla).
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". 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. However, most Reavers somehow survive their supposed deaths. They later return to battle the X-Treme X-Men on behalf of the Shadow King.
New Reavers: Academy X
Donald Pierce puts together a new group of Reavers, composed of young anti- mutant humans. This includes Elixir, who at the time was unaware that he was a mutant. They are defeated by a de-facto new version of the New Mutants. Pierce himself has the skin decayed from his body by Wither. He is turned over to the police. Pierce had injured Wallflower during the battle. Elixir saves her, when his former comrades learn of this, they give him a beating and kick him out of the organization. The group later breaks Pierce out of prison and makes another attempt on Elixir's life, but they are defeated by the surviving core members of the original New Mutants team.
The Reavers returned to play a role in the current Messiah Complex event, under the leadership of Lady Deathstrike. 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. 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. 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. Whether Deathstrike survived the clash, or whether the Purifiers will be able to upgrade more of their fighters with Reaver technology to replace the ones lost in Canada, remains to be seen.
Earth 295 (Age of Apocalypse)
The Reavers in this alternate reality were headed by Donald Pierce and made up of members Clegg, Dead Eye, Mangle, Slocum, and Vultura. They were human beings that were altered by Apocalypse with the Techno-Organic Virus. Put in charge of stopping the Human High Council's plan to use nuclear weapons to stop Apocalypse, they brainwashed Captain Britain and attacked Wolverine, Carol Danvers, and Gateway. Eventually, all of their members were defeated.
Earth 1610 (Ultimate Reavers)
Rather than being a specific team of super-villains, 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 Ultimate Deadpool. Some do retain the names of the 616 Reavers, such as 'Bonebreaker'.