The Reavers are a team of cyborgs, humans who have received bionic implants to enhance various aspects of their physiology. Originally a band of mercenaries led by Bonebreaker, Skullbuster, and Pretty Boy, the Reavers operated from out of a secret complex located underneath an abandoned town in the Australian outback. Utilizing the teleportation powers of the mutant aborigine named Gateway, whom they enslaved into their service by threatening to defile land sacred to his people, the Reavers first clashed with the team of mutant heroes the X-Men after robbing the Hoan International Bank in Hong Kong. The X-Men followed the Reavers back to Australia and easily defeated them, claiming the cyborgs’ base for themselves.
The Reavers were subsequently reorganized by Donald Pierce, former White King of the elitist Hellfire Club and a cyborg himself who hated the X-Men for their interference in his plans. Pierce once sought to usurp control of the Hellfire Club from its then-leader, Sebastian Shaw, and captured the X-Men’s founder, Professor Charles Xavier, with the intent of using Xavier’s vast mental powers to further his agenda. The team of X-Men in training known as the New Mutants foiled Pierce’s plan and he was subsequently expelled from the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle.
Seeking revenge, Pierce recruited several new members for the Reavers, including three former Hellfire Club mercenaries – Wade Cole, Angelo Macon, and Murray Reese – whom he transformed into cyborgs after a brutal battle with the feral X-Man Wolverine, as well as the Japanese assassin Lady Deathstrike who was remade into a cyborg by Pierce and the extradimensional being named Spiral. Under Pierce’s leadership, the formerly profit-seeking Reavers became focused upon hunting mutants in general, and in particular Wolverine and the X-Men. The Reavers returned to their former base and, finding it empty, lay in wait for the X-Men’s return. When Wolverine returned alone, they ambushed him and crucified him on an X-shaped cross, leaving him to die. Wolverine was freed by the young mutant named Jubilee, and after a brief clash the pair escaped from the Reavers. Incorrectly believing that Wolverine had fled to the genetic research facility on Muir Island, run by the X-Men’s ally Doctor Moira MacTaggert, the Reavers attacked the island but were opposed by a rag-tag group of X-Men associates. When the government-sponsored mutant team Freedom Force arrived, the battle escalated and saw casualties on both sides as the Reavers slew the super-strong mutants Sunder and Stonewall but lost Skullbuster to the mutant technosmith Forge.
Pierce was able to rebuild Skullbuster, and the Reavers subsequently clashed with the urban vigilante the Punisher after they traced a computer hack mistakenly believed to be by the X-Men. The Punisher escaped after damaging some of the Reavers, but Pierce easily repaired them. Pierce subsequently transformed pilot Cylla Markham into a cyborg, and soon after she and Lady Deathstrike were seemingly the only two Reavers to survive an attack by giant robotic Sentinels summoned from the future by the time-traveling mutant villain Trevor Fitzroy. However, Pierce survived and rebuilt himself in time to rejoin the Inner Circle in a quest for the power of the eternal mutant Apocalypse. Betrayed by Shaw, Pierce was left for dead but survived by locating one of the safehouses belonging to the time-traveling mutant soldier named Cable. Discovering a hidden cache of the nigh-indestructible metal known as Adamantium, Pierce laced his body with it, making himself more powerful than before. During a subsequent clash with Wolverine and his young mutant teammate Jubilee, an enigmatic being calling himself Khyber appeared, claiming Pierce’s new technology had been stolen from him. Khyber easily defeated Pierce and, taking one of Pierce’s cybernetic arms as a trophy, teleported away.
Pierce again rebuilt himself and the surviving Reavers and set out to capture Milo Thurman, a former government employee with incredible prophetic abilities. Pierce intended to transform Thurman into a cyborg under his control, but his plan was foiled by the intervention of Thurman’s former lover, the mutant mercenary named Domino. As the Reavers battled Domino, Pierce was able to download almost 60% of Thurman’s consciousness into his own mind before their base was destroyed.
Pierce and the Reavers later resurfaced once more in Sydney, Australia as thralls of the psionic entity known as the Shadow King. Through Pierce, the Shadow King sent the Reavers to capture the X-Man Rogue, whom the Shadow King sought to make his consort. However, Rogue triumphed over the Shadow King, and Pierce and the Reavers were defeated and subsequently taken into custody by the Australian authorities.
Pierce eventually escaped and reorganized the Reavers once more into a grassroots anti-mutant movement, recruiting mutant-hating humans to his cause. These new Reavers then clashed with the latest incarnation of the New Mutants who had come seeking one of the Reavers’ new recruits, a young mutant named Josh Foley. Pierce almost killed the New Mutant named Laurie Collins, but Josh saved her life with his newly-manifested mutant healing ability. Pierce himself was almost killed by the New Mutant named Kevin Ford, but Kevin was stopped by his teacher Dani Moonstar and Pierce was taken into custody once more.