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Most of the villains have one, especially the nastier ones.
My theory is that he, like Vargen, was never really well liked or cared for. He was constantly belittled and made fun of, and when he one day tried to prank someone/some people and failed, was told that he couldn't even be mean on purpose. He then pulled himself together and set out to be the new world champion in nastiness, but not by associating with the pitiful scum that had named the previous champion, oh no, he would be better than that! IMO Reinard is a megalomaniac with with confidence issues that he keeps well hidden, even to himself...
It seems unlikely that a comic that hasn't had any major characters die in 40 years would kill off an important character, especially a new one which they a lot off effort into introducing.
Well, what do you know, he's back. Three issues later.
Building on the last one: Reinard will have a Love Redeems arc.
Skalman, when he went under the waterfall, was talking about Mickelina, and we know that she's Reinard's only soft spot. Skalman agrees to fake Reinard's death, as "Reinard the thief" metaphorically dies. Instead, Reinard will come back under a new identity and try to woo Mickelina while fighting his urge to steal/do mischief. Skalman is going to be his advisor and "prison guard" of sorts.