As we move farther from the end of Critical Role‘s first campaign which ended after 115 glorious episodes, we also move farther away from the time between the start of the show’s streaming episodes and the time spent by the cast prior to becoming a full-fledged phenomenon. During that time, the group met, began their journey as an adventuring party, and had their own share of dangerous antics.
Through the release of the Vox Machina: Origins comic book series, we are getting more and more insight into events that made this legendary group what they are. As we enter the second series of tales from before the stream, we see Vox Machina attempting to help their big buddy Grog recover from a mysterious curse that has been harming him. Through that conflict, they met an old friend of Grog’s, which fans will know as the pure-hearted cleric, Pike Trickfoot. Together, they rescue their friend and attempt to find someone who can help end the curse placed upon him, which proves to be easier said than done.
As a diehard Critter, I have loved the examination of this group from the beginning. When the show began, they were an established group who had already had a parade held in their honor. Here, they have yet to become a cohesive unit, let alone accomplished anything of note. This examination of the characters we’ve come to know and love is a wonderful dose of nostalgia, seeing our heroes as fallible, fragile beings just figuring themselves out, and not the near gods we remember them as during the conclusion of their story.
Comics superstar Jody Houser joins Critical Role creator and Dungeon Master Matt Mercer to craft a story combining all of the names and faces from the show’s run, as well as keeping the story interesting for those who’ve not experienced the show. Combining these two incredible storytellers has made for a brilliant pairing and a terrific way to show the beginnings of the Legend of Vox Machina.
With artist Olivia Samson joining the team once again, the issue looks beautiful. It’s a bit strange seeing some of the original looks of the characters, though they all look amazing. Drawing a fantasy series can be difficult, but Samson and colorist Msassyk have done an amazing job in keeping the feel of Exandria and the surrounding lands exactly as they should be.
This is a series that will likely always get a thumbs up from me, not just because I’m a fan of the source material. This series, like many Dark Horse licensed comics, shows a positive way to honor the original content while still expanding upon it. This feels like Critical Role, not only because of Mercer’s involvement, but because of the respect shown to the characters, the cast, and everyone involved in bringing Critical Role to life. For us Critters, this is a look into the Vox Machina that we never saw. It’s also a chance to see this group begin and to provide the opportunity to follow them further, all the way to the end.
Creative Team: Jody Houser (writer), Matt Mercer (writer), Olivia Samson (artist), Msassyk (colorist)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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