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‘Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins III #2’ – Advance Comic Book Review

It’s time to roll the dice once again as the Critical Role prequel series continues, with our group of rag-tag adventurers finding themselves on the wrong end of the odds once again. In one of their first real teambuilding exercises, Vox Machina enter a fighting tournament, looking to take their status of being poor in coin and rich in bad ideas and at least get half of that formula remedied. To do that, they has to come together and win a few fights as a team, though that’s much easier said than done.

This issue reminds me a lot of the show, as there are some episodes that see Vox Machina shopping the whole time, and others that see them in a full-on battle. In this case, it’s quite a bit of the latter, as the team brawls their way through the night, facing the gamut of fisticuffs, magical prowess, and the occasional dirty trick. It’s a load of fun, showcasing the trademark Vox Machina strategy of getting into trouble, working together, getting lucky, and somehow coming out on the other side beaten up, but victorious.

An action issue is always a great read, especially when the artwork is as dynamic as it is here. Olivia Samson has been doing an amazing job thus far in their work on the Critical Role comics, and this might be their best issue yet. The fight scenes are well-paced, with every team member getting their moment to shine, including a very special moment that fans should love. Joining Samson on this issue is Diana Sousa, who did an excellent job making Samson’s artwork really shine. I really love the color palette used in this series, as everything pops, bringing the fantasy inspired world to life, especially with some of the more colorful Dungeons & Dragons races and classes that are featured.

It wouldn’t be a conversation about Critical Role with talking about its architect, Matthew Mercer. Joined by comics superstar Jody Houser, Mercer has weaved a web of intricate and impressive stories, allowing for a fully realized world to exist, no matter the medium.

As a fan of the show, it’s so wonderful to see this part of the story – what we’ve never seen before – play out. I love these characters, these creators, and this franchise. Getting an opportunity for more shows the love and respect that the people who’ve dedicated so much of their time and effort into making this reality have for those who’ve found a connection with it. An adaptation is one thing, but this feels like so much more. It’s a continuation of sorts, adding to the greater fabric of this story, and for those who enjoy it so much. Its impact is far ranging, and this is just another way to give back and give more.

It’s silly, violent, and, overall, just a great time. The creative team has put a lot of care into making sure these characters feel true to their origins, and three mini-series in, this still holds true. No fan of the show, or of great fantasy stories in general, should want to miss out on this.

Creative Team: Matthew Mercer, Jody Houser (writers), Olivia Samson (artist), Diana Sousa (colorist), Ariana Maher (letter)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Click here to purchase.

Russ Pirozek, Fanbase Press Contributor



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