Summary

A fantastic retelling of the Vox Machina campaign from the popular Critical Role web series. The characters come to life through dynamic encounters with the mysterious creatures of their world.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Letters

Review: CRITICAL ROLE: VOX MACHINA ORIGINS II #1 Brings The Web Series To Comics

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The creative storytelling talents of Critical Role‘s Matthew Mercer are breaking into the comic book medium. Using his carefully crafted narrative as a springboard, the creators behind CRITICAL ROLE: VOX MACHINA ORIGINS II #1 bring readers into the campaign. This initial issue focuses on a Goliath named Grog whose battle prowess is only outclassed by his love for fighting. But the lovable giant begins to worry his companions after a sudden vision leaves him acting strangely.

Story

Fans of the popular Critical Role web series will find this issue bursting with the same energy as the web series. Jody Houser’s characters come to life with engaging dialogue and relationships few writers can channel so well. Beginning with an epic fight between the campaign members and a gigantic monster, Houser beautifully showcases the comradery between everyone facing the threat. This is soon carried over to an enjoyable meal at a nearby pub.

Vox Machina enjoying a post-battle meal

However, things take a turn for the worse when Grog experiences a vision of his father, leaving him seemingly comatose. Then, after initial reactions of surprise from his companions, he abruptly leaves their inn in the middle of the night.

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Grog's vision of his father

With Grog missing, the team bands together to establish a plan of action. Readers and fans are thrown into the team’s adventures and feel as if they’re a part of Vox Machina’s party themselves. The dynamic dialogue exemplifies the intriguing character dynamics originally outlined by Mercer in the original campaign. It’s clear fans of the series, Dungeons & Dragons players, and casual comic book readers alike will find this issue quite enjoyable.

Art

Olivia Sampson’s penciling and Msassyk’s coloring both achieve the perfect balance between complexity and simplicity. The character and setting illustrations contain intricate details to immerse readers in the fantastic world of Dungeons & Dragons. At the same time, the colors are rich and full, reflecting the beautiful simplicity often found in comic book artwork.

In addition to the fantastic art, Ariana Maher’s lettering achieves greatest by capturing the dynamic character voices with fully realized fonts.

The Comic Cover

Fiona Staples’ covert artwork features Grog in a cautious yet vigilant battle pose to give readers a taste of the story’s focus character.

Conclusion

CRITICAL ROLE: VOX MACHINA ORIGINS II #1 is an awesome tale of friendship, adventure, and mystery. Fans of the online series will be greatly pleased with this comic adaptation of their first campaign.

What did you think of this Critical Role comic adaptation? Let us know in the comments below!

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Corey Patterson
A comic book nerd and reviewer with a special interest in the underlying themes of superhero, sci-fi and fantasy stories. He enjoys writing for Monkeys Fighting Robots, Pop Culture and Theology and other publications.