CRITICAL ROLE: VOX MACHINA ORIGINS II #5, available on Wednesday, February 19th, follows Vox Machina’s quest to save their beloved member Grog. This issue focuses on Team Nightmare, the portion of the party who split off to track down the fiendish Nightmare creature. This being’s skull has the ability to save their goliath companion. But how will Pike, Keyleth, and Scalan take down a monstrosity of this sort?
The trio heads into Joren Village, a small community tucked away in the Umbra Hills. Scalan, being a charismatic bard, asks a townsperson if they had heard word of any evil forces affecting them. She claims a man in charge of a mysterious cult was held in the village jail. So, the group heads toward the establishment.
The group soon finds that the prisoner isn’t what they expected. Percival Fredrickstein von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III of Whitestone (“Percy” for short) is a kindly, middle-aged man who believes he was framed by the actual cultists.
Faced with these conflicting stories, the team asks him more about the cult. He tells them they’re called the “Nightmare Cult” and that he’ll lead them to their meeting in exchange for helping him escape and retrieve his confiscated weapon. And after much deliberation, they decide to trust Percy and set off to track down the Nightmare that could potentially be summoned by the cult.
Jody Houser’s script captures the essence of each member of the party. She helps the reader feel as if Matthew Mercer and crew were leading a Dungeons & Dragons session in the comfort of their own home.
The artwork with this issue offers a brilliant rendition of the world crafted by Mercer and company. Olivia Samson’s penciling and ink work, working in tandem with Msassyk’s coloring, presents readers with highly detailed buildings, faces, and landscapes that are filled with effective variants in shading. Ariana Maher’s lettering is also particularly operative, employing dialogue balloons coming from character’s off panel; this helps readers imagine the entire world of the comic taking place just out of sight.
The cover artwork from COUPLEOFKOOKS gives readers a close look at Percy in his shackles, emphasizing the focus character of this issue.
CRITICAL ROLE: VOX MACHINA ORIGINS II #5 both introduces a new character to the party and features a mysterious being that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. We’re excited to see what happens to our heroes next!
Do you think Percy is a trustworthy ally? Let us know in the comments below!