Published by Dark Horse Comics, Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1 continues the story of how the members of Vox Machina came together before the Critical Role crew began streaming their weekly dungeons and dragon campaign. The primary story is from the mind of Matthew Mercer while characters and their development are from the players themselves. Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1 is written by Jody Houser, features art from Oliva Samson, colors by Msassyk, letters by Ariana Maher while Fiona Staples provides the cover art.
In Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins I, the group met and embarked on a mission to rid the small town of Stilben of a mysterious curse. Each of the members had their own motivations to see the affliction end but their mutual goals ended with team forming loose bonds. Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1 begins with the team of the not yet named Vox Machina continuing their adventures in the same town, defeating all manner of creatures for coin.
Following the defeat of a rather unsettling giant baby-like abomination, the group returns to a tavern in Stilben to celebrate their victory. While drinking his ale Grog experiences as a trance-like state that pulls him into a vision of another goliath shrouded in darkness. The group passes off the blank stare as the not-so-intelligent but lovable brute thinking too hard. However, the visions return in the night as Grog dreams of the figure again. Obscured in black flowing liquid and piercing white eyes the goliath calls Grog’s name. Grog startles awake and leaves the tavern in the dead of night with his father on his mind.
When the rest of the group awakes, they immediately notice the absence of their giant companion and begin to search for him in Stilben. When their investigation points toward a trip to the neighboring town of Westruun they decide to stay together. This decision appears to be the first real reason why the party sticks together for something more than just coin. The rest of Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1 revolves around the groups questioning of townsfolk in Westruun trying to find any leads they can.
As a personal lover of background stories in all of my favorite fandoms, I am loving this Vox Machina Origins series. I have been a fan of Critical Role for a number of years. So much so that it was an episode that needed to be featured on But Why Tho? the podcast. The adventures that were had in their first campaign centered on Vox Machina was a masterpiece of dungeons and dragons. However, as fans, we never got to see how it all came together for our party during the cast’s home games. We got to view some of the basics about our characters through introduction videos in the early days of the stream but not quite like in the way the comic provides. While the first volume in this series showed us how they met, Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1 is starting to plant seeds of the group coming together as one cohesive unit.
Those who are versed in the different mannerisms and personalities Vox Machina will be thoroughly impressed in how they are captured in Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1. From Scanlan’s Vicious Mockery and high sex drive to Keyleth’s naivety to Vex’ahila always looking to for the best deal, it is presented brilliantly through the writing of Jody Houser and the art from Olivia Samson.
Easter eggs are a difficult thing to do in a way that doesn’t beat the reader over the head. However in Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1, running jokes from the stream and foreshadowing are done seamlessly. Readers will not have to worry about being taken out of the story. Rather, they will go through the story with the voices of Travis Willingham, Laura Bailey and the rest of the cast of Critical Role in their head waiting for the next twist and turn.
If you are a fan of Critical Role and the adventures of Vox Machina, I cannot recommend the series enough. For those who have not yet to enter the world of Critical Role, I can see the Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins series being a great starting point before jumping into the first campaign. The issues are short but jam-packed with everything you will need to know to grow with these characters before they hit the stream. The group is not yet complete, so there is still time for first introductions and character moments for fans old and new while they continue their mission to save Grog.
Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1 is available July 10th, 2019.
Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins II #1
If you are a fan of Critical Role and the adventures of Vox Machina, I cannot recommend the series enough. For those who have not yet to enter the world of Critical Role, I can see the Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins series being a great starting point before jumping into the first campaign.