Grog has gone missing and the heroes of Vox Machina recruit a gnome cleric to rescue him. Embark into the world Matt Mercer has created in CRITICAL ROLE VOX MACHINA ORIGINS by Dark Horse Comics.
CRITICAL ROLE VOX MACHINA ORIGINS SERIES II #2
Writer: Jody Houser
Artist: Olivia Samson
Letterer: Ariana Maher
Editor: Rachel Roberts
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: August 14th, 2019
Previously in Critical Role Origins: A successful twitch stream comes back for its second comic book series to tell the story of our heroes before they became legends. In this adventure, Grog was caught in the act of thinking and later disappeared into the night. The party was able to track him to Whiterun but their only lead was a couple of gnomes that he used to live with. Here we meet Pike Trickfoot who discovers that Grog is under a cursed mountain.
OUR HEROES BEFORE THEY WERE HEROES
Vox Machina now has a trail on Grog and has they head off to Gatshadow, the cursed mountain. But before they leave they are joined by Pike Trickfoot. Over the course of the travels, Pike reveals that Grog saved her relative, Wilhand, when Grog’s tribe wanted to pillage the older gnome. Grog’s mercy was rewarded with a beating by his tribe. Pike and Wilhand nursed him back to health and Grog has been loyal to the Trickfoot family ever since. However, while this conversation happens, Vax’ildan scouts around the camp and the party finds him amidst a spider web. Pike shows his worth by using magic to defeat the spider but Vex’halia quickly begins to create a spider’s antivenom as Vax seems to have been poisoned. It is here Pike reveals that she can heal people.
The party continues to the Cursed Mountain where they find a cave entrance. The entrance leads to a room full of old books written in Abyssal. Through the book, they find that this is the lair of Drath Mephrun. Entering further, it is revealed that Drath Mephrun is an undead necromancer and Grog is under some sort of mind control spell. The party begins a fight with some newly risen skeletons, Grog, and Drath Mephrun. The battle is fierce and right as Grog is about to lower his axe onto Scanlan, Keyleth and Pike banish the villain. After the battle concludes, Grog returns to his old self. One of the piles of bones is Grog’s father and Vox Machina heads off to bury him. Heading away from the cursed mountain, Grog has a strange itch in the wound that he received under Drath’s care.
A STORY THAT FELT RUSHED
Critical Role is a successful twitch stream that tells a collaborative story through the tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons. These comics tells the story of critical role prior to becoming a successful twitch stream. This story is organized very similar to a tabletop game. We receive a quest objective and follow the storyline through random encounters until we hit a boss. All this is then compacted to a single comic book. This made the book feel a little rushed. Vox Machina fights this villain but we only received a page of backstory for him and then right into the main fight. Though we see several pages of this battle, when the final blow is dealt against Drath it didn’t feel like a victory for the reader.
What the comic is trying to do is to set up character growth and relationships. Pike enters the party and establishes why she and Grog are close. I think if you are fans of the stream, this character and party growth will keep you invested in the story. However, if you are not familiar with the characters or the storyline this is a bad jumping on point for the brand as a whole.
BOTTOM LINE: GOOD IF YOU LIKE THE FANDOM
I think if you like Critical Role you will like this book. If you are not into the story or the characters it is going to be really hard to get into the story. The art is decent and I liked the action scenes between our heroes and the bad guys but I just simply couldn’t get into the story. This is likely a must pick up for people who are fans of the story but for me I”ll have to pass.
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I think if you are fans of the stream, this character and party growth will keep you invested in the story. However, if you are not familiar with the characters or the storyline this is a bad jumping on point for the brand as a whole.