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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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By Jody Houser & Matthew Mercer (Writers), Olivia Samson (Artist), Msassyk (Colorist), Ariana Maher (Letterer), Fiona Staples (Cover Artist).

Thanks to Dark Horse Comics for providing this book for review!



As Vox Machina’s escapades in Stilben lead them towards their next adventure—and a dire threat to Grog when he goes missing in the night. Tracking him down will see the party lose one member, gain another, and reveal parts of Grog’s secret past. But first, his friends have to actually find him.


Critical Role has been on my radar for quite a while now. Despite that, I don’t know much about it outside of a few character names. Going into Vox Machina Origins II #1, I had to wonder if I would be able to appreciate the story, in light of my lack of knowledge. I am pleased to say that I found the book very enjoyable, and there is a lot of subtle exposition that allows you to get to know the characters in a natural way.

Grog is a goliath who seems to take the focus in this new run of the graphic novel. He seems like a lovable big guy, and his adventuring crew become very concerned with he goes missing. The writing in the book is so cinematic, and just easy to read. Even when several consecutive panels jump between different places and characters, it’s very clear what is happening.

I fell fast for this rag-tag band of cohorts. Even through this single issue, I felt their dedication to each other. It’s a lot of fun to see how elements of Dungeons & Dragons are conveyed through the storytelling. For instance, one character is asked to essentially loot a body at one point. As a player of D&D this brought a smile to my face. These somewhat subtle nods to the origins of Critical Role are masterfully done.

The cover art from Fiona Staples is stellar as expected. It may offer some foreshadowing for later issues, and it seems like an emotionally charged moment for Grog. The artwork throughout the book by Matthew Mercer and Olivia Samson is similarly expressive. Each character has small details that make them unique. Personally I really enjoy graphic novels that pack a lot of tiny details into each panel, so it’s a win for me!

I am thrilled I could begin my relationship with Critical Role with this story. Even if you haven’t listen to, or read a lot of previous content you can still read and enjoy this book. Grog’s story is so intriguing and I would love to keep reading and learn more.

Are you a fan of Critical Role? Do you think it’s crazy I’m not already a fan? Talk to me on Twitter and Instagram!

The issue comes out on July 10th.

Samantha Maybe
Samantha Maybehttps://www.theconventioncollective.com
Sam is a San Diego transplant and SDCC attendee of 5+ years. Recently, she rediscovered a love for reading prose, and loves staying plugged into the comics world through The Convention Collective, and the SDCC graphic novel book club. You can find more of her bookish thoughts on Instagram @Sammaybereading.

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