The legendary (at least, in the future) adventuring group known as Vox Machina has returned as they continue their early misadventures. In this penultimate issue, the team continues to unravel a mystery in the city of Westruun -- a mystery that features an old ally, a false imprisonment, and a mighty dragon. After the group dealt with the ancient being in the last issue, they now face an utterly less terrifying, but still important, task: freeing Realmseer Eskil Ryndarien from prison after being blamed for the attack by the mighty dragon Skysunder. This leads to some challenges, as one member of the crew will have to re-open an old wound to find information, something that not even the members of the team they are closest with know much about.
During my review of the first three episodes of The Legend Of Vox Machina, I came away with an overall positive outlook of the show, but with some concerns. The first three episodes served as a look back into the events that happened before the actual play show began streaming to give us an introduction to the characters, as well as a glimpse into the story that would define the moment that Critical Role “arrived:” The Briarwood Arc, which serves as the first of the show’s big character arcs in the form of a revenge plot for everyone’s broody bad boy, Percival.
What started as a game between friends became a streaming sensation, a global phenomenon, a legitimate creator-owned content platform, and one of the most successful and impressive Kickstarter campaigns ever. From all of that hundreds of hours of content, years of story, and a massive journey comes the first season of Prime Video’s Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina.
It seems we've about reached the halfway point in what was originally envisioned for this series by its creator, and with that milestone, we've also reached the end of the current “Possibilty” arc. For a series as wild as this one, this arc was the wildest of them all. It brought American culture - and the ideal of the American Dream - to the forefront, the idea of creating great works that will leave their mark throughout all of history and creating a lasting legacy. This issue was packed with set-ups and payoffs, allowing for a satisfying ending to the arc and several major question marks that will leave us wondering until the series' return in a few months.
Art is a complicated thing, especially when it comes to creating the next great masterpiece; however, that’s what Ace Kenyatta has been tasked with doing in the zone of Possibility, an infinite ocean of the influence of American culture and great works - lost to time. In order to continue their way into the next zone and to further their walk on the spiral of this shielded America, the team is counting on Ace to use his knowledge of Americana and the history of this new version of it to continue the legacy of American influence of the world through artistic works. As Ace works his creativity to get them along the path, another option is brought into play from someone who will either be an unlikely ally or a difficult enemy.
The universe of Critical Role is vast, and with this new series comes something new: an area of the land of Exandria that has not been well explored, with its own mysteries and culture.
It's finally here. With the roll of a natural 20, the series finale has arrived. It's only fitting that a series called Die, based on role-playing games, ends at the twentieth issue. So much has happened in the course of the series, and while this review will talk about the final issue, it will also tackle the series as a whole.
Synder and Soule are back at it again with another issue of one of the most terrifying and prescient series out there.
We're nearly there. With one more roll of the die, we will be through this journey, as the following issue of Die marks its last. This, the penultimate issue of the series, one full of twists and turns, of friendships blooming and decaying, of learning who you truly are through this nightmarish hellscape that is loosely defined as a game, is its finest yet. As the group, including undead game master and creator Sol, makes their final attempt to leave the world of Die, we find that the way out is much more complex than opening a door or finding light through a dark tunnel. Getting out means getting out of your own way, of finally admitting to yourself the things that you've hidden for so long, and using that as your way back into the real world. It's classic, in a sense. Tabletop games have, for decades, given people an opportunity to live their truest selves, to be who they want without fear of remorse or judgment. These games have helped people understand their indentity and motives, to have that moment of not trying to hide or repress anything anymore, and to take that into the real world, living free as who you were meant to be.
Critical Role is back with their usual antics, as the prequel series continues for the story of Vox Machina, world-saving adventurers that will one day protect everyone and everything from an incredible, powerful force. For now, though, they're a bunch of bumbling idiots who haven't quite figured out this whole “adventuring” thing just yet.