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‘Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins III #1’ - Advance Comic Book Review

Vox Machina returns in this third limited series, focusing on the story before the story: the adventures of Critical Role's first adventuring party, Vox Machina, prior to the events that fans were able to see when the show began streaming. There were several years of gameplay from this group of nerdy voice actors prior to becoming the international sensation that they are now, and, thanks to this series along with the prior two, we get to see these adventures unfold.

After a very successful adventure in the the previous series, Vox Machina suddenly finds themselves with quite a bit of cash, a prospect they find very alluring, to the point where they spend time doing everything they can to rid themselves of the weight of all that gold, pampering themselves in whatever they desire. But, as it does, the money runs out, and Vox Machina are now a bit cash light and looking for paying work. This leads them to a chance encounter with a mysterious figure offering just that and an exciting clash that will likely be the focus of the next issue.

I really love these peeks into the pre-stream world of Critical Role. As a huge fan of the show, one whose listened to the entire first campaign (Goodbye, roughly 500 hours of my life!), seeing these characters once again is amazing, especially getting the chance to check out how they did things before they became ultra-powerful warriors with magical weapons, armors, incredible spells, and the knowledge that they can handle just about anything that comes their way. Watching them stumble, fail, improvise, and take their lumps is refreshing and fun in a way that doesn't occur later in Vox Machina's tale.

Of course, the team on this series is amazing, with everyone from the previous series returning to the world of Critical Role. Jody Houser is back on writing duties, getting her cues from Critical Role mastermind Matt Mercer, the harbinger of all lore and creative force behind the entire franchise. Houser and Mercer are doing some great things together, with Houser being a powerful force in comics in her own right. Joining them once again are Olivia Samson, Msassyk, and Ariana Maher on art, colors, and lettering, respectively. Combined, their abilities create the incredible world of Tal'Dorei, bringing it to life in a way that fans of the show have yet to see. Getting an opportunity to see the city of Westruun - a city I've spent hours listening about - is amazing.

We all know the importance of storytelling, and getting to see a team that cares so much about good storytelling is a wonderful sight. With how much care the creative team takes into protecting these beloved characters, it's obvious they see the potential in this franchise which has taken the world by storm.

For any fan of Critical Role, this is obviously can't-miss content. It's fun, gorgeous, and feels just like the world we've all spent so much time in. With caring, talented creators tasked with bringing this world into comic book form and enough stories to last a lifetime, Vox Machina Origins III is going to be a wild and satisfying ride.


Creative Team: Jody Houser, Matt Mercer (writers), Olivia Samson (art), Msassyk (colors), Ariana Maher (letters)
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
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