One of the biggest surprises over the past decade is the rise in popularity of ‘Dungeons and Dragons.” What has been viewed as a stupid hobby for nerds (or a Satanic recruitment tool for some people) has been transformed in the cool thing to do. Along with that came the popularity of watching people stream their D&D sessions and one of the biggest is “Critical Role.” Its popularity has gotten so big that there are comics about their sessions. The most recent one is “Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins Series 2 written by Matthew Mercer and Jody Houser with art by Olivia Samson with colorist MSASSYK.
After an adventure, Grog the goliath is acting weirder than usual. After walking out by himself in the middle of the night, the party goes out to find him.
The obvious problem with the story is that this is based on a D&D campaign. On paper, writing a comic based off of your D&D campaign sounds awesome, in practice, it’s insanely boring, the dialogue sounds stilted and the story makes little sense. While this may only be the first issue, the story will not capture the attention to anyone new to “Critical Role.”
Fans, on the other hand, may be pleased to see these adventures in comic book format, but the thing that makes people watch a D&D session is the people role-playing, making jobs, screaming at the top of their lungs and smashing into stuff/other people from roleplaying too hard.
The art is the comic’s best feature. The cast has a cartoony look which is perfect since “Critical Role” is meant to be a bunch of funny people being funny. That’s also funny since crazy and serious things happen to the cast, but they figure out how to make it funny. The art also does a fine job of making the typical “D&D” look cartoony since Goliaths and Dragonborn are meant to look scary.
With the excellent art aside, “Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins Series 2” may only appeal to fans of ‘Critical Role” despite missing some of the charms of the videos while new fans will not get why this group is so popular.