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Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins Volume I

(Vox Machina Origins #1)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  6,366 ratings  ·  603 reviews
160 pages of origin story goodness, centered in coastal town of Stilben in Exandria. Both the standard edition includes the complete collection of Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins #1–#6, as well as bonus content including annotated cover process pieces, preliminary character sketches, and character descriptions and stats.
The standard edition features cover art by Stjepa
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published May 31st 2018 by Dark Horse Books
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Fran I haven't listened to any CR and I enjoyed this. I do play D&D so the context is familiar, which probably helps but, as I understand it, this is a pre…moreI haven't listened to any CR and I enjoyed this. I do play D&D so the context is familiar, which probably helps but, as I understand it, this is a prequel story so no knowledge of the main story is necessary. I certainly didn't find anything lacking or confusing. (less)
Danielle If your local library subscribes to Hoopla you can borrow and read it digitally.
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  6,366 ratings  ·  603 reviews

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Start your review of Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins Volume I
This was surprisingly good.
And I didn't even know what the hell this actually was until I was halfway through & one of my kids saw what I was reading, then kindly explained it to me.
Ok, so the short version is that this comic is based on characters created by voice actors who got together to play D&D, streamed it, and somehow turned the whole thing into a wildly popular phenomenon amongst geeks.
Having said that, this should have sucked. I mean, this looked like a cash grab and most of these s
Sean Gibson
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I shame-facedly confess that I’m not as familiar with Critical Role as I would like to be, and I fully intend to remedy that in the coming year. Feel free to deliver any spankings, shin kicks, or wedgies you feel are warranted for my being a bad D&D nerd.

That said, this is a delightfully fun introduction to the CR characters. Sure, it’s a typical, RPG-inspired fantasy set-up: disparate, diverse, self-interested characters unite in common cause before deciding to band together on a more permanent
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars 


loved reading this. I can never have enough Critical Role. If you’re a fan of watching those nerdy ass voice actors play D&D every Thursday night like me, you’ll probably love this. I can’t wait to get more, and I really hope they bring one of these out for their current campaign, The Mighty Nein, as I’m more partial to that campaign and those characters! I enjoyed the art work and the storyline and would definitely recommend.
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, hoopla
This was great. A fantasy adventure with lots of hijinks and humor. I love how the beginning was structured, meeting our group of adventurers in successive issues before they even meet each other. I like how the authors didn't shy away from the fact that this was based on a D&D campaign. Fans of Jim Zub's Dungeons & Dragons comic will definitely dig this. I wasn't even aware Critical Role was a thing until I read some of the other reviews and that didn't hamper my enjoyment of this at all. ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
This was fine, but I wonder how good it could have been if they’d hired an actual comic book writer. Or someone who knew anything at all about Vex’ahlia.
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine, if you will, "...a bunch of...nerdy-ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons & Dragons." Live. On the internet. Every Thursday night. They call the show Critical Role and their group of disparate and sometimes desperate adventurers Vox Machina because they like bad puns. But those adventures took place in private for over a year before they were persuaded to go public by Queen of the Nerds, Felica Day herself. Implausibly, their ridiculously niche netcast becomes so popular that th ...more
Chris Lemmerman
We all know Vox Machina by now, but their earliest adventures have mostly gone untold...until now! See how the team originally formed as they each individually attempt to stop a plague threatening the town of Stilben, only to discover that teamwork might actually be the better play - if they can stop themselves killing each other first.

I've not heard all of the original Critical Role campaign, but I feel like I've heard enough to understand the personalities of these characters, and this first a
Axel J. Sparrow
i am a longtime DnD player/dungeon master, however i am not a Critical Role fan and this was essentially my first in-depth experience with Vox Machina. and.... it was kind of crap.

the art was generally nice but suffered heavily from sameface syndrome - and yes, that was to be expected with the twins. but when Keyleth starts to look like Vax starts to look like Scanlan starts to look like Vash starts to look like Vex starts to look like whatever those cleric/paladin characters were called... that
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Just your standard d&d story with decent art and a balance of humour.
Alexander Peterhans
I read this as someone who hasn't watched Critical Role, I am only barely acquainted with it, but I was an avid AD&D player when I was young. This book does do a pretty good job of recreating the fun that can be had when you find a group of players who are really gelling together. The book never "punished" me for not being a Critical Role viewer, and I don't think it matters that I have some roleplaying experience either.

Just good fun, really.

(Read as six single issues.)
Nov 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I was going to pace myself, but then this was so much fun that I just burned through it tonight anyway.
It’s an interesting look at how (part of) this group of adventurers came together and I can’t wait to see how some of the backstory stuff in here comes up as I make progress with Campaign 1.
(Also, where do I apply to join the Keyleth Protection Squad?)

Looking forward to reading the other volumes.

Edited to add: I think I most enjoyed the dynamic between Vex and Vax and Scanlan’s (view spoiler)
Apr 07, 2020 rated it liked it
I went into this knowing basically nothing about Critical Role, and it still works. It's an origin story about groups of adventurers in an RPG world coming together. There's a fair bit of humor, lots of personality, some good action, and a decent villain. It takes a while to get there, but it's still a pretty enjoyable journey, especially if you don't mind a tinge of meta to your D&D. The art is pretty good throughout, keeping its cast of characters pretty distinctive, and the magic effects work ...more
Rod Brown
Pretty good for the comic book media tie-in prequel to an ongoing podcast where you basically listen to people play Dungeons & Dragons. I have never listened to the podcast or played D&D, so I was hesitant to try this, especially since I got burned by The Adventure Zone series, graphic novels based on another D&D podcast I do not follow. At least the humor in Critical Role is not as forced, desperate, and unrelenting as in The Adventure Zone.

The actual story here is a convoluted affair with a wh
Dakota Morgan
Feb 11, 2020 rated it liked it
A standard DnD adventure with amusing dialogue, decent art, and a moderately involving story. I haven't listened to the Critical Role podcast, so I'm clearly not the target market for Vox Machina: Origins, but I enjoyed the book nonetheless. It's a pleasant introduction to the podcast's world and characters that even a neophyte can grasp.

The dialogue especially crackles - you can tell this story originated in an audio medium. The art is above average for an adaptation like this, though it's extr
Jun 14, 2022 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy
I have not watched any Critical Role, and only know the characters vaguely from internet osmosis. This comic introduces six of the lead characters as they separately investigate the mystery of a swamp district where people are dying at unusual rates. Some say it's a curse, but if so, it seems like it was intentionally engineered. The book struggles overall with too much dialogue per page and the visual problems of including characters with extreme height differences together in panels. It's fair ...more
⭐Anny⭐ (Book Princess)
Shout out to my friend and college roommate TraineeBee who bought this which lead to me eventually reading it too! I'm not familiar with either Critical Role or the Vox Machina series (although I'm definitely interested in the latter now). Luckily, no prior knowledge is needed to enjoy this story!

And I did enjoy the story. In many ways it's your typical mismatched-adventurers-group goes on an adventure, but there can't be enough of fantasy stories like these. I liked the twins best, they were fu
Nov 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Its not that good as I expected. But its an ok read I guess. I think its time for me to start campaign II binge.
D&D-inspired (or literal adaptations) are one of my fave genre niches and this one didn't disappoint.
I loved reading this origin story, especially with the meta quality from Scanlan and the humour interspersed throughout.
It takes a little bit of brainpower to pull the threads and the characters together (not being super familiar (yet) with the original Critical Role campaign), but the art and pacing made it super enjoyable.
Definitely reading Volume 2!
Jan 30, 2022 rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of the Critical Role live action show, and after bingeing the 1st 3 episodes of the Animated show on Amazon I needed more before next Friday.

Enjoyed this origins story of how the group initially formed and how they blundered through their first adventure.
Just Another Bookish Blog
Oct 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Super fun read, so nice to see how these guys all met and to get back to some content containing my faves!
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm just starting to dip my toes into Critical Role, the three-billion hours long D&D video podacst (slight exaggeration) adored by hundreds of thousands of fans (no exaggeration). They seem like a good bunch, and I've heard great things about it -- how could you not, with a fan base that giant -- and a recent Kickstarter campaign to create one 22-minute animated special of the group's origin story amassed over $11.3 million in 45 days.

They asked for an incredible $750,000 to make one 22-minute
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'm going to try to separate myself from the hundreds of hours I have already spent with these characters and focus on the comic itself as much as possible. However, I do feel like this comic banks a bit too much on peoples love of Critical Role. The art style was pretty and the story was interesting but not unique. Some of the characters felt a little bit forced or 'off', Scanlan in particular read differently to how Sam played him. Overall I'm glad I own this as I am happy to own anything
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
This graphic novel really communicates what it is like to play a game of Dungeons & Dragons. It includes team building, roleplaying tropes, and an interesting adventure with a few twists. The characters all have strong personalities and the art is really attractive.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5. I picked this up because I like shorter comic runs and I've been getting into Critical Role (although campaign 2 as opposed to campaign 1, which this is based on). This was a good introduction to the characters, and I really liked the art, but I found some aspects and events confusing. ...more
Apr 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was totally enjoyable as a fan of the show! I think it would be almost incomprehensible to people who are not fans.
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a huge fan of Critical Role, I was super excited when they announced that there would be a comic book series focusing on everything that happened “pre-stream”. While it has taken me far too long to actually read it, they are on the second run of comics as we speak, I was excited to borrow it from a friend to see exactly how the CR team and all the talented people they work with framed the origins of Vox Machina.Overall, I very much enjoyed going on an adventure with Vox Machina through the pa ...more
Rae Fisher
May 19, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Can you answer the call
Diggin’ deep in your soul
As the legend unfolds
Now it’s your turn to roll.

D&D has so much of my heart. Critical Role is huge for my gamer heart, and the arrival of Vox Machina was the best thing ever. Getting to actually SEE these incredible characters invented from the minds of nerds like me play out on a screen in front of me…and then to have them in book form?

Be still my heart, I’m in heaven.

The art in this volume is STUNNINGLY beautiful. The dialogue is hilarious and
May 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic
Do take note: I have never played D&D.

Having said that, I must confess that reading this volume made me want to play. I followed the link onto the online game the writer does on Youtube and it looked like lots of fun. This translated in this volume, the light heartiness of the characters. They joked around, confessed their sorrows without much difficulty, trusted their buddies during combat.... All the keys of becoming a great team. Unfortunately, I found the dialogue to be so fluid, that it of
Nov 19, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics-plus
This was fun, cheeky and easy enough to follow. I appreciated that the good nerds of Critical Role didn't tie this so closely to their game/show that you needed to have followed it. I am *loosely* aware of the group and their ongoing game, but this is wholly it's own story and self contained. There are a couple of D&D specific jokes I caught and I'm sure a lot more available to those really in-the-know. I really enjoyed these characters and the approach to world building/storytelling. Would glad ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-comics
I enjoyed how every character was so distinctly unique and had different relationships with one another. The art was whimsical and engaging. I also appreciated how the creators didn't shy way from making the story sound like a d&d campaign. My only complaint is that there were occasional rough transitions where content was clearly cut out for space. ...more
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Other books in the series

Vox Machina Origins (3 books)
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