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Critical Role – Vox Machina: Origins

(Vox Machina Origins #1)

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  3,564 ratings  ·  359 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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Danielle If your local library subscribes to Hoopla you can borrow and read it digitally.
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)

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Average rating 4.32  · 
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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
Shelves: 2019-four-stars
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.
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
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, hoopla
This was great. A fantasy adventure with lots of hijinks and humor. 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
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. ...more
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
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.)
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!
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Isil Arican
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun storyline, nice drawings. Easy to read with pretty funny animated characters.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
What can I say? I'm an unabashed Crit Role nerd who is always looking for more story. Great new content, fantastic artwork.
Dana Larose
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of fun -- Colville did a good job on the voices
Kari Trenten
Apr 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
The characters from the online roleplaying game, Critical Role (where voice actors from anime and video games get together to play Dungeons & Dragons, streaming and sharing the results) return in a graphic novel to show their beginnings. This volume features Vox Machina before they became Vox Machina, bringing together Vax and Vex, Grog and Scanlan, Keyleth and Tiberius, illustrating their first meeting and battles together in an adventure, which fleshes them out further as individuals and as a ...more
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I would love to rate this higher because of course I adore Critical Role, but I was confused multiple times throughout this book by the panel design and dialogue. Frequently it seemed like a panel was missing, or the dialogue bubbles were out of order. Yes of course each panel interior is fluid, but there was one where the dialogue flow didn’t make sense at all and probably should’ve been split up to make it more understandable.

Motions were also hard to follow. I get that with magic and fight s
Aug 27, 2019 rated it liked it
As a long-time Critter, I was seriously looking forward to reading this (thanks, Comixology!), but it doesn't quite live up to the live campaigns.
Obviously, a lot of the charm of the stream is in the players, but it is also in the down-time; the bickering, the whoring, even the shopping (sorry, Travis). By focusing on the action, as many comics do, this loses some of the character. As such, our leads come off a bit flat.
This is still a good time, and the art rocks, but it is no substitute for th
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
A fun little origin story, including the obligatory meet-cute-fight scenes, for the heroes who will one day save the world. Overall, the characters translated very well into a comic. I'm especially grateful that the artist went with the more androgynous face for the twins. They appear quite identical on the page, whereas some of the preliminary sketches have them looking like more traditionally masculine and feminine versions of the half elf archetype.

This is a very enjoyable comic book. Althou
Monte Price
The first couple of issues included in this volume were a little hard to get through. Once we were into the meat of the arc I was for the most part on board with what was happening. I don't think I ever really connected to most of the main group, but I also wouldn't go so far as to say that it was an issue for me.

I think part of it I'm very much used to more contemporary graphic novels, not so much with ones that have as heavy a fantasy bent as this obviously does. There were a few standouts, ma
Dean S.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, comics
Even for a relatively new fan of Critical Role, this was a great, fun introduction to the campaign one characters! The artwork, as well as the extras, were beautiful and expressive, and the action scenes especially were really well-done! I often have trouble following those in comics, and the fights are so fun to listen/watch to in CR itself, I was curious how they'd translate.

A really enjoyable read, and definitely worth it if you're interested!
Nathan Haines
Apr 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have never really been able to get into critical role, but I saw this and thought I would give it a go as it covers my other love of high fantasy comics. I was not disappointed.

It was lighthearted, fast paced and action packed. The characters were relatable and endearing (especially Scanlan the Gnome)

So even though I can't get into the critical role podcasts or web show. These comics are a big win for me!
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So neat to see how they got started! I hope there's more, as my favorite character isn't yet introduced. :)
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