Dungeons & Dragons streaming series Critical Role, which has found success in the realm of publishing with series such as Vox Machina Origins and The World of Critical Role: The History Behind the Epic Fantasy, have announced that they’re once more partnering with Dark Horse comics for a series of hardcover graphic novels entitled The Mighty Nein Origins. Whereas previous comic book series Vox Machina Origins tracked the stories that occurred off-screen before Critical Role became a Twitch streaming sensation, Mighty Nein Origins will travel back further into its characters backstories, via Comicbook.
Introducing Mighty Nein Origins, our epic NEW series by our pals at @DarkHorseComics! Each volume follows the life of a single character before they became the heroic Mighty Nein.
Learn more including where you can pre-order today! 🖤https://t.co/kSihzwSR8r
— Critical Role (@CriticalRole) November 10, 2020
Each volume will explore the backstory of one Mighty Nein player character, matching Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer (Critical Role, Overwatch) and the voice actor responsible for the featured character up with a seasoned comic veteran to help bring their story to life. The first two Critical Role characters getting the Mighty Nein treatment are Jester Lavorre and Caleb Widogast voiced by Laura Bailey (Critical Role, Avengers Assemble) and Liam O’Brien (Critical Role, Carmen Sandiego), respectively. This is far from the first time Bailey and O’Brien have gone hand-in-hand in the universe of Critical Role, as the two played close-knit twin siblings in the series’ first campaign.
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According to Critical Role’s official announcement, fan-favorite character Jester will be the first to get a Mighty Nein Origin comic on June 16, 2021. Comic writer Sam Maggs (The Unstoppable Wasp, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy) will join Mercer and Bailey in adapting Jester’s backstory for the page. Polygon notes that Maggs is also currently “engaged with Wizards of the Coast on an upcoming reboot of Dark Alliance, the Dungeons & Dragons first-person action role-playing video game,” meaning she’s no stranger to giving beloved Dungeons & Dragons stories a new life.
A month after Jester’s story hits shelves, wizard Caleb Widogast will have his turn in the spotlight. Jody Houser (Stranger Things), who previously wrote for Critical Role’s Vox Machina Origins, will return to the world of Critical Role comics to help Mercer and O’Brien tell the story of Bren Aldric, now known as Caleb Widogast. Once the news broke on Wednesday, Houser was finally able to share her excitement with fans on Twitter, saying “doing a deep dive on a character and working with [O’Brien] & [Mercer] on the details of his backstory has been a blast. Critters are gonna dig it!”
Some news on what I’ve been working on: A @CriticalRole Mighty Nein one-shot featuring the origin of one Caleb Widogast!
— Jody Houser ✒️🗯️🎲 (@Jody_Houser) November 10, 2020
Critters, the name for Critical Role’s passionate fan community, are already digging it, with these first two comics in the Mighty Nein’s roster already reaching sci-fi/fantasy bestseller status at Amazon for preorders alone. A blown-away Maggs shared this new on her Twitter Wednesday, exclaiming “Critters… you are AMAZING!!”
These babies aren’t even out until June & July and LOOK!! Critters… you are AMAZING!! pic.twitter.com/te0wcBKm3f
— Sam Maggs (@SamMaggs) November 11, 2020
After Jester and Caleb, fans can expect more a-list comic team-ups for the stories of Yasha, Beau, Fjord, Nott the Brave, Caduceus and Mollymauk, via Bleeding Cool.