Critical Role’s Mighty Nein is getting another series of Dark Horse comics. Critical Role: The Mighty Nein Origins will explore the backstory of each of the group’s eight main characters. The first issue will be written by Sam Maggs, with line art by Hunter Severn Bonyun and color by Cathy Le. Fans should expect it on June 16, 2021, Dark Horse announced Tuesday.
Perhaps the single most popular actual play role-playing series, Critical Role is the brainchild of Matthew Mercer and a dedicated group of talented voice actors: Laura Bailey, Taliesin Jaffe, Ashley Johnson, Liam O’Brien, Marisha Ray, Sam Riegel, and Travis Willingham. The first volume will be about tiefling cleric Jester Lavorre (Bailey).
“Jester Lavorre had an unconventional upbringing,” Dark Horse said in a news release, “even for one born in cosmopolitan Nicodranas. Daughter of the famed Ruby of the Sea, she had many opportunities for mischief as a small child, of which she took full advantage! Dive into the mystery of Jester’s early years, her first meeting with the Traveler, and the fateful events that set her on a path to eventually join the Mighty Nein.”
Writer Sam Maggs is a comics veteran, with experience working on IDW’s all-ages Captain Marvel comics and the prose novel The Unstoppable Wasp. According to her website, she’s also engaged with Wizards of the Coast on an upcoming reboot of Dark Alliance, the Dungeons & Dragons first-person action role-playing video game based on the works of R. A. Salvatore.
The series’ second entry will focus on human wizard Caleb Widegast (O’Brien), and be written by Jody Houser (Stranger Things, StarCraft: Survivors) with illustrations by Selina Espiritu and color by Diana Sousa. Here’s Dark Horse’s official description of that book:
In Critical Role: The Mighty Nein Origins: Caleb Widogast, Bren Aldric Ermendrud is chosen to attend the exclusive Soltryce Academy, preparing for an important future in service to the Empire. But nobody — least of all Bren himself — can foresee the cruelty he will endure, and the ways in which it will break and remake him. Witness the events that transform Bren into the Mighty Nein’s Caleb Widogast, and how they inform the path he’ll take in the future.
This isn’t Critical Role’s first time working with Dark Horse. The group also partnered for Critical Role: Vox Machina Origins, which similarly told the origin stories of a previous cast of characters. Critical Role recently took the cover off its own publishing company, called Darrington Press, which will focus on tabletop games.