When last we left our heroes, the ragtag company of adventurers known as Vox Machina had saved the land of Tal’Dorei from a blue lightning-breathing engine of mass destruction and the capital city of Emon from the influence of necromancy and vampires. The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2 kicks off with things starting to look up for the mercenary misfits. Except … oh … oh damn …Yeah. Something has to be done about that.
As per usual, Vox Machina has to escape by the skin of their teeth, regroup, and decide if they’re even going to take action. When conscience wins out, they travel to the guarded city of Vasselheim for aid but are largely met with doors in their faces. At the behest of an unexpected patron, they must embark on questing as deadly as the threat besieging their home (a la Clash of the Titans.) How much it costs them to save their world remains to be seen at the end of Episode 3’s cliffhanger.
The character development is both minor and major in the first three episodes released. The bawdy and bombastic bard, Scanlon, tones down a bit too spread the viewers’ attention elsewhere, and nobleman/pistolero Percy is adjusting to his role as Lord of Whitestone (and his expectations of what that is). Gnomish warrior priestess, Pike Trickfoot, is embracing her inner Lawful Good, while her hulking simpleton of an adoptive brother, Grog Strongjaw, explores what it means to be a warrior in the company of his much more squishy friends. Keyleth, a fledgling druid, is trying to be more confident in her abilities while receiving encouragement from an unexpected source. Finally, the deadly half-elven twins, Vax and Vex, come to terms with their past, their co-dependence, their mixed heritage, and (it seems) the foreboding feathers that fans of the live play web series will anxiously recognize.
Coming off a stellar season one, The Legend of Vox Machina retains a high level of animation and writing (Take notes The Dragon Prince!). The main voice cast returns in full and includes the voices of Ellie from The Last of Us, Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2000’s incarnation), dozens of Marvel and DC animated superheroes, and members of just about every English-language dub of anime produced in the last 20 years. Returning guests include Gina Torres (Justice League Unlimited, Star Wars Rebels), Eugene Byrd (Gears of War series), and Cree Summer (Inspector Gadget, Rugrats, and pretty much everything). New voices include Will Friedle (Batman Beyond), Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (Cowboy Bebop, Resident Evil: Resistance), and Henry Winkler (c’mon, he’s the mother#$%&ing Fonz!).
Ultimately, the only hurdle being faced this season isn’t in the production studio; it’s in the boardroom. Hasbro and its subsidiary, Wizards of the Coast, recently altered – and re-altered – the Open Gaming License created by the previous licensors of Dungeons & Dragons, TSR. This has led many fans and players to boycott any and all official D&D content, potentially aborting the upcoming movie starring Chris Pine and Hugh Grant and making The Legend of Vox Machina Season 2 and its origin property of Critical Role hot-button issues. For the record, the main cast/executive producers publicly announced support for the independent content creators, such as themselves, in the TTRPG community while continuing to navigate their relationship with Hasbro.