REVIEW: Critical Botch – The Comic #6 (2021)

A Comic by Valente Ochoa based on the podcast by various AEW Wrestlers

Six books in and I’m truly amazed that none of the “Murder Hobos” from Critical Botch have died as of yet. Readers have been treated to random acts of murder, in-fighting to see “what would happen”, deals with abyssal fiends, and many other things that usually spell doom for a player character in any role-playing session. Either these guys are colossally lucky or they goof around so much that it’s hard to do anything other than be ridiculous. Sit down and buckle up folks because this is a review of Critical Botch – The Comic #6 by Valente Ochoa.

If you are new here, and are confused as to what exactly this item that I’m reviewing is – Critical Botch was originally a Twitch Stream / YouTube show that has been running off-and-on for a few years now. It is a Dungeons and Dragons podcast helmed by Brandon Cutler as DM and Orange Cassidy, Chuck Taylor, Colt Cabana, Leva Bates, Peter Avalon, and Trent Baretta, as players. This comic that we are looking at is a hilarious adaptation of this show, once made available in one of the Pro Wrestling Crates as a pack-in. Written and drawn by Valente Ochoa, the comic does an amazing job of taking what can occasionally be a meandering series of in-jokes and pop culture refences and massaging it into a humorous comic book adventure. This is the final chapter of the second game session, also known as The Clog Roads. For Previous reviews for this series, CLICK HERE.

“In the hilarious conclusion to The Clog Roads, The Murederhobos visit a Druid tree of Life where naturally they take someone’s life. Rick makes a new friend who finds him very cute, and the gang eats pistachios while still in their shells…”

Once again some of the best bits of this comic are things from the transcribed role-playing that highlights that many of the players are fairly new to gaming. An example involves the party meeting and NPC named Selene, an Elven Druid that runs this sort of Hippie establishment in the meddle of town. Rick blatantly asks Selene “WhAt SpEcieS ArE YoU?!” which causes a gasp and an accusation of rudeness, this is followed up by Orc Halfington asking if Lorelei knows her – the fantasy equivalent of the idea that all members of an ethnic group know each other. Without trying the characters are hilarious and Ochoa highlights all the best moments in each issue. I often find myself laughing out loud at many times when reading these. Perhaps it’s been a while since I’ve watched the source material, but the adaptation has great comic-timing nonetheless.

As you can imagine, the party goes from a quite impressive bit of role-playing to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory almost immediately. They somehow mange to create a sound dis-information campaign to plant rumors in town of false identities of “the notorious murderers” that the authorities are looking for (aka them). It seems like many are now searching for an evil were-bear when shenanigans ensue. It seems that for whatever reason, a couple of party members can’t go more than a few minutes without initiating a spree killing in some manner, a fact that pleases the demonic entity Oolash very much. I wonder how much of this comes back to bite them very soon.

Overall this was a solid conclusion to the sixth chapter and second full storyline of this series. While, as a whole, these early episodes of the podcast can be a bit “fluffy” when it comes to filler, Mr. Ochoa cuts through the chaff for a highly enjoyable read. If you are a D&D fan, or just a fan of All Elite Wrestling, this is a fun comic that highlights one of the most underrated side-projects that some of the wrestlers have. it’s funny, grotesque, and somehow endearing at the time time – a solid read. A seventh chapter has been published, so these will keep coming at some point, but until then feel free to swing by Lulu for all new trade paperbacks of the first six chapters, if you like what you see. If you haven’t read any of it, eBay has chapter one pretty inexpensively, so check that out for sure!

You can find Valente’s works on his Lulu pages Critical Botch and Bedlam City Comics. He can also be found on Twitter, and the webpage for Bedlam City Comics.

For the original show this is based on:

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