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Review – Canto #4 (IDW Publishing)

Canto #4
Overall
9/10
9/10
  • Writing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 9/10
    9/10
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Summary

Writer: David M. Booher
Artist: Drew Zucker
Colorist: Vittorio Astone
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Maturity Rating: Everyone
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: September 11, 2019

Canto’s journey leads him to the City of Dis, where the Hooded Man lives. Will Canto solve the mystery of the Hooded Man and retrieve his love’s heart, or can he even get past the giants that guard the city’s gates?

 

New Friends and Enemies Arrive in Canto #4

Canto has learned a lot about his world and people since leaving his home. In the previous issue, Canto and his Malorex friend met with a hermit who turned out to be from the race of people that enslaved his. But all was not what it seemed. The hermit gave Canto a bit of history lesson on the land. How his people were enslaved by the Hooded Man and then told to take control of Canto’s people. It seemed the Hooded Man’s control ran deeper than Canto could ever imagine. In Canto #4 our young hero travels to where the Hermit said the Hooded Man lived. In an Emerald Tower in the City of Dis!

How will Canto get into a city with literal giants guarding its gates? He may meet a new friend that will reveal even more about the world around him! Canto’s adventure continues, as the City of Dis awaits along with new friends and enemies.

Writing

Canto #4 (IDW Publishing) cover by Drew Zucker
Canto #4 (IDW Publishing) cover by Drew Zucker

Not much to say, just another excellent issue of Canto here! David M. Booher does do some fun things in Canto #4. We get introduced to several new characters and it is superbly well done, in a storytelling sense, by Booher. I won’t spoil anything, but Booher introduces a new friend on Canto’s journey and it feels perfect for the story. With three issues in with just Canto, it feels like an appropriate time to introduce a new character, and what an awesome character it is!

Booher also has some solid comedy bits in Canto #4. The series has been pretty serious for the past three issues and this was a nice little break at the start of this issue. The dialogue is sharp and Booher nails the timing. You will definitely have a smile on your face when Canto comes to the city’s gates.

I did feel a little stupid reading Canto #4. I had kind of forgotten that the story takes a lot of inspiration from The Wizard of Oz (I talked about it in my review of issue #1). Well, Canto follows a yellow brick road and, obviously, the whole Emerald Tower thing. Then it popped in my head. Canto and his people are “tin people” with no hearts. I felt really dumb not catching that three issues previously. One of those head-smacking moments. The whole Wizard of Oz “allegories” do work extremely well. Booher works it in where it feels very organic. Plus mixing that in with some Dante’s Inferno inspiration is incredibly smart.

Art

The art continues to be just delightful in Canto #4. I have been enamored with Drew Zucker‘s character design throughout the series. As we enter the City of Dis in this issue, Zucker gets to let his imagination unfold with the different characters introduced here. The new friend of Canto is superbly well-done and has an awesome “fantasy/medieval” inspired look. There are also some wonderfully creepy enemies introduced as well. It is hard to talk about without spoiling, but the designs are great!

There is some great character work from Zucker as well, in a page where Canto tries to explain something to his Malorex as the panels switch back and forth from Canto trying to explain the situation and just the same goofy look on the creature’s face. Zucker does a great job of making subtle changes to Canto’s eyes and head position and the bit lands comedically well as we cut back to Malorex’s face and Canto’s frustration.

Vittorio Astone‘s coloring work also continues to fit Zucker’s style and tone for the series perfectly. This is a bit of a brighter issue and Astone catches the scenery superbly well. Again, the coloring work on these new characters is fantastic and really catches their designs perfectly and makes them stand out.

Conclusion

Canto #4 is just, plain and simple, a very well done comic book. The pacing is perfect for a six-issue story and everything felt like it “fit” story-wise with what was happening in the issue. I was just captured by the story and excited to turn the page to see what happens next. The art continues to be splendidly well done and fits perfectly for the story. 

With only 2 more issues to go the series is certainly starting to build up tension, as time is winding down for Canto to save his love. I can’t praise this series enough. It is impeccably well done; the creative team are all on the same page and firing on all cylinders. This is how you do an all-ages book. Something that just about anyone can pick up and enjoy!


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About the author

Brent Jackson

Brent is happily married and an avid comic book consumer who loves nothing more than the smell of comics in the morning and diving through a long box of back issues. By day he is a nutritionist and has also been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 10 years. He is probably not the coolest person you have ever met. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @brentjackson30

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