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Review – Canto #6 (IDW Publishing)

Canto #6 (IDW Publishing) cover (detail) by Drew Zucker
Overall
9/10
9/10
  • Writing - 9/10
    9/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 9/10
    9/10
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Canto #6

Writer: David M. Booher
Artist: Drew Zucker
Colorist: Vittorio Astone
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Maturity Rating: Everyone
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: November 20, 2019

Canto has finally confronted the Shrouded Man in the Emerald Tower. He has learned his secret, and it shatters Canto’s hope. But why does the Shrouded Man enslave his people? And can Canto pull himself up from utter defeat?

 

An Adventure Ends in Canto #6

We have journeyed with Canto for six issues now, following the young tin man, defying his slavers and journeying past his homeland for the first time to save his love. His quest to find the Shrouded Man and his peoples’ hearts comes to a stunning end in Canto #6. Previously, Canto had finally confronted the Shrouded Man in the Emerald Tower but he found out something terrible. The story of the brave knight who journeyed out of his land to save a princess? The story that Canto used as inspiration during his journey and repeated to his love often was not true. The Shrouded Man was that knight and failed at this mission. Now he has decided the best way to control is with fear and without love!

Canto #6 (IDW Publishing) cover by Drew Zucker
Canto #6 (IDW Publishing) cover by Drew Zucker

Canto’s journey comes to an end, but is it a happy ending? Can Canto pick himself up from utter defeat, or have his morale and courage been struck a death blow by the Shrouded Man?

Writing

We are at the end of this six-issue all-ages fantasy/action-adventure story in Canto #6. I had recently heard the news that Canto would have further adventures after this story. This was great news, but also had me wondering how David M. Booher would wrap this storyline up. I have reviewed all five issues so far (you can read them here) but if Booher didn’t stick the landing with this issue it would be all for nothing, for this story itself, and it would not set up the further adventures that well; that is a lot of pressure on Booher.

I am happy to say Booher stuck the ending perfectly in Canto #6! Obviously, I will not go into spoilers, but Booher does a fantastic job of wrapping up this six-issue storyline while setting up possibly what could happen next. It is wonderfully open-ended, where if the story did not continue you would be satisfied, but it also keeps the imagination wide open for further stories of Canto and this world. He also ends it in a way you will not be expecting, which I loved.

Booher also has done a delightful job of building this world up slowly. He slowly introduced us to lands and characters. He developed how the world worked and the “rules” in it. Booher never rushed anything or gave an over-explanation. Now, at the end, we have the huge world in front of us. He also did the same with the cast of characters. We now have a nice cast of recurring characters that I am invested in, as well.

Art

Drew Zucker and Vittorio Astone have made an amazing art duo in this series. Zucker continues to show some just amazing movement and energy in his drawings in Canto #6. Again, and I think I have said this every time, but I am still amazed at the emotion he gets from Canto. With only his eyes and body posture, Zucker brings so much emotion to the story. It is some tremendous cartooning. Also, just one more time, how can you not love the design for Canto and the “tin people”? It is perfect!

Vittorio Astone delivers more splendid coloring work as well in Canto #6. I dug the bright purple/pink coloration of the Shrouded Man’s magic. It had this great otherworldly feel to it. Astone has done a great job of balancing light and darkness throughout this series and it continues to shine in this issue.

The art helps tell the story perfectly, visually, as the panels help speed up and slow down the storytelling and paces the reading superbly well. The layout of the book is great. Everything just flows nicely together. You could really get the main gist of the story just form the art alone, which is a great credit to the art team.

Conclusion

Canto #6 is a great ending to this series. It ends the story in a surprising, touching way and the tag line “Part Fantasy. Part Adventure. All Heart” has never been truer than at the end. The creative team has done an exceptional job with this all-ages story. This is how you do an all-ages comic book! It has got action, adventure and an emotional story that doesn’t talk down to its readers, nor is it afraid to get a little dark and grim at times. 

I am super excited to see what awaits Canto and his friends and very happy that the team gets to continue telling his story. The combination of Wizard of Oz and Dante’s Inferno in an all-ages comic book sounds like an odd choice, but through six issues the creative team built a world and characters that had me excited to read each and every issue and actually had me invested and caring about them.


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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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