Reviews

Review – Canto II: The Hollow Men #4 (IDW Publishing)

Canto II: The Hollow Men #4 (IDW Publishing) cover (detail) by Drew Zucker
  • Writing - 8.2/10
    8.2/10
  • Art - 8.7/10
    8.7/10
  • Overall - 8.5/10
    8.5/10

Canto II: The Hollow Men #4

Writer: David M. Booher
Artist: Drew Zucker
Inker: Phillip Sevy
Colorist: Vittorio Astone
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Maturity Rating: Everyone
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: December 29, 2020

Canto traverses the Yellow Mountain alone after the loss of his friend. Can Canto overcome another loss and continue on the journey to save his people?

Overall
8.5/10
8.5/10
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Canto II: The Hollow Men #4

Wow! Canto brought us a heartbreaking issue previously, as Veratta saved Canto’s life at the cost of hers. With one of his party gone, Canto is devastated by the loss and decides to go it alone in Canto II: The Hollow Men #4. Canto must face the Yellow Mountain by himself. His pure will and strength must be enough to pull him along if he is going to save his people and lift the curse of the Shrouded Man. But the Yellow Mountain is tortuous and there may be some literal giants in his path! 

Writing

Canto II: The Hollow Men #4 (IDW Publishing) cover by Drew Zucker
Canto II: The Hollow Men #4 (IDW Publishing) cover by Drew Zucker

Look, we all know I am a fan of Canto and the writing of David M. Booher. He knows how to get to the literal heart of a story and drive it. Canto II: The Hollow Men #4 didn’t have the strongest start. I wanted a little more reflection on Veratta and how the loss affected Canto, but we really do not get much of that. I know for story’s sake we can’t focus on it, but it feels a little glossed over and just “on to the next”. The whole trip to the Yellow Mountain just felt a bit contrived and felt almost out of place. It lacked the “heart” of Canto.

Now, that being said, the second half of The Hollow Men #4 is excellent and has Booher bringing back that heart, hopefulness, and devastating feel to the series. It is hard to talk about without spoiling anything, but the conversation between Canto and another character atop the Yellow Mountain is magnificent. Booher has a tremendous way with words. They are elegant and heartfelt. They feel true to character and bring about emtoions to the reader.

It also adds up to a perfect setup for the final issue in the series. I mean, it adds some fantastic dramatics leading up to issue #5 of what exactly Canto is going to do. It added a nice little twist to the plot and yet another hard choice that Canto is going to have to make on his journey.

Art

Once again the art team of Drew Zucker, Phillip Sevy, and Vittorio Astone knocks it out of the park with Canto II: The Hollow Men #4. Man, the art always looks stunningly beautiful, each and every issue. Magical scenery and perspectives throughout the issue. As Canto climbs the Yellow Mountain we are treated to some fantastic layouts and shots. Loved the perspectives that are shown as Canto climbs to the top.

I could go on and on about Vittorio Astone’s coloring work in The Hollow Men #4. Beautiful use of blues and purples at the end of this issue. Astone has a way of making those colors bright and beautiful; yet, they still fit into the story and do not feel out of place.

Again, great character design by Zucker. It is always a treat to read Canto and see what Zucker is going to throw in there. Fantastic pacing, scene setup, and just the motion and energy he displays on the pages is tremendous. Sevy’s ink lines help bring out some wonderful details as well. The art team just works perfectly together.

Conclusion

While the start of Canto II: The Hollow Men #4 was not the strongest, in my opinion, the second half of the book was fabulous. It is a great way to end the issue and will have you clamoring for the next! Canto is a must-read series, full of action, adventure, and heart. It’s something kids and adults can all enjoy. Everything in Canto just fits the art- and stor-work tremendously well together to bring this story to life.


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