IDW Publishing 2021
Written by David M. Booher
Illustrated by Drew Zucker
Coloured by Vittorio Astone
Lettered by Andworld Design
Canto and his friend Aulaura continue their search for allies against the Shrouded Man. And while their newest lead is promising, little do they know that the Shrouded Man’s Fury has uncovered the same information! It’s a race to the hidden home of Canto’s former slavers!
If you aren’t one of the faithful it’s never too late to get the trades and see what all the fuss is about. Even if a lot of that fuss comes from me and to be fair it’s well worth all the fuss I can make over it and then some. Not only is this journey of self-discovery one that impacts everyone he meets but it is a strikingly powerful tale that you simply don’t want to see end. Though let’s face it though all good things do end eventually once the story runs its natural course to the end. Then if it were to continue it would have to be another grand epic quest because that’s really how Canto works the best. Regardless I love Canto and he’s one of the best characters that you’ll find in comics, going all the way back to when comics were created and yeah I said it.
I cannot get over just how well this is being told. The story & plot development that we see through how the sequence of events unfold as well as how the reader learns information is flawlessly presented. The character development that we see through the dialogue, the character interaction as well as how they act and react to the situations and circumstances which they encounter, it really does a marvellous job in making these characters feel so familiar. The pacing is excellent and as it takes us through pages revealing more of the story the more intrigued and excited we become.
How we see this being structured and how the layers within the story continue to emerge, grow, evolve and strengthen is magnificently achieved. I love seeing so much about the Shrouded Man and his forces in this issue, not to mention more of Cantos’ people because these avenues that are opened up really add this delicious depth, dimension and complexity to the story. How we see everything working together to create the story’s ebb & flow as well as how it moves the story forward is exceptionally well rendered.
The interiors here are crazy beautiful. The linework is exquisite and with the varying weights and techniques being utilised to create the detail within the work we see throughout the book is just bloody brilliant. What I also really enjoy is the fact that if there aren't backgrounds being utilised then at least we see something like the weather or stars in the sky, something other than simply a solid colour, gradation in effect or not. These enhance and expand the moments as well as work within the panels to bring out the depth perception, sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masterful eye for storytelling. The various hues and tones within the colours being utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work show a sensational eye for how colour works. We also see some great techniques in how it's applied and how it manages to maximise the effects that colour can have.
While I am still waiting for the entire group to get back together, after all the Giants and the Witch, not to mention his friends, would be a welcome sight right about now as the issue ends on one hell of a cliffhanger. There are a myriad of things happening within this issue that feel so completely and utterly important to the bigger picture of the tale and it’s kind of glorious if you ask me. With some exceptional writing and phenomenal characterisation wrapped up in these brilliant interiors is sure to leave you utterly gobsmacked.