‘Canto #3:’ Advance Comic Book Review

After being swallowed by a perilous creature, Canto and the Malorex are thrust into the belly of the beast. But not all is what it seems, as they are confronted by the Hermit who happens to look like the slavers of Canto’s people. From there, Canto is told the truth of the slavers and how they themselves are enslaved by an even greater foe.

If we were to continue with the comparisons to The Wizard of Oz, then this would be the meeting of the great and powerful Wizard. Likewise, it’s similar to the meeting of the mentor of a hero’s journey, as Canto trains with the Hermit. It’s a nice, little break in the action, as we’re given some much-needed context of the world, as well as the revelation that there are larger forces at work.

I’m very appreciative of the influences that Baum’s original tale has on the story, namely the search for the Tin Woodman’s heart. He’s always been one of the most intriguing characters in literature, and the different adaptations of his story arch have always been a guilty pleasure of mine.

As great and enticing as the story is, it does suffer a bit from the midway slump in this issue. That’s not to say that the story itself is becoming dull—quite the contrary, in fact. The ending of this issue, with Malorex and Canto heading off to the City of Dis with newfound knowledge of the world, is just the quick pump up that the story needs.

More praise needs to be heaped onto Drew Zucker and his unique art style. Never once do the panels seem to be haphazardly thrown together. Every illustration is unique, right down to the colors (A big shout-out to Vittorio Astone.) and the way it all ties together. Seriously, some of the splash pages throughout the three issues (and I assume the upcoming ones, as well) can be wall art in their own right.

Our heroes are sure to meet new members of the party, and it’s going to be exciting to learn how the story in the beginning of the issue ties into the rest of the plot. Nevertheless, Canto #3 keeps the momentum going, keeping readers enticed to what’s about to happen.

Creative Team: David M. Booher (story), Drew Zucker (art), Vittorio Astone (colors), Deron Bennet (letters), David Mariotte (editor)
Publisher: IDW Publishing
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