Canto #4 Takes Us To The City Of Dis And All The Terrors Awaiting Inside

by James Ferguson

Canto’s quest to restored his love’s heart continues, now taking him to the City of Dis. It’s here he hopes to meet the Shrouded Man in the Emerald Tower and get some answers. Of course, that’s easier said than done. First he has to get past a few giants and through the gates into the city itself. Fortunately, a mysterious stranger appears to lend a hand.

I am continually impressed by the vastness of the mythos in Canto. Writer David M. Booher touches upon so many cool ideas that I’d love to see explored further. Every issue uncovers some new and interesting element to this huge world. This time around we get the bumbling giants who serve as guards for the gates at Dis to start with. This adds a bit of humor to the story as these two bicker back and forth with the limited intelligence they have.

Letterer Deron Bennett adds some nuance to their argument, showing their speech in a faded grey when they’re trying to whisper to each other, then changes it up to a bigger, bolder font in a double-outlined balloon. You get the sense that they’re trying to look tough and failing miserably.

The contrast between Canto and these giants is staggering. The little knight is about the size of two of their fingernails. Artist Drew Zucker gives these creatures a disgusting look. They don’t seem to have legs. Instead, they look like big blobs with arms, kind of like the X-Men villain, Mojo, but without the creepy spider chair. Their lower half is dark as night and you just know it’s filthy.

Zucker really shines when the Furies show up. These ghost-like creatures prey upon Canto’s doubts, first appearing as cloaked beings before revealing their true selves as winged monsters. Every chapter of this series brings bigger and bigger obstacles for Canto to overcome and this seems insurmountable.

The City of Dis feels lived in and worn, like it’s stood for centuries. Colorist Vittorio Astone creates a rustic look with a great use of browns, greens, and yellows. The dirt is matted into these streets and buildings from generations of people living here. There’s a fiery glow shining from Canto’s chest and mouth that seems to light the way through this dingy grime. That’s the hope this place is lacking.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in this little guy’s adventure and just pour through all the amazing fantasy elements at work. Canto has been told he’s too small or not capable of doing stuff for too long and now he’s standing up not just for himself, but for anyone else that has ever felt that way. It’s an inspiring journey filled with peril that is enthralling from beginning to end.

Canto #4 from IDW Publishing is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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