Canto II #3 from IDW Publishing reminds the readers and characters what David M. Booher brings back from the first saga. With penciler Drew Zucker, inker Philip Sevy, and colorist Vittorio Astone displaying a dangerous yet beautiful fantasy world, letterer by Andworld Design takes the opportunity to record the voices of this world on the power of legends.
Background and Recap
Canto revolves around the titular clockwork run, foot tall, knight, and the many legends surrounding his world. Heroes of old, curses from a dark lord, and the necessary need for faith in these dark times. Canto’s kind had been enslaved by this Shrouded Man through a curse via clockwork hearts on a time limit replacing their original ones. After an initial journey doesn’t get Canto what he wants, he inspires his fellow Clockwork Knights to fight for their freedom. Unfortunately, that freedom is at risk as the Knights’ time limit approaches. Now they meet a former ally of the Shrouded Man who needs their help in lifting her kind’s curse so that she can lift theirs.
Legends Never Die In Canto II #3
Diving right into a literal cliffhanger, Booher reminds readers at every turn why people tell stories. When things look bleak, legends and the events behind them can inspire people to take risks. Risks can be costly as one of Canto’s friends is ready to sacrifice her life for him. The Shrouded Man mocks Canto for as their journey has the risk of dooming every Clockwork Knight. Fortunately, that same act has a flipside that puts the entire curse into question. Again no spoilers, but it seems the dark lord is hiding something among his mockery. Not that it changes the fate of a character who, among the rest of this issue’s cast, shares genuinely heartwarming times before the issue’s end. These moments ensure that despite their fates, these characters will never be forgotten.
Romanticizing The Moment
Penciler Drew Zucker displays a high degree of emotion to make the Clockwork Knights look expressive. With only their eyes being visible, the reader impresses themselves onto them for a form of empathy. This simple design on the knights with angles and body language makes each feel memorable within Canto II #3. Whenever their eyes are closed or obscured, it’s as though the reader is losing a part of themselves.
Inker Philip Sevy ensures that the reader stays on track with the main story. Simultaneously, the thick but lighter strokes can show readers some elements relevant to the obstacle at hand. Like, say a concrete pillar featuring overgrown plants saying that the mechanical Canto is dying after falling into the water.
Finally, the coloring by Vittorio Astone gives identity to the characters of Canto II #3. Each clockwork knight has a distinct coloring accent to them. Falco, for example, with his leaf-like eyepatch and green accents, looks experienced in the worst of the world but is hopeful thanks to Canto’s presence. Compare that to the Shrouded Man, who uses purple coloring to display how detached from everything he is. Something that his contact with Canto through the clockwork knight’s dreams attests towards.
Andworld Design takes its task of lettering to provide not just context but also memorable characterization. The opening caption is a great introduction to the overall story, and its parchment boxes look like this is a story someone on this journey tells. The color-coded detached speech is highlighted in colors representing the knights, red for Canto, green for Falco. Considering that closing captions boxes are green, suggesting Falco is delivering these last lines, it remains unknown who is telling the overall story, and the end may surprise the reader. In any case, the reader may have to pay attention to further developments after Canto II #3.
Canto II #3 Marks A Milestone
The epic of Canto continues with how it builds a legend out of memorable characters. Every action taken in Canto II #3 feels like a step closer to a story meant to give hope to people entering their darkest hour. When everything seems hopeless, it’s the memory shared with others that can make or break someone. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem, that memory can give rise to a legend. A legend seeing through till the end.