Canto has entered the Valley of the Lionhearted and is forced to make a difficult decision. He can sacrifice his own heart to lift the Shrouded Man’s curse. Find out what he decides in Canto II: The Hollow Men #5 by IDW Publishing! 


Writer: David M. Booher
Artist: Drew Zucker
Colorist: Vittorio Astone
Letterer: Andworld Design
Editor: David Mariotte
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 3rd, 2021 

Previously in Canto: Canto’s people have been enslaved for generations. Once they had hearts but are instead replaced by clocks. After Canto sees his loved one clock being damaged by his slavers, he must go on an adventure to save the people he loves. Right now, Canto is trying to find a way to return his hearts to his own people and has a solution. But the solution will cost him his own clock.


Canto’s choice is difficult. He could take the Shrouded Man’s heart and in turn lift up the curse. However, it will involve him taking the heart into his own body and thus giving up his clock. Then to defeat the Shrouded Man, he has to return his heart to him thus potentially killing Canto. He makes his decision and takes the heart. After he leaves, Canto reunites with his friends and family. With his people, he prepares to defend their newfound freedom and their hearts. He then finds Aulaura again and informs her that her people’s curse has also been lifted. Meanwhile, the Shrouded Man is aware that Canto has his heart and prepares to finally destroy it.


The main theme of this issue is that we must have hope. The creative team then takes this lesson and applies it. Canto gives hope to his people and then to Aulaura. He later meets with an old villain with the hope that she can be redeemed. Not only do we learn the theme, Canto actively applies it throughout the entire issue. We get the lesson and the actions to back it up. And I think in recent times, it is a theme that is sorely needed to be explored again.

This art is brilliant throughout the story. Canto is a short knight where all you can see is his eyes among his armor. And in those eyes, we see so much of the character’s emotion. I’m impressed with how much the artist and colorist can do with so little on the page. Not only that, but each page is beautiful, and I find myself drawn into every scene and every movement of the characters. While this issue didn’t feature much action, I was still captivated with the simplicity of all the character’s gesture. From people hugging each other, to Canto standing amidst the trees; you are certainly in for a beautiful treat.


This series has great action throughout its issues that show off Canto as a brave knight. However, in this issue we get to see Canto being brave in another way. Brave through deliberate sacrifice. This is a great book for younger and older readers alike. The art is immediately eye catching and the story teaches us a lesson that we all need to be reminded of once in a while5 out of 5 for me. This is a near perfect story, and I hope that we have a lot more to come. March on Canto!

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Canto II: The Hollow Men #5 (of 5)


Canto makes the difficult decision of sacrifice and we fall in love with him even more.

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About Author

Christopher Rondeau is a storyteller based in Tulsa, OK. Finding himself with little work, he ended up creating a job as a Game Master full time on the internet. Chris spends most of his days reading everything he can, writing bad fiction, and watching old Digimon cartoons with his daughter. Sometimes you can find him Dungeon Mastering a podcast or streaming on twitch. Recently, he has completed his Master's degree with a focus on collaborative storytelling. Find out more at

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