Writer: C.S. Pacat
Artist: Johanna the Mad
Fence has been one of my favorite series of the year. It isn’t the flashiest comic book on the stands, but few series have the heart that C.S Pacat and Johanna the Mad have brought to its pages. Fence #12 marks the end of the ongoing series, but the story is expected to continue in a graphic novel series in the future.
If this was the end of Fence, this would be a somewhat disappointing final issue. The tournament has come to a close, and the fencing team has been decided, but there is still an incomplete feeling following the issue. With the knowledge that the story will continue in the future, this is a much easier issue to digest and enjoy. As the end of the arc, Fence #12 achieves everything that it needs to do.
C.S Pacat has created a wonderful cast of characters. Everyone on the fencing team (And the supporting characters that didn’t make the cut) has a so much personality. Few series handle ensemble casts well, but Pacat gives everyone the proper amount of spotlight as she tells a strong story about hard work and brotherhood. The series’ strong character development continues in this final issue, as we learn more about the starting team through natural dialogue. Seiji in particular benefits most from this development, as he continues to feel more human with each issue.
In addition to the cast, Fence has just done a fine job at capturing the essence of a good sports story. The drama is about as dramatic as you can ask for without it coming across as cheesy. The series trademark sense of humor continues on in the finale, allowing for a natural way to break the tension at appropriate times. The final team roster was somewhat predictable, but this doesn’t take away from a satisfying conclusion to the arc.
Johanna the Mad continues to make Fence look cute and dramatic. The emphasis on the characters makes the style shine without fail. Everyone is incredibly attractive and expressive, making this an enjoyable issue to look at. The simplistic style leads to less room for inconsistency, which is welcome in a book that wants the reader to focus on the drama rather than massive action set-pieces.
Fence #12 is a fine conclusion to the arc and ongoing series. I’m glad the story doesn’t end here, and I look forward to seeing where this wonderful group of fencers go next.
Fence #12 is a fine conclusion to the arc and ongoing series. I'm glad the story doesn't end here, and I look forward to seeing where this wonderful group of fencers go next.