Writer: C.S. Pacat
Artist: Johanna the Mad
Colorist: Joana Lafuente
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Boom! Box
Review by Greg Brothers
Fence #4 continues the story of Nicholas as he tries to make the fencing team at his exclusive private school. With issue four, the round robin try-outs have started. Meanwhile, the drama outside of practice continues as all of the students try to one up each other.
Pacat continues to deliver a good amount of drama and character development throughout Fence #4. Nicholas’s development is entertaining and avoids predictable happenings. It would have been easy for Pacat to take the idea of Nicholas being a prodigy and run with it, making his path through school an afterthought. Instead, Pacat is making Nicholas a much more interesting character by being both the fish out of water, and also struggling in his performance as a fencer. In that way Pacat is creating an affecting story of talent versus self-doubt. The work that Pacat did in the first three issues of the series really start to payoff with the fourth issue. While Nicholas is the main focus of the story, there are several other smaller stories that keep Fence #4 from becoming a one-note book.
The westernized manga-influenced art continues to shine throughout Fence #4. The emotion and tension of the characters throughout the different matches tell the story better than any dialogue ever could. It is obvious the Johanna the Mad spent time researching how the fencers move during a match. The panels move in such a way that it allows your eyes to follow from point to point without effort.
Verdict: Buy it.
Fence #4 continues to build on an already-solid story. With each issue and panel, the depth of these characters continues to expand. And, with a large cast of characters, it is easy to find other storylines to grasp onto in addition to Nicholas’s journey.