One thing Fence does with aplomb is pull the reader from page to page without ever dragging its feet on unnecessary details, and it works a treat.
The opening issue of sporting underdog tale, Fence, left me in a position of feeling a definite desire to follow the story, without ever actually delivering anything resembling the wow factor. As opening issues go, it had proved somewhat underwhelming and old hat.
If you haven’t already, you can have a read of our issue one review by heading over here
Now the second chapter is here, and despite my reservations, I’ve found myself well and truly hooked in to this increasingly engaging and charismatic plot.
It’s quite odd really, because true to the form of the previous instalment, Fence #2, continues to cover old ground. We have a clash of personalities between the young hot shot fencing prodigy and the rough and ready underdog, we have the typical backdrop of the school and its cast of typically painted students, and we have a core of rivalry running through the centre. There remains nothing here, other than the fencing aspect of course, that hasn’t been covered in countless books and films prior. Yet, despite all these aspects that would normally have me switching off instantly, that hook of the familiar coupled with simplicity and energy has me completely sucked in.
Issue two adds a little more depth to the main protagonists, throws in a number of bit part players and lays foundations of a school vs school rivalry which will play out as this comic unfolds. The dialogue penned by C.S. Pacat remains light and simple, and although at times I found it possibly too throwaway or cheesy, by the end I realised that this simplicity actually maintains the flow of the story perfectly. One thing Fence does with aplomb is pull the reader from page to page without ever dragging its feet on unnecessary details, and it works a treat. It’s always nice as reader to reach the end of a comic without ever wishing for it, and at no point did I want Fence #2 to reach its end credits.
Artwork delivered by Johanna the Mad is again a perfect compliment to the story, and I actually found a greater appreciation of the work this time around. The details and sharp bold lines truly bring the characters and locations to vivid life.
Fence remains a comic that is unlikely to reach the dizzying heights some ascend to. The fencing aspect is niche, the story is almost writing itself, and the characters, although getting slightly more fleshy, are still pretty two dimensional, but, there is an undeniable charm to the work, a vibrance to the tale that many other comics will never enjoy, and the desire to sit back and allow the story to wash over you is irresistible.
Roll on issue three!