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Fence: Redemption #1 Advance Review

The original Fence series by the creative team of C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad was one I heard a lot of good things about from those I know who read it. The series received a lot of critical acclaim, including being a GLAAD Media Award-nominated sports comic. While the twelve issue series is one that is on my backlog of comic books to catch up on reading I wanted to see how the first issue of the sequel series, titled Fence: Redemption, would to welcoming in new readers. Thanks to BOOM! Studios we got an advance copy of Fence: Redemption #1. Find out how it begins with our review.


Writer: C.S. Pascat

Artist: Johanna The Mad

Colorist: Joana Lafuente

Letterer: Fawn Lau


“Return to the thrilling world of high-stakes, competitive fencing with a brand new story featuring the beloved cast of characters from the original hit series. Are Seiji and Jesse really through? The rumors around Halverton, the prestigious fencing training camp, have spread like wildfire, but it’s not long before a mystery fencer arrives–one who may finally pose a threat to the #1 spot. Will Seiji’s unquenchable quest for rivalry be what finally makes him leave Nicholas behind?” – BOOM! Studios


Fence: Redemption #1 is a comic book that you can feel how the creative team tries to balance continuing the narrative for all the characters while bringing in new readers who are experiencing the series the world for the first time. It’s a balancing act that is not perfect but C.S. Pascat and Johanna the Mad are able to get to the end without falling.

That balance is something we see early on as the first seven pages act as a catch up for where all the lead characters of the series are at. In many ways, Fence: Redemption #1 reminds me of the first episode of each of the last few seasons of the anime adaptation of My Hero Academia. This first issue is made to catch the reader up on where everyone is at. It’s in the final pages where we get into what the core conflict will be for Fence: Redemption.

This is not at all a bad thing as Pascat is able to focus the first issue on having the focus be on the way characters interact with each other. It’s all done in a way that plays naturally into the story. Just about every individual and pair dynamic is given time to breathe as the issue progresses. No cast member comes across as a minor character. Rather, they all have a role to serve and its done in way their respective personalities shine through.

Fence: Redemption #1 Cover Keyla Valerio
Keyla Valerio variant cover for Fence: Redemption #1. Credit: BOOM! Studios.

One of the definite stands out is Bobby. The energy they bring into this first issue helps bring in new readers. Bobby’s dialogue and reactions to what is going on with the main fencing cast. This opens up the opportunity to give an insight into the way the world of fencing in a way that compliments when we get into the action of this first issue.

The fighting school anime inspirations are a big selling point here. Even while learning where each character stands in terms of skill level there is enough there to get an idea of what their journey will be. That is cemented with the final few pages that give vibes of Fence: Redemption going through a tournament arc soon.

When it comes to the artwork Johanna The Mad delivers a lot of good detail. Johanna art is at its best with the interactions various characters have with one another. The way Johanna has characters expressions reflect the dialogue adds to how each charact has a unique personality. The utilization of chibi art was well timed for the scene it was utilized for.

The only thing that does need to be worked on is the choreography for the fencing scenes. The way it was done here lacked a sense of motion. Though that was likely due to the fact Johanna and Pascat tried to cram as many fencing scenes as they could. Hopefully this sacrifice isn’t made in future issues and a focus is made to give time for a more natural flow to the matches.


C.S. Pascat and Johanna The Mad start off strong with Fence: Redemption #1. The personalities and relationships the entire cast has create a natural flow to the story that welcomes both fans and new readers alike to Halverton. The set up for what appears to be a tournament-like arc is a big selling point to continue reading.

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10