As a person who offers their thoughts on the internet about the artistic and creative work that other people, who are much more talented and creative than me, put forth, I’m not totally comfortable with numerical rating systems. I realize that that they are very popular and that they are a tool a lot of people use in order to determine something’s general worth, quality, or if it is worth their time. To this end, and ceding to the general trend, I do include a completely subjective numerical score up to ten including only whole numbers for each comic book I review. This little explainer that you are reading is my reasoning behind how I assign those scores and serves as a disclaimer that if you have somehow navigated to my site, please, please, do not only pay attention to the number score. I put a lot of time and thought into my reviews as I believe that comics are an art form that deserves as much critical and thoughtful analysis as movies, music, or the fine arts receive. The people who write, draw, and color them put a huge amount of time into the creation of a single issue, and I try to honor their work, even if I don’t always enjoy it, with a considered analysis because I believe it deserves that. A comic can be thought provoking and intriguing even if I don’t necessarily enjoy it, which is why a number can never fully capture what a comic made me think about or what I think about it.
For the numerical score that I do provide, with the above disclaimer, what follows is my reasoning behind those scores.
10 – Excellent: This is basically a perfect book/issue that any fan of comics should probably make it a point to read. The art is perfectly suited to the story/characters, and the comic has appeal across a range of genres.
9 – Very good, High: This is a very good comic book issue. The story may not be as strong, engaging, or challenging as possible, and this small let down in storytelling may dampen this comic’s appeal. The art is perfectly suited to the story/characters.
8 – Very good, Low: This is also a very good comic book issue. The storytelling is not as strong as it has been when related to other issues in the series or in a similar genre. It may not handle a particular moment or theme well in terms of artistic or narrative representation. The art is consistent with the quality found in the better issues of the series.
7 – Good, Probably should read: This is a good comic book that does slightly more than hold the status quo established by the rest of the series. The story is maintained, and has small challenging or creative moments, but overall reader is not given much to consider. The art also maintains the established status quo, does not diminish the characters in any way, and (probably) doesn’t detract from the narrative.
6 – Good, Probably don’t need to read: The quintessential nature of this book is to hold the status quo of this series. The story of this book may have been obvious (and necessary) from the direction of the plot in previous issues. The reader is given little to consider or remember. The art maintains the status quo, although certain details or representations may diminish it’s quality or detract from the narrative. (If you are a huge fan of the series you probably won’t mind this book)
5 – Average: This book is probably just not for me (which is a very reasonable excuse when it comes comic books) and rather than give it a low score and struggle to right about something I do not enjoy, I will most likely forgo reviewing it at all.
To any person looking for an explainer about my scoring system and review process as a whole, please consider what I wrote at the top and looks past the number to realize that it does not contain the sum of my thought about whichever comic I am writing. A number can never encapsulate any piece of work that a person or team of people have created and all the artists working in the comic book, and other industries, making work for others to enjoy deserve more consideration than that.