Like everyone we have our own likes and dislikes, however, when it comes to reviewing comics we feel it fairest to take a purely objective stance. That way you can tell with a bit of confidence whether or not any comic or series we review is worth buying. Each review is genre neutral so even though we tend to like certain story types and artists we try to ignore any preference when reviewing.
Please bear this in mind as if you are a dyed in the wool superhero fan-person a hallowed 10/10 review of a slice of life indie comic doesn’t mean you would like it. However, if you are looking to try something different the chances are that you would like it better than one in the same class which we rated 5/10.
Ok, that’s enough preamble so here is how we structure our review.
We score each issue out of 10 with 0 being the lowest and in all probability impossible to score. 10, the highest is also highly improbable and most will be between 5 & 9. The process is as follows:
Everyone tends to judge a book by this and we are no exception! Even if the contents are rubbish a great cover can make a book collectable, and of course, they look great on the wall. We don’t give this a massive weight as we are more interested in the story. We tend to give extra marks if the cover artist also does the interior art. Why? Well, you know what to expect that way.
Does the story grab you and encourage you to keep turning the pages? Some comics take a few pages to warm up but if we get halfway through and continuing to read it seems like a chore then it doesn’t. Is the dialogue good and is it well-paced and easy to follow? Descriptive sections should add to the art and not just repeat what’s on view. If it’s a one-off story it should offer closure, while story arcs should leave you wanting to read the next issue.
Good art can carry a weak plot but it needs to flow and be easy to follow from panel to panel. The actual style also needs to fit the story type, bright cartoony art on a dark and gritty story is a no-no for us. The colouring is also important and should add to the mood.
Is there something that little bit special about this issue? A significant event, new character appearance, birth, death wedding… You get the picture. Even if it adds no value its nice to think that the comic might have some impact further down the line.
We don’t give this a massive ranking but like most readers, it is nice to think that your new purchase might at least hold its value. New characters and story significance can add massively to the perceived value.
The Rating Figure
We don’t rank each bit publicly but instead give an overall mark that takes the above into account.
A Comic Rated 0 – 3
Not many comics will be this bad! There is usually a redeeming feature somewhere in any publication if you are willing to look hard enough. Any comic we rate this low is not going to appeal to you at all if you are not a fan of its particular genre. If you are or are collecting a run of the title then you might want to pick it up for completeness or out of curiosity. However, don’t blame us when you want your reading time back!
Any Comic Rated 3.5 – 6
The average run of the mill comic, which towards the higher end might have a redeeming point that carries it (great cover or popular character etc.). If you like the comics main character(s) then you will probably enjoy the issue.
Comics Rated 6.5 – 8.0
Now we are talking. Good solid books with a decent story or nice art. A great cover or a major event can propel a comic into this territory too! If it’s a comic in a genre you love then it’s one to pick up and worth a chance for those looking to explore something different from their usual reading fare. Check out an example.
Comics Rated 8.5 & 9.0
These are great books, story art and cover all well above average, interesting characters and or meaningful stories in their series. If you are normally a superhero reader but fancy trying a bit of say Crime Noir for a change the chances are you will get something out of a book with this rating. Vice versa applies and the good news is that even if you don’t like it you are probably going to be able to sell it on and get some of your money back.
Grail Comics 9.5 & 10
There are not many of these. Truly great comics with top-notch stories and art and impactful stories & characters. Some of the Top Key books will fall into this category but not all – for example, New Mutants 98 is a hugely popular comic and from a prospect’s point of view worthy of this grade.
However, for those of us who have read it, there is no way we could rate it a 9.5 or 10! As we said we give the prospects quite a low rating as we are more interested in getting people reading rather than slabbing!
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