CBR Reviews – The Ray #1, Northanger Abbey #2, and Ultimate X-Men #4

I’ve got some new CBR Reviews up!

Also, I was thinking this week about the CBR rating system and what it means to me and I was curious what some of you that read CBR reviews regularly think of the rating system there – what does 4 stars, etc., mean to you?

For me it’s a bit like this:

5 stars = the best comics – i.e. an excellent/great comic (but not necessarily 100% perfect – I know Greg Burgas reserves his 10 stars – which would be a 5 star equivalent – for something absolutely perfect, but I’m not sure I even believe in 100% perfect, so I don’t hold out my 5 stars for that)

4 stars = a very good comic

3 stars = a good comic

2 stars = a not good comic (for any number of reasons including mediocrity)

1 star = a bad comic

0 star = the worst comic (also a rating I have never given…yet)

Of course, CBR lets us use 1/2 stars – thank the gods! – so I use those to flesh out a bit more nuance – like 2.5 means it’s almost good, but not quite.  3.5 means it’s almost very good, but not quite.

Does this align with how you guys read those ratings?

A quick accounting of my reviews shows that of 120 reviews I have given five, 5-star reviews and only a single 1-star review (no zero star reviews).  I have a lot of 4.5 stars, but I chalk that up mostly to me being stingy with my 5 stars (also, I deliberately try to review books I believe I’ll like, so that’s working towards more positive reviews than negative as well).  On the whole I feel good about the ratings I’ve given, though I think my pattern, from a cursory look is to give books a half star extra than they sometimes deserve.  If I went back and re-evaluated all my ratings, I think they would mostly stay in tact, with a fair percentage being edged down half a star if push came to shove.  It’s all very interesting to me…but I catch myself wondering if other reviewers think this much about something like this.

The Ray #1

“Opening directly into the action, but rife with humor and even a well constructed origin story, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, with stunning visuals from Jamal Igle, strike a perfect tone for this young energetic hero in DC’s new limited series “The Ray.”  In this first issue, Lucien Gates — a lifeguard accidentally shot with a solar energy “sun gun” and turned into a superher — explains how he became a superhero, introduces us to his life (including friends, family, and girlfriend) all while saving the world from gigantic telepathic jellyfish. We also get a peek at the big bad for the series, who is unfortunately not nearly as compelling as Lucien…”

Ultimate X-Men #4

“Though technically quite proficient, there’s a mechanical quality to this issue of “Ultimate X-Men” that results in something decidedly uninspired and conservative. Given some of the bold ideas put forth in this series (namely that the government created mutants) I expected (and hoped) for much more at this point in the series…”

Northanger Abbey #2

“Nancy Butler and Janet K. Lee deliver another beautifully drawn, smartly executed adaptation of a Jane Austen novel with “Northanger Abbey”. Nancy Butler has over the last three years proven to be extremely adept in adapting these tales for Marvel — first with “Pride & Prejudice” (art by Hugo Petrus) in 2009, followed by “Sense & Sensibility” in 2010 (art by Sonny Liew), followed by “Emma” (also with Lee) in 2011, and now “Northanger Abbey” in 2011/2012. Butler has known what she was doing with these lovely stories since her very first attempt, and it’s clear with “Northanger Abbey” she’s not missed a beat…”

As always, likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all of my CBR Reviews thus far, here.


1 comment

  1. Daniel K.’s avatar

    Yeah, that sounds about right. A 0 is something with no or few redeeming qualities. A 1 has maybe one or two things that are good, but is overall pretty bad. A 2 is just below average. 2.5 is decent – not all that bad, not all that good, just somewhere right in the middle. Not horrible, but probably boring. 3 is something that is mostly good, technically sound, but lacks a sort of emotional connnection with you. Or may just be something that’s pretty good but not great. 4 is really really good, but not the level of jaw-dropping awesomeness that a 5 is. A 5 is insanely good. These are probably quite rare (as 0’s are too). That’s how I go by it at least.

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