Yesterday on IGN’s weekly comic book reviews, DC got significantly lower review scores than Marvel’s comics. The comment boards erupted with accusations of bias and favoritism. Seriously? I remember a few months back during the early days of AvX when DC routinely trounced Marvel in review scores. Was there bias then? And, by the way, what the hell do review scores have to do with whether or not one company’s product is better than another’s? Come on now. Reviews, ideally, aid potential readers in finding new books to read or avoid.
Reviews are a tool. Not the final arbiter of what is a “good” or “bad” comic (0r other art). That’s the opinion of the reviewer. And it may be a good or bad opinion. And that is left up to the reader to decide. Whether a work of art is good or not is a matter of taste. Never take one reviewer’s word on a piece of art. Either use several, or preferably, judge for oneself.
Just because I love Earth 2 and hate the new Catwoman series does not mean that other readers must love one and hate the other, too. That is just asinine. And I grow tired of reviewers (and commenters) who assume that they and they alone are the single arbiter of what is good or bad in what ever the hell it is they review.
When I write a review, I am perfectly aware that there are elements I’m missing. Take comic book and manga reviews for example. I have the annoying habit of giving the art short shrift in my reviews. I speed through talking about the art and focus more on the writing. Paying more attention to the art is something I’m going to have to pay far more attention to in the future. And I’m sure other reviewers have their own problems, hangups, biases, etc., too.
At the end of the day, it is just silly to use IGN’s review scores to give more “better” points to Marvel or DC. I get that the fandom will utilize any data to “prove” that one product is better than the other. All IGN’s reviews prove is that, for the week of August 1, 2012, Marvel had the better comics in the opinions of that singular group of reviewers. Next week, the positions may very well be reversed.
One day, I should work my self into a rant on the general subject of “who is better?” It really does tick me off.