Reviewing What’s Sold to Me
Valerie D’Orazio argues (link no longer available) that superhero comic stories should only be reviewed after they’re finished. Well, that might be a bit too strong. I don’t want to put words in her mouth. She asks, “Is it fair to review any story arc before it’s over?” and then lists reasons why it’s not.
While that can be the safe approach — you have to make certain assumptions otherwise, and you risk guessing wrong, but that’s part of the craft — I still stick to the basic principle: if they’re presenting it for sale, it’s fair game to talk about it without any other purchase necessary. If the publisher/ creator/ salesperson doesn’t want me to evaluate a book on its own merits, then they shouldn’t put it out by itself with a cover price.
All of her commenters make similar cases, that you can (and in some cases, should) talk about the single issue, just as you can talk about a single TV episode. After that, you start getting into “waiting for the trade collection” discussions.
I leave with a cheap shot: if you had to wait until the story ended, with some titles, you’d never be able to say anything about them, because nothing ever concludes!