It has been quite some time since I have been to a comic shop. The fictional landscapes that I used to visit on the weekly basis are now alien and appear to be impenetrable. What is this One More Day that Spider-man is having with Mary Jane? Didn't we already get past this? Two Batmans on the cover of Batman & Robin # 16? Unthinkable! Looking at all of the Shadowland tie-ins, one can only wish for things to return to a simpler time when EVERYONE knew what face was underneath that Daredevil mask.
Because it has been so long, it only makes sense that I do my best to get caught up as quick as I can with the Marvel Universe I left behind so long ago. This has resulted in me purchasing the following:
Secret Avengers # 6 - $3.99
The Amazing Spider-man # 648 - $3.99
The New Avengers # 6 - $3.99
The Invincible Ironman # 1 - $4.99
Strange Tales II # 2 - $4.99
For $21.95 you get the Espionage Avengers teaming up with Shang Chi, a sub-par new-reader-friendly Spider-man story, the origin of Mandarin, Wolverine fighting a piece of jewelry and Strange Tales. Fraction and the indie comic alumni notwithstanding, things are exactly where they were when I left: mostly boring and drab and not really worth the price of admission. I could probably get these comics for free if I tried hard enough(so that I could keep with "MY" Universe, at the very least), but I am not sure that it's even worth the time or effort.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the Invincible Ironman Annual and Strange Tales, but damn, I really wish I could get that remaining $11.97 back.