It years since I opened a SS comic book and I ordered this for nostalgic value - on that level it scored 4/5. However, the story lines - each with a moral to the tale - and morose central character wore thin by half way thru. These stories are best read in bite sized chunks - one a month I guess, rather than read in a marathon as I did with this volume. Great art, wonderful escapism, but maybe not in such a large helping. I'm now waiting for The Essential Avengers Vol 1 - purchased for the same reasons. I hope a variety of central characters - read with the backdrop of the new take on the Avengers, The Ultimates 2002 , will make all the difference. Marvel was an essential part of my chilhood - and I love what its doing to bring old favorites up to date for by son's generation.