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Sesana

Sesana

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Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
Siege
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
Scrivener's Moon - Audio
Philip Reeve
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 3: Death of Spider-Man Prelude - Brian Michael Bendis, Sara Pichelli I'm guessing that, by the time this volume was published, Peter Parker's death was a done deal and everybody in the world knew it. So there's no point in hiding the fact that the poor kid will be dead in a few issues. (Which made JJJ's offhanded comment that Peter might not live to see college a shot to the heart.) Also, Marvel wanted to make more money and probably figured that more casual readers would buy this volume if it had the "Death of Spider-Man" label on it.

I'm not complaining about that, not really. It's just a label on the cover, and what's inside is not a bunch of gloomy foreshadowing. It's a volume of Ultimate Spider-Man like any other, with Peter trying to get his life in order. Which actually makes the knowledge that the end is near even more painful. Because I love Peter, I love his chosen family, and the next volume is going to hurt even more because he's made good with his friends at the end. Curse you, Bendis!

There's some big guest stars in here. Carol Danvers (head of S.H.I.E.L.D. here) has decided that Spider-Man can't run around the way he has been. But since he's a good kid trying to do the right thing, she won't run him in or try to get him to stop superheroing. Instead, she gets Iron Man to mentor him. I ended up really liking this idea. Peter is only sixteen, and he hasn't been doing this Spider-Man thing very long. Enrolling him in what is essentially super hero school makes a lot of sense, and it's the best and most reasonable option available. And I liked seeing Tony Stark and Peter interact. Tony respects Peter because he's smart, very smart, and the feeling is mutual. I have to say, it's really nice to see Peter interact with one of the other Ultimate heroes who isn't acting like a jerk for no reason.

I bet that I lot of people will read this volume based on the title alone and feel a little cheated. This isn't exactly what the title promises, after all. Since I would've read it anyways, and rarely pay attention to the titles on Ultimate Spider-Man trades, it doesn't really bother me. And if you haven't read any Ultimate Spider-Man but want to see out the complete Death of Spider-Man arc, it might be a good idea to read this one anyways. This is your last chance to see Peter Parker as himself, to get to know him and his family. And even reading just this one volume would probably give you a lot more context for his death, in just a few issues.