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Childhood's End
Arthur C. Clarke
Brian Michael Bendis, Olivier Coipel
Scrivener's Moon - Audio
Philip Reeve
Ultimate Spider-Man, Vol. 3 - Brian Michael Bendis, Bill Jemas, Mark Bagley There are essentially two storyline connected here. One is the nearly obligatory superhero-being-impersonated-by-criminals story. Easy enough for somebody to do with Spider-Man, especially since his reputation is already shaky. I've seen and read a lot of different versions of this story, and this one doesn't bring much new to the table. It does, however, feature some really great scenes with Peter and Mary Jane. I've said before that Bendis really shines in the scenes with his characters interacting like human beings, and this is some of his best work so far. Mary Jane's reactions to and fears for Peter ring so true here, and so does his inability to deal with them. Mary Jane's worry about Peter dying in the Spider-Man costume is way, way harsher in hindsight, isn't it?

The second storyline is the Ultimate universe's version of Venom. Now this is where the Spider-Man half of the story gets really interesting. Here, Eddie Brock and Peter share a history: their fathers were both scientists, working on the same project, their families had been very close, and Eddie's parents died in the same plane crash that killed Peter's. This previous connection adds an extra layer to the Venom story (which will have barely started by the end of this volume) which I personally feel is lacking in the main Marvel universe. This might be the best bit of reinvention that Bendis has introduced so far.

I am really, really enjoying what Bendis has done to this point with Ultimate Spider-Man. I like how he handles his characters, and I (mostly) like the way he's reinvented storylines for the Ultimate universe. Still not a fan of the art, probably less so as I see more of it, but the art is worth slogging through for the story.