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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. 2: Learning Curve - Brian Michael Bendis, Mark Bagley, Art Thibert Less compelling than the previous volume, but still mostly solid storytelling. Peter has decided to strike out at the Kingpin, because the thug who killed Uncle Ben worked for him. Fair enough, there's plenty of reasons besides revenge to want him to go down. But I've never been thrilled with Kingpin as a villain, and though Bendis does what I think is the best work that could be expected with him (he is genuinely menacing) I'm still not a fan. The title of this collection is apt, because Peter is doing some serious on-site learning about this superhero gig. I loved that he's ultimately successful not through simple force of strength, but only once he comes up with a workable strategy that doesn't revolve around combat.

There is a bit less of Peter's personal, non-Spidey life here, but that's to be expected. And those scenes are mostly very good. I really like Peter's conversations with Mary Jane, and Aunt May gets a fantastic scene where she attempts to have The Talk with Peter.

The art though... I don't know. The artist does the action scenes very well, but the facial expressions he uses... Horrible. Especially Mary Jane, who often looks manic when she's meant to be cheerful. I think it's the overly wide eyes he gives everyone (most of the characters, especially Mary Jane, always look like they're gaping at something astounding) that makes what should be a pleasant smile look more like a manic grimace.