Two books arrived this month, and they're both thick trade paperbacks from Marvel. First is NOVA CLASSIC, volume 3. I'm not sure why Marvel felt the need to pad this series out to three volumes. The original NOVA series ran for 25 issues. NOVA CLASSIC, volume 1 contained issues 1 through 12, plus an AMAZING SPIDER-MAN crossover issue. You'd think that volume 2 would then contain issues 13 through 25 and that'd be the end of it, right? Not so. Instead, the second volume gives us issues 13 - 19, plus three totally unnecessary issues of DEFENDERS which barely feature Nova, as well as an annual each for FANTASTIC FOUR and a MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE. Now, volume 3 covers NOVA 20 - 25, plus ten issues of FANTASTIC FOUR which wrap up Nova's story, but most of which involve Nova himself very little. Plus, all those FF issues were already collected a few years ago in a book called FANTASTIC FOUR: IN SEARCH OF GALACTUS, which can be found for bargain basement prices these days.
A book with which I'm much more satisfied, however, is the SPIDER-MAN EPIC COLLECTION: GHOSTS OF THE PAST. This volume collects a chunk of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN issues by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz -- issues 259 - 272, to be precise. Note that the SPIDER-MAN BY ROGER STERN OMNIBUS ends with issue #252, and the upcoming SPIDER-MAN: THE COMPLETE ALIEN COSTUME SAGA volume 1 will cover, among others, issues 252 - 258. I love when Marvel sets up their collections this way. All three books together will contain an uninterrupted AMAZING SPIDER-MAN run of issues 226 - 272. It's a great time for Marvel collected editions, and especially for Spider-Man, whose classic (but post-Stan Lee) material was vastly under-represented for a long time.