Need a monster fix? This week's comics have you covered with a Predators prelude, classic Dracula art from the late Dick Giordano, and the second issue of Mark Millar and Steve McNiven's Evil Batman series, Nemesis. Who's the most monstrous?

Comics aren't all caped do-gooders and divot-chinned boy scouts — no, sometimes they're filled with downright unpleasant protagonists. This week's comic crop is a Whitman's sampler of nasties. There's Dark Horse's Predators 1, a prequel to this summer's Robert Rodriguez Yautjafest. There's a recolored reprint of Dracula 1 (Marvel) featuring art by comics legend Dick Giordano. FInally, the second issue of Nemesis (Marvel) premieres this week. Will Nemesis be a monster for the ages or succumb to the hype beast? We'll let you be the judge of that.


Other rarefied reads include:

Buzzard 1 (Dark Horse): The grizzled reverse-undead (Un-undead? Reliving?) sheriff of Eric Powell's The Goon stars in this limited series.

S.H.I.E.L.D. 2 (Marvel): Jonathan Hickman's secret history of the Marvel Universe continues.


Tom Strong And The Robots Of Doom 1 (DC/ABC): Terra Obscura co-writer Peter Hogan tackles this miniseries starring Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse's science hero.

GI Joe Cobra II 5 (IDW): Mike Costa and Christos N. Gage's enjoyably espionage-heavy Joe series receives ongoing status. If you like your Real American Heroes pulpy and totally not toyetic, check this out.

Avengers Academy 1 and Young Allies 1 (Marvel): With the Initiative shuttered post-Siege, these are Marvel's new flagship teams of superyoung'uns. Besides the Young Avengers, natch.


Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis 2 (Marvel): Last issue of Warren Ellis and Kaare Andrews' X-series had Wolverine delivering an impromptu African political history lesson while Emma Frost's décolletage blocks most of the panel. Highbrow and lowbrow have never been juxtaposed so hilariously.

Batman 700 (DC): Grant Morrison — along with Andy Kubert, Tony Daniel and Frank Quitely — helm this anniversary issue which showcases the various Batmen throughout DC history.


Jonah Hex 56 (DC): In anticipation of next week's Jonah Hex feature flick, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti have penned a jumping-on point to entice new readers.

As for graphic novels, there's Hellboy Vol 10: Crooked Man And Others (Dark Horse), a trade paperback of Keith Giffen's new Doom Patrol series (We Who Are About To Die, DC), and a hardcover interpretation of Neil Young's concept album Greendale (DC/Vertigo), featuring a script by Josh Dysart of Unknown Soldier and pencils by comic pop-art king Cliff Chiang.


What's MY PICK OF THE WEEK? Spiderman: Fever 3 (Marvel) by Brendan McCarthy. I'd love to see Marvel do more bizarre, prestige quality miniseries like this. Doctor Strange and Spidey tooling around some alternate insect universe is hard not to dig it. Also, the comic looks like Steve Ditko animating Yellow Submarine. Way recommended if you haven't checked this yet.


You can find the rest of the week's releases here and your neighborhood four-panel fun-slinger here. Happy reading, folks!