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The Coldest City

(The Coldest City #1)

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,135 ratings  ·  368 reviews
As Communism collapses and the Berlin Wall crumbles, an undercover MI6 spy is killed while carrying priceless information--a list containing the name of every spy in Berlin.

But no list is found on his body.

MI6 sends veteran operative Lorraine Broughton to recover the list. But she walks into a powder keg of social unrest, counter-espionage, defections gone bad, and secret
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published May 16th 2012 by Oni Press
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Cavak It's still the comic. As far as I know, this edition is The Coldest City with an updated movie tie-in cover.
Cavak I took it as "I read your career record in the service" or something to that effect. A play of words on dog tags for the military. Secret agents don't…moreI took it as "I read your career record in the service" or something to that effect. A play of words on dog tags for the military. Secret agents don't wear tags in this story so that's the closest they can get.(less)

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Average rating 3.26  · 
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The longest vodka ad in history.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore Espionage Buffs

The movie Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron is based on a graphic novel originally released with the title The Coldest City. The setting of the plot is Berlin on the eve of the fall of the Berlin Wall as some last minute espionage is taking place.

I think this story might appeal to fans of LeCarré's The Spy Who Came In from the Cold and Matthews' Red Sparrow. The dark, gritty, and not quite so glamorous side of espionage (glamorous, in my mind, being like James Bond) is featured here. Usuall
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
2.5 stars

Ok, so the only reason I read The Coldest City is the upcoming movie Atomic Blonde, based on the comic. You really need to check out the trailer. It's delicious!


And now, back to the comic...

November 1989. Communism is collapsing, and soon the Berlin Wall will come down with it. But before that happens there is one last bit of cloak & dagger to attend to. Two weeks ago, an undercover MI6 officer was killed in Berlin. He was carrying information from a source in the East -- a list tha
Lady John Wick lured me into reading this.

The upcoming movie, Atomic Blonde is based on this complex story created by Antony Johnston: A graphic novel where you find yourself in an intricate web of MI6, CIA, DGSE, and KGB. And right in the middle of that web is MI6's own Lorraine Broughton, our Atomic Blonde.

The only problem is..... she is neither Blonde nor atomic!

Our Lorraine is more like a smart brunette. A bold lady in the cold city of ancient male spies.

The cold city is Berlin and the year
Aishu Rehman
Alright, I don't know much about how spies operates in real life. But I think this story is much closer to it than any other comic or movie. It's really interesting and convoluted to a degree it should have be. Specific arc, and consistent causal chain. My only complain about it is, that I don't liked the ending. It wasn't bad, just not for me.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Queen & Country
A solid Cold War espionage tale set in Berlin when the wall was falling. This is the book Atomic blonde is based on and our main character is neither atomic nor blonde. Obviously they are punching the story up because there's more action in the trailer than there is in this entire book. I found the art quite sparse and hard to "read" at times. I definitely wasn't a fan of it.

Britain's number 2 agent in Berlin has been murdered and MI6 sends Lorraine in to find a list that was on his person befor
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Originally titled just The Coldest City, the newest / latest edition of this sparse, black and white graphic novel is a tie-in of sorts to the big-screen adaptation starring Oscar-winner Charlize Theron. A pistol-packing, shades toting, fishnet-wearing Ms. Theron is even pictured on the cover . . .

. . . except that cover has absolutely NOTHING to do with the actual text. (Ditto the new, alluring title. Don't we all just love 'bait and switch'? Well I don't.) Protagonist Lorraine Broughton - who
Description: November 1989. Communism is collapsing, and soon the Berlin Wall will come down with it. But before that happens there is one last bit of cloak & dagger to attend to. Two weeks ago, an undercover MI6 officer was killed in Berlin. He was carrying information from a source in the East -- a list that allegedly contains the name of every espionage agent working in Berlin, on all sides. No list was found on his body. Now Lorraine Broughton, an experienced spy with no pre-existing ties to ...more
Rebecca McNutt
I've yet to see the film Atomic Blonde. I keep spending my theater cash, of which I don't have much of, on books. Either way, I really enjoyed The Coldest City, and I liked the Soviet era setting, but it was just your average run-of-the-mill graphic novel, not particularly memorable or special. Beautiful artwork, though. I'd definitely look for more work by the illustrator again.
There is an idea that spy stories are male stories. True, you have stories about spies that concern women, but those usually have a good dose of “romance” in them. Even excellent ones like Wish Me Luck have a good, strong dosing of romance. The women in such spy movie tend to be helpless, evil until they met the good guy and then they either repent or get dumb, or to be in charge like M in James Bond. There are exceptions, Wish Me Luck had tough women in it, but overall you have to wonder how th ...more
Brittney Andrews (beabookworm)
Unfortunately, Atomic Blonde left me with an atomic headache and utterly confused as scheiße!

My immediate reaction post-read:

FYI: I am not even going to deny the fact that I am probably in the high percentage of people that purchased this only because I wanted to read the novel before seeing the movie.

The art style was bland for such an action-packed story, and often times, the art appeared half-finished. And while I enjoyed the story being told through flashbacks, the main plot just wasn't en
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I thought this was a very good engaging spy, mystery, thriller, from a decent start, to a great conclusion.

My only 2 nitpicks with this one is:First in some panels the art looked good, and in the other ones didn't.
Second one is: the non English dialogue,because i don't speak German, or Russian so could not understand what they were saying.
The Coldest City is a tense, spy thriller set in Cold War era Berlin right as the Berlin Wall comes down. an undercover MI6 agent carrying an incredibly important document is killed during a riot and since that document contains the name of every single spy in Berlin, MI6 is determined to get their hands on it. To that end, they send in veteran agent Lorraine Broughton to figure out who killed him and to get her hands on that list at all costs. Lorraine must navigate a world of double and triple ...more
Jul 04, 2012 rated it liked it
This story starts off great, is suitably cryptic and suspicious of everyone and everything. The art is minimalist which adds to the mood of intrigue and mystery - not only in obscuring any background details to make this feel "normal" or real, but also in focusing our attention very specifically on the few moments, expressions, details that *do* show up in panel.

My problem with this book is twofold: One, some of the secondary characters are hard to recognize or keep straight, as there's not enou
I loved Atomic Blonde, so I rewinded to go back to the source material. If I hadn't been familiar with the film, I would have gotten lost in the spycraft, the double agents, and the locations solely in the graphic novel.

Of course, the source material had to be there for the screenplay to be written in the first place, and I prefer the changes in the film: casting Charlize Theron and James McAvoy, the fantastic soundtrack, the filming locations and general "feel" of Berlin at this time.

If you li
Tajammul Kothari
I am a big fan of graphic novels and as they are a rare commodity these days, I thought I was in for a treat when this book came along, but it was a tad disappointing as the story didn't deliver the tension that is required in any spy novel. Some of the portions just dragged on and weren't in proportion with the story though some parts were appealing. All in all it was a good novel but it could have been much better.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I read this graphic novel in one sitting. After watching Atomic Blonde on it's opening weekend, it had made me curious to pick up it's source material.

2 hours ago, I was at the library and I saw it so I snatched it up.

After taking it out and reading it almost straight away, here are my thoughts:
- The movie faithful to it's source material for the most part. Instead of feeling like I was gained additional information, I felt like I was revisiting the film in a way
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Loved the spare black and white illustrations but the story left me a little, well, cold. It's a spy story so obfuscation is part of the game but I didn't feel like I got to know the characters. That said I am all in on the film Atomic Blonde.
John of Canada
Jan 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Charlize Theron
Huh?It really helped that I am so fluent in French,German and 'murican,otherwise I would be even more confused.
Sprechen Sie Deutsch, Ja?

This is a subtle cold war story told in dark cold tones. Nuance plays an important role in the storytelling both visual and dialogue driven. They compliment each other in most cases.

While not an action packed graphic novel, it is a fast moving and rich story if a bit predictable. This is not a superhero story and certainly for other than a young adult audience. History of the cold war and familiarity with cold war literature, fiction and non, are both prerequisites to a
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I rarely read graphic novels, and - as with most people who have read it in the past month - I only did so with this one since it was the basis of the new film, Atomic Blonde (which I have yet to see - I wanted to read it first). Although a very quick read (it can be consumed in under an hour), the story is so convoluted - and to be honest - NOT that interesting, that my enthusiasm for the film has somewhat waned. Apart from being VERY difficult to follow, a good 20% of the dialogue is in German ...more
Ill D
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Dum(b)-Dum(b)s
It’s mid to late October 1989, and with only a month to go before the Berlin Wall goes down, a kabuki theatre of the cloak and dagger variety is still highly active on both poles of Cold-War Era Germany. Criss-crossing both sides of one of the most dangerous borders in human history is our main character: spy, something of a femme fatale, and most importantly, an employee of her Majesty’s Secret Service (MI6). Tasked to track down a lost parcel containing particularly damning evidence, the murky ...more
Rebecca Watson
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017
Like (I assume) many people, I saw the trailer for Atomic Blonde and wanted to read the book first. While I can see how the story has the bones for what could be a good movie, I wasn't blown away by the book (though I have the next volume and will still give it a shot at some point).

My main issue was with the art style, which was high-contrast and sketchy. The art style should serve the story, and while it may have added to the feel of the era, it actually detracted from the story by making it n
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fast-paced and easy to follow despite the twists and turns. The illustrations convey the secretive atmosphere in Berlin at the end of the Cold War. Looking forward to the film version (Atomic Blonde) of this spy thriller that will be released this summer.
Megan Anderson
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
The art was interesting, I liked the framing, and I loved the end. Very good book!
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I, like apparently everyone else on Goodreads, read this graphic novel because of the movie version, Atomic Blonde.

I was sad, but not surprised, to see that the bisexual element was not present in the graphic novel.

The film was also much… twistier, I guess, is the right word for it. More violent as well, with a much more human take on Lorraine’s character.
That said, I did enjoy the graphic novel. It’s black and white and very sparse as far as details go, which explains a lot of the costume and
Sep 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a disappointment. I liked the movie, so I decided to give the graphic novel a shot since, usually, they are so much better. But this was really confusing - I honestly don't think I'd really know what was going on if I hadn't already seen the movie. A huge factor in this is art. I don't like it and 75% of the male characters look the same, 50% of the time Lorraine was unrecognizable, and at times I couldn't tell who the speech bubble was coming from. Also, how is it that she spent a week ...more
The Coldest City (Atomic Blonde) is a solid graphic novel set just before the fall of the wall in Berlin, 1989. Told in flashbacks during a debriefing of an MI-6 agent, the plot focuses on British spy Lorraine Broughton who was sent to Berlin after a British spy is found dead. She is sent to assess the situation with the remaining British agent and a possibly blown mission, but as spy games usually do, things get complicated quickly. I liked the plot, the players, the twists, the settings, and A ...more
Elton Menezes
Amazing to see that Atomic Blonde was way better than original Comic Book.
A quick read. A real twisty story. I've seen the movie, so finally wanted to read the source material. The art style is difficult for me to tell who all the different men of the story are. Otherwise, Lorriane Broughton is a Queen and that still comes through hard.
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Antony Johnston is a New York Times bestselling writer and podcaster. The Charlize Theron movie ATOMIC BLONDE is based on his graphic novel; his BRIGITTE SHARP thrillers are critically acclaimed; and DEAD SPACE, his first videogame, redefined its genre. He also hosts the podcast WRITING AND BREATHING.

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The Coldest City (2 books)
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