coldest city

8 of 9
By Anthony Johnston and Illustrated by Sam Hart
176 pages; Oni Press

In Atomic Blonde, opening July 28, Charlize Theron plays Lorraine Broughton, a British secret agent who's as comfortable getting the job done wearing seductive fishnets as she is brandishing a gun or throwing an elbow into the face of a bad guy. At the tail end of the Cold War, Lorraine heads to the gray streets of Berlin on a mission to find out who's killing her fellow spies—which remains true the storyline of The Coldest City, Anthony Johnston's graphic novel that inspired the film. However, the original book is more noirish than sexy, and Johnston's version of Lorraine is much likelier to deploy her wit than her fists as she untangles a scheme thick with double crosses. The shadowy black-and-white imagery of the graphic novel helps deepen the mood, evoking an especially dark episode of The Americans or one of John le Carré's brainy spy thrillers.