Digital Mini Reviews | What Do You Do When You Crave For Ghosts, Vampires, Cowboys, and Spies?

Hi there!

As much as I love my daily dose of superheroes, I also explore many other stories that excludes them from the spotlight. Whether they’re series exploring the supernatural horrors hidden around the world or space opera inviting readers on a journey filled with colourful environments, I’m always on a hunt for a good story. For this collection of reviews, I’m featuring a couple of comic books that I’ve picked up in the past months featuring all kinds of fun! Let’s get on with it already! ๐Ÿ˜€


This feature published at an undetermined frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, who knows) will present a couple of mini reviews on anything that isn’t a physical book that I own (ebooks, comic books, TV series or movies).
Anything presented in this feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get a full-review treatment in the future. That will entirely depend on how much I loved it, how interested you are in hearing more on it, and how much I have to still say about it! ๐Ÿคฃ

Ghost Tree by Bobby Curnow.

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Publisher: IDW Publishing.
Pages: 107.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†.

What is it about? The story follows Brandt to Japan, running away from the personal problems that he’s been facing, as he revisits his ancestral home and discovers his intergenerational ability to see the dead.

Writer Bobby Curnow illustrates the urge of human beings to dwell in the past and to fear their present problems while also exploring the themes of love, loss, and death, in this refreshing tale dipped in Japanese folklore. With simple artwork, he creates a well-rounded tale that works its way towards delivering a message with dedication and purpose.

Killadelphia (Vol. 1): Sins of the Father by Rodney Barnes.

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Publisher: Image Comics.
Pages: 176.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†.

What is it about? A talented detective is murdered. A son returns to uncover the mystery behind his death. A plot centered around vampires is unraveled.

As fascinating as the premise was, the story suffered immensely with each issue. There was unusual pacing that just kept on going faster and faster, tossing the reader straight into a resolution that was never properly built up.

The artwork is what essentially keeps things neatly together and offers a wonderful style to the series. It’s amazing to find out that these were drawn based on real photos taken by real actors too.

Pulp by Ed Brubaker.

49050409
Publisher: Image Comics.
Pages: 72.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†.

What is it about? This story explores the life of a pulp writer for Western tales that suffers from a company’s desire to move on with his work without the creator due to his age. Unable to find a solution to his inability to find happiness, he has to take matters into his own hands as his life derails and takes an unexpected turn.

This was another phenomenal piece by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. If you’ve never read anything by these two, you’re in for a treat. For how short this is, it is incredible to watch these characters being developed with such attention to detail.

This is a must-read.

The Coldest City by Antony Johnston.

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Publisher: Oni Press.
Pages: 176.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†โ˜†.

What is it about? The story kicks off with the death of an undercover MI6 spy who held crucial information: a list of every spy in Berlin. This is where another operative, Lorraine Broughton, is sent to find it before anyone else does.

This turned out to be a confusingly obscure espionage tale with little to no action that follows an MI6 veteran operative into a mission in the heart Berlin as its infamous Wall is ready to fall.

The main reason I wanted to read this was to then watch Atomic Blonde (2017) starring Charlize Theron. Yes. That movie is based on this graphic novel. But the movie is a whole other beast.

While it is clear that an attempt was made to give us a kick-ass female John Wick character to look forward to, the over-convoluted plot will go through one year and leave through the other.

The cinematography will, however, leave a lasting impression, offering a neo-futuristic tone and style for a movie that would otherwise be set right in the middle of the Berlin Wall’s fall.

The action choreography, which is absent and non-existent in the original comic book, is entertaining, especially the one-shot scene in the staircase and stretched out for what seemed likeย forever.

Let’s see if they can improve with theย sequel.

โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…ยฝ out of five.

The Old Guard (Book One): Opening Fire by Greg Rucka.

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Publisher: Image Comics.
Pages: 169.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†.

What is it about? Andromache of Scythia is cursed with immortality. Recruiting similar individuals afflicted with this curse, they form a crew offering their combat services to those who can afford it, while keeping their abilities secret from the rest of the world. But some people, knowing their secrets, would do things far worse than death to these people if only they could get their hands on them.

It has a really good premise and the movie plays quite well on the idea of immortality and the relativity of time but the world-building is weak and suffers enormously from not exploring the history behind these characters more profoundly.

The artwork has a unique style that doesn’t shock or awe. It works for what it is but it’s often rough around the edges and makes it especially difficult to enjoy the action sequences. Especially the gore-filled ones.

One again, the main reason behind this pick was to prepare myself for the Netflix adaptation under the same name: The Old Guard (2020).

The movie turned out to be a solid adaptation of the comic book, fully capitalizing on the concept of immortality as these warriors showcase an entertaining and strategic team-based fightingย choreography.

If they ever dare do a sequel, it might have the potential to become a truly exciting franchise.

โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…ยฝ out of five.

Invisible Kingdom (Vol. 1) by G. Willow Wilson.

45898694. sy475
Publisher: Berger Books.
Pages: 136.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜†โ˜†.

What is it about? Two distinct narratives, ย one centered around a young religious acolyte and the other around a hard-bitten freighter pilot, collide to uncover a conspiracy that will test their loyalty and beliefs.

The premise for this series is interesting but the execution is a bit flawed, hardly ever succeeding in creating any kind of dynamic interaction or fluid narrative development. It often felt like there were some missing parts to the story, making it seem like it was going faster than it should’ve.

The artwork is stunning and original, sometimes rough and sketchy, but there’s a lot of potential in the colourful and hectic style for a cosmic adventure like this one.


Have you read any of these?

Share your thoughts on anything and everything with me! ๐Ÿ˜

TILL NEXT TIME,

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32 comments

  • I really want to read Pulp! I’m trying not to be jealous that you’ve got it. I missed out on getting a hardback copy when it was released and hesitate to buy a digital version. It looks like the kind of story that needs to be read on paper, or pulp! I haven’t read any of the other titles you reviewed but was thinking about trying Killadelphia. I’ll skip it now. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t own a physical copy of Pulp though hahaha But once I finished reading the digital one, I was reallllllly compelled to get my hands on a physical one. For a story that short, it really packed a punch!

      Hahahah if you still have a craving for Killadelphia, rest assured that the artwork makes it all worthwhile in the end. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Thanks for reading, dude! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  • I havenโ€™t read any of these, but I have seen atomic blonde! I wasnโ€™t really impressed by that one, despite some really great fight sequences and as you say some cool cinematography. Out of all these though, the story that I like the most is Ghost Tree. I really like the premise for that one!๐Ÿ˜Š
    As for the Old Guard, the movie is still on my list of things to watch, and I hope to do that somewhere this month๐Ÿ˜Š Nice selection you have here Lashaan!๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • I, honestly, stayed away from the theatrical release of Atomic Blonde because of how hard they tried to sell it as a female John Wick, which ultimately felt nothing more than an attempt at that. I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel for it (which seems to be the project they got planned for it too) though.

      I definitely recommend Ghost Tree. Quite a powerful story for it was. I wasn’t sure where it was headed at first but then I liked that it had a message for readers to take home by the end of it!

      Hope you enjoy The Old Guard when you get around to it, Michel! Thanks for reading, as always, my good friend! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • Ooh I’d love to read that Brubaker! ๐Ÿ˜€
    I watched The Old Guard and enjoyed it enough that I was considering reading the comic – now I’m not so sure ๐Ÿ˜‚
    Fab reviews, Lashaan, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I highly recommend Pulp to you, of all the comics featured here. I think you’ll have a blast with it. Short and sweet (maybe not sweet, just intense). ๐Ÿ˜€

      Hahahaha sorry to burst that bubble for The Old Guard. I’ll probably check out volume 2 when it comes out but it wasn’t thaaaat special. At least it reads fast. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thanks for reading, Ola! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve been wondering, on and off, about trying to watch Atomic Blonde. But reviews are so low key and my tbw is growing astronomically (seriously, I have added more “check this out on amazon sometime” movies since I started following Tensecondsfromnow, it is getting out of control) that I don’t have time to add meh movies to the queue.

    Throw in that I’m going to try to watch the entire Supernatural show and I’ve got years of watching ahead of me, sigh….

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s not a bad movie but it won’t wow you, if you ask me. It has some pretty intense action scenes spread out throughout the movie that reminds you that it’s trying to give you a female John Wick but otherwise, it won’t stand out that much. And yep… Tensecondsfromnow easily makes anyone add at least a movie a day! ๐Ÿ˜›

      I’ve always been curious about Supernatural but never had the right push from anyone to make me want to try it for myself hahah Hope your rewatch will be rewarding though! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    • The first volume of The Old Guard ends where the movie ends actually! The movie adds a couple more scenes that aren’t in the comics to make it more interesting too. The comic book is still ongoing. The second volume comes out this month too. So, who knows, maybe they’ll dare make a movie sequel to try and adapt that volume next? ๐Ÿ˜€

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  • I watched The Old Guard recently, and I really enjoyed it. It was great to have an action film directed by a woman for a change… I didn’t care for the artwork of the graphic novel, however. I had the same issues with Invisible Kingdom. It felt like it was moving forward too quickly. Beautiful art, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They did a nice job adapting the comic for that one! They stayed pretty loyal to it with some neat twists in the movie to spice things up. I hope they dare do a sequel for it though! I’m not sure if I want to try more volumes of Invisibile Kingdom myself… But I think I’m going to give it one more chance to impress me enough to stick around. They have a good idea (and excellent artwork) to make something decent of that franchise! I’m quite happy to learn that you’ve read that one too! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hope they do a sequel to Old Guard, too. But it’s good enough that if they don’t, I’ll be content to watch it over again.

        I’m going to give Invisible Kingdom another try with the next volume. If it rushes through the story there, too, I’ll probably let it go.

        Liked by 1 person

  • All of these are new to me and I love the variety. And the idea of finding stories other than superheros is what originally drew me to Greg Rucka’s writing back when he was putting out the Queen & Country comic series about British spies. I loved that series, he even wrote a couple full length prose novels for it, also very good. After that I read his White Out series about investigating murder in Antarctica. And currently I’m reading his Lazarus series about powerful families that control parts of the world in the future and the special members of the families that act as their protectors. But I hadn’t been aware of The Old Guard so I may check that out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, I thought of featuring various different stories that don’t have much in common to change things up. Ohhh, that Rucka series sounds interesting. I’ve read a couple of things by him too, including Lazarus, which I still need to continue, however. I’m glad to hear someone else mention that one for once! ๐Ÿ˜› I’ll have to look into White Out now though. I hope you enjoy The Old Guard if you ever get the chance to read or watch it! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  • I really enjoyed watching The Old Guard on Netflix and I would be happy if they decided to turn it into a series – provided that the same energy of the movie can be translated into serial form – I will no doubt watch it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  • I like Ed Brubaker but I’m not big on westerns, so… if I see Pulp at the comic book store, I’ll flip through it and see how the art looks first.
    I really liked Atomic Blonde movie. I agree about the plot though. I liked it for Charlize and the action and her outfits.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh, but it’s not exactly a Western Western story though. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You’ll see when you get the chance to look into it heheheh ๐Ÿ˜€

      Absolutely. Really cool stuff that she delivered on screen, while being completely badass from start to finish! ๐Ÿ˜› Hopefully the sequel will do better when it comes to the story. Especially when there are no other comics to inspire it. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      Liked by 1 person

  • OH YAYYYYY!!! My fav feature!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    Ghost Tree sounds AWESOME, Lashaan! I really, REALLYYYY love the cover!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

    Killadelphia – Hmmm….although that title is quite intriguing, the cover is way too gory! ๐Ÿคฃ I am so sorry that the pacing sort of ruined the plotโ€™s chances of proper development. Seems like a passable one.

    You have definitely convinced me to look for Pulp the next chance I get! I will try to find a copy for it – it sounds like an amazing read! And that cover sure is a plus! โค๏ธ

    Wow – I comment on covers A LOT, donโ€™t I!!? ๐Ÿคฃ

    Awwww!! So sorry The Coldest City was a disappointment! But now I am very curious about Atomic Blonde! I donโ€™t think I had heard of this one before!

    Invisible Kingdomโ€™s cover is SO SOOOO PRETTYYYY!! And thatโ€™s why the low rating (which is pretty justifiable) is like….hurting me right now! ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah I’m glad you had fun going through these! I definitely recommend checking out Pulp if you ever do get the chance to find it anywhere, physical or digital.

      Hmm… I’ve been wondering if I should try and showcase the artwork for these too somehow just to give everyone a better idea of what to expect hahah Instead only have the cover and my thoughts to rely on. Although that’s pretty much what most book reviews are like too though hahaha

      Oh, you never heard of Atomic Blonde? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ If the trailer interests you, you should try it out someday! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for reading, Rain! I appreciate it a lot! ๐Ÿ˜€

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  • You must read so much, Lashaan! I don’t know how you find time for this with everything else going on in your life. It’s amazing.

    I’ve heard of The Coldest City and The Old Guard because of the films (though I have seen neither, for obvious reasons. Curious that Theron is in both…) and I’ve heard of Invisible Kingdom because I like G. Willow Wilson’s work, but I haven’t read any of them. I definitely want to read Ghost Tree and Pulp after your reviews, though. They really intrigue me!

    I see these are all eComics/graphic novels. Where do you find most of your comics? I don’t really know my way around finding new comics and graphic novels to read. Also, do you find the electronic format less satisfying than physical formats?

    Have you ever considered doing longer posts that compare graphic novels/comics to their film counterparts? I think that would be interesting to explore in further detail. I don’t often see films, but I am curious each time I see something like this. Perhaps a deeper dive could convince me one way or another.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh, there’s always some way to sneak in something to read throughout 24 hours a day! Like cutting sleep! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Ahhhh, I wish I could tell you that the violence is mild in those but they’re indeed not hahah I’m going to give volume 2 of Invisible Kingdom a try in the near future with lower expectations but if it’s not convincing enough, I’ll be dropping it. I definitely recommend taking a peek at both Ghost Tree and Pulp. They’re unique and wonderful stories. And quick reads too! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I use the Hoopla app and logged in with my library card, giving me access to an incredible collection of comics, constantly updated with new releases. There’s a limit per month, but since my main reading format is physical, the limited digital access gives me an added boost of reading done within a month since reading digital is easier to sneak in between different activities throughout a day. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There you go. My secret. Out in the open! ๐Ÿ˜€

      I rarely do the “versus” posts but have tested one out (e.g. I did one back in the day for Death Note, comparing the manga series to the horrible live-action Netflix movie). They end up being a bit toooooo long for anyone with limited time though hahaha I do prefer doing a post for each individually but that happens rarely. I guess it just depends on my mood and what I can sneak into my posting schedule too but I definitely note your interest in those kinds of posts. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Like

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