Warren Ellis’ Global Frequency

522C2CC5-C518-4BAB-BF32-EB721AA3B82FGlobal Frequency is one of the best comics that Warren Ellis has created, a series so interesting that there have two attempts to make a television series out of it.

Global Frequency is a organisation devoted to combating those incidents that are too extreme, too weird, or just too dangerous for the usual first responders to handle. Funded by the mysterious Amanda Zero, it consists of exactly one thousand and one agents, all of whom are specialists in something, say, for example, bioweapons or taking out snipers.

Each agent has a mobile phone that helps keep them in contact with Global Frequency so that they can respond when needed. Keep in mind that this was written at a time when mobile phones were far less common than today. These phones are depicted as having both a camera and an oversized video screen,

Global Frequency has exactly one employee, a punkish woman named Aleph who is the nexus of Global Frequency in her nest of electronics and communications gear somewhere deep underground. From there, she monitors everything going on in the world, makes decisions on which to respond to, and calls a Global Frequency agent to tell them they have an assignment. It might be stopping a sniper up close and pesonal, but it could be just tasking a satellite to be over a certain place at a certain time.

The world of the Global Frequency organisation is a post-Soviet world where Science Cities created monsters, where terrorist groups are more frightening than any that exist in this reality, and where kidnapping Amanda Zero to find out what Global Frequency is, is a very bad idea. It’s a nasty, violent world and Global Frequency has the ability to deal with the shit that world is creating.

I’d say that Global Frequency is every bit as great as the Planetary, also created and written by Ellis. It’s certainly one of the very few graphic novels that I take out to read again.

(Vertigo, 2002)

Cat Eldridge

I'm the publisher of Green Man Review. I do the Birthdays and Media Anniversary write-ups for Mike Glyer’s file770.com, the foremost SFF fandom site.

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