random comic – “Global Frequency”

Global Frequency was a 12-issue comic from Warren Ellis, the dude who did Transmetropolitan and Iron Man: Extremis.  Everyone loves Ellis because he writes badass comic books, is British, and spends all day on the internet like a dweeb, which makes him one of us.  Except for when he posts pictures of crazy body-mod stuff like pierced penises, that shit just makes me regret eating breakfast.


Anyway, I picked volume 1 up at some point because I was bored and like Ellis and knew that Brian Wood did the cover art for the short series, which details the various adventures of an independent covert-ops group known as The Global Frequency.  I got volume 2 of the trades because I fucking loved volume 1.

An urban legend of sorts come to life, working both against and with the worlds’ military forces, dealing with threats that are beyond anyone’s capabilities except the various oddball talents that the 1,001 members of the Frequency have, from hackers, linquists, stage magicians and freerunners, to former snipers, mechanically-enhanced soldiers, bombmakers, and astronauts with private spaceships.

The best way to describe this is probably the bastard of cyberpunk kicked in the nuts with a large boot of modern realism, heavy on the hard science (as opposed to science fiction), “Ghost In The Shell”, and ass-kickery.  With a variety of different artists on each individual issue and no real single overall storyline, each issue could in theory stand alone or be an issue #1, so each issue is a compact story slash adventure slash mission on its own.

I regularly re-read it, it’s incredible.  The thing I like about Ellis’s dialogue is that him writing people speaking Americanized English reads in a believable fashion, and story-wise, knowing that a ton of what he draws his inspiration from is in fact based on real science blows your mind as to where he reads about this stuff.  It makes you appreciate the genius and ingenuity of real-life, without being all “mad science run amok is OMG dangerous”.

I also like the single-adventure-per-issue format with only a vague sense of overall connectivity, something Brian Wood did in Local and Demo and I think works really well in simply telling good stories.  I know it’s really weird to say but Ellis is sort of becoming very Allan Moore-esque in his advocacy of storytelling, comic books, and truly out-there ideas, though granted Ellis’s have strange techno-twists and aren’t the Moore-esque magik spells and incantations meant to shred reality that you find in his books.

Also, apparently in 2005 a TV pilot was made for the WB or the CW or whatever it’s called now that never got off the ground starring Michelle Forbes, though you can find bits and pieces of it online.  Looks to draw very very closely from the source material, which is good and is probably why it didn’t get picked up. Wasn’t stupid enough.

If you’re not bored with me yet, I would recommend scouring the internet or a comic book store or book store for the two trades, they’re out on WildStorm and as far as I know not difficult to find.  Get with it.


About Costa

Writer. College professor.
This entry was posted in books, comic books, Global Frequency, random, random comic review, Warren Ellis, Wildstorm. Bookmark the permalink.

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