Wednesday, 17 July 2013

So I Read Global Frequency

A 250 word (or less) review of the complete Global Frequency series
By Warren Ellis, Garry Leach, Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry, Chris Sprouse, Liam Sharpe, Karl Story, Roy Allan Martinez, Lee Bermejo, Jon J Muth, Tomm Coker, David Lloyd, Jason Pearson, and Gene Ha; Verigto Comics

Global Frequency is an interesting comic. Structurally it’s a collection of stand-alone comics written by Warren Ellis and each drawn by a different artist. Collectively the comic follows the missions of The Global Frequency, a kind of crowd-sourced rescue organization of loosely affiliated experts and operatives founded by the enigmatic Miranda Zero to save the humanity from the manufactured terrors of the modern world. Each individual chapter of the Global Frequency sees Zero and Aleph, her mission coordinator/operator, activate a network of “on the frequency” operatives to tackle threats from runaway engineering projects to homegrown terrorist cults. It's an interesting premise executed superbly. Now I could go on about all of the different little reasons this comic resonated with me: like the striking similarities between Global Frequency and my childhood beloved International Rescue, or the groundbreaking use of crowd-sourcing in a book published before the rise of social media, or the masterful way in which the done-in-one stories are executed... but I think that's all secondary to what makes Global Frequency great. I think ultimately what makes Global Frequency so effective is the sheer empathy of these comics. In every single chapter Ellis conducts gigawatts of empathy into the comic and this made me care about every single character and worry about every single consequence, from the giant and existential to the small and personal.  This empathy elevates Global Frequency and makes it profound. Global Frequency is smart, tense, and beautiful. It’s nearly perfection and I cannot recommend it enough.

Word count: 250 

(Incidentally I was wondering how this comic hasn't been made into a series, and apparently they once made a pilot... so... question answered, I guess.)


  1. I've read so many Ellis comics that I can't believe I haven't read Global Frequecny yet. By the way, just like you, I'm a huge fan of Young Avengers, and I'm glad to see Gillen and McKelvie are doing such an extraordinary work. If you read issue # 4 check the letters section (mine got published under my real name Arcadio BolaƱos).

    1. That's pretty much my feelings about all Warren Ellis comics. I mean, I've kept up with his recent stuff, and tried his landmarky comics (Transmetropolitan, Planetary) but I haven't given his older creator-owned-er-ish comics a try yet. Going through his bibliography is definitely on my to-do list.

      Planetary is now conveniently available in a single volume that, if you are budget conscious, has a very reasonable price point.

      Nice on the letter. The one-and-only one I sent in didn't make the cut.