- Series: Global Frequency
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: WildStorm (February 1, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401202748
- ISBN-13: 978-1401202743
- Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.4 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,202,779 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Global Frequency: Planet Ablaze Paperback – February 1, 2004
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From Publishers Weekly
Acclaimed comics writer Ellis (The Authority; Transmetropolitan) here creates a Mission: Impossiblestyle force for the 21st century. The Global Frequency is a worldwide organization comprising 1,001 members, each with a specialized talent, which combats unconventional threats to public safety. Some of these menaces are the stuff of science fiction, like a cyborg warrior gone mad. Others are potentially quite real, such as an attempt to release lethal viruses in London. This first volume collects the first six issues, each illustrated by a different artist: Leach, Fabry, Steve Dillon, Roy A. Martinez, Jon J Muth and David Lloyd. Although each artist has a different style, they all impart a grimly realistic look to Ellis's world. The Global Frequency bills itself as a rescue operation, but in practice, violence is their stock-in-trade, and it's sometimes graphically explicit. Ellis occasionally makes political and even satirical points, but for the most part these tales are dismayingly superficial. Characterizations are minimal or nonexistent. For example, the most prominent character, Miranda Zero, the Frequency's head, comes off as little more than severely businesslike. The protagonists don't seem to be conflicted over their lives of violence and danger, and the antagonists don't have multidimensional personalities. Nor is there much suspense, since few of the plot twists and turns that one expects from the genre are present. Ellis and his collaborators achieve little here, and the endings are merely unsurprising, foregone conclusions.
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Top Customer Reviews
It used to be that stories in comic books were largely confined to a single issue and that multiple issue stories were big events. Now multiple issue stories are the norm, designed to fill out collections.
Instead of breaking new ground, Warren Ellis is taking us back to old ground and reminding us that a good story can be told concisely.
Each issue of Global Frequency is a different story by a different artist. When this is done right it can be excellent, as in the second story in this collection which is illustrated by Glenn Fabry. In it Ellis posits what it would actually take to build a cyborg. Human skin and bones and muscle can't support 2 tons of machinery, so Ellis comes up with a vaguely human looking mass of muscle and machine, and Fabry illustration is beautifully horrific. Unfortunately there's the downside of when an artist and story don't blend. The final story in the collection is illustrated by David Lloyd of V for Vendetta fame. In the story a woman runs across rooftops, leaping from building to building, gymnastically scaling scaling fire escapes and jumping across traffic. It should be thrilling, but only about half of the pictures really have the energy of the story. This was disappointing, especially from such a classic artist.
I felt like there was something lacking in Planetary, especially in the beginning.Read more ›
This is the only series where I have forced myself to stop reading in mid story because the effect was so powerful.
I guess this stuff isn't for everyone. If you're into series dealing with the "mythology" of superheroes then this might not be for you. However, if you enjoy powerful stories that don't require previous knowledge of existing universes, then this series is for you. Warren Ellis is at the top of his game here. Any fans of William Gibson or Neal Stephenson should love this series as well.
It's really top notch and well worth buying the entire series.
Specialists are contacted by a special portable phone. They also seem to all have a "special case" that is never explained (although one character is asked if he got weapons from his case). Members are top in their field, whatever it happens to be.
I felt the Frequency was not grounded well enough, like the author wanted to tell the story before working out the details. One-thousand unique agents doesn't seem like it could be terribly effective but it seems that the right agent is always close at hand. There is very little repetition of character (mostly just Miranda Zero and Aleph) but you may spot a cameo or two. Each story is also drawn by a different artist thus weakening the feeling of continuity.
The threats in this volume include a man who is a walking nuclear bomb, a rogue bionic man, a memetic invasion, a cult hostage situation, a town that may have seen an angel, and bioterrorists using ebola. Very interesting stories but I am not sure why the Frequency was needed for the hostage story.
Each chapter is drawn by a different artist and features a new catastrophe and a new group of agents, the only constants in the cast being Miranda Zero and Aleph (think Barbara Gordon/ Oracle). And that’s part of the problem why this book doesn’t work - there’s no time to develop characters or plot, you’re just presented with a scenario, usually involving people shouting at one another “We gotta go! Time’s running out! RUN RUN RUN!!!”, and told that there are life or death stakes, end of the world stuff, and that’s it.
We know nothing about the Global Frequency itself, it’s just there, the characters are just there and have been part of the group for years, the villains are just there to serve the purpose of being the villains - everything about the comic is so contrived. It’s the laziest type of storytelling that seems to only serve as a medium for Warren Ellis to throw out some vague ideas and work them out quickly as hypotheticals before moving on to the next shallow “story”.
I understand now where he got the approach for his Secret Avengers run at Marvel with the Global Frequency series - done in one team stories featuring singular art and “exciting” plots - but, like Secret Avengers, Global Frequency feels too rushed and superficial to fully engage me.
It does feature some excellent art from artists like Garry Leach, Glenn Fabry, Steve Dillon, David Lloyd, and Jon Muth though, so there’s that.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To me that's the question that this bok answers.
See, there are 1,001 people on the Global Frequency. Read more
It's so damn good! Every sub-story/plot is original and stylish. The different artists collectively capture Warren Ellis's vision in a way that's complete and cohesive. Read morePublished on June 9, 2008 by Amazon Customer
I'VE BEEN A BIG FAN OF ELLIS' OTHER WORK AND STUMBLED UPON THIS TITLE. I FEEL THIS IS SOME OF HIS FINEST WORK! WHAT A GREAT STORY.
I LOVED IT!
Another worldwide secret organization that specializes in obscure events. Why doesn't he just go back to planetary and give the series the attention it deserves....... Read morePublished on April 13, 2006 by TheReviewer
This is an enjoyable action comic with a premise that will keep it from getting stale. 'Global Frequency' is a shadowy, wordwide group of trouble-shooters. Read morePublished on February 13, 2005 by wiredweird
Known more for his revamp of Stormwatch and the creation of the Authority, Warren Ellis managed to create an exciting comic about non-superheroes. Read morePublished on October 19, 2004 by Hizon