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Global Frequency: Planet Ablaze Paperback – February 1, 2004

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • 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)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In case you haven't read the plot synopsis or the other reviews, here's the deal. The Global Frequency is a worldwide network of experts, geniouses, military and police officers brought together by Miranda Zero to save the world from itself. This is a science fiction comic with wormhole singularities and cyborgs, but there are no superheroes. These people are as ordinary as they can get given the world they live in.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Global frequency is easily my favorite comic/graphic novel series of all time. I've read all 12 issues and they are pretty amazing. I'm not saying this lightly. I've read most of Alan Moore's stuff, most of Frank Miller's stuff, most things by Bendis, Kirkman and Waid.

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.
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Format: Paperback
The Global Frequency is an organization of one-thousand specialists headed by Miranda Zero. Their task is to handle threats that conventional forces are unequipped to handle. At first we get the impression that the Frequency is secret when a character remarks that they do exist (like the M&Ms in the Santa commercial). But members of the Frequency can leave their jobs at a moments notice by saying they are on the Frequency as if everyone knows about them.

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.
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Format: Paperback
The Global Frequency is a secret network of 1001 agents led by the mysterious Miranda Zero who take out apocalyptic threats to the planet. Terrorists with ebola virus bombs, angelic reckonings of remote villages, cyborg experiments turned mass murderers, computer programs that turn people into zombies, and so forth.

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.
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