Propaganda on the Global Frequency
by Warren Ellis and many, many artists
There are 1001 people on the Global Frequency. Anyone you know might be with them. It’s the world’s little open secret. A fast response emergency team composed of anyone: mother, brother, friend, boss, policeman, spy, teacher, athlete, anyone at all. You’ll never know they’re part of it until the phone call comes with that unusual ring tone and they head out the door promising to explain later…
Global Frequency is the 20th Century’s clean up operation for all the rubbish that happened in the last millennium, all the secret projects, the cold war science and the insane power games.
Yes, this is the archetypal Warren Ellis comic series; fast cuts, fast paced, stacatto dialoguing, tech-happy. But it’s also one of the best TV series we’ll never see made (although reports are that it got as far as a pilot, but was never actually taken up. Shame). It’s a perfect episodic action thriller. Each issue is perfectly self contained: threat, call, response, result.
(“That weird cellphone” indeed. It rings, your life changes. Art by Steve Dillon from Global Frequency)
There’s an impressive array of artists on the books as well, including David Lloyd, Gary Leach, Steve Dillon, Glenn Fabry and Chris Spouse. So Global Frequency is equally as good on the eye as it is on the brain.
My favourite individual episode, The Run, features the art of the urban gymnast; “les parkeurs”, who can cross the snarled up morass of London quicker on foot than anything or anyone else. Over twenty two pages Warren Ellis manages to generate a tremendous sense of excitement that most writers couldn’t deliver over the course of an entire book. But of course, Ellis has given us 12 of these little thrillers, across these two books. Enjoy. You’re on the Global Frequency.
Richard Bruton is a lifelong comics fan and before writing these Propaganda reviews here, was a Comic Book Store Guy; you can read more of his thoughts on comics and life on his blog Fictions.