Warren Ellis’ new comic book series _Global Frequency_ (four issues out so far) isn’t as mindblowing as _Transmetropolitan_ was, but it’s pretty much fun in the way it matches high-concept with low pulp. You see, Global Frequency is a worldwide organization, with 1001 members, which intervenes in crisis situations…
Instead of The Justice League of America or some other such band of superheroes, Global Frequency is composed of ordinary people–though with extraordinary skills–who step out of their usual day jobs and lives to pitch in and deal with a crisis. And Global Frequency is a distributed network, linked globally by high-tech communications devices, rather than a centralized bureaucracy. (Though it does have a leader, the noir-ish Miranda Zero, and something like a central dispatcher, the riot-grrl-ish Aleph).
The Global Frequency network is high-concept, as are the dangers they face:
- A human bomb with a wormhole opening in his body that connects to an atomic weapon buried on another continent;
- A bionic man, gone crazy because the US military has transformed him into a weapon of mass destruction and superhuman strength, who can only orgasm when he kills;
- An alien memetic plague, which colonizes the hardware of human brains;
- A Heaven’s Gate-like apocalyptic death cult of web designers, taking hostages with them for the journey into the world to come.
The low pulp comes in the action part of the comic, with lots of gunfights and explosions, as well as corny “love is what makes us human” messages woven into the plot. All in all, a nice mix.
Oh, and also every issue is a self-contained episode; no wider story arcs (which makes sense for a distributed network without a central hero). And each issue has a different illustrator, which helps to keep things visually exciting.