Warren Ellis was in high-gear in the late 1990s and early 2000s, cranking out a stream of exciting titles under the Wildstorm imprint, and I ate them up. His revival of the fallow Stormwatch led into The Authority, which, for better or worse, paved the way for various "widescreen" superhero titles. Planetary, steeped in the mythology of comics and pulp heroes, was a fanboy's dream. The lesser-known GLOBAL FREQUENCY was a monthly adrenaline rush that was more accessible than the previous titles, which may explain why it has been optioned several times for television. Previously available in two trade paperbacks, all 12 issues are now available in one reasonably-priced softcover edition. Each issue features an emergency being tackled by a worldwide network of 1001 specialized agents working for a semi-covert organization. These agents could be former military, scientists, police officers, computer hackers, linguists, stage magicians, or athletes going about their lives; however, select agents, upon receiving a call on a special phone, drop everything in order to apply their skills either individually or as a team. But these aren't your standard emergencies; rather, the agents are faced with such situations as a human bomb, an alien memetic virus, mass catatonia, or a doomsday cult prepared to take others with them. While organization head Miranda Zero and her dispatcher Aleph remain a constant throughout the collection, the 12 stories are tight stand-alone scenarios. There's no real conclusion to the entire run, but then there's really no need for one... rest assured that these folks will stay on call, ready to save the world when needed.
Each story really makes an impact. The concepts are pretty wild, and even the ones that tread the familiar have a suitable amount of weirdness injected by Ellis. My favorite, "Big Wheel", involves a rogue homicidal Six Million Dollar Man. Anyone who's ever questioned the physical plausibility of Steve Austin's bionic enhancements should read this. The insightful story and creepy art have stuck with me over the last 10+ years.
Artists are as follows: Garry Leach, Glenn Fabry, Steve Dillon, Roy Allan Martinez, Jon J. Muth, David Lloyd, Simon Bisley, Chris Sprouse, Lee Bermejo, Tomm Coker, Jason Pearson, and Gene Ha. All are at their best here. This book is a great deal for the price, and I highly recommend it. There's not a superhero in sight - just entertaining sci-fi action in the vein of The X-Files or Fringe.