Comic book ID: group of sleeper agents all get signal to activate at once?
January 3, 2005 11:45 PM   Subscribe

Comicsfilter: The recent questions about comics reminded me about this one that I've had bugging me for a while. [MI]

I remember reading, about ten years ago or so, a comic that had a scene where a bunch of different people were sleeper agents, living normal lives received a signal, like a letter or something, at which point they cut ties with their current situation - sometimes violently, and went off to take part in some plan, the nature of which I can't recall. I remember specifically once scene where a woman gets the letter or whatever it was, and then there's a panel in which she has poisoned or murdered the rest of her family at the breakfast table somehow. I want to say that this was in Hellblazer or Big Numbers or something, but I've just never been able to track down the title or the storyline. Anyone remember this?
posted by majcher to Media & Arts (15 answers total)
I don't have the collection any more, but it sounds like Preacher... But it also sounds like the movie Bourne Identity
posted by joelf at 12:05 AM on January 4, 2005

I really don't think it was Big Numbers. Only two issues were published and the first issue (the one I've read) didn't contain anything like what you're describing. Since the story itself is not at all cloak-and-daggery or satanic-Twilight-zoney, I doubt the second issue did either. With regards to Hellblazer... the scene you describe does sound like it would be at home in that series, but I don't recall reading anything like that in the early Jamie Delano phase of the publication. Perhaps it came along in the later issues, which I've not read.
posted by Clay201 at 12:28 AM on January 4, 2005

Well it sounds like Warren Ellis' Global Frequency, only on crack, drinking the blood of babies.
posted by mikeybidness at 2:33 AM on January 4, 2005

this hellblazer sort of sounds like what you're talking about, but i doubt that's it.
posted by lotsofno at 4:07 AM on January 4, 2005

There was also a similar storyline in Outsiders V.3, where the bad guy was the (then) latest incarnation of Brother Blood. The sleepers were supposed to steal 1M babies.
posted by signal at 4:58 AM on January 4, 2005

100 Bullets, perhaps?
posted by grabbingsand at 5:36 AM on January 4, 2005

My initial thought was 100 Bullets, too, but I don't recall any scene like that, and the "memory trigger" device it uses doesn't seem quite like that.
posted by mkultra at 6:37 AM on January 4, 2005

This sounds familiar.
Any chance its in Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol?
posted by Zetetics at 7:31 AM on January 4, 2005

Mmmm ... I don't think it was Preacher. Tremendous series, but that scene doesn't sound familiar.
posted by Alt F4 at 11:38 AM on January 4, 2005

Was it from the Superman "Manhunter" story arc in the late 80s? That had sleeper agents as a theme. Or the X-Men "Sentinel" story arc?

The Japanese comic "Lone Wolf and Cub" has a theme of sleeper agents who kill their own families, but it's set in 17th-century Japan.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:11 PM on January 4, 2005

Response by poster: Hm, I don't think any of these are matches. I know it wasn't Big Numbers - I just dug out mine, and that wasn't it. I know it wasn't 100 Bullets, because I just read most of those recently. Almost positive it wasn't Doom Patrol, Lone Wolf and Cub, or Preacher... but Preacher sounds like a likely match for style. The Hellblazer that lotsofno linked to sounds really familiar, though. I don't think that was it, but I remember reading the Family Man plotline about the same time. I found a bunch of comic stories that involve sleeper agents through extensive googling (the Brother Blood, Global Frequency stuff, etc, but none of those ared it. Still digging...
posted by majcher at 3:14 PM on January 4, 2005

"Global Frequency" only has 2 issues which just came out, so it certainly isn't that.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:09 PM on January 4, 2005

My husband thinks it may have been an issue from the Alan Moore era of Swamp Thing - the issue was a culmination of a storyline called 'American Gothic'. Something having to do with the end times.
posted by kittyloop at 7:31 PM on January 4, 2005

To clarify, Global Frequency has two collections (#1-#6 & #7-#12) covering twelve issues.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:47 PM on January 4, 2005

Response by poster: I think kittyloop might be on to something with the Swamp Thing, there. I'll have to track that down and see if that's what I was thinking of.
posted by majcher at 10:53 AM on January 5, 2005

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