Welcome to HumanoGlobal
"Welcome to HumanoGlobal" was first published in Astro City (2013) #2.
Marella Cowper is a young woman who hopes to one day work at a software company, ideally in programming. Until then, however, she needs temporary work, so she applies for a seemingly mundane call center job at an organization called HumanoGlobal. It's not until passing a suspiciously extensive battery of tests that she learns the job is actually for the Honor Guard emergency contact line. Her first day on the job is one of awe as she realizes how beyond normal it truly is: Employees arrive to work via teleportation, the "data core" is a towering pillar of bristling energy, etc. It's like something out of science fiction.
One day at work, her co-worker Jeremy connects the dots between various earthquakes, seismologist kidnappings, and thefts, alerting Honor Guard to what turns out to be Lord Volcanus's take-over attempt on the surface world. On another occasion, some other employees become responsible for Samaritan's timely dispatch against the ocean piracy of the Skullcrushers. This is what all the phone operators are after, Marella included: The chance to be the one to notify Honor Guard of imminent disaster, to truly make a difference.
Back home, Marella does not tell her family the true nature of her work, per company advice. Her younger sister teases her about the drudgery of manning a call center, but Marella says it's not like that. She genuinely likes her job, likes helping people. She thinks she can make a career out of it.
However, over time, she and the rest of her pod (small units that the operators are divided into) become too eager to get a "big one." They start vetting improperly, flagging as potential emergencies situations that, weighted objectively, are no such thing (e.g. yeti sightings, small time crime, etc.) As reprimand, they're reassigned to non-emergency arrangements for two weeks. As such, they're the ones in charge of organizing a charity appearance by Honor Guard in Australia. Marella is positively delighted to meet Cleopatra in person, who compliments her on her good work.
As time passes, Marella handles all manners of call, from a request to recover a crashed plane's cargo to a young girl pleading for help for her mother against an abusive boyfriend. No Honor Guard-level emergencies, though, not like her co-worker Toni, who spots the Unholy Alliance's mobile fortress. Thanks to her, the criminals and the weapons and deadly alien virus they stole are brought in by Honor Guard before it's too late. Marella has no complaints, though; she's made friends with the others in her pod, work is good, life is good. Employees can even use the teleportation network to visit foreign countries.
She explores Paris with Toni and another member of their pod, Michiko, but their fun is interrupted by breaking news: Deadly violence has broken out in the tiny Ecuadorian village of Quevachi, where military forces wage combat with what turns out to be the Skullcrushers' hidden base. Marella is stunned, as she realizes Quevachi was the home of the girl with the abused mother. Marella had sent social workers. This is one of her's...
- On the directory of the office building Marella uses to teleport to work, we can see a listing for Nicholls-Royce, the company behind the N-Forcer.
- This is the second appearance of Lord Volcanus and his Insiders. They were trying to conquer the surface world the last time, too. Oh, those rapscallions...
- The fake organizations the Emergency Contact Center uses to covers its employees' real natures all have the initials H.G.
- Winged Victory and The Gentleman are here revealed to have joined Honor Guard some time between the previous issue and the team's last chronological appearance before that, in the Beautie one-shot. (In retrospect, the two's presence in the previous issue's action was likely in the capacity of members of the team.)
- Wolfspider has also joined the team's ranks in that period.
- The Unholy Alliance too have not remained static since their last appearance. There are two new members (one wrapped in silver, the other black offset by blue lightning), the old Flamethrower's been switched out for a female version, and Spice is nowhere to be seen.