Written by: Ed Brisson
Art by: Stephen Segovia & Mack Chater
A seemingly unstoppable force has invaded the Marvel Universe, and it’s going to take every hero the streets of New York has to stop it! A strange substance is taking over heroes and citizens alike, draining them of their life force, stealing their knowledge and abilities, and neither science nor magic can stop it! Where did it come from? Can anything destroy it? And who will fall to its awful, overwhelming power?
After two amazing issues, Contagion has shown itself to be a very entertaining and interesting series that has pitted the heroes of the Marvel Universe against a foe like none that they have faced before. Before I go into detail into what went down in the third issue of this planned five part miniseries, you can catch up or refresh your memory of what has happened so far by checking out my reviews for issues one and two here and here. Now, let’s get into this next chapter and find out how our heroes continue their fight against this massive threat.
Issue three opens up showing that The Urchin has spread it’s fungus throughout the hospital where Ruby, the young girl it attacked in the subway in issue one, was taken to by Anton of The Yancy Street Gang. Back on Yancy Street, Ben Grimm, Iron Fist, and Sparrow continued their fight with The Urchin. After The Urchin used the voices of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, Ben became enraged and punched The Urchin’s host body with a massive uppercut, seemingly killing it. Ben contacted The Avengers to report that The Urchin was supposedly dead, but that none of the infected had woken up and the fungus was still spreading. Iron Man stated that he was headed to Manhattan to collect samples of the fungus and asked Ben to meet him at the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Back at Jessica Jones and Luke Cage’s apartment in Harlem, Jones was furious at Iron Fist for Cage becoming infected. Jones, Sparrow, and Pei left to go check on Cage while Jones ordered Fist to stay behind and watch after her daughter, Dani. At the Sanctum Sanctorum, Iron Man examined the infected Fantastic Four members. Iron Man revealed that they were still alive but that the fungus had complete control of them and was preserving them for some reason. He also revealed that the host body of The Urchin was being fed on by the fungus and that Ben himself didn’t actually kill him as the body was already hollowed out before Ben hit it. Iron Man concluded that they may have only six days to find a cure for everyone before they also become consumed by the fungus in the same way as the host body. At the hospital, Ruby suddenly woke up and walked out of her room, insinuating that The Urchin had found a new host body.
In Harlem, Fist took Dani with him to meet with the sorcerer, Señor Mágico. Fist asked Mágico for help with finding a way to magically contain the fungus to keep it from spreading any further. Mágico then introduced Fist to a group of magic users called the League of International Magic Practitioners or L.I.M.P. and they agreed to help. Jones, Sparrow, and Pei arrive at Yancy Street and Jones saw the infected Cage and asked if they fix him. At that moment, Elektra, White Tiger, The Punisher, and Black Tarantula arrived to help.
Over on 42nd Street, Fist helped L.I.M.P. cast a spell to try and contain the fungus at the same time that Iron Man was flying off from the Sanctorum with the fungus samples. It was then shown that, somehow, the fungus had gotten onto Iron Man’s helmet, insinuating that he was now infected. Moon Knight then arrived at Yancy Street. Jessica Jones told him that Ben had already defeated the enemy. Moon Knight replied by asking that if Ben really did defeat the bad guy, then what was the monster currently ripping up Penn Station? At Penn Station, Ruby, the new host body of The Urchin, was fighting the police and members of The Wreaking Crew as the issue ended.
While not as good as the first two issues, this issue did a good job in continuing the story and introducing new players into the mix. The art quality dropped for me in this issue. The quality was inconsistent throughout and ranged from very good to overly simple. I was very confused as to how Iron Man could have possibly gotten infected when he never touched any of the victims directly. I was also confused as to why the fungal infection was manifesting on his armor when it had been stated that the fungus must contact and enter through its victim’s skin to infect them. It was very cool to see more heroes get involved with Elektra, White Tiger, The Punisher, and Black Tarantula showing up.
The fact that the street level heroes are the main ones that are having to take on this worldwide threat and not the heroes who usually deal with the major global threats is one of the things that makes this series really unique to me. My favorite part was Moon Knight finally showing up to get involved. Moon Knight is one of my favorite Marvel superheroes of all time and I am excited to see him in action in the next issue. Overall, this was a solid middle issue that brought the story along. I can’t wait to read the next issue to see the action pick up again and see how our heroes attempt to bring down this plague-like villain once and for all. Stay tuned until the next issue of Contagion, same Urchin time, same Urchin channel.
A solid middle issue that did a good job in bringing the story along and introducing new players into the mix.