If you compiled a list of species ending, nightmare scenarios entitled “Things that make you shake uncontrollably with terror and scream in unmitigated horror whenever you think about them” then an ancient, sentient plague that incapacities its victims almost immediately and feeds on their life-force while holding their minds and spirits captive would almost certainly feature in the top ten. Maybe even in the top three if germophobia played an active role in determining its spot on the Armageddon chart. That top ten, surely it could never really happen sort of extinction level event is exactly what does happen in Contagion when curiosity gets the better of some bolder than is good for them K’un-Lun folks who accidently unleash a hitherto hidden, and nearly unstoppable, disease on both their native land and New York City.
Voracious and determined, the plague spreads quickly thanks to “The Urchin” (or Patient Zero if you prefer) and takes out the top tier heroes faster than a Hellcat crosses the quarter line marker, leaving the whole find a solution and save the day effort up to Iron Fist, Thing, Jessica Jones, Moon Knight and a rag tag bunch of costumed crusaders. And that’s when the excrement hits the fan and the fun really starts.
Contagion is the Marvel version of one of those glorious seventies disaster movies like Earthquake and while it isn’t going to win any high falutin, hoity toity literary prizes, it will make you grin from ear to ear and restore your faith in every single underdog hero in New York City. Shining a big, bold light on the often forgotten and woefully ignored street level viglantes who get down and dirty and always triumph no matter what the personal cost may be, Contagion is a great way to while away an hour or two.
A self-contained story that packs enough adrenalized wallop and sublime eye candy artwork to entertain and amuse even the most fevered four colour fanatic, Contagion lets Ed Brisson loose on the Marvel pantheon. And he comes up trumps with a tale of disaster, woe and heroic triumph that lets the “little guys” prove that they’re more than capable of hanging with the big dogs and the alpha types and taking care of whatever evil business heads their way. Grab a bucket of popcorn, kick back, relax and get yourself a wonderful dose of Contagion… Tim Cundle