Marvel Knights Vs. Fungal Apocalypse: Contagion #2

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

Sparrow has informed Iron Fist of “The Urchin,” the creature that has spread this horrific fungal infection to Brooklyn. Danny also has the evidence of the numerous infectees around him, passed out upon the ground. He knows that they need the help of someone like Mister Fantastic, and the Thing of the Fantastic Four appears to tell him that this isn’t currently an option. The other three members of the team are infected and incapacitated, including Reed Richards. The Thing takes Reed, Sue, and Johnny to Doctor Strange for treatment while Iron Fist and Sparrow remain to monitor the situation on the streets. Danny calls on Luke Cage for help, and Power Man and Iron Fist are reunited. Meanwhile, Doctor Strange is left baffled by the fungus afflicting the Fantastic Four.

Contagion #2 cover by Juan José Ryp with Jesus Aburtov
Contagion #2 cover by Juan José Ryp with Jesus Aburtov

Contagion #2 finds Iron Fist, Sparrow, and the Thing leading the vanguard against the Urchin and the infected hordes. This infection is spreading like wildfire through New York City, and, worse yet, the Urchin assimilates the powers of any metahuman he infects.

Given the zombie-like nature of those infected by the Urchin, it’s easy to compare Contagion to DCeased, especially given the latter’s smash success. That said, I find Contagion far more appealing. Admittedly, a large part of that is its focus upon street-level heroes like Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Cloak, and Dagger. It’s almost a New Avengers reunion with Ben Grimm present. 

The first issue of Contagion was stronger for its focus on the Fantastic Four fighting the Urchin in the subway. This issue spreads its attention a bit more, and the plot is slowed because of it. It’s at its peak when it brings the heroes back together for a stand against the Urchin on Yancy Street.

Contagion #2 art by Stephen Segovia, Veronica Gandini, and letterer VC's Cory Petit
Contagion #2 art by Stephen Segovia, Veronica Gandini, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Stephen Segovia is a near-perfect artist choice for a story like this. His style is coherent and well-detailed, but there is a hint of otherworldliness in some of the texture. That lends itself to the horror vibes given off by this fungal pandemic. On top of that, Veronica Gandini’s color art really adds an additional injection of ominous atmosphere to the book.

While not as strong as the opening issue, Contagion #2 is still a very entertaining read. We get to watch a bunch of Marvel’s street-level heroes fight it out against an infected horde while doing everything they can to contain the spread. It’s tense, compelling, and surprisingly fun given the grim nature of it all. This one gets a recommendation from yours truly. Feel free to check it out.

Contagion #2 comes to us from writer Ed Brisson, artist Stephen Segovia, color artist Veronica Gandini, letterer VC’s Cory Petit, cover artist Juan José Ryp with Jesus Aburtov, and variant cover artist Ryan Browne.

Final Score: 7.5/10

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