Street-Level Swarm: Contagion #3 Reviewed

by Josh Davison

[*Mild Spoilers Ahead!]

The fungus is spreading throughout the McCarthy Medical Institute, and everyone inside is already under its thrall. Meanwhile, the Thing, Iron Fist, and Sparrow are taking on the Urchin. It keeps speaking with the voices of the Fantastic Four, and this goads the Thing into giving it a full-force punch. That takes the creature down, and it seems to be dead. Ben is terrified that this means he’s killed the rest of the FF, Luke Cage, Doctor Strange, Cloak, and Dagger too, but no one else is sure. This does, however, give them breathing room to contact the Avengers again, and Iron Man decides that he needs to go to New York now and see if he can beat back this fungus epidemic. Plus, Danny meets up with Jessica Jones to let her know what’s going on, and he brings Pei. Jess is pissed and leaves with Pei and Sparrow, leaving Danny to watch over little Dani. Despite that, Danny and Dani pay a visit to another magic expert.

Contagon #3 cover by Juan José Ryp and Jesus Aburtov
Contagon #3 cover by Juan José Ryp and Jesus Aburtov

Contagion #3 continues this apocalyptic story with a big punch and a whole gaggle of street-level superheroes. Despite the widening cast of characters, it still feels more focused than the previous issues. There’s a clear forward motion and a single objective: cure New York.

This issue is far more dialogue-heavy and less action-packed than the previous issue too, which is likely also why it reads more coherently. 

It also references characters and groups that I thought were lost to the sands of time like Senor Magico from Power Man and Iron Fist and the Tracksuit Mafia from Hawkeye.

Contagion #3 art by Mack Chater, Stephen Segovia, Veronica Gandini, Andrew Crossley, and letterer VC's Cory Petit
Contagion #3 art by Mack Chater, Stephen Segovia, Veronica Gandini, Andrew Crossley, and letterer VC’s Cory Petit

Mack Chater and Stephen Segovia split the visual work in this issue, and both bring their unique vision to the comic. Chater’s work is more detailed with cleaner lines and less shadowing while Segovia’s work is smoother and a little more cartoonish. Both styles look good, even if the shift is a little jarring. That said, the Thing’s shorts-and-boots combo is a little strange looking. Color artists Veronica Gandini and Andrew Crossley provide the color art, and both give a damn good color treatment to the book.

Contagion #3 is a slower yet more coherent issue than the previous one. It brings in more street-level heroes into the mix and references some obscure lore from previous street-level comic titles. It has its flaws, but it manages to be intriguing, focused, and a solid Marvel Knights substitute for the time being. As such, I can recommend it. Feel free to check it out.

Contagion #3 comes to us from writer Ed Brisson, artists Mack Chater and Stephen Segovia, color artists Veronica Gandini and Andrew Crossley, 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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