Writer: Ed Brisson
Art: Rogê Antônio, Veronica Gandini, Stephen Segovia, Juan Jose Ryp, Jesus Aburtov, and VC’s Cory Petit
Release Date: October 9th, 2019
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 in his week’s all-new CONTAGION #2 by Ed Brisson. 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? Let’s jump into the issue and find out!
Ed Brisson’s action-packed tale resumes as readers discover the name of patient zero and struggle to heave almost every New York hero at this plague. The issue isn’t too long-winded while enlightening fans with some strategically timed warfare and grotesque artistic design by Stephen Segovia and his art team that bring the pages to life. Brisson tethers out just enough information for the story to unfold in an easy to follow manner for any level of reader and continues pumping out a weekly romp that’s clear, concise, and full of energy.
That said, the story felt like it was missing weight, suspense, and purpose. This critic understands that Reed, Sue, and Johnny happen to be out for the count BUT the emotion behind their current state doesn’t feel all-important. There just seemed to be a lack of substance or meaning to the narrative. Being two weekly issues into the story, this reviewer doesn’t feel connected to the characters emotionally at all, especially being a huge Fantastic Four and Doctor Strange enthusiast.
Last week, this critic partially had the same sentiment. However, many first issues need time to set up the anecdote. After overlooking the vacant character cohesion in issue one, this comic enthusiast trekked forward expecting a narrative that didn’t appear rushed and had more depth to it. What’s the purpose of the story? Will anything come from this or will this just be another forgotten tale? As a comic fan who still heads to his shop and buys floppy issues, this critic needs to feel connected to the story to want to continue to buy it, especially with a four-dollar price tag.
Furthermore, my curiosity isn’t peaked and this reviewer feels like he’s being told the information instead of it naturally coming out in the narrative. Brisson directly states that this Urchin is old and steals the life force and powers of others instead of letting this information come out in the wash. Additionally, Brisson affirms that this outbreak was first introduced when K’un-Lun came on the scene. Why couldn’t a flashback unveil this to readers?
Later, Brisson literally claims that this contagion was entombed in order to stop it from spreading. Fans, this is what snatched my attention but it was immediately dictated to readers and left unattended. These snippets are what would develop the story more and give it more substance. Brisson needs to provide fans with more of the history and step out of the current narrative to develop feeling within this outbreak. Instead, readers move quickly from hero to hero and learn that it can’t be contained, steals the heroes abilities, and easily wipes the floor with some of the best and brightest the Marvel Universe has to offer. So, how do our heroes stop this? And, will my hand be held as we find out?
Now, as much as this issue didn’t hit home with this reviewer, Stephen Segovia’s art was bright, crisp, clear, and illustrated each scene wonderfully. Furthermore, a good color artist makes the readers eyes move subconsciously across the page and stop at the important parts. Juan Jose Ryp and Jesus Aburtov do just that while helping Segovia grab the reader into the story with amazing detail, stimulating design, and realistically vivid character illustrations. This issue had some incredibly solid artwork that totally helped raise this reviewer’s score by the end of the issue and totally hit the mark.
If you’re looking for a straightforward, action-packed narrative that’s fun and direct, this series and issue are for you. If you read comics for a bit more curiosity, thought, and substance under the surface of the narrative, then this issue and series may not be to your liking. As someone driven on a story that breeds discussion and character development, this issue didn’t work for me this week and this critic left wanting more. Hopefully, more backstory, discussion, emotion, and development will come as this weekly tale continues to unfold.