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Ben Grimm is having a bad day.

I'm sorry for approaching you like this... but your entire world is about to be destroyed, Daniel-Kai.
— Sparrow
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Contagion is a five-issue weekly mini-series released by Marvel Comics in 2019 involving mostly street-level heroes. It's written by Ed Brisson (Extermination, New Mutants), with art by Roge Antonio, Stephen Segovia, Mack Chater, Damian Couciero, and Adam Gorham, with colors by Veronica Gandini and Andrew Crossley.

Something below the city of K'un-L'un has awoken. A week later, a member of the Yancy Street Gang finds Ben Grimm and asks for his help: something happened to their friend in the subway and they don't know what to do. When Ben ventures down into the tunnels, he finds more than he bargains for: the Yancy Street gang member, as well as dozens of Moloids, have been infected with some sort of fungus called "the Urchin."

When the Fantastic Four arrive to help Ben and put a stop to the infected Mole Man, another horrific facet of the Urchin is revealed: once it infects a superhuman, it will absorb their powers as well, and begin speaking in their voice. And then, suddenly, Reed, Sue, and Johnny are all infected, with only Ben's rocky skin saving him.

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And as the leader of K'un-L'un wakes Danny Rand from his sleep, she tells him that his world is about to be destroyed.


Contagion includes the following tropes:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: The Mole Man after he is infected. He's just someone who wanted to be alone underground, but one of his Moloids got infected and now all of them are. He even tries to warn the heroes before succumbing to the disease. Subverted, however, in that he doesn't die.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: To DCeased. Both books are mini-series that take a look at what happens when The Virus infects a group of superhumans and begins to spread. However, DCeased is an Elseworld book where Anyone Can Die, while Contagion takes place in 616 continuity and, so far, nobody has died, they've only been taken over by the Urchin.
  • Body Horror: Once it infects someone, it grows fungus on their body... and that fungus can grow into trees.
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  • Continuity Nod: Iron Fist ponders asking the X-Men for help "even if they are acting like a bunch of weirdos right now".
  • Festering Fungus: How the Urchin manifests itself. It also grows inside it's victims, wrapping itself around them and hollowing them out.
  • Hope Spot: Doctor Strange is about to get the FF to his sanctum and starts talking about developing a cure... and then he gets infected.
  • The Immune: So far the Thing is the only one that can make regular physical contact with the infected without being infected himself. This is presumed to be due to the fungus not being able to penetrate his hide.
  • Insanity Immunity: Moon Knight's Dissociative Identity Disorder makes him capable of navigating the Urchin's mind hive and rally his victims to frees themselves from within.
  • Leave Me Alone!: The Urchin eventually starts shouting this at the heroes whenever they confront it.
  • Mind Hive: The plague absorbs the minds of whoever it affects and they plead for help from within it.
  • The Plague: A magical plague.
  • Power Parasite: The Urchin can channel the superpowers of anyone it infects, starting with Reed, Sue and Johnny.
  • The Virus: What the Urchin basically is.
  • Zerg Rush: How the infected Moloids attack Ben in the beginning. It's how they infected Johnny, Sue, and Reed.


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