In a move that could earn Marvel Comics a DCease-and-DCist, Ed Brisson will team with a harem of artists for a five-issue weekly mini-series pitting Marvel's street-level heroes against a sickness turning the people of the Marvel Universe into what appear to be mindless zombies. Contagion will feature artists including: Roge Antonio, Stephen Segovia, Mack Chater, Damian Couciero, and Adam Gorham.
In an interview on Marvel.com, Brisson explains what the series is about:
We're going to put a lot of the bigger Marvel characters through the wringer here. This is a situation that ONLY folks like Iron Fist (who I'm thrilled to be writing again), Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Ben Grimm, Cloak and Dagger, and about a half-dozen street-level folks can solve. The Avengers try to get involved, but for reasons the readers will quickly learn, their involvement can be incredibly catastrophic. It could spell the end of New York, hell, maybe even the end of the world.
The threat is a new one, something the Marvel Universe hasn't seen before. It's not often that you really get to build a new bad from the ground up, and that's been a real exciting challenge here. Our heroes are unprepared for it. This thing is indiscriminate, it's unpredictable, and it's unbeatable. I'm trying out some bonkers stuff in the series, really pushing a lot of characters to the brink — some of them are characters I've been wanting to get my hands on since starting at Marvel.
When [editor] Jake Thomas hit me up in January to work on CONTAGION, he sold the series to me as a street-level horror event. Obviously, Jake knows that I'm a huge street-level guy, but he also knows that I'm a horror junkie. He and I have talked for hours about horror films, so I think he knew it was an easy sell for me. I'm thrilled — finally, I can put an entire lifetime of rotting my brain with horror flicks to good use.
Ultimately, this is me digging in with characters that I love in a genre that I love. The whole thing is a bit of a dream scenario, and I think that readers are going to be shocked right out of the gate.
While some might be tempted to suggest this series seems to be a blatant response to the Distinguished Competition's DCeased, one could also argue DCeased was just a ripoff of Marvel Zombies in the first place. In other words, like Sean Connery said in The Untouchables…
Wanna get Capone? Here's how you get him. He pulls a knife, you pull a gun, he sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. He rips off your hit comic book series with a similarly-themed comic book series, you just rip that series off with one of your own and get Ed Brisson to write it. That guy will do anything. That's the Chicago way, and that's how you get Capone.
Contagion #1 will get Capone… er, DC in October.