WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Contagion #1 by Ed Brisson, Rogê Antônio, Veronica Gandini and Cory Petit, on sale now.
A dangerous virus has just been unleashed on the Marvel Universe. In Contagion, we find out exactly what happens when the world's biggest superheroes are taken over by a mysterious ailment that turns them against the very people they swore to protect. However, while we knew the series would focus on street-level heroes Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Moon Knight, Iron Fist and the Thing, much of Contagion's details were kept under wraps.
Now, with the release of the weekly series' first issue, we finally have some answers -- and it's safe to say it packs a few surprises. In addition to revealing the start of the mysterious infection, Contagion #1 reveals it is actually, secretly, an Iron Fist story.
While Marvel released a preview for Contagion #1 that showed the frightening titular contagion surface on Yancy Street, the issue actually begins on the other side of the world. In K'un-Lun, Sparrow, the mystical city's latest Yu-Ti, is rapidly taken to a newly-discovered staircase that leads underneath the temple. Somehow, the ancient city has no records of this staircase, which leads to tunnels and catacombs. There, the Thunderer sees what became of the three men who were sent in to explore these tunnels -- and we now see that this is where the virus at the heart of Contagion has originated.
We may not know its real source, but it is ancient, and somehow tied to the history of K'un-Lun. Then, after the contagion surfaces on Yancy Street, Danny Rand is woken in the middle of the night by Sparrow. "I'm sorry for approaching you like this," she says, "but your entire world is about to be destroyed, Daniel-Kai." And Danny, of course, doesn't hesitate to jump in to help.
There may be a lot of mystery still surrounding this contagion, but given its connection to K'un-Lun, Danny Rand is probably the Marvel Universe's best hope for survival.
Upon its announcement, Contagion was billed as a street-level hero series and while that may certainly be true, Iron Fist has just been revealed as the lead character. It stands to reason that he will be the one to put a new team together to fight off the infected, as he might be the only who has any hope of understanding where this virus comes from -- and how the infected can be saved.
Therefore, it would appear as if Brisson will return to the character he briefly penned during Marvel's short-lived 2017 Legacy relaunch. Now, he's once again guiding Iron Fist on his next adventure -- one where the entire fate of the Marvel Universe is in Danny Rand's iron hands.