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The Fly Outbreak #3

Review by Paul Bowler

In his attempt to cure Anton’s mutation with the telepods, Martin, human son of the late scientist Seth Brundle, is horrified when the DNA transfer causes Anton to mutate into a new fly-creature. After the mutant is killed Martin and his staff are quarantined by the military at an old hospital on North Border Island, where he continues his search for a cure as people being to exhibit symptoms of the transgenic infection. Now, as the quarantine begins to take its toll in The Fly Outbreak #3, Martin is becoming increasingly obsessed by his work. Medication is keeping the infection under control for some, at least for now, but as Martin reaches a possible breakthrough it may already be too late as the human-fly hybrids begin to hatch…

The Fly Outbreak #3 continues this new IDW five part horror mini-series, written by Brandon Seifert and with art by mention3. Inspired by David Cronenberg’s, The Fly (1986), and its sequel, The Fly II (1989), Brandon Seifert and mention 3’s comic book series deftly splices the DNA of the films with its grisly new storyline and strikingly unsettling visuals as it teleports the saga into even darker realms of macabre horror and twisted morality.

Brandon Seifert wrings every ounce of tension from the premise of this comic book sequel to the Fly films. This issue finds Martin Brundle haunted by grotesque visions of an outbreak of human-fly hybrids. Wracked with guilt and self loathing as he struggles to find a cure for the infected, Martin also longs to be reunited with his wife, Beth, as the endless quarantine drags on and the inevitably of an outbreak looms over everything.

The Fly Outbreak #3 (Cover)

As the story begins to explore the nature of the experiments Martin originally conducted to cure his own condition, which in turn subsequently provides a very morally ambiguous solution to treat the infected, the unsettling psychological themes and body horror from the films is elevated to a whole new level of terror as events begin spiralling out of control.

The amazing art by mention 3 perfectly harnesses the simmering tension and stark clinical tone of the hospital facility. It makes for an incredibly oppressive issue: the creeping nature of the slow, gradual mutation of the infected is chillingly relayed, Martin is like a fly caught in a web of chaos, constantly hunched over glowing computer screens, lurching from one horrific discovery or revelation to the next, the shadows growing ever darker, and all the while the sheer dread of the hapless victims plight insidiously weaves its cocoon around our jangled nerves. At times mention 3’s art almost makes you feel like you are peering out from inside one of the faceless officers bio-hazard gas masks, your breath whooshing thunderously against the masks filters, as the stifling, claustrophobic atmosphere begins to seep from the page and close in around you.

Martin ultimately finds himself unable to escape from the shadow of his father’s legacy. The dye is already cast from the moment his proposal to cure the infected is shot down in flames by the faceless officials enforcing the quarantine. As Martin’s world slowly begins to slide into despair at the bottom of a bottle, he knows that the technology of the telepods, his work, and even his tireless attempts to find a cure for the infected from this outbreak will only result in the irony of him being branded the bogeyman of science whatever the eventual outcome may be.

When the outbreak happens the new human-fly hybrids are born into the world in a stylish haze of shadow and half-seen forms, it’s all thrilling stuff, and wisely doesn’t reveal everything too soon. The situation looks extremely bleak, although Martin does manage to find some hope from an unexpected quarter during the closing moments, and the ominously paced cliff-hanger hints at the full scale of the outbreak to come…

The Fly Outbreak #3 “ Metamorphosis” provides a nail-biting turning point in this new IDW mini-series. Brandon Seiferts great story and the unnerving intensity of the artwork by mention3 ensure there’s a plethora of shocks and gross-out moments for horror fans to enjoy. If you like your horror brutally dark, visceral, and with a gelatinously twisted moral edge, then IDW’s The Fly Outbreak is the comic book mini-series for you.