DOMINO #2 / Writer: Gail Simone / Artist: David Baldeon / Colorist: Jesus Aburtov / Letterer: Clayton Cowles / Publisher: Marvel / Release Date: May 10, 2018
Everyone’s luck runs out eventually. Either that…or some woman with an ugly scowl takes it away for a while. Just for a little fun. In Domino #2 Neena learns what it feels like to not be herself, even if only for a few heart-hammering moments. This issue takes us further into Domino’s investigation of her last job’s set up and grants us some insight into what truly makes her afraid.
Topaz is a sick woman. I get that vibe just a few pages into the issue. The worst kind of villain…in a good way. The ones who may or may not have their nuts screwed a quarter-turn too tight. She’s also quite capable, given her ability to alter powers, as revealed early on. That could make for a worthy adversary for Neena. This constructs a dynamic that forces the merc to deal with very real possibility of losing something that she’d always had. I imagine it would be quite like losing a limb to some of us. For all of her skill and occasional recklessness, she’s always used to having that security blanket woven of good luck beneath her. For the few seconds she’s falling out of the window, she doesn’t. It terrifies her.
I love how Gail Simone guts out Neena’s emotions at the first chance she gets. It allows us to relate to her on a human level. That’s something that these superhero/metahuman books don’t always do. They typically remove the characters so far from us with their skills, powers, abilities, and feats that it’s difficult to really connect with them. Here Domino’s narration does the most, as far as showing true vulnerability with the readers. At the same time, we get a pretty clear idea of how close she, Outlaw, and Diamondback are when she allows that same vulnerability to remain when they come to check on her. Deep character exploration like this is the stuff I really love in any story.
In either case, I wasn’t mad at the little combat scene we got with Neena kicking around random thugs in the park. I’m also really digging the little highlights we get on enemy’s weak points. It reminds me of Kate Bishop in Kelly Thompson’s Hawkeye.
The action scenes are on point, which inevitably causes me to default to praising of Baldeon’s work. This man is perfect for this comic book. You know the kind of scenes you read that makes you cringe (because, ouch!), in every panel where any impact occurs? That’s the kind of stuff he produces. Plus, as I stated in the review of Domino #1, he’s got the perfect balance of eccentric expression mixed with the natural resting face that don’t give all the characters the same look.
I also must comment on the opening window shattering scene. Phenomenal! The hand, the eye the face, the narrative symbolism…all trapped within the glass? Superb work! Then he tops it off with strong ink lines and allows Jesus Aburtov to add his brilliant color work that makes every scene sing with life. I don’t know that I could ask for a more perfect creative team. I’m in love.
The cover is also beautiful of course, the party of knives and guns in the background adding a very merc-y vibe to the piece. I like Land’s art, but I would be remiss if I didn’t comment that the purposeful arm and chest positioning is just…a little much, if you get my drift. Beautiful work, nonetheless.
I am again impressed with this comic. I want more. Gail Simone is an excellent writer and one can tell how much time she takes to write her characters’ voices. She even captures Deadpool in so perfect a light that I wouldn’t mind him being a regular in this book. Plus, with the new revelations about the “old man” with Topaz, things have become far more interesting, given that there is some sort of connection between him and Domino. It seems that Simone is gearing up for a long-haul story that’s going to force Domino to become a better version of herself, and I’m excited to see what comes of that development. Go list this comic. You won’t regret it.
Verdict: 5 out of 5 Lucky Catches