DOMINO #2 / Writer: Gail Simone / Artist: David Baldeon / Colorist: Jesus Aburtov / Letterer: Clayton Cowles / Publisher: Marvel / Release Date: June 13, 2018
I think we need to make this official- go steady or whatever. *Ahem*
“Domino is my favorite ongoing comic right now. I love it and I don’t care who knows it!”
I’m sorry was that too forward? Well, I can’t help myself, okay? I read a lot of comics. I mean… probably more than I have time for, which should explain why I’m behind on so many. Sometimes, it feels like a chore. I know, it really shouldn’t, but inevitably it does tend to feel like that at times. So, when among the hordes of comics, a particular book ignites this inexplicable joy in my soul that temporarily erases my incessant infatuation with accomplishing an impossible number of tasks within an irritatingly finite time frame, I fall in love. In Domino #3, Neena deals with the aftermath of her boat exploding with her friends aboard and despairs in the fact that everyone around her always dies.
When we read stories, we want to connect with the characters, especially the main one, in a way that allows us to feel what they feel. For a writer, that’s one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish. Why do we care about what these people are going through? How does it relate to us? In Domino’s case, the fear of being alone is an inherently human trait. That theme runs strong throughout this issue and provokes Neena to become an avenger. No, not like Cap, Thor, and the rest of those guys. She’s about to avenge her friends’ deaths.
The first page captures her pain. Body sprawled on the deck. She’s hurt, physically and emotionally. She doesn’t even have the will to move. Her narrative captions fit snugly with the image, and though I’m not to the point in this review where I praise David Baldeon to high heaven just yet, I must note that this is perfect example of how well he knows how to capture Gail’s writing. In any case, we get black and white peeks into Domino’s past that dissolve into righteous anger that requires the intimacy of a “hands-on-cuz-gunz-won’t-let-me-feel-her-neck-snapping” approach, and as per usual, the action does not disappoint.
What really makes the book tick for me is how well characterized each individual is. They have personality and charisma, each in their own way. There isn’t a stale line of dialogue, and it all feels naturally human. This, lending credence to my first point, is how we connect to this comic and the characters within it. The broad story is compelling. However, it’s the nuanced action and dialogue that makes me sit down and get comfortable while reading rather than trying to speed through the pages because I know I have to also read all my other comics. Top that with the reveal at the end of the issue (which I totally called halfway through!) and you have a series readers crave each month.
David is made for this story. The frown Domino makes before she attacks. The maleficence in the spectacle-veiled eyes of the mad scientist. These are the aspects that bring the enormity of this situation to real friggin’ life. I particularly liked he how captured Domino’s old school look in one of Domino #3’s flash backs. Then there’s the action and distress marks, which he uses in applicable moments of scenes, the kind of moments that make us cringe, as intended. To top all that off, I’m a fan of strong inking lines, and that seems to be a strong point of his style. Visually, it brings each aspect of his art pages together.
Meanwhile, Aburtov makes it a point to enhance all of Baldeon’s art with vibrant coloring. He does an excellent job with light balance, as well, such as in the pages with Domino and Topaz fighting at dusk on the ship deck. Then there are the added details, such as when Topaz uses her abilities on Domino, that help to tighten that tension. I mean, really, what more can we ask for? The cover, by Greg Land, is also pretty intriguing, depicting the ladies out on a getaway run, money blowing in the wind. Of course, that isn’t part of the book, but it’s still very merc-like of them and a pretty fun image.
As I stated, this is my favorite ongoing. It’s excruciating to wait for the next issue every month, and the one coming up in July is going to be incredible based on this issue’s set up alone. I won’t reveal what is happening here, because you all need to be reading. But I can assure you, it’s going to be good. If you haven’t listed this book, I’m telling you now to go do so. You won’t regret it. I love this creative team, and more than ever, I love Domino. Do yourself the favor.
Verdict: 5 out of 5