Domino has beaten the odds over and over again but can any person even one as lucky as Neena Thurman get away with it so many times without any consequences?
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: David Baldeon
Color Artists: Jesus Aburtov
Cover Artist: Greg Land
Publisher: Marvel Comics
⚠WARNING: This review contains major spoilers!!⚠
What You Need To Know:
Neena Thurman aka Domino, mutant-kind’s luckiest merc is back in her own ongoing series but the question is will she survive the experience? Domino’s always been “lucky” with her subconscious ability to trigger telekinetic acts psionically, affecting the probability of outcomes in her immediate vicinity in her favor, allowing her to have “good luck” while her opponents have “bad luck” but is it all that it seems cracked up to be when she can’t control how it will help her? Even worse, what would happen if all of a sudden it was gone? Especially when you have total strangers trying to kill you…
What You’ll Find Out:
We open with a puppy… a birthday gift to Neena who is trying to rationalize all the reasons why she shouldn’t or won’t keep the puppy… the puppy wins ( looking at the said creature you will know why ) and promptly pees on Neena
Jump back 15 hours. It’s her birthday and Domino is working, having hired her services out to people that pay to get things done…whatever it takes. In this case, it means dealing with “Timber Pirates” and missing loggers and so Neena finds herself trudging along in the rain in the rural forests of the pacific northwest with one of her partners Inez Temple aka Outlaw aka Crazy Inez ( mutant superhuman strength) after a mishap with their vehicle (thanks Outlaw). They find the camp but before discussing anything in the way of a plan Domino decides to do what Domino does best: go charging in alone without a plan.
This proves a mistake. It turns out to be a setup as the “hostage”, who has her take what turns out to be a broken domino from his pocket, turns into a large monster and a skirmish ensues.We see that Neena’s “Luck” isn’t always glamorous, although it does save her from certain death there is nothing graceful (see tripping face first into mud a second before being hit by a truck so that it passes over her.) about it and that’s further aggravated when Outlaw enters the fray and well lets just say fastball special, spandex, and mud… a lot of mud.
The maneuver is acrobatic if less than graceful but ends with Domino taking down their adversaries and getting the drop on the monstrous meta who turns back into his human form. There is a really great moment when it’s revealed that the meta is, in fact, a mutant called Greywing and that he does this because unlike the “Supermodel” mutants that have just bested him this is the only work he can get. Domino and Outlaw discuss going after the runaway truck but this proves unnecessary as a vehicle rolls up revealing the third member of the team, former villain Rachel Leighton Aka Diamondback ( former villian…well trained and pretty deadly). Greywing reveals the name of the person that hired him for the setup … Topaz
Fast forward to San Francisco that evening as the team (all snappily dressed for a night out) and Greywing, real name Adelbert, whom Domino has decided to help out by letting him hide out at her place, are riding the elevator up to Neena’s apartment as Neena tries to get out of going out for her birthday only to enter her apartment to SUPRISE!!! A birthday party Outlaw and Diamondback have organized for her… cue some fantastic cameos including Deadpool and an awesome-to-see appearance by Alison Blair aka Dazzler who sings for the birthday girl and all seems well it doesn’t but bad memories and the headaches come crashing back which Neena deals with it by drinking and well Neena isn’t exactly a happy drunk…ask Colossus.
Diamondback pulls Neena out onto the balcony as Dazzler is doing a fireworks show for everyone… for fresh air and because she knows the headaches are bothering Domino. there is a really great moment between Neena (god bless you, Gail Simone,) and Rachel as she takes Neena into her bedroom to present her with her birthday gift, the aforementioned puppy (whose name is Pip) and we get insight into Neena’s up to now quite solitary existence from what Rachel says to her. Leaving the room Diamondback is met outside by Deadpool and Alex who warn her very seriously that there is a bounty out on her set by the mysterious Topaz and Wade makes it clear they need to take the threat very seriously.
Back in her room, Domino is on her bed trying to deal with a headache when she is confronted by two complete strangers in her room, an old man, and a dangerous looking redheaded woman.
When Neena questions whether she knows them and what they are doing there the old man presents her with a present mentioning that they have “the same birthday.” Opening the gift its another Domino broken into two halves. The old man orders the mean looking redhead “Topaz” to deal with Domino which she does with brutal force all the while the old man monologues asking Domino if she thought she could have all the luck shes had and never have any consequences or lose… Neena realizes in a panic as Topaz lifts her off the ground her power which she normally feels isn’t there anymore as she is thrown through the apartment window!
What Just Happened:
This is an absolute rollicking start to the series from writer Gail Simone who instantly shows her ability to get into the head of the characters she writes straight out the starting blocks. Where other writers may need several issues to inhabit the character and find the character’s voice Gail has it from the outset. She writes Neena like she has been doing it forever. The dialogue is fluid and witty with the perfect balance of fun and humor offset against the books more serious and emotional moments.
It is the perfect accompaniment to David Baldeons excellent artwork which is both stylish and distinct with a clean line style. When you combine this with Jesus Aburtov’s absolutely amazing coloring of Baldeon’s artwork you get a comic that is stylish and sucks you in from the first page
Editor of the book Chris Robinson who is credited with the assembly of the team working on the book is to be highly complimented on the team he has put together on Domino because based on this issue it’s a strong winning combination that could see Neena Thurman enjoying a long and highly regarded run in her first solo ongoing title and as a longtime Domino fan I can tell you that thrills me.
Incredible well thought, emotional but fun writing, fantastic art
We have to wait 30 days for the next issue…
This creative team has really put together a fun and exciting start. Their enthusiasm for the subject matter and what they are doing emanates straight out of the pages as you read them and is infectious. I am looking forward to more!