The opening scene see's Adelbert the mutant in a face-off against very possibly the worst cook ever in the kitchen of the Painted Lady riverboat the result of which sees Adelbert assuming the duties of the chef when he sends the former cook packing or swimming as it were. Outlaw and the injured Diamondback have made it to a hospital and after Inez deals with a bigot doctor in her own inimitable style. They get Rachel Stitched up as they get Adelbert reveals via telephone call that he, in fact, does know where Neena has gone...
Meanwhile, after facing off against a squad of assassins (see issue 5) and making it out without a scratch, a very pleased with herself Domino and Shan-Chi speed through the beautifully lit night of downtown Kowloon on a motorcycle as Domino is feeling her old
confident self. They stop for a meal and while doing so discuss Neena's ability which Shang-Chi believes could be trained even though Neena is doubtful but before they can discuss it further they are set upon by the deadly Topaz!
As they square off Domino feels the creeping doubt she has felt when they faced off before as the extremely angry Topaz reveals how Desmond aka Prototype has died due to his injuries after being struck mid-teleport by Outlaw in their previous encounter. Domino shows sympathy and offers her hand in peace to Topaz but is rebuffed as the beyond reason Topaz reveals that they have killed Rachel! Shang-Chi ever the teacher pushes his pupil to control her gift but the grief-stricken and anger filled Domino isn't listening as she removes him from the equation so she can face her nemesis alone.
The throwdown is brutal as the two adversaries take each other on in a fight to the death but although Domino fights hard, Topaz is too strong, too resilient and ultimately her efforts are in vain as Topaz reaches into her and amplifies Domino's ability, bringing a world of hurt to Domino as she falls in pain. But then an epiphany!
Neena focuses and fights back and we learn that Domino's ability is about her focus and as she resists Topaz's control we are treated to some of the best writing and panels drawn by team domino this entire series: "IAMADISNEYPRINCESS!" as Neena gives Topaz a royal thumping. Still Topaz refuses to stay down and it looks like even this effort from Neena won't keep her nemesis down! Enter the cavalry in the form of The Posse and a quinjort!! The dust settles as Neena is reunited with her posse including the not dead Diamondback.
Domino takes Inez's guns and turns to face her enemy who has been felled in the aftermath of the crashing quinjort and although Neena is admonished by the now conscious Shang-Chi to control herself and not give in to anger, Domino knows from looking into the eyes of Topaz that Topaz will never stop coming after her or the people she loves unless she is stopped permanently so she does what needs to be done...
A satisfying end to the first arc as Gail Simone ties up the loose ends in a neat bow with the epilogue of the issue answering the question of who the traitor was and having Neena reflect on the lessons learned from the experience. Gail humanizes Domino perhaps better in this issue than any other writer before by taking us through Neena’s emotional and psychological state with an internal monologue which is both clever and insightful. From Domino rationalising Topaz’s death, to her reflecting with sadness on having been part of destroying perhaps two more sad and broken products of Project Armageddon to her acknowledgment of the love she has for Inez and Rachel and the realization that there is strength in the bond of love and companionship something she has never truly had before. it’s always great to see a character one loves to grow and become more.
David Baldeons art is spectacular, His ability to convey dynamic motion is one of my favorite things about this series. I love the uniqueness and expressiveness of his facial drawings which add an additional emotional element to what is happening on the page. His paneling is neat and easy to follow. Jesus Aburtov’s colors are gorgeous, sumptuous and vivid on every page and he is fast becoming one of my favorite colorists at Marvel. Clayton Cowles lettering is great and page 15 where Neena is taking it to Topaz is an excellent example of how sound effects lettering can add an additional level of atmosphere to an action sequence.
I need to also take a moment to acknowledge Greg Land. His covers for the first six issues of the series have been exceptional.
It's been an exciting, funny and an insightful first arc which has had everything from great action sequences to good character development to tons of laughs, all put together by a group of professionals whose love for the material they are producing is evident on every page. Throw in the little inside jokes like Diamondback wearing an Iron Man shirt or her one-liner about owing Captain America good time and it's easy to understand why I have loved this series so much so far.
I highly recommend the series to anyone looking for a beautifully drawn, superbly written action series with a great dose of humor and heart.
Domino #6 Epiphanies and endings…
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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