Domino Annual #1
Brought together for all you lucky, lucky people, five tales too big for Domino’s best-selling solo series! Neena Thurman’s never works alone… She keeps her friends close and her lovers closer! Witness a day in the life of the our beloved sassy merc with a heart of gold. The origin of Domino’s posse! Cable takes a bath! Colossus and Domino rekindled? Plus: Dom’s not the only mutant wearing her X-gene on her sleeve… don’t miss the first appearance of the RejeX!
With a dizzying mix of talent all wrapped up in a spectacular cover by artist Greg Land and partner in crime Frank D’Armata that promises some thrills and spills and an equally stunning variant cover by the fearless Frank Cho and sublime Sabine Rich, get ready for the roller coaster ride of a day in the life of Lady Luck herself.
Dead Drunk In Dry Gulch
Of course Gail Simone gives the definitive lead in with the first real story and is joined by artist Victor Ibáñez, who gives the backdrop described by Dom herself as “half-ass-to-nowhere” some realism and life and Jay David Ramos in his only coloring outing within the completed issue and they roll their sleeves up and wade into it to tell the long awaited origin of the Posse. And deliver in spades.
Foo Fighters, team-up origin tales and misappropriated Sentinel heads….what more could you possibly want? Our girls in the Posse get their first interaction here and though it’s only briefly touched on, it does link in admirably to her series and fleshes out the relationship between the trio which, due to all the full on action going on in the main title, has left little room for this without a flashback and I usually do NOT love a flashback in the middle of a drama, as we all know….*rolls eyes*. It is totally warranted here and so doesn’t detract from the perils of her current situation. And an added bonus, given that the traitor storyline has also been resolved, we don’t have any uncomfortable dangling plots or unrevealed betrayals to worry about. The relationship shown here between Neena, Rachel and Inez is unsullied. And as all good action packed movies do, it shuts off before the main event and leaves you hanging, with an ambiguous freeze frame that allows your imagination to run riot. Thelma & Louise, The Italian Job and Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid all spring to mind. I could almost even hear a heavy rock beat crank up in the back of my mind, filling in the blanks…that is, once the country had stopped on the Jukebox. And thanks to letterer VC’s Clayton Cowles for blending that into the background so subtly.
The Good Fight
Fabian Nicieza writes a solid story of the past with Juan Gedeon giving us the much needed grim and gritty future landscape and Jesus Aburtov, who goes on to color all the following tales, linking each one in thematically, while enabling the artists to all show their individual style admirably.
At first I had a bit of a problem with this one, thinking this was opening as Domino’s memory, and we all know that was NOT Domino in the bath with Cable back in X-Force #6, bur Copycat pretending to be her and Neena was only revealed (not counting the flashback story about the Wild Pack in X-Force #8) as captive of Tolliver/Tyler in X-Force #11 and then finally revealed to Cable himself in X-Force #14 and so on. So the fact Fabian Nicieza was telling this story began to feel a little uncomfortable, as he was writer of all those issues too. But he nailed it and mentions, of course, that it was in fact Vanessa all along, making things right with the world again, even adding the dialogue verbatim from the infamous bath scene, and dropping in the added insight that Cable wanted to believe, as it helped him at an iconic turning point in his life. But then I got a little lost again as he then ended it (weirdly) as being all Cable’s memory about Vanessa. Not a single thought was actually about Domino herself. And so that makes this, albeit only slightly, the “weakest link” in the chain. Which was highly ironic to my mind, considering Cable’s own name was retconned by daddy Slym to mean “a cable that unites the past with the present and the future”. Although in and of itself it IS still a strong story.
And on to Dennis Hopeless, who, with Leonard Kirk and again Jesus Aburtov, gives us the definitive closure story about Domino and another of her “metal men” in a truly ….satisfying way with some assured chemistry between the pair.
And this one comes immediately after Cable’s, with no obvious bridging title, which was a little jarring at first. But hey, it’s Colossus, so it’s forgiven, and so that’s all I need to say. With some purloined Crimson Dynamo armor, post-wedding breakup Pete and some heartfelt friends just being there and helping friends for no other reason than they feel they need to without taking sides, this one had it all. He has been seen going from the jilted groom in Gold to drunken slob in Astonishing and this was the one and only recounting that he actually returned to Russia as he said he might in X-Men Gold #31. As such this is itself pure gold. That she was the one to find him is a nice touchstone that reminds us their time together was short but sweet, and also makes up for her slightly hurt and hurtful comment to him at her party in Domino #1. And just like the time Wolverine took him to a bar after that other breakup, this was some damned good medicine and she reminds us that for Colossus, when all else fails, all that’s needed to distract from the pain is to feel ANYTHING else, even if it’s getting the heart beating during a fight, or…other things. Go Neena.
Domino & The RejeX
The final real story in the mix is told amazingly well by Leah Williams, with art by Natacha Bustos adding some still and calm to the proceedings and again the stalwart colorist Jesus Aburtov. The Breakfast Club of the mutant world could have come off as a who cares but becomes a Who’s Who of lost and found and, in some cases, very missed faces.
Also considering there is no action setup it does a great job of informing about our girl. Some altogether surprise appearances here. Some all-time favorites and some not so much, but all of whom share a common bond, despite their obvious differences. For myself, I think I spent some bemused moments going back and forth unbelieving of the sight before my eyes that can only have been….KYLUN!!!! Many others would have been more blown away by Marrow, Beak, Stacy X or Maggott, who has recently shown up inexplicably in one place or another, like Elvis in a chip shop. I have to say I don’t CARE. Kylun is where it’s at. KYLUN folks!!! And even though this one was pure talking heads, and Domino barely showed up save for as the Keyser Söze type mastermind of the whole operation, I kind of loved this one the most. Partly because (yes, Kylun, we know Steve) but no, also because the support group goes some way to exploring the mutant dilemma and that age-old question. How can humanity accept them if they can’t accept themselves AND EACH OTHER? …Aaaahhhh bless. Clayton Cowles made one tiny mistake with the spelling of Kurt’s “sehr gut” by spelling it serh, but given the admirable job of feeding in the group chant, which brought to mind the Alcoholics Anonymous Serenity Prayer, it is a small foible. I loved the fact Stacy had a stand-up moment defending her reason for being there, especially as then the comment by Eye Boy gets mistaken for a dig by Briquette. Even Beak, which brought things full circle with another reference to Domino #1 in which he got a mention, was a worthwhile addition. Plus, it was a group set up BY Domino, and even without her being there much it showed a lot about her character and the long road she has traveled over the years. And it may be that they all return as well, if Marvel’s blurb, which I shamelessly stole above, is to be believed! I wants me a miniseries!!
Saturdays Are For The Body Count
To describe this as a nonstory would be doing it a grave injustice, as it is the one set piece that links all the others together. Artist Michael Shelfer and again completest colorist Jesus Aburtov join Leah Williams as she guides us through the whole book and relates a day in the life of our pugnacious, pigmentationally challenged merc and ties each vignette together seamlessly.
Though it seems to serve only as a bookend between the opening and closing tales Domino’s voice is clear throughout. And with a page bridging all of the other tales it keeps the narrative flowing and threads the whole disparate bunch together whilst adding some insight into them all and making them believably connected. As Domino prepares for her day, while some bohunk (James?) lies passed out in her bed and she reflects on her luck power….yeah, lucky is right. Then a circus gig dressed as a clown, a swamp kill, a Lolita style hit in the park which is almost a favor rather than a paid job, and then finally back home to be welcomed by Kurt and Pip.
And again while this is only a narrative that draws the others together and not really a story in itself, it is nonetheless important, as it serves to help the other ingredients gel so well, as well as give Dom a final thought for the day, giving us a heads up that things will be back to full fighting fury next issue. Speaking of…..
10th October 2018: DOMINO #7. After the explosive events of “Killer Instinct” and DOMINO ANNUAL #1, Neena Thurman has a new mission…Don’t miss the surprise hit series critics are calling: “Everything a comic should be.” – Ross Hutchinson, ComicWatch; “A must-have purchase.” – Rollin Bishop, comicbook.com; “If you haven’t been reading this series, you should correct that mistake immediately.” – Matt Morrison, Kabooooom! But before even that, don’t forget to catch up on the previous issue, a review of which you can find by our very own Ross Hutchinson right here.
3rd October 2018: WHAT IF? X-MEN #1. The X-Men as you never imagined! Welcome to the EXE/scape, a digital wonderland of business and pleasure accessible to anyone with the social (or monetary) capital for the bio-mods needed to log in… Or you can bypass all of that by being born carrying an. EXE/gene! But circumventing the login regulations is exactly what got the likes of Charles Xavier and his .EXE/men banned and driven underground in the first place… Free-roamers u/Domino and u/Cable have taken every dirty job there is on the ‘scape, but when a simple data scrubbing job turns bad, the life of bio-mod magnate Erik Lehnsherr hangs in the balance, and with it, their very society… It’s a whole new world of X-Men by Bryan Edward Hill (Detective Comics), Neil Edwards (Justice League) and Giannis Milonogiannis (Ghost in the Shell: Global Neural Network)!
Overall a great mix of creative talent, with everyone getting an equal share of the spoils and delivering a view of Domino in their own definitive voice. All of whom manage to seamlessly blend the larger story into one grand piece, without the narrative or art coming off jarring. A major achievement considering the vastly different cast of “Unusual Suspects” on hand.
Domino Annual #1 Causin’ A Commotion
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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