DOMINO: HOTSHOTS #3
It's out of the frying pan into the fire inside a volcano covered in Wade's favorite hot sauce as Domino and her Hotshots have to survive a plane crash and every mutant child's nightmare in an issue that has explosions, crashes, kisses, motorbikes, and Tony Stark!
This issue has everything except the kitchen sink…and often that can be a bad thing but not this time. The team continues their pursuit of the creation constellation. From the Kirbyesque cosmic prologue, through several action-packed scenes to the cliff hanger ending, Gail Simone writes the pants off this one. The issue swings effortlessly between knocking your socks off that good comic book high jinks ( see plane crashes and sentinel fighting) to heartfelt moments as Gail manages to give you a plane crash but at the same time have Diamondback provides an introspective monologue and insight to the character that tugs at you emotionally even as you are caught up in the action. But Gail doesn’t stop there she throws in the third element of Tony Stark monitoring the situation from a control room.
The writing delivers on so many levels as Gail manages to pack in an absolute plethora of emotions into the pages. Her Domino is not a cold-blooded mutant killing machine but a nuanced emotional character that deeply cares for her companions, has doubts, deep-seated fears and is so fully three dimensional that it pulls you in with clever notes that humanize Neena more and more. The deft touches with the other characters like Black Widow and her relationship with Stark as well as Outlaws very significant role toward the end of the issue are handled exceptionally well. At this point, my only complaint might be that I think White Fox could use a little more fleshing out but I bet Gail does that in the next two issues. Small but important parts played by Atlas Bear are all well written and throw in Wade as an additional humor element but always with that undercurrent of tragedy and you really have a perfectly balanced issue where everyone has a well-written role…also there’s kissing (Go Wade, go Rachel)
Then the art. Both David Baldeon and Micheal Shelfer deliver on this issue in the best way possible by taking Gail’s writing and giving us an issue that delivers Kirby cosmic majesty, mind-blowing visual splashes, and some exceptionally innovative paneling. The double page splash during the crash scene is nothing less than a marvel from Baldeon. The switch between the two artists is done in the right place, is almost completely seamless and this is aided by the coloring from Chalampidis.
Both Baldeon and Shelfer are adept at conveying dynamic movement and the action always feels fluid and never stutters. Michaels Shelfer’s paneling is also clever he uses off angle geometrics to add to the dynamism in the action pages. The lettering from Clayton Cowles is exactly as you would expect from one of the best letterers in the industry and Rb Silva serves up Kirby crackle magic on the cover.
This issue is a perfect balance of action, relationship dynamics, self-introspection, and good old fashion comics fun as the HOTSHOTS creative team just continue to deliver one of the best series of the year in my opinion.
DOMINO: HOTSHOTS #3: Out of the frying pan…
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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