FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: MARVEL’S X-MEN: DOMINO
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by Robert Greenberger
Rob Liefeld was an amazing idea factory during his first tenure at marvel Comics, brimming with characters and concepts. They came so fast that it took a while before we got to know them all but many were rapidly embraced by the fans. among those was Domino, co-created by Liefeld and writer Fabian Nicieza, showing up in X-Force as a former member of the Wild Pack, which is where the young mutant met cable television for the first time.
Over time, others got to explore Neena Thurman and how she discovered to use her mutant probability-altering powers (not dissimilar to Gambit or even the Scarlet Witch). She has headlined her own miniseries and been a popular supporting player ever because her 1992 debut. With Zazie Beetz bringing her to life in next year’s Deadpool 2, marvel is priming the pump, first with the new Gail Simone-written Domino ongoing along with X-Men: Domino¸ a 288-page collection of her major solo appearances.
She first received her own eponymous miniseries in 1997, courtesy of Ben Raab, David Perrin and Harry Candelario. Here, Domino tracks a missing former lover, fights Deathstike, and learns bits about her origins. similar to the weapon X program, she was the result of a government breeding operation to create the ideal weapon and, of course, she is the sole survivor. She was rescued by her mother, who now heads a cult known as the Armajesuits, and entrusted to dad Rudolpho Boschelli in Chicago, where she grew up.
Six years later, Brian Stelfreeze stepped in to go deeper into her background in the second, eponymous miniseries. Co-written with Joe Pruett, Domino goes searching for her mother. In this case, she comes across another secret government project, this one called Armageddon. Here, she learns that the ideal weapon was originated from the genetic material of her mother, a precognitive mutant dubbed Beatrice, although that’s nor her real name. Not only does she locate mother but finds she has a brother, a fellow mutant using the codename Lazarus. The family dynamic is a complex one and there remain threads left to explore.
X-Force: Sex & violence #3
Next up is X-Force: Sex & Violence, a three-issue 2010 miniseries from cowriters Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost with art by Gabriele Dell’Otto. Domino digs once much more into her past, and brings Wolverine along for the ride. As Yost told Wizard, “Domino has a hit put out on her and Wolverine and Domino go out to get that hit taken off of her. It’s practically like a road film with these two. They’ve had a past–I wouldn’t call it a relationship, but they know each other. They’re up against the worst killers on the planet. That’s a relationship we really wished to get into in X-Force, but because X-Force is so story driven, we don’t have a lot of time for some of those personal moments and this is where we can really explore that relationship.”
It’s interesting to note that all three devote themselves to her mysterious and seemingly tragic past. With luck, as her profiles increases, much more will be made with her in a contemporary setting. After all, even marvel says the full extent of her powers stays unknown. A lot can be made with that.
Domino also had a short story in X-Force & cable television annual ’95 and the eight-page “The Gamut” was written by Todd DeZago and illustrated by Daerick Gross. Arcade turns up to taunt her but she turns the tables on hm.
Then in A+X #10, Domino and Wanda Maximoff finally partner in a story from Adam Warren. It’s a good look at the similarity of their powers yet different ways of using them.
Finally, there is Uncanny X-Men annual (2016) with another Domino short from Anthony Piper as she addresses remnants of the terrigen mists that blanketed Earth.
Now a fixture in the marvel Universe, and poised for higher profile, Domino’s earlier stories show lots of potential and collected, will do a good job introducing newer readers to this character.