You don’t really have to fool yourself into thinking this new series isn’t intrinsically tied to Deadpool 2 to enjoy it. Domino is a character I’ve always enjoyed even from her early years in X-Force. (Editor’s Note: She even recently appeared with Deadpool in the Mercs for Money series) To be very honest, I might be a little bit in love with her. When I heard Gail Simone was going to be writing a new Marvel series, and a Domino solo no less, I was ecstatic. Neena is a character ripe with stories and opportunities for development.
I haven’t really liked her recent shift into a mercenary who only cares about money and doesn’t mind who she has to hurt to get it. Neena is first and foremost, a soldier. She’s loyal to a fault, and extremely focused on the task at hand and making sure everyone she’s responsible for gets out alive and unharmed. She has her playful femme fatale moments, but she’s not a tougher Black Cat-esque character as a lot of creators seem to want her to be. Domino #1 has a lot of things that I liked. I really liked Neena’s voice, and I think that there’s a lot of room to grow in this version of her. Even if this isn’t necessarily what I would consider my perfect Neena, it’s a helluva lot better than whoever that character is masquerading as her in Weapon X.
I absolutely loved that Neena has found friends in Outlaw and Diamondback because I see her as someone who has a deep desire to be cared about and feel safe with her team of operatives. There was a really nice rapport between Neena and the girls, and it’s nice to see gals being pals, if you get my drift. There wasn’t enough of the villain, Topaz, for me to get a feel for her. I’m sure we’ll get her twisted and/or tragic backstory in future issues, but for now I’m just hooked on finding out how she can turn Neena’s luck power off. The flashes of Neena’s insecurities about her past and her status as a mutant really worked to make her multidimensional, as well as to develop the idea of ‘what does it meant to be mutant?’ I liked this notion and hope it continues on in future issues.
Baldeon’s art was good, if not a little too shiny for my tastes. The girls were all very thin, and kind of reminded me of J. Scott Campbell in proportions. The faces are varied, and I liked that Neena did not have to be supermodel gorgeous all the time and actually had a lot of variety in her expressions. The action sequences were fluid, and the party sequence was buzzing with life. Overall, the art really fit the book and did a great job of elevating the already great script, resulting in a really well-rounded comic.
It’s always hard to do these not-really-movie-tie-in series well, but Simone and Baldeon have delivered a solid first issue that has tons of room to expand. I do worry that this series is not long for this world. Not because the quality is poor, but because Domino is not necessarily a character that can carry a book’s sales on her back alone. I fear an Iceman/Jean Grey-esque decline in this series’ future. That being said, this first issue is a strong start to a series that might only last 12 issues, but hell, I’m gonna enjoy those 12 issues.