Domino: Hotshots #1 Review
Writer: Gail Simone
Artists: David Baldeon
Cover Artist: R.B. Silvia & Nolan Woodard
Variant Cover Artists: Rian Gonzales, J. Scott Campbell & Sabine Rich
Colors: Jim Charalampidis
Letters: Clayton Cowels
Previously in Domino…
Probability-field altering mutant Neena Thurman had founded her own mercenary group “the Posse” alongside fellow mutant Inez Templeton aka Outlaw, and explosives-expert Rachel Leighton aka Diamondback, as the trio took on several world-saving missions. The last of said missions lead to the Posse encountering young Wakandan Shoon’Kwa aka Atlas Bear, an exile with the ability to predict cataclysmic events. With the rich teen’s resources, the Posse is set to take on even greater threats…
Summary with limited spoilers
This issue opens on the Antarctic coastline, as a strange object crashes down from space, near two scientists (one from Russia, the other South Korea) studying climate change. The first scientist, Dr. Gavrie Marazov, approaches the crater, only to be bombarded by the object’s energy, bonding him to a strange alien gauntlet.
The comic then cuts to Paris, France, as Domino meets world-renowned super-spy, Natasha Romanov, aka the Black Widow. Natasha invited Neena here seeking the help of the Posse to track down the two scientists from earlier, who managed to leave the Antartic and make their way to Argentina before disappearing. Neena agrees to this, as she reveals to Natasha that another super-spy, Ami Han, aka the White Fox of South Korea, had contacted her just before Natasha did, with an identical request. So the three reluctantly agree to work together and board the Wakandan aircraft Shoon’Kwa provided the Posse in order to make their way to Argentina.
Aboard the ship, Neena makes it clear to Shoon’Kwa, Natasha and Ami that she will not tolerate a double-cross, and that none of the three are allowed to try and claim the gauntlet for their home countries. They’re going to get this gauntlet to keep it out of humanity’s collective hands.
Now joined by Shoon’Kwa, Inez and Rachel, the group arrives in Buenos Aires, where Ami has arranged a meeting with the two missing scientists, behind the walls of Cementario De La Recoleta, the most well-known cemetery in Argentina. The atmosphere suitably tense, the two scientists reveal themselves, and the second, Dr. Guen, makes the group an offer. Asking for money, immunity and safe asylum, she and Gavrie will allow whichever country bids the highest to study the gauntlet. And Natasha, Shoon’Kwa and Ami all start trying to bid…
This cover is pretty stylish and slick, highlighting Domino and her new teammates for this miniseries. R.B. Silva and Nolan Woodard make each member of the team intimidating and cool! I particularly like how layered each character’s hair looks, something Silva has always excelled at.
Opinions on story and art
Now, THIS is one fun first issue! I was quite sad at the cancellation of Gail Simone and David Baldeon’s Domino solo series, finding it the most entertaining comic Marvel was publishing at the time, and one of the most visually dazzling. So I was slightly relieved when this follow-up miniseries was announced. And I’m very happy to report that Gail & David return to Neena, Inez and Rachels’ exploits with style and grace!
Joined by new colorist Jim Charalampidis, David Baldeon’s artwork has never looked better! The action sequences in this issue are quick and powerful, a perfect fit for marital arts-fighters like Black Widow, and Domino’s probability powers. The new coloring also allows for a more serious tone to the story, as the previous series balanced between action and comedy, both visually and narratively, this miniseries seems to be striving for a more dramatic tone. And I must say, David Baldeon draws some of the best “Kirby-Krackle” cosmic effects of any modern artist I’ve ever come across! Someday this man should draw some Fourth World comics for DC, as Baldeon conveys the otherworldy-intensity and splendour of comics energy flawlessly! The moment Gavrie has the gauntlet on his arm, and the last splash page of the issue are the visual stand-outs easily. Also? The visual details of this comic are a delight, from Domino drinking coffee out of a Fantastic Four mug to Diamondback struggling to hop off the wall after the rest of the team has, they all bring a smile to my face!
Gail Simone’s writing and dialogue are as wonderfully gripping and alluring as David Baldeon and Jim Charalampidis’s art! From the always fun monologue captions of Neena herself to Inez’s delightful southernism, Simone’s dialogue is just as fun as ever! And newcomers Black Widow and White Fox likewise get moments to shine, alongside Simone and Baldeon’s co-creation, Atlas Bear! And the plot is fast-paced and enthralling beyond words. Giving the readers just enough details to keep flipping each page, but never giving away exactly what the gauntlet is, or what the true motivations of Black Widow, Whtie Fox or Atlas Bear are, Simone keeps the reader on their toes! And like any comic written by her, she closes the issue with a terrific cliffhanger (one that long-time fans of Simone’s writing will particularly love)!