Neena Thurman has had a long day. She’s got a mysterious old man and a mutant named Topaz following her around for some undetermined reason. As if that’s not enough, they also just killed her best friends! DOMINO #3 changes the pace of the series thus far as it traverses the losses Neena has previously experienced in her life.

As a result, writer Gail Simone presents a tale that digs into the origins of Domino, giving readers a clear picture of the iconic assassin in addition to her deepest fears.

domino #3
DOMINO #3 page 1. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

A Living Target

DOMINO #3 picks up right where DOMINO #2 left off: Domino witnessing a boat carrying her best friends blow up. The issue then segues into a grim flashback, one that depicts Neena as a child living within some sort of facility. The issue continuously visits these flashbacks that ultimately depict the birth of Domino, her abilities, and the birthmark on her face that a sadistic doctor gave to her.

Now, perhaps the most tragic aspect of Neena’s time in that facility was the fact that she once had friends who lived there with her. One day though, she woke up to find that all of her friends were gone. As a result, her greatest fear lies in the loss of those closest to her. Unfortunately for Neena, she had to experience that feeling once again.

After witnessing the death of her friends, Domino falls into a rage. She proceeds to beat Topaz, who unfortunately unleashes her painful powers upon Domino. Topaz manages to escape right before Domino encounters another surprise: her friends standing before her. They managed to survive the explosion by jumping from the boat right before it blew!

Though Domino feels indescribable relief, there is one aspect about the whole situation that continues to bother her. She believes one of her friends sold her out to Topaz. As a result, we come to discover that Domino had her friend Amadeus Cho investigate her friends to see if any of them did such a thing.

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Survival of the Fittest

After a private meeting with Amadeus, he reveals his suspicions of Diamondback. Though he is not totally confident in his suspicions, he found it strange that she predicted the boat’s explosion only moments before it occurred. However, both Domino and Amadeus remain unsure if Diamondback would actually turn to the other side.

The issue ends with Domino making a difficult decision. In an effort to get some time alone and find a way to defeat Topaz, she travels to Hong Kong solo to meet with Shang-Chi to learn how to perfect the use of her powers.

DOMINO #3 is arguably the series’ best installment so far. The issue depicts varying facets of Domino’s character from her ability to feel rage to her ability to feel hopeless. The depiction of her vulnerabilities throughout the series has made her a relatable character, which is refreshing to witness.

Also, the inclusion of flashbacks into Domino’s past strengthen that characterization further. They align with the present narrative well without seeming out of place. As a result, Simone establishes a cohesive story that moves at a slower pace than its predecessors but benefits the overall series as it provides Domino with more focused development.

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DOMINO #3 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Many Hues of DOMINO #3

Artists David Baldeón, Anthony Piper, and Jesus Aburtov showcase some beautiful work in Neena’s flashback sequences. The minimalist nature of these pages truly emphasizes Neena’s isolation. It also emphasizes the coldness and inhumanity of the facility she was forced to live in as a child.

Thus, these pages provide an interesting juxtaposition to the rest of the work that maintains an abundance of vibrancy. Aburtov excels in the color palette he uses, particularly in the opening sequence. I enjoy his usage of red hues when Topaz unleashes her powers upon Domino.

The one main flaw of DOMINO #3’s artwork is that the illustrations can come across as a little too cartoonish at times. However, this only happens in a few panels.

So, overall, the artwork of DOMINO #3 finds its best moments in the flashback sequences and its broad array of colors. In these aspects, the issue is truly given life that exemplifies Domino’s each and every action and thought.

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What Lies Beyond

DOMINO #3 is yet another awesome addition to the Domino mythos. It thickens the overarching story arc regarding Topaz while also providing its titular mercenary with deeper context.

Now, though, it will be interesting to see Domino take some time for herself. Much of the series thus far has emphasized her relationship with her friends. So, it will be interesting to see Domino continue without them.

Stay tuned for what lies ahead for Domino and her ongoing battle with the mysterious Topaz as she takes a “vacation” in Hong Kong!

DOMINO #3 by Gail Simone, David Baldeón, Anthony Piper, & Jesus Aburtov
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
DOMINO #3 reduces the pace the series has maintained so far. In doing so, the issue lets its main character breathe and reveal her past and current state of being.
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