After crossing paths with the mysterious Topaz and her villainous, elderly companion, Domino came to realize that she was no longer in total control of her abilities. So, Domino decided to take matters into her own hands and travel to Hong Kong to train with the notable Shang-Chi. Alongside her newest ally, our titular merc began learning the ways in which she could regain her confidence and fight back against her deadly enemies, which brings us to DOMINO #5.

Writer Gail Simone’s latest work kicks off immediately where its predecessor left off. During a night out on the town, Shang-Chi and Domino found themselves cornered by a multitude of Shang-Chi’s old enemies.

Now, Domino must channel all she has learned to defeat those who wish to destroy her.

The questions is though, is she ready?

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DOMINO #5 page 1. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Luck is Back in Style

As Shang-Chi and Domino prepare to begin battling it out against their date crashers, Shang-Chi implores Domino to summon her abilities so that they may gain an advantage in the fight. However, Domino expresses doubt in herself and becomes fearful.

In the midst of her doubts, she finds a glimmer of hope through Shang-Chi. He continues motivating her to believe that she can attain control of her powers once more. So, Domino holds onto that hope and lets her powers roam free. Finally regaining control, she and Shang-Chi defeat their enemies with ease.

This sequence of DOMINO #5 is by far the issue’s best moment. It features our titular hero at her most confident and badass, bringing her arc thus far seamlessly together.

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Now, as Domino continues her Hong Kong adventures, her friends Diamondback and Outlaw encounter their own inconveniences. In the midst of a battle with Prototype and Topaz, Diamondback and Outlaw learn new facts about the origins of Domino’s latest enemies.

Following their traumatic tenure getting experimented on by Topaz’s own father, who’s present during the battle, Prototype and Topaz became homeless. They relied on each other for survival as their hatred for mutants festered. As a result of this hatred, they vow to kill Domino and attempt to kill Diamondback.

In response to this, Outlaw retaliates, but the two evade her clutches. However, Outlaw manages to notch one win during the scuffle as she shoots, and seemingly kills, Topaz’s father.

Overall, DOMINO #5 gives the narrative that dynamic movement it was missing in its last issue. Consequently, we can sense that the current plotline is coming together in a cohesive manner, exemplifying the awesome character development Simone has instilled in Domino herself.

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DOMINO #5 page 3. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Many Hues of DOMINO #5

At this point, I probably sound like a broken record, but I still cannot manage to engage with the art of this series. Don’t get me wrong, there are some strong aspects. I have greatly enjoyed colorist Jesus Aburtov’s work in the flashback sequences featuring Topaz’ interactions with Prototype.

Generally, though, I feel as if the artwork of this series has not quite matched the tone of it. Sure, objectively, the series is a fun time. It’s full of humor and wit. However, it is also shrouded in some serious themes and storylines. As a result, the cartoonish aspects of the series’ art, particularly this issue’s art, do not juxtapose the thematic elements of the narrative well.

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With that being said, I do find one sequence to stand out amongst the rest. The sequence in which Domino confidently walks by her enemies is without a doubt an awesome series of panels. Guest artist Michael Shelfer perfectly exemplifies Domino regaining her control. You can feel the authority she has regained in that page, and that element is a perfect fit with the characterization of Domino throughout the series.

Unfortunately, though, the issue as a whole struggles to find balance. At times, characters appear inconsistently depicted. Thus, the artwork once again proves to be one of this series’ most troublesome points.

What Lies Beyond

DOMINO hit a roadblock in its last issue. Thankfully, DOMINO #5 got the series over that obstacle through some epic character development. New revelations regarding Topaz and Prototype’s past only deepened their complexities as villains. Most importantly, DOMINO #5 featured our titular character’s return to form.

She’s regained her confidence and control of her abilities. Thus, she’s finally ready to kick some Topaz ass.

DOMINO #5 by Gail Simone, Michael Shelfer, David Baldeón, & Jesus Aburtov
DOMINO #5 picks up the series' momentum by giving its titular character multiple moments to shine.
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