A Beginner's Guide to Domino

Guide to Domino - Cover
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

Domino is becoming a very important name for fans of Marvel Comics. The character is receiving her own series this week, the third solo title since her creation and very first ongoing, and will soon be making a big-screen debut in Deadpool 2. For readers familiar with the mutant, both of those facts may come as a surprise, because Domino is a character that is packed with a lot more potential than her series and film appearances thus far seem to indicate.

That's why we're digging into Domino for any fans with only a glancing knowledge of the character, if any at all. Domino is one of the greats from X-Force history and is long overdue for some serious recognition in comics and movies. So if you're interested in learning more before checking out Domino #1 or the new Deadpool movie, then just read ahead for all of the essential facts about Domino.

Guide to Domino - Creation
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

Her Creation

Domino was created during the artist-driven wave of Marvel Comics in the early 1990s. She debuted in New Mutants #98, the very first issue co-written by Rob Liefeld following Louise Simonson's departure from the series. The issue also featured the premiere of Deadpool and dissolution of the majority of the classic New Mutants team. Domino was co-created by writer Fabian Nicieza.

The characters appearance and role were fixed in her first appearance, but the actual Domino would not appear for about one year. It was later revealed that the Domino who was first shown in New Mutants #98 was actually the mutant Copycat imitating the actual mercenary's persona. The real first appearance of Domino came in X-Force #8, where she was shown as herself in a flashback.

Guide to Domino - Origin
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

Her Origin

Domino, born Neena Thurman, was the end result of a top secret government breeding program. The program, similar to Canada's Weapon X, intended to create a super soldier for military use. Domino was the sole survivor of their intense regimen, and even she was deemed to be a failure. The power she inherited is luck-based similar to other Marvel characters like Black Cat or Longshot. It has been explained as a telekinetic ability to influence events in her own favor. Fearing what the program might do, Domino's mother fled with her daughter and gave her to a Chicago church in order to be raised.

After coming of age, Domino left the church and sought work as a mercenary instead of a missionary. It was in this career that she also developed skills as a master marksman and martial artist. As a mercenary she helped to found the Marvel Comics team Six Pack along with Deadpool. She was eventually recruited by Cable to help the New Mutants without him knowing that Domino had been replaced by Copycat. Eventually the subterfuge was revealed, and the New Mutants, now renamed as X-Force, sought her out to join the team in Copycat's place. X-Force and associated mutants Cable and Deadpool have all played a key role in Domino's life ever since.

Guide to Domino - Brian Stelfreeze
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

Her Greatest Hits

While Domino has consistently made cameo appearances in various X-titles and served on a variety of teams, there is no obvious starting point to learn about the character or greatest hits collection. If you're interested in learning more about Domino or finding a few excellent comics starring her before reading the new series or seeing Deadpool 2, then these are the best places to begin:

"Bad Blood" Deadpool: Bad Blood, Volume One

This recent original graphic novel is the best way for modern readers to get a sense of what made both Domino and Deadpool popular when they premiered together. The story is entirely drawn by both characters' co-creator Rob Liefeld with an updated sense of dialogue and plotting from two much more modern writers. It still captures the tone and feel of late New Mutants and early X-Force comics with plenty of violence and crazy plot twists.

"Perfect Weapon" Domino (vol. 2) #1-4

This miniseries, the second to star Domino, is a great starting point if you're looking for an excellent story starring the character. It features her back in the role of mercenary caught in the middle of a lot of dangerous people, before revealing some connections to Domino's origin. Most importantly, the series features the art Brian Stelfreeze (Black Panther), who creates some incredible action sequences and depicts Domino as well as any creator ever has.

"Sex and Violence" X-Force: Sex and Violence #1-3

This spinoff of the 2008 version of the X-Force team focused on a team-up between team leader Wolverine and Domino. It outlines Domino as a lone wolf, more so even than Wolverine and the rest of those he leads. The essence of the story is contained in the title and returns both characters to the height of what made them popular in the early '90s when Domino debuted. There's plenty of violence and sex as these mutant anti-heroes tear their way through a terrorist organization together.

Guide to Domino - Deadpool 2
(Photo: Marvel Entertainment)

Her Future

The future for Domino appears to be exceedingly bright. In comics the character will be following up recent appearances in X-team comics like the third volume of Weapon X with a series of her own. The new Domino series is written by fan-favorite writer Gail Simone with art by David Baldeon. In early interviews and solicits the pair have promised an action-packed new adventure in which Domino's luck-based abilities begin to betray her and result in a tumultuous fall from a very dangerous profession.

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Perhaps the most exciting news for the character is her upcoming film debut in Deadpool 2. Zazie Beetz, best known for her work on acclaimed television series like Atlanta and Easy, has been cast in the role of Domino. Trailers and early marketing materials suggest Domino will play an important role in the film and as a founding member of the Fox Studios' version of X-Force. Fans won't learn more until after the May 18th premiere of Deadpool 2, but it seems like there are possibilities for Domino to appear in future Deadpool films or even an X-Force spinoff.

No matter what comes next, there has never been more Domino-related material in comics or elsewhere than at the current moment. This exciting, mutant anti-hero has finally found the spotlight and we could not be any more excited to see where that leads.