Domino #5 // Review
Domino #5 is written by Gail Simone, with pencils by David Baldeon and Michael Shelfer, who is also the inker. Jesus Aburtov is the colorist, and Vc Clayton Cowles is the letterer. This is the 5th part of the Killer-Instinct arc, which has gotten increasingly darker as it explores what it means to be a mutant. In this issue, Domino continues her struggle to regain control of her powers, while Prototype, the villain of this arc, explains who he is and why he’s hunting Domino.
The narrative jumps back-and-forth between the two fights throughout the issue in a way that is a little frustrating. When one fight scene gets to a good part, it cuts to the other fight, and so on. While Simone’s writing is interesting, many of the fight scenes feel a little dialogue heavy. The struggles the characters are going through are intriguing, but things felt too wordy at times. The story would benefit from allowing the action sequences to stand on their own.
The pacing of the story was another minor problem. As interesting as it was to learn about Prototypes origins, a lot of his story was just monologuing while Topaz did the fighting. Domino’s perspective was much more interesting, because at least she was actively fighting while contemplating what it meant to control/not control her powers. While this doesn’t detract from the comic too much, because the dialogue, while a lot, is well written, the pacing will hopefully improve in future issues.
Baldeon keeps the linework neat and clean. The use of strong outlines allows the characters to stand out distinctly even when they are in a group. Shelfer working on penciling as well as inking gives the art a cohesive quality that improves the issue.
Aburtov’s clever use of color helps keep the issue’s two major scenes distinct and unique. The nightclub where Domino’s fight takes place is rendered in purples and blues giving it a moody vibe. This works both with the setting and also with the tone of the scene--Domino’s self-doubt about her control over her powers. In contrast, the fight between Domino’s squad (Outlaw and Diamond) and Topaz and Prototype is much harsher in reds and grays. It provides an interesting visual background, even when the action feels stalled due to dialogue.
Domino is lucky because it's going to make it past the six-issue mark and turn into a full-blown series. Once the Killer-Instinct arc wraps up in the next issue, Domino will be getting a well-deserved Annual issue and a new arc starting in issue #7. While it hasn’t been a perfect comic, the art and writing certainly make it an interesting read, and the pacing issues should hopefully sort themselves out as the series continues.