It’s Celestial versus mutant mercenary!  Good thing she’s pretty lucky…  Your Major Spoilers review of Domino: Hotshots #5 awaits!


Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: David Baldeon & Michael Shelfer
Colorist: Jim Charalampidis
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Editor: Chris Robinson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 17, 2019

Previously in Domino: HotshotsPHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER… itty-bitty guns in space!  Domino wanted to keep a Celestial artifact out of the wrong hands, but does that make her bloodstained hands the right ones?


After teaming up with The Black Widow, The White Fox, Atlas Bear and her usual partners Diamondback and Outlaw, Domino succesfully defeated a Celestial-infected Dr. Mazarov last issue, and even got a wrap-up and the beginnings of a happy ending… when ANOTHER Celestial-empowered scientist arrived! Worse still, the new enemy, Dr. Geun, is angry that Dom and company killed the man she loves, leading to all-out explodeyness. Black Widow reminds Domino that every use of her GOOD luck means bad luck for someone else, prompting her to lead her makeshift team into the old Bolivian Army ending, but their deaths are interrupted by the return of White Fox… with the Creation Constellation that empowered Dr. Mazarov! Domino begs her to use the power, but instead, White Fox gives it back to Domino, allowing her to battle the Celestial one-on-one. Well, not exactly one-on-one, as her friends all dive into the freezing river depths where she ends up to provide whatever support they can, as Dom/Neena is almost overcome by the cosmic power. Then, she remembers the one name every mutant knows, but never dares to speak: Dark Phoenix.


As the issue ends, a once-again-human Domino realizes that, while she never intended to become a leader of women, she nonetheless has, and her friends are a powerful force, and they all prepare to go and free a young mutant woman trapped in Costa Rica (whom she encountered with her cosmic senses.) The watchword of any Gail Simone story is “heart”, and this one is full of it, from White Fox’s not-quite-apology to the Black Widow’s admission that she chose Dom because some things are even beyond The Avengers. But the last words of this story are perfect: “I never wanted to be a general OR a god… I’m just Neena. And that’s good enough” are genuinely tear-jerking and wonderful. Baldeon’s art is likewise full of emotion, and I especially love a full-page shot of the Hotshots as new Celestials, including the hilarious vision of Outlaw in her cowboy hat and miniskirt covered in Kirby dots and glowing Tron-lines. Even the battle between two cosmic powered entities is presents in a grounded fashion, with Domino preferring a punchinnaface to blasting super-energies, keeping the visuals in harmony with the emotional beats of the story.


In short, it’s kind of a bummer that this is the end of the book, especially given the ever-shifting Marvel Universe, as this book is a much-needed personal, emotional, visceral bit of story-telling in a sea of endless event comics and universal explosions. Domino: Hotshots #5 brings everything full circle, with an ending that SHOULD be the gateway to another 100 issues of adventure with this team, but is well-drawn and perfectly-written enough that you almost don’t feel the twinge of loss at knowing that’s never gonna happen, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m gonna miss this book, and I suspect that the ever-rebooting X-franchise won’t have a replacement with equal amounts of guts and heart any time soon… but I suppose I can always hope.

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Sweet But Exciting

Brings this era of Domino to an awesome close and assembles a great team we will probably never see again.

That last part is a bummer.

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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