by Drew Baumgartner
This article containers SPOILERS. If you have not read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Is privilege just luck that we don’t recognize as luck? The failure to recognize the benefits afforded by our race, gender, class, nationality, or any other number of inborn factors in our lives? That is, a privileged person is a lucky person, but specifically one that misattributes their luck as merit or skill. This helps protect Domino from coming off as too privileged — she absolutely recognizes how lucky she is — though Gail Simone and David Baladeón take pains to make it clear that she’s not that lucky, and that much of her success is ultimately attributable to her skills, too.
It was clear from issue 1 that privilege was on Simone’s mind, as Adelbert called out Domino’s appearance as a privilege his mutant abilities don’t afford him. Moreover, Simone added the interesting wrinkle that Domino’s luck only extends to saving her life, often doing so in an embarrassing or painful way — what we might recognize as “unlucky.” Which leaves a lot of room for Domino to be responsible for her own successes. Sure, she’ll be saved by Spider-Man at the last minute (though still in her underwear), but when it comes to putting machete-wielding muggers in their place, Domino’s mercenary skills do the bulk of the work.
The way Domino talks about her luck powers, we might know that she’s not using them here because she doesn’t end up with a nosebleed or in a puddle of mud, but Baladeón’s clever domino spots on tactical targets makes Domino’s thought process in this fight crystal clear. She’s not landing lucky blows; she’s recognizing weaknesses and formulating strategies.
Those spots return as things go awry later in the issue, allowing Domino to target (and hit) weak spots on some goons. As she puts it “it isn’t all luck.” But, of course, luck counts for something, and when her powers are taken away again at the end of the issue, it sure would have come in handy for surviving that explosion. I suppose some skills might protect you in that situation, but you’d still need to be pretty lucky to survive, with or without luck-based powers.
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