Luck vs. Skill in Domino 2

by Drew Baumgartner

Domino 2

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.

Domino's got skills

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.

For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page.  Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore.  If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to Comixology and download issues there.  There’s no need to pirate, right?

One comment on “Luck vs. Skill in Domino 2

  1. I think I disagree with the idea that Simone is trying to make sure that Domino is too privileged. In fact, it feels more like she is and that she wants to interrogate that privilege. The way Domino’s powers work by specifically cursing another person is the clearest metaphor for privilege you can imagine. Domino gets great benefits merely because of her position in an in just system. She gets the power, and the cost is born by someone else. Someone else who is calling her outnfor the privilege she has and all the suffering she has caused him.

    Also, I did not like the first issue of this but gave it a second chance because I like Simone’s previous work. I’m glad I did. What seemed banal and boring in the last issue, like Domino’s powers just being switched off, becomes a lot more interesting in this issue where her powers go haywire in ways that make events more interesting instead of less interesting. And the reveal of how her powers work sounds like there is a lot of space to develop

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