Domino is the best. Gail Simone is also the best. That combination means that Domino: Hotshots #1 is like butter and popcorn — a satisfying, classic combination that you want more of.
The story is pretty straight-forward. An alien artifact crashes in the middle of Antarctica before disappearing. Black Widow hires Domino and her posse as back-up as she looks for it. Hilarity ensues as everything goes to Hell in a hand-basket.
Simone excels at spinning stories involving unlikely ensembles (see Secret Six and Birds of Prey) and this issue continues that tradition. She captures Domino’s quirky sarcasm and Black Widow’s dark cynicism extremely well. Domino wields literary references like Black Widow wields throwing knives, when she makes her new team promise not to pull a Boromir on anyone else.
As she’s proven in the past, Simone mixes the less recognizable team members of Outlaw, Diamondback, White Fox, and Atlas Bear in at the perfect moments, with the perfect dialogue for the situation. The whole team dynamic is best seen when Black Widow, White Fox, and Atlas Bear briefly “Boromir” each other. Yet they solidify their loyalty to each other in the issue’s action-packed climax.
David Baldeón’s art is consistent with what he’s produced throughout his run on Domino. This time, however, I felt like it was missing something. My favorite aspects of Baldeón’s art within his Domino run was the Anime-style character constructions, mixed with intricately detailed environments.
The characters are all drawn exceptional well throughout this issue, yet the environments feel more and more muted as the issue progresses. This may be an effect of the coloring by Jim Charalampidis or the distinctly cosmic aspects that set this story apart from the previous series. It is when the story starts turning down the cosmic road that it seems the intricacies of Baldeón’s style is muted by the bleeding black and green color palette and Kirbyesque designs.
Despite this, after only a single issue I’m already wishing that Simone and Baldeón’s work here could run longer than five issues. Simone is so great at creating strong, smart characters who overcome crazy, impossible odds and Baldeón is excellent at capturing their characterizations. While I felt there were some issues with the visual consistency, I still want more.