Writer: Ben Percy
Art: Bazaldua, Guru-eFX, VC’s Joe Caramagna, Tom Muller, Dustin Weaver, and Edgar Delgado
Release Date: February 26th, 2020
Ever since the humans sliced up Domino at that disgusting flesh factory, she’s never quite been the same. Not only did they disfigure her, but it appears as though a piece of what made her Domino was also taken away. It was almost as if her luck had run out. Well, after tracking some assassination attempts that seemed too good to be true, Domino found herself face to face with someone who looked exactly like her! Did the humans that captured her clone there own Domino? Did they manipulate someone else’s DNA to resemble Domino’s? Or is this mystery Reverse-Domino not really what we think at all? Let’s jump into X-FORCE #8 by Ben Percy and see if Domino can find the true source of her misfortune and begin to turn her luck around.
To anyone that has been following Ben Percy‘s X-FORCE run, they would realize that this has mainly been a story centered around Domino. However, as much as Percy has made this series a nonstop, action thriller, it has also dealt with the difficulties of trauma and elements of PTSD as well as the recovery process associated with these tragic disorders. Unlike many of the other X-titles, Percy has used his platform to showcase the consequences of war, torture, and the byproduct of its cerebral effects. Not only has Domino been going through some inner character transformations, but Colossus has also been exploring life after trauma as well. It’s extremely commendable to see a writer, not only tell his story but also attract some attention towards a side of violence and war that is oftentimes neglected in comics. The constant battles that these heroes face daily are frequently skimmed over and forgotten. However, not in Percy’s X-FORCE. His X-ploration of his X-Men is real, authentic, and carries more weight than many of the other titles, especially with mutants dying left and right nowadays.
This leads me to my second point that’s actually a bit disappointing, which isn’t entirely Percy’s negligence. Jonathan Hickman’s resurrection process involving mutants has taken the gravity equated with death and completely shattered it making cessation ultimately meaningless. There is no reason a character’s death should result in zero impact for the reader. And now, that’s the result. In almost every book, including X-FORCE, a main character has died… sometimes more than one main character. The good news is that Percy has found a way with characters like Colossus and Domino to make fates worse than death still have some sort of impact. Furthermore, this issue rightfully has Domino and Colossus discussing the “easier way” around their recently haunting traumas yet realizing the importance of retaining these memories and growing through them becoming stronger on the other side. This section of the issue was by far the best well-written division of the issue, possibly the series, showing readers the true class and expertise Percy has to offer Marvel.
Finally, let’s not forget Bazaldua’s vividly graphic illustrations involving the train. The fine detail and grotesque design associated with the horrific items found on the train helped amplify what Domino not only went through during her capture but the heavy burden she has to face knowing her part in the recent deaths of so many humans and mutants alike. Additionally, Guru-eFX’s color choices helped this reviewer’s eyes dance along each page with ease providing an overly stimulating issue that was vibrant, rich with color, and extremely well polished. Again, this art team shined towards the conclusion of this issue as Colossus and Domino hopped from each section of the train while producing different intriguing angles of dynamic action that really grabbed my attention. Together with Percy’s narrative, this creative team accomplished an excellent job laying out an amazing blueprint for this week’s installment.
What was once feared, is no longer worry to mutants. The grave carries no victory over the mutants anymore. So, when reading an issue of anything involving mutants, Hickman and company have the idea of death almost comical. However, Percy has created a way of adding significance to a fate worse than death through the pain both Domino and Colossus have confronted since Krakoa has taken shape. Ultimately, Ben Percy continues to make X-FORCE fast-paced, action-packed but more importantly doing it all in a way that makes this series feel vital and essential to the overall story unfolding in all X-titles. Percy’s writing continues to be sharp, intense and pointed enough to attract readers deeper into the story while making a semi-new reader of Domino (like myself) enthralled with her character progression and discovery. This series continues to be a must-buy for any X-fan and needs to be on everyone’s pull list. Pick this issue up and let me know what you think!