The concrete information available on Domino's life before her time with the NSA and the Six Pack could fit in a teacup--one that was already half full, in fact. What is known is cryptic and rather unenlightening. She fought in combat pits in Madripoor--how she got there, and why, are not known. For a long time, Milo was only referenced as 'my ex-husband' in a few sarcastic comments sprinkled throughout the 20-40s issues of X-Force. It's also the only reference that Marvel has extrapolated on to date. Everything else has to be gleaned from a variety of issues, spanning more than one title. Should you want to thank me for doing the leg work, btw, I take payment in small unmarked bills and leather goods.
"Like Cable, she is a private person. Or is it that she has something to hide?" This kind of narration is typical, actually, whenever she appears on the scene. Bonus points if the narrator mentions the fact that 'no one knows her real name.' Marvel seems hung up on this, for some reason.
"Domino has precious few memories from her childhood...there are days she wonders the reasons for that...but, sometimes, in the middle of the night, she still remembers a woman with chestnut hair singing her bedtime songs..." Information wise, the important thing to note is that fact that, given that statement, it's likely Domino herself knows very little about her early life. The hows and whys, of course, are anyone's guess. The rest is just icing on the cake for the fic-writers to play with.
Domino Limited Series, #2
In one of the LS's fladhbacks, Milo asks a question which I'm sure everyone would like an answer to: "Why all the guns and grenades and gratuitous violence?" Predictably, Dom tells him he doesn't want to know, but then reveals, once free of flashback revery, "It broke my heart not to be able to tell him the truth--that I was the one who didn't want him to know." Normally, that wouldn't be such a shocking statement. She's made her career blowing things up, knocking things down, and eviscerating people for fun and profit. Not exactly something you want to get into on a first date. The contention comes when you realize that, in following Marvel's timeline, none of that has really happened yet. She's pre-Six Pack, pre-X-Force, and still guilting over something. Then again, if the combat pits were as bad as they sound, perhaps that's reason enough.
X-Force 68 This is one of the big information troves. Eskaterina Gryazonova makes several implications here--so many that I'm only going to give a recap. To read it word for word, click here to get a full-sized, readable page scan. Otherwise, just follow along with me. The accusations--that she might have been a 13 year old shop-lifting runaway in Seattle, that she was involved in various schemes and plots after her time with the NSA, are countered by Domino's assessment that the Prime Sentinel is 'at least 80% wrong,' and pointing out that even the 'Dominos' she refers to could have been Vanessa Carlyle, AKA: Copycat. Even these clues, on further inspection, offer very little relevant information. Where Domino received her training, where she originally came from--all of these remain unknown.
If I could recommend only one Domino appearance to people, this would be it. Halloween Jack manages to get to the very core of who Domino is faster than anyone before him. It probably helps that he was stalking her across time, of course. The first boon of the issue is a rather detailed character analysis.
"You are on a deadly path that will only end in self-destruction. Your life has been filled with nothing but bone-breaking battle and life-threatening danger. Since childhood, you've sought out others while live in dangerous circumstances. First street gangs, then mercenary outfits, and now the mutants in X-Force. You keep pushing yourself closer to the edge, waiting to see how long your luck will last..."Dom's reaction is basically, 'Nice psych eval, but you can shove it.' Personally, I think he wasn't too far off the mark. As that doesn't seem to work for him, he offers up a laundry list of names, some old, some new, with interesting implications behind them.
"...you're a lightning rod for disaster, and it's the people closest to you who get hurt the most. Your sister, your ex-husband (edit: here it says 'Miles,' not 'Milo.' Bit of a booboo the editor didn't catch.), Grizzly, Victor Lomenzo. It's a wonder he's still alive."We get two new tidbits here. The 'sister,' who has not been to my knowledge mentioned before or since, and who seems to be dead, if anything can be discerned from the way the names are ordered. As for Victor--she tries to give him a call at the end of the issue, only to get his answering machine. A pity, since it seems there was something she wanted to discuss. An interesting side not here... (courtesy of a friend who pointed it out) Nine issues earlier, in X-Force 83, a woman by the name of Nicole Lomenzo shows up as a part of the M.U.S.E. team trying to capture Jesse Aaronson. Domino didn't recognize or seem to know her, however. Whether this a deliberate use of the name, or a random glitch from the writers, it's hard to tell, though being the undying pessimist I am, I'd go for the latter. At any rate, a scan of that panel is here, for those interested.
Make what you will of all of this. If nothing else, it certainly offers plenty of ideas to entertain in moments of excess boredom. Beats examining your navel, at any rate.
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