Now that fans of R-Rated comic book movies have had their fix for the year with the brutally brilliant Logan, we’re looking ahead to next year’s uber-violent costumed offering: Deadpool 2. This follow-up to 2016’s smash hit Deadpool sees the return of Ryan Reynolds as the Merc with a Mouth, and he’ll be joined by some new (and familiar) faces: both Cable and Domino are going to be playing major roles in the sequel. These two mutants are part of a build up to a live-action X-Force, although we won’t be seeing the team as a whole until Deadpool 3. We’re definitely excited to see this X-Men black ops ensemble on screen with Cable and Domino in the lead. (DP3 and the X-Force movie will be separate projects, by the way.)
Domino has long been a part of the X-Force universe, and she’s one of the most important people in Cable’s life. She’s a mutant, a mercenary, and definitely one of the darker characters in the X-Men universe. In other words, she’s a perfect fit for Deadpool! We can’t wait to see how she’ll interact with Negasonic Teenage Warhead, or what happens between her and Vanessa, but for some viewers, she might be a little bit of a stranger. So for those who are wondering just who this new superheroine is, we’ve got the basics right here, with 15 Things You Need To Know About Domino.
15. Domino Was Created By Rob Liefeld In The ‘90s
Domino is relatively new to the comics scene, having first appeared in the early nineties. There’s actually a little debate over exactly when she first appeared, though! It looked like Domino first showed up in New Mutants #98 (1991), as this is when the named character first joined the X-Force team. However, it was later revealed that this wasn’t the real Domino at all, but another mutant who was posing as Domino.
The real Domino didn’t actually appear in comics until 1992, when this deception was uncovered. Convoluted comic debuts aside, Domino’s first appearance(s) came courtesy of prominent and controversial comic artist Rob Liefeld, and at a time where comics were getting darker, more violent, and often far more adult in nature. As a result, Domino has always been a violent and often over-sexualized character (although her costumes didn’t get anywhere near as bad as some others!), though this makes her an absolutely ideal fit for Deadpool’s world.
14. She Has Almost Always Been In X-Force
There are plenty of characters that team-hop on a regular basis, but Domino is one of the few that has been a member of X-Force for the majority of her time in comics. She first showed up as a member of the original X-Force, both as an impostor and then as the real Domino. She later joined Wolverine’s new X-Force after the original X-Force broke up, and finally joined Cable’s new X-Force in more recent years.
Because of this, she is usually associated with the X-Force team more than any other, although she has been part of some other groups as well. Before finding X-Force, she was a member of the Wild Pack/Six Pack along with Cable, and during times where the X-Force was not in action, she has briefly spent time with some other groups (more details on that in a bit). She has also worked alone as a mercenary from time to time, and this is how she came to meet Cable and join the X-Force in the first place.
13. She Has Been A Member Of X-Corp
In addition to her times with the Wild Pack/Six Pack and various incarnations of the X-Force team, Domino has worked for a couple of other teams over the years. After Cable’s first X-Force disbanded, and before she joined the later X-Force headed up by Wolverine, Domino joined another mutant group named X-Corporation. X-Corp was founded by Professor X as a search and rescue team for mutants in trouble, with branches set up across the globe. Domino joined the Japanese branch, and there worked with the New X-Men on at least one mission. She later left X-Corp to join a new team (also called the Six Pack) created by SHIELD, although her tenure with that team was shortlived.
She has also worked for the Assassin’s Guild, although she was never herself a member of that group of killers. Instead, she has taken on jobs for them in the past, including one to take on The Hand.
12. She Is A Genetically Engineered Mutant
While there are plenty of natural-born mutants in the X-Men universe, Domino (like X-23) is a genetically engineered member of the mutant race. She was created by a secret government initiative called Project Armageddon, which used a volunteer woman named Beatrice to give birth to genetically altered offspring. The project was trying to create the Ultimate Weapon, a mutant with powers strong enough to make them a living doomsday device. The project marked its attempts with a black patch over one eye, and put them through rigorous testing to try to find the ideal mutant weapon. Unfortunately for them, almost none of the test subjects survived the testing.
Domino herself managed to pass the tests with a beating heart but was ultimately deemed a failure, as her powers could not be weaponized in the way that the project wanted (nor could she properly control them). Beatrice eventually managed to smuggle Domino away from the project, and Domino herself didn’t know about Project Armageddon for many years.
11. She Was Rescued By A Cult
The horrors of her childhood (a pretty common thing in the X-universe) left Domino in a catatonic state, and although the project would have killed her for her failures, her mother had realized by then that the project wasn’t working for the safety of the world as she first thought. Beatrice formed a cult to try and take down the program altogether, dubbing them the Armajesuits. It was the members of this cult who managed to help Domino escape to freedom and put her into the care of a sympathetic priest in Chicago, Father Rudolpho Boschelli at the Church of the Sacred Heart.
She was given the name Neena Thurman, and spent many years unable to be a part of the world due to the trauma she had suffered. She remained here until she was 13, when her mutant powers began to manifest again (many mutants do not learn of their abilities until puberty, although this isn’t true of all of them). Terrified, she ran away from the church and the cult, and set out on her own, using her luck to stay alive.
10. Domino Has A Brother
Domino learned of her tragic past as an adult when she went looking for her long-lost mother and discovered that she had been engineered as a weapon. She sought out Project Armageddon in the Florida Everglades, and there, she found not only the truth about her past but that she also has a brother.
Named Lazarus, this child was also born of Project Armageddon, and put into stasis for a time before being trained and experimented on (which accounts for the difference in ages). Lazarus was the only child deemed a ‘success’ by Project Armageddon, and he possessed the power to manipulate minds. Domino tried to save Lazarus, stealing him away from the program and giving him over to the care of the same priest who raised her. However, her mother knew where the Priest was, and snuck in with a knife to murder young Lazarus before he could do anyone any harm.
9. She Has Been Married
The most important relationship that Domino has is with Cable, but he is far from the first (or only) love of her life. In the time that she was first working as a mercenary (before her X-Men days) she did some work for the NSA. Her assignment was to guard a man named Milo Thurman — not truly a mutant, but a man so intelligent that he was able to make near-perfect predictions of the future. While guarding Milo, Domino fell in love with the man, and the two were actually married while he was still being held by the government.
Domino did all that she could to protect him, but when the facility where he was being held was raided by armed soldiers, the two were separated. Milo was led to believe that Domino died protecting him, and it would be many years before they met again. This relationship was never picked back up, but Domino still considers her husband (or ex-husband) her first true love.
8. She Worked With Cable Before Joining X-Force
Domino’s relationship with Cable pre-dates her time with the X-Men teams, and it was actually Cable who brought her into the X-Force fold. She and Cable first met when they were both working as mercenaries as members of the group known as the Wild Pack (later changed to the Six Pack). This group was brought together by Cable in order to keep him afloat financially while he searched for Stryfe. The team originally consisted of Cable, Domino, Grizzly, Hammer, Garrison Kane, and G.W Bridge, and they worked together on several missions before breaking up.
The group disbanded thanks to Cable’s treachery — in his obsession to get to Stryfe, he put the team in danger, and abandoned them to their deaths in an explosion. Despite this messy end, Domino formed several close relationships in her time in the Wild Pack, and remained close with many members for years to come (especially Cable and Grizzly).
7. She Had To Kill One Of Her Closest Friends
As though Domino’s past isn’t tragic enough, her life as an adult also involves more than her fair share of misery — including the time that she was forced to kill one of her oldest friends. Domino and Grizzly became close during their days in the Wild Pack, although they eventually lost touch after the group disbanded. Then, when Domino was investigating a serial killer, she discovered that the culprit was, in fact, her old bear-themed friend.
Grizzly (a feral mutant who acted as the muscle of the Six Pack and has near-invulnerability and super-strength) was not killing of his own free will, however. Cable’s son, Genesis, was mind-controlling Grizzly into committing these murders. In a truly heartbreaking battle, Domino realizes that Grizzly is not in control of himself, though she’s forced to kill him in order to free him from Genesis’s control. As he dies, Grizzly comes back to himself, and asks Domino not to tell Cable about what his son has done.
6. She Was Impersonated By Copycat
As we mentioned in one of the earlier entries on this list, Domino’s first appearance in X-Force wasn’t actually the real Domino, but Copycat in disguise. Copycat is a mutant with the ability to shapeshift into anyone she’s encountered, copying their DNA and powers as well as their physical appearance.
Copycat impersonated Domino at the request of Tolliver, a man who hated Cable (for some complicated, time-traveling reasons that we can’t even begin to get into here!) and wanted to infiltrate his X-Force team. Tolliver kidnapped the real Domino and chained her to the wall, sending out Copycat in her place. She is freed when Cable discovers Tolliver’s hiding place, and her shackles are cut in the ensuing battle. Domino escapes, with a mission from Cable to hunt down his ‘kids’ (his X-Force team) as he bodyslides into the future. She then joins the X-Force herself in the process of finding them and bringing them back together, although it takes them a long time to trust her, having only known her Copycat double before that.
5. Domino Is Afraid Of Chickens
This one might not be all that important, but when it comes to badass killer mercs, it’s nice to know about their weaknesses. For Domino, one big weakness is the humble chicken! During a time when Deadpool wanted to be in the X-Men, Domino was sent to keep an eye on the unpredictable Wade Wilson, and the two ended up having a short conversation about their fears. Deadpool claims to be afraid of cows (although who knows if that’s really true), and Domino reveals that she’s afraid of chickens, although she won’t explain why.
And just in case anyone reading along at home thought that this was a lie to get out of the conversation, Domino later encounters a chicken in a ventilation shaft, and is absolutely paralyzed by fear! It looks like she was telling the truth, although we may never know why this humble farmyard bird strikes such fear into her heart — maybe chickens are immune to luck?
4. She Has The Power Of Luck
Domino has a particularly interesting power — and one without much of a downside, for once. Her mutant ability is to have good luck! Or, if we want to get a little more technical about it, it’s the ability to subconsciously manipulate probabilities within her immediate area. This power manifests especially well when she is under threat, allowing her to survive almost impossible odds, cause guns to jam (guess what happens in the scene above!), guess a safe combination out of hundreds of thousands of options, dodge bullets and lasers, and generally get out alive no matter the circumstance. She can’t make anything happen that is literally impossible, but can make something happen if it is only highly improbable.
However, she cannot control this power very well, and can only use it on immediate events. She is also a highly-trained killer, one that is proficient in hand-to-hand combat and keeps in peak physical condition. She’s expertly trained with a whole range of weaponry, and she has above average strength, agility, and stealth to top it all off.
3. She’s Been Romantically Involved With Both Cable And Wolverine
We’ve already covered Domino’s first love, but she’s also been involved with two of the biggest names in the X-Men universe: Cable and Wolverine. She and Cable have been close for many years, and have a long history together. As mercenaries, as team-mates, in X-Force… it’s not too surprising that these two began to develop feelings for each other after a while. However, they never really managed to turn their feelings into a relationship, although they have shared a kiss or two over the years.
Later, Domino got together with Wolverine after she gets mixed up with the Assassin’s Guild and Wolverine tries to help her deal with them. This time, things go a bit further than a kiss, but again, a true relationship never develops. More recently, Domino and Colossus got together as well — and with Colossus returning for the Deadpool sequel, that means there are at least two potential comic-to-big-screen love interests on the table for this lucky mutant.
2. Her Debut Might Mean That Vanessa Becomes Copycat in Deadpool 2
Another thing that we might see in Deadpool 2 courtesy of Domino’s involvement is Vanessa becoming Copycat. Vanessa Carlyle (Morena Baccarin) appeared in Deadpool as the titular antihero’s love interest, but she didn’t show off any mutant powers in the film as far as we know. It wasn’t, however, stated outright that she isn’t a mutant, and the writers have since commented that they might explore that possibility in future.
Given Copycat’s history with Domino, could we see an adaptation of the storyline where Copycat posed as Domino in the film? This would certainly be a fascinating way to introduce the character, give Vanessa her powers, and bring them into conflict with Deadpool (who appears in that story as well). Of course, we can’t know for certain if this particular chapter in the Copycat/Domino history book will be a part of the upcoming film, but it could well make a lot of sense – and we would love to see Vanessa truly becoming Copycat sometime soon. If not for Deadpool 2, maybe this story arc would be a great one to kick off Deadpool 3 or X-Force!
1. Domino Will Be Played By Zazie Beetz
Although there is still no news on who will be playing Cable in the Deadpool sequel, we now know who will be bringing Domino to life. Zazie Beetz (Atlanta) was announced as the choice for the mercenary earlier this month, despite rumors that Janelle Monae or Kerry Washington might be playing her in the film. The casting choice has caused the usual controversy that erupts whenever a white comic character is cast with an actor of another race, but the general reaction has been positive.
Domino’s creator, Rob Liefeld, has also spoken up in support of the casting, saying that he “never assigned race” to the character, and that Beetz is “everything [he] could have hoped for“. Star Ryan Reynolds has also provided his stamp of approval of the casting, posting an image of Beetz’s face on a comic book cover. We’re excited to see Beetz join the X-Men family, and we can’t wait to see what she brings to the role. Deadpool 2 is going to be insane, folks.
What else should fans know about the latest addition to the X-universe? Did you have another actress in mind to play Domino, or did Beetz top your dreamcasting list? Sound off in the comments!