Publication Date: 28th Sep 2012
Written By: Monolith.


The woman now known as Domino was born in the Florida Everglades as a result of a genetics experiment. This experiment was conducted by a black ops program for the United States government known as Project: Armageddon. Her mother, Beatrice, was primed to give birth to superhuman offspring, and artificially inseminated in the hopes of producing a living weapon. Domino was but one of many children Beatrice conceived for Project: Armageddon, and initially the only one who survived the testing procedures. Her survival was costly, however, as she fell into a catatonic state. Although originally a voluntary participant in the program, Beatrice eventually could no longer stomach what was being done. She joined up with a religious order known as the Armajesuits, who liberated Beatrice and Domino from Project: Armageddon. Beatrice left her catatonic daughter in the care of Father Rudolpho Boschelli in Chicago, Illinois, before devoting herself fully to the Armajesuits. Domino remained closed off from the world in Boschelli’s care for years, until her mutant powers manifested at puberty. Struggling to understand herself and her abilities, Domino ran away from Chicago and the priest. [Domino (2nd series) #4]

Due to her upbringing, it is unknown if Domino ever had a real name of her own. A significant portion of her personal history is unknown as well, particularly what happened to her after leaving Father Boschelli. An enemy of Domino’s named Ekaterina Gryaznova once assembled a profile of Domino which indicated she served time in juvenile detention in Seattle as “Jessica Marie Costello” at thirteen, and operated as a pit-fighter in Madripoor at fifteen. She also chronicled the later activities of women named Luisa Mendoza, Samantha Wu, Elena Vladescu and Tamara Winter. Domino would neither confirm nor deny these women were her, although she has since used the Tamara Winter identity on several occasions. Additionally, she and Banshee once reminisced about the time she “put the fear of God in half the mercenaries of Madripoor.” [X-Force (1st series) #68, 91] The time-traveler Halloween Jack once mentioned Domino had a sister as well, and she did not contradict him. [X-Force (1st series) #92]

One confirmed part of Domino’s past is that she was recruited into the National Security Agency years ago, possibly before she was even out of her teens. (Of course, Domino also referred to her time with the NSA as “being undercover,” suggesting that even her recruitment wasn’t all it seemed). She operated as a security agent for the United States government for some time and first assumed the codename “Domino” during her training. Her commanding officer assigned her to protect and oversee a high-level information asset named Dr. Milo Thurman. Thurman possessed a hyper-developed brain that enabled him to chart historical trends in order to predict critical future developments. Brilliant but cocky, Thurman was caught hacking into a government database and ended up working off his debt to society as an indentured servant of the NSA, held in a secure facility by the government where his gifts could be used in the national interest.

Even in solitary confinement, Thurman was still a cocky SOB, and flirted incessantly with Domino as his assigned handler in the underground bunker where he was put to work. He gave her the pet name “Beatrice,” after Dante’s blessed lady in Dante’s Inferno, a name she initially hated. Despite herself, Domino eventually came to return Milo’s affections and they began a relationship over the course of her assignment to his security detail. Eventually, however, a raiding squad from AIM came to the NSA bunker to extract Thurman for their own purposes. Domino fought to protect her prisoner and lover, and was caught in a major explosion during the attack. She was removed from Thurman’s case after that, and the NSA led Thurman to believe Domino died saving him from AIM. [Domino (1st series) #1-3]

[Note: Although Domino consistently referred to Milo Thurman as her ex-husband, it’s not clear if that title was ever official. Thurman was essentially a government prisoner under her care, and it’s unlikely the NSA would’ve allowed a handler to marry an asset for whom she was actively responsible. Even getting past that, it’s just as unlikely Thurman was legally her ex-husband, as they never divorced before parting and her “death” was nothing but a story fed to Milo by the NSA.]

Domino apparently left the NSA because of the Thurman case or soon after, and became a free agent and mercenary. She was recruited into the guns-for-hire known as the Wild Pack (or later Six Pack) by Cable and G.W. Bridge. They first crossed paths in Firenze, Italy while independently tracking an international arms dealer. [X-Force (1st series) #92] The only woman on the squad, she still managed to outwit, outfight and outdrink her male comrades. The Six Pack did merc work all over the globe, for anyone willing to pay the bills, whether it was foreign or local governments, multinational corporations, or even terrorist groups like AIM. [X-Force (1st series) #8, Cable: Blood and Metal #1]

Things started to go south for the Six Pack when they picked up several jobs for a businessman named Mr. Tolliver. Tolliver ran a smuggling route through the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan and needed assistance clearing out the Soviets who interfered with his business. During the mission, Domino uncovered a secret installation underground. While exploring it, the Six Pack discovered Tolliver’s opium operation was maintained by Cable’s arch-nemesis, the armored tyrant known as Stryfe. Cable went ballistic and blew up the installation in an attempt to get at Stryfe, essentially breaking the Six Pack’s contract with Tolliver, and violently so. [Cable: Blood and Metal #1-2]

The Six Pack was on the run for the next eight months, targeted by Tolliver in retribution for his business losses and breach of contract. Domino and the others grew more and more impatient with Cable, as he continued to insist they trust him and follow his lead, yet he never shared the truth about his history with Stryfe or why it was so important to bring the man down. They found Stryfe’s operation again in Uruguay and Cable had Hammer extract all the data from his systems. The op went FUBAR when Stryfe arrived personally, however, and took Kane hostage. Domino questioned Cable's motives when it became clear to her that he had a personal stake in their mission. Cable refused to bargain for Kane’s life and even shot Hammer in the back when he tried to turn over the data disc to Stryfe. As the Six Pack’s pre-planted explosives began going off, Cable abandoned the Pack to chase after Stryfe. Domino, Bridge and Grizzly barely escaped unscathed, but Hammer and Kane were crippled for life. It would be at least six years before Domino saw Cable again. [Cable: Blood and Metal #2]

At some point, Domino became a prisoner of her former employer, Mister Tolliver. Tolliver forced Vanessa Carlysle, the shape-changing mercenary called Copycat, to assume Domino’s form and renew Dom’s association with Cable. Domino remained a prisoner of Tolliver for over a year at his villa in Saradegna, Sicily. Hardly a model prisoner, she suffered repeated assaults and humiliation at the hands of her jailer, Pico Halfghanaghan. [X-Force (1st series) #11]

Cable eventually ferreted out Tolliver’s involvement in his affairs and raided the villa, surprised to discover that the Domino at his side was not the real thing. During a fight with Tolliver’s enforcer, Deadpool, Domino was freed and reunited with Cable. They chased the arms dealer onto his private helicopter and grabbed the landing skis as it took off. Although she was eager for some payback, Domino listened to sense when Cable told her the helicopter was never going to land, and she wouldn’t survive the fall if it climbed any higher. As she jumped to safety, Cable asked Domino to locate his X-Force team and look after them until he returned. [X-Force (1st series) #14-15]

In her efforts to comply with Cable’s request, Domino reunited with her former Six Pack teammates, Grizzly and Hammer. [X-Force (1st series) #20-21] Their search for information on Cable and X-Force’s whereabouts led them into a firefight with Weapon: PRIME at Department K and a confrontation with Domino’s double, Vanessa, in Boston.  Domino was furious with the shape-shifter for assuming her life, and would have killed her if Vanessa didn’t bargain for her life by claiming to know where X-Force was. [X-Force (1st series) #22-24]

She led the “Three Pack” to X-Force’s former Sentinel base in the Adirondacks, where they locked onto X-Force’s mutagenic signatures and traced them to the former Camp Verde reservation in Arizona. There they ran into Cable, Bridge and Kane, who had also been looking for X-Force. The reunion was bittersweet as Hammer nearly killed Cable for his past betrayal, and Vanessa escaped in the ruckus. With Cable set to reunite with his X-Force team, Domino insisted on going after the morpher and settling business between them. [Cable (1st series) #4]

The reconstituted Six Pack remained together as a mercenary group for a brief period [Nomad (2nd series) #20], but after Kane and Vanessa retired together and G.W. Bridge returned to SHIELD they all went their separate ways again. Despite how they parted, Domino was still the person Cable called when he needed a sympathetic ear, having recently learned of his true parentage and the fact that Tolliver was his wayward son, Tyler. This led into an extremely personal conflict with Tyler, Sinister and Stryfe, and Domino stood by Cable throughout the ordeal. [Cable (1st series) #6-8]

When he lost some of his X-Force squad shortly thereafter, Cable turned to Domino again and asked her to work with his team full time. She was uncomfortable with the idea at first – interacting with people who thought they knew her but had really only dealt with Vanessa – but Domino couldn’t disregard Nate’s wishes and agreed to join the team. [X-Force (1st series) #29-30]