Domino (2nd series) #4

Issue Date: 
August 2003
Story Title: 
Perfect Weapon - part 4

Joe Pruett and Brian Stelfreeze (story), Joe Pruett (screenplay), Brian Stelfreeze (cinematography), John Constanza (titles and sound), John Miesgaes (director), Joe Quesada (producer), Bill Jemas (executive producer) with special thanks to Kelsey Shannon

Brief Description: 

Domino immediately spots the resemblance between herself and the young boy she has found but is more concerned with getting him out of the compound. She sees a rack of cameras aimed at him and an operating table and can only imagine the worst. As he shows her his sores, a soldier orders her to step away from the boy but she quickly takes him out before being confronted by the general and several of his soldiers. He wants the boy but Domino isn’t about to give him up easily and she attacks them, destroying the lights to offer herself an advantage. She and the boy, Lazarus, escape but then they find a group of Armajesuits and their leader, who reveals herself to be Domino’s mother, Beatrice. She goes into detail about Domino’s real past and how dangerous the boy actually is but Domino still won’t relinquish her hold on him, especially now she knows he is her brother. Her mother informs her that Domino herself was an experiment that failed, unlike Lazarus, and, because he is so dangerous, he must be destroyed because, if he lives, society will crumble. The general finds them and shoots Beatrice. Domino shoots back and an all-out fight ensues between the Armajesuits and the soldiers. Lazarus then uses a tiny amount of his power to stop everyone in their tracks, but Domino and Beatrice, being relatives of the boy, are immune. Beatrice is going to kill Lazarus but Domino shoots the sword from her hand. She escapes the complex with Lazarus as the general wakes and shoots himself, having being witness to something he cannot cope with. After escaping in a helicopter, Domino takes Lazarus to a church in Chicago and leaves him with a priest who cared for her as a child. She then visits Jonathan’s grave and gets closure on the whole affair. Her mother, having survived and escaped the complex, takes Lazarus during the night, seemingly with the intention of killing him.

Full Summary: 

(Day twenty)

Domino has found a young child who bears a striking resemblance to herself, complete with eye patch and short, black, spiky hair. She feels pretty lucky to have gotten this far. As a spy, a secret agent and even a mutant, she thought she’d seen it all but this is something completely new.

The child looks up at her as she holsters her weapon and asks her if she’s here to play, adding that she must be new as he doesn’t think he knows her. Domino is shocked that the ‘weapon’ she has been searching for is actually a child. The kid is seemingly oblivious to her intentions and, as he pulls his trainers on, asks her if she’s a doctor, as he doesn’t like doctors. Domino looks to her right and sees an array of cameras behind a window, all aimed inside the room. In the room next to them is an operating table. It doesn’t take her very long to figure out who the patient is.

She bends down and holds the child gently by the chin and asks him his name. He replies that he is called Lazarus. He likes her eye patch; just like his. She tells him that she is here to help him and asks what they’ve been doing to him. Nothing today, he replies, but lifts his top to reveal several sores on his torso. The doctors said no more until next week; that’s how long they said it would take to heal the sores. Dom is horrified, asking who it was that did this. He tells her the doctors did it; that’s why he doesn’t like them. He knows she isn’t one of them as he seems to have a kind of intuition, knowing what people are like on the inside.

Unseen by Domino, a soldier approaches from behind and holds a pistol to the back of her head, ordering her to step away from the boy. In one swift movement, Domino stands and twists, shifting the weapon away from her and Lazarus before knocking the guy to the floor with a chop to his face. Blood streams from his mouth as she pins him to the ground, twisting his wrist into a submission hold but several other soldiers arrive along with their leader, the general and his second in command, Peterson. Lazarus informs Domino that the general is the bad man who always watches when the doctors come. As she lifts herself up, she promises him they won’t hurt him anymore.

The general orders her to step away from the ‘weapon’ and put her hands where he can see them or he’ll have her shot. Peterson and another soldier aim their weapons at her, so Domino raises her arms in surrender. The General removes Dom’s pistols from the holsters. He knows who and what she is, but he’s worked too long and too hard to let some past failure waltz in and ruin things. The weapon stays there unless he says so, he declares. He aims one of the pistols at Domino’s head and tells her that she’s good; he respects that, but she stuck her nose someplace it didn’t belong. Big mistake.

A scientist behind the general interrupts him, informing him that there’s something strange about her laptop. Suddenly, the computer explodes, Domino seemingly setting it off using a tiny device hidden in her right hand. He and two soldiers are thrown clear by the localized blast and Domino uses the distraction to leap into the air, grab her weapons back and kick the general in the face as she back flips, shooting the lights out before landing next to Lazarus.

Putting her infra-red goggles on, she asks Lazarus if he likes roller coasters. He asks what a roller coaster is and she grabs him, telling him that he’s got some living to do. The soldiers fumble about in the dark as Domino tells Lazarus that there are three basic steps; you hold on firmly, close your eyes tight and pray that it’s over soon. As she speaks, she shoots the two soldiers blocking the exit before doing a forward somersault, shooting two more soldiers in mid air. She quickly heads off down a corridor, telling Lazarus that they’re getting away from this place and he feels that she’s telling the truth, knowing that she would never hurt him.

As she walks into a more open area, she is at a loss as to why they haven’t seen one single crew cut since they left the general and his boys back in the dark. Suddenly, things look a little clearer as she discovers a group of Armajesuits amongst several unfortunate soldiers on the receiving end of some punishment. Their leader, sporting the red robe, stands with them. With Lazarus clinging to her, Domino aims her pistol at the leader and says that now things are a little clearer with the altar boys having crashed the party.

Their leader greets her, having hoped they would meet under less strenuous circumstances but knowing there could be no other way. Domino asks who the hell they are and their leader replies that they are Armajesuits; keepers of harmony and they have known her for a long time. The leader comments that Domino was searching for her mother was she not? Well, Domino should look closely, as her search is over. The mask is removed and the leader of the Armajesuits is revealed to be none other than Domino’s mother. The physical resemblance between the three of them is surprising, only her mother doesn’t sport a black eye patch.

Domino, having put Lazarus down, now aims two weapons at her mother but is clearly shocked at the revelation. She is angry, telling her mother that she used her and tried to kill her. She knew she was looking for her and did nothing. Domino hopes insanity isn’t hereditary. An Armajesuit takes the mask from Dom’s mother, as Domino asks her if this is how she envisioned their reunion. Actually, it was. She asks Dom if this complex means anything to her; does she have any sense of déjà vu? Domino looks around at a couple of robed Armajesuits, who her mother has dispatched using hand signals to flank her.

Her mother begins a prolonged explanation, first saying that Domino was born here; she’s come home. Domino and the child have more in common than she thinks. Her mother is the definitive link between the two of them, because Lazarus is her son. She explains that Domino and the boy were both part of a top secret government genetics experiment. The boy was deemed a success while Domino was seen as a failure. She was artificially inseminated to produce a mutant offspring that the government could research and develop as a genetic weapon. The patch Domino wears branded her a test subject. The others all fell like dominoes, one after the other, until only she was left. They either didn’t possess the mutant gene or didn’t survive the rigors of the testing.

Domino reels as she takes all this new information in. She was an experiment? Her mother is a walking weapons factory? She has a brother? Her mother continues to explain to Domino that she was left in a catatonic state, completely shut off from the outside world. Lazarus survived as a cryo-preserved embryo, catalogued for future experiments. Finally, she couldn’t take it any more and she had the Armajesuits steal her away to a sympathetic priest in Chicago. There, she was nurtured and loved as she never would have been here. Still, Domino refused to acknowledge the world around her. It wasn’t until her mutant powers began to manifest themselves that she finally awakened from her state. Soon after, she ran away in fear of her mutant abilities.

Domino, still aiming her pistol at her and now holding Lazarus again, says to her mother that she knew all this, yet never tried to contact her? She replies that Domino was a failure. She was supposed to visualize the future as she does. Instead, she relies on luck and so was therefore of no use to her. “Let me guess,” says Domino, “That’s why you’re here for the boy. He’s useful.” Her mother replies that the boy is the future; that is why the child, her brother, must not be allowed to live.

Domino disagrees, saying the kid leaves with her. Her mother points her gloved finger at her, saying that Domino doesn’t understand. There’s no negotiation; she birthed the child and knows exactly what it is, what exactly it will become. If allowed to live, this seemingly innocent child will bring death and destruction the likes of which the world has ever known. He must and will be destroyed. “Over my dead body,” replies Domino.

Her mother reaches over her head and unsheathes her sword, which is fastened to her back, as one of her followers approaches Domino from behind. Suddenly, the general appears and shoots the Armajesuit in the back. He enters the room, followed by more soldiers. He tells Domino’s mother, Beatrice, that she gave a nice speech; lengthy, but then overly dramatic narration was always her speciality. He is surprised she didn’t tell Domino the rest. “Tell it you served as a voluntary government uterus; how you were institutionalized with dementia, before she escaped, and drifted into your traitorous little cult, killing your way up to leader.” He tells her she is a freak, and the only thing human about her offspring is the method of birth. They are government weapons, the perfect weapons; his weapons!

Beatrice holds her sword up, telling him he has no idea what will happen, what the child will do. Without flinching, the general shoots her, saying that’s where she is wrong. He knows exactly what it’ll do. Seeing her mother shot, Domino swiftly moves into action, shooting the general in his shoulder as she evades a return shot from him. He says that he should have had her drowned as soon as she gestated. Now on the floor with Lazarus, Domino fires another shot at the general but an Armajesuit gets in the way, his sword splitting the general’s pistol in two as Domino fires continuously with both pistols.

The Armajesuits and soldiers struggle against each other as Domino grabs Lazarus again in the commotion. “Pain, the hate, the mistrust. It’s so clear to me now, my gift, my reason for being…” Lazarus has realized what he must do and, surrounded by a strange haze, he floats a couple of feet into the air and holds his head, shouting that he wants everyone to stop hurting each other. Everyone suddenly ceases their hostilities and understands. Beatrice, having survived the shot, grabs her sword and stands up.

Domino appears unconcerned about her mother surviving Lazarus’s actions. Where everybody has become incapacitated, she and her mother remain unaffected. Domino remembers having discovered something interesting while browsing Professor Xavier’s library once. Shared bloodlines will sometimes act as a filter, producing immunities between close relations. Mutation is no different. A mutant mother is oftentimes exempt from her child’s mutant power. Fortunately for Domino, siblings can share the immunity as well.

Beatrice tells Domino that what she has just witnessed is just a small sample of his power. Lazarus is a weapon, one that can influence minds and manipulate decisions. He is a weapon more dangerous than anything ever unleashed upon the world. War would end, religion would collapse; a new savior will have descended upon the Earth. Nothing comes without a cost and it is because of this that her son must die. As she raises her sword, Domino cries, “Don’t!” Her mother is determined to kill Lazarus. She says that mankind would be mindless vegetables, addicted to the false tranquillity that would cloud its every thought and emotion. Domino aims her pistol at her and tells her to put the blade down; she doesn’t want to shoot her. Beatrice tells her that the future is clear. She refuses to allow it to come to pass; this is the only way. Domino tells her that she can’t make that decision but her mother replies that she has and it is now time for Domino to make her own. She does.

Domino shoots and Beatrice is thrown to the ground as her sword shatters. Lazarus wakes from a kind of self-induced trance and asks what’s happened. She tells him the decision’s been made; it’s over. She takes him in her arms once again and looks around at the soldiers and Armajesuits who stand still, remaining in Lazarus’s thrall. Domino tells him that the sleeping beauties will be waking up soon, so they should leave before his effect completely fades. One Armajesuit begins to come round and Domino shoots him as she runs.

The general also begins to clear his head but the repercussions of Lazarus’s power are serious. “Why? Why did I have to know?” he mutters to himself as Domino kicks her way through the room. She reaches a helicopter and starts it up, asking Lazarus not to touch anything. She doesn’t need any more distractions right now.

As the chopper rises from the ground, one Armajesuit leaps towards it, crying, “No! Don’t leave us!” A soldier says he’s lost the peace. He seems confused. The hangar bay doors are closed so Domino fires the machine guns at it and flies the helicopter to freedom. Back inside, the general asks one of his soldiers to hand him his sidearm. Without even looking up, he takes the weapon and points it behind his ear. “I can’t go back; I can’t un-feel.” He fires the pistol, killing himself instantly.

Domino pilots the helicopter back to civilization. She has lost much in this life; memories, friends and now, her mother. Today, however, she has found something she didn’t even know was missing; herself. She smiles as Lazarus sleeps on her lap.


At the Church of the Sacred Heart, Father Rudolpho Boschelli stands before a huge sculpture of the Madonna and child. Domino leads Lazarus inside, hand in hand, and tells the priest that he does not know her, but this child is in need of him. She asks him not to ask any questions concerning his origins. He should simply find it in his heart to care for him as he has cared for so many others.

Lazarus approaches him and Father Boschelli tells Domino that, years ago, a woman approached him with an identical request. That woman’s eyes spoke of pain and despair, as if she knew all the sorrows of the world and was powerless to relieve them. He bends down on one knee and strokes the boy’s hair. He says that the child was a blessing, as all of god’s children are, but she ran away. He has often prayed that she found whatever it was she sought. He looks up, but Domino has gone. Some things never change, he thinks as he wishes her god speed.

(Day forty-nine)

Domino, looking relaxed and dressed in comfortable clothes, sits on Jonathan’s gravestone and talks to him. She says he betrayed her, used her and lied to her. He gave her every excuse imaginable to turn what she once felt for him into unbridled hate; but she can’t hate him. All she can remember is all he had done for her and the way she felt about him. She may never understand what he did and, to be perfectly honest, she doesn’t really want to know. All she knows is that her eyes are now open. Life is a chance that you have to take, filled with decisions you make and consequences you live with. She places a rose on his gravestone. She’s taken her chance and for the first time, she doesn’t think her powers had anything to do with it. She says her goodbyes, and wishes him the best of luck.

At the church, during the night, the door to Lazarus’s room opens and he wakes up, rubs his eyes and grabs hold of Beatrice, who has come to collect him. She holds her sword in her other hand. “In my eyes, there is no such thing as chance,” she says with sorrow.

Characters Involved: 


Beatrice, Domino’s mother

Lazarus, Domino’s brother

The General


Unnamed soldiers

Scientists working at the base


Father Rudolpho Boschelli

Story Notes: 

Another classic example of relatives having powers that don’t work on each other is the case of Cyclops and Havok, who cannot harm each other with their respective blasts, and Banshee and Black Tom, genetic cousins.

Having the Armajesuits call her ‘My Lord’ earlier in the series, was probably intended to misdirect the readers, so we didn’t necessarily deduce that it was Domino’s mother.

Domino first used the alias ‘Beatrice’ in X-Force #39, although she apparently got the name from Milo Thurman.

Jonathan’s surname is revealed as being Shepherd.

It seems to be implied that Beatrice, having survived Domino’s gun shot, managed to escape the complex and is going to kill Lazarus after all, though we don’t see it happen. Domino appears to have been used yet again.

Issue Information: 
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