Marvel's latest hero, Deadpool, assembled his own team of mutant mercenaries called X-Force in this sequel of the same name. Among the unusual band of misfits is the only woman of the crew, Domino. In the comics, her legal name is Neena Thurman and she has blue eyes, straight hair and an unnatural skin color. With her facial features, she could pass for any race. But Marvel made the decision to make the on-screen hero a sister. Here’s 10 reasons why it was the only choice:
She is lucky.
Domino’s superpower is luck and it manifests through subconscious telekinesis or, as our praying grandmothers call it, by “speaking it into existence.” As long as the impending danger is in her line of sight, her powers kick in to keep her safe. She wasn’t always injury-free, but her powers keep her from death’s door. Our prayers, intuition, and journal entries have the same effect.
No one believed in her.
Up until the last scene of the movie, Deadpool ridiculed Neena’s powers. While the jokes were hilarious, Domino remained unbothered and stepped in to save her team and others. There’s no denying the myriad of ways black women have stepped up to save this country. From Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells, Tarana Burke, and the 98% of Alabama black women who voted against Roy Moore for state Senate, they each were doubted and put down for a number of reasons.
Neena beat the odds.
When questioned about her background, Domino remained aloof throughout the movie. During the climax, she casually dropped that she was also abused by the employees of the Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation. As an orphaned child, she definitely beat the odds.
According to National Women's Law Center, black girls are 22.9 percent of the girls in foster care but are the largest group, or 35.6 percent, of girls experiencing more than 10 residential placements. Like Domino, gymnast Simone Biles, track and field athlete Tori Bowie, children’s rights advocate Regina Louise, and former Young and the Restless actress Victoria Rowell are real-life examples of sisters who beat the odds.
She was a loner.
Like the other mercenaries, Domino had no sidekick and she certainly didn’t move like one. It seemed as if she preferred working alone; she never hesitated in the face of danger and took off running without waiting for others to assist her. And she most certainly didn’t ask for their help.
A lot of black women are criticized for not asking for help and doing things on their own. But, it is a key characteristic of alpha females.
Domino never quite fit in.
Black women are consistently one of very few black women and black people in the room. In addition to navigating race and gender, our work and the intangibles such as embracing the dominant culture and vernacular are judged.
Domino was born to the U.S. government.
In the comics, she was one of many children born to Project Armageddon and designed to genetically engineer the perfect weapon using a precognitive mutant named Beatrice.
As we know, Africans were considered American property for hundreds of years and bred to produce the largest and strongest slave.
She was kidnapped and delivered to a Chicago priest.
Neena was kidnapped from the government and delivered to a Chicago priest. She remained in his care until her mutant powers manifested. If that doesn’t sound like the plot to a 70’s blacksploitation film, revoke my black card now.
Domino was an angry little girl.
Can you blame her? She had no parents and was a slave to the government until she was kidnapped and trained to use her skills. In a Georgetown study, it’s been shown that black girls are routinely dehumanized and perceived as angry and defiant.
She had a good heart.
Given her background, she could have justifiably been a villain. Rather, she used her powers to help others. We see that routinely in the black community.
Domino had #BlackGirlMagic.
Black Girl Magic is used to illustrate the universal beauty, power, and resiliency of black women and there’s no denying Domino is all that and so much more.
Deadpool is an apolitical cavalcade of jokes and nonconformists, so it’s befitting that Domino’s character is a sister. Despite being America’s outcasts and undeniably the most unappreciated, undervalued, and unprotected group, we’ve risen to become the most educated and fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country. But, as we sisters know, it took a little luck and a lot of #BlackGirlMagic.