March 28, 2010

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: The Sentry

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Written by: Billy
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Welcome back comic book enthusiasts to another exciting look at one of Marvel’s current characters in Marvel Snapshot. I hope you’re enjoying the new format because I know I am, and by the feedback it looks as though most of you are as well. This week I’m going to creep away from the cosmic scene to take an in-depth look at Robert Reynolds, A.K.A. The Sentry. Love him or hate him (as many do), Sentry has caused quite a bit of controversy, which is probably still a good thing for Marvel’s sales numbers anyway. The Sentry was created by Paul Jenkins, Rick Veitch, and Jae Lee.

I have to admit that I personally never even heard of Sentry before his appearance in New Avengers #1. After reading the first few issues of that book and about him, I thought I really liked him, but it seems that marvel hasn’t really striven to give him a proper origin. The origin I know states that Robert Reynolds was a costumed hero many years ago, but his powers were so out of control due to mental manipulation by Mastermind, that he and his hero friends erased everyone’s memory of him in order to make the Void go away. The Void by the way was thought at first to be some boogeyman that was Sentry’s main antagonist, but we eventually found out later that the Void is nothing more than his own dark persona, kind of like split personality disorder. Just a quick side note: Sentry supposedly obtained his powers from drinking a serum similar to the one that changed Steve Rogers into Captain America, only tens of thousands times stronger.

After years of being dormant because he believed he killed his own wife, Lindy, Bob is approached in a prison called The Raft by Matt Murdoch and Foggy Nelson. Before they can say much though, a prison break is orchestrated (part of a Skrull invasion plan), and super villains start going wild and killing all the guards. Murdoch and Foggy are trapped and about to be killed by Carnage, but Sentry appears, takes Carnage into space, and rips him in half. That for me was the height of this character, because after that I started to look into his origin and saw how it was very convoluted, which made the character lose some steam. There were still some good stories involving Sentry in New Avengers, like the whole Sentry arc (issues 7-10), where it shows all of Earth’s heroes fighting The Void, and Emma Frost figuring out that Bob’s own mind is where The Void resides. Eventually, Emma convinces Bob to get control of his evil other personality, and he does. A little farther down the road though, Sentry is attacking members of the X-Men at the request of his new boss Norman Osborn, and Emma unlocks The Void from Bob’s mind to scare him off of the battlefield. This plan works, but also leaves a tiny sliver of the Void persona in Emma’s mind, which in turn is later transferred to the mind of Scott Summers for safe keeping.

***Minor Spoilers Ahead***

If you haven’t read Siege #3 or Dark Avengers #15 yet, turn away!

If you’ve been reading Dark Avengers since its inception, you’ll know that Sentry’s character had become more of a cliché than anything for a while. He was basically Norman’s attack dog or muscle every time something would be too tough for anyone else to handle. It seems as though Marvel just uses him to solve any problem that should take a lot longer to solve. Recently we’ve seen how The Void persona has completely taken over now, and Osborn has somehow convinced him/it to obey his commands. In a recent issue of Dark Avengers, Norman realizes that Lindy is keeping The Void in check somewhat, so he orchestrates her death by having Bullseye (Hawkeye) take her on a little chopper ride that ends up with her being executed then tossed in the ocean. This finally pushes Bob’s fragile mind over the edge completely, and he doesn’t even seem to care about The Void being in total control.

If you have been reading Siege, you’ll know that if it wasn’t for Sentry/Void, Norman would have already lost. In issue #2, we saw him rip Ares, God of War in half (see above pic), and now in issue #3 we have also seen him take Thor’s mightiest strike from Mjolnir and barely act as if he was hit. We are left with Norman Osborn reverting to his evil side, The Green Goblin, but as he does he commands Sentry/Void to bring it all down. Sentry/Void then smashes Asgard itself to bits, and it plummets to the ground. The heroes are left standing in awe of his apparently limitless power.

This is The Void: Be afraid, be very afraid!

In my opinion, this character has a really dumb origin, but I also think with New Avengers #1, Marvel made this character relevant, and even dare I say cool? I really didn’t care for a lot of the Dark Avengers stuff involving him, but I think Siege has definitely changed my opinion back to a favorable one. Who knows what the future holds for Sentry, but many have speculated that he is going to die at the end of Siege, due to the release of an image that shows someone with long hair being held by some other heroes. Only time will tell, I guess. There is also the recent speculation by Lindy before she died, that Sentry’s powers come from a divine authority. I don’t know how Marvel would handle that angle, or if it was just material, but it would be interesting to see if they went that route. That’s all for now, but this character definitely has me even more interested in Siege than I was before I knew what a major player he was going to be in it!

Suggested Reading
The Sentry vol. 1 #1-5
World War Hulk #1-5
The Age of The Sentry #1-6
New Avengers #1-10
Dark Avengers #1-

Billy Dunleavy



  1. I wonder if he will be revealed to have some connection with MarvelMan?

  2. Eli

    I liked the Sentry when I read that first mini of his, The Sentry #1-5, but I became a little tired of him. I thought the end of World War Hulk was kind of lame. However, all of this Norman Osborn/Sentry stuff is getting me interested once again. I’m probably too late though, since Marvel may just end up killing him off in a little while.

    Though I guess I’ll only need to wait a year or so for them to bring him back.

  3. Billy

    @Bill-That is one of the other hot rumors I keep hearing about. 😉
    @Eli-I’m in the same boat with Bob. I really liked him at first, then lost interest, but know with all that’s going on am pumped about him. Anybosy that can tear Carnage and Ares in half and kick the snot out of Thor (I really hate to admit that), deserves respect. Supes knock-off or not. 🙂

  4. Kristin

    The little bit I’ve read of him…the guy is totally mental. Ridiculously powerful and dangerous.

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Comic Attack, Comic Attack, Comic Attack, Marvel Mistress, Aron White and others. Aron White said: He can kick Superman's ASS! RT @ComicAttack: Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: The Sentry! #siege […]

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