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Sentinel #7

Posted: Thursday, October 16, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Sean KcKeever
Artists: UDON's Vriens, Heilig, Hepburn and Vedder

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
As Juston continues to struggle with his feelings of guilt, we see a trio of government officials are in the area investigating the initial attack, as well as a string of unusual reports that have stemmed from Juston's use of the Sentinel to perform heroic deeds. As the issue ends we see Juston's evening out is interrupted when a passing plane loses an engine and crashes down in the woods nearby.

Comments:
This issue continues to examine the idea that Juston is feeling guilty about the trickery he engaged in when he used the Sentinel to terrorize his school, before he rushed in to save the day. Now the idea that this attack didn't trigger a greater response from the government is a bit curious, as are the reports that a giant purple robot didn't key the government agents to the fact that their likely suspect was a Sentinel. However, while the reaction of the outside world seems a bit off, the book remains exceptionally strong when it comes to it's presentation of Juston, and his environment. First off it's great to see that he has found a new hiding spot for the Sentinel, as it was asking a bit much that Juston's father never entered the massive work shed. The idea that Juston is using the Sentinel to perform acts of heroism is also nicely done, as we see in this rural community there's not a great deal for them to accomplish, as we see in the month that have passed he has used the Sentinel to perform some fairly run of the mill rescues, like putting out a house fire, and rescuing a driver from an overturned tanker truck. However the last page of this issue makes it clear that Juston will be called upon to perform a rescue where one can't be entirely certain there are any survivors, and if the are none one can bet that any evidence that the Sentinel was on site will result in it being blamed for bringing the plane down, thanks in large part to the attack upon the school.

As for the art, I must confess there are moments when the work looks a little too cartoonish, and as such there are sections of the issue that aren't nearly as effective as they might've been, with the plane crash in the final pages being the most notable example. The government agent who has been sent to investigate the attack is also a little too comedic looking that he doesn't really convey a sense of danger. However, there are some fairly impressive visuals in this issue, starting with the one page shot of the Sentinel rising up out of it's new hiding spot, before taking to the air. I also have to make mention of the cover design, as it's a very eye catching visual, and I hope that people don't simply dismiss it as a gimmick, as it's a rather interesting look that I hope gets used again.

Final Word:
This issue is guilty of being a little slow moving as while there's some new insight, such as the revelation that there is a band of government agents investigating the attack, for the most part this issue seems to be content merely examining the same ideas that were looked at in the previous chapter. Now Sean McKeever does a nice job of playing with these ideas, as there's a solid exchange between Jessie and another girl that expresses an interest in Juston, and it is nice to see Juston is back interacting with his friends and family. However, given this is supposed to be a new arc it did feel like the book was almost reluctant to move forward with any new ideas, though hopefully the big event that plays out in the final pages will trigger a higher level of excitement in these pages. The one thing I do enjoy about this series is its understanding that Juston is a young character, and as such he's allowed to look terrified when it comes to dealing with girls, and deliver a shout of excitement when the Sentinel takes to the air.



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