Current Reviews


The Sentry #1

Posted: Monday, October 3, 2005
By: Dominic Organ

Writer: Paul Jenkins
Artists: John Romita Jr. (p), Mark Morales (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Iím going to be honest, I didnít know this was coming out and when I saw it on the shelves, I immediately snatched up a copy, knocking over a small boy as I thundered towards the till to buy my little comic fix. So Iím slumped over in the alley and the euphoric high I was expecting never comes, instead Iím left with a wet backside from the street and more questions than answers. Paul Jenkins returns to scribe the Sentry, and he misses the mark several times which is odd given his aptitude with the character in the past.

The Sentry assists the Avengers is seeing off the forces of Attuma, though all is not well with the Golden Guardian of good. His computer Cloc directs him to trouble spots around the world, forcing him to prioritize what situations needs his attention, what situations donít, and what situation can be manipulated in such a way that minimal damage is incurred while simultaneously allowing the Sentry to move on to the next problem. He takes some time to go deep into the bowels of his tower to speak with his most powerful incarcerated foe: The Void. He also changes into Bob Reynolds to meet with his therapist to discuss Bob's role in the Sentry's lifestyle.

I donít get what this is. I donít understand what they are trying to do with this series but more importantly with this issue. Avengers Big Wig and resident Marvel Golden Lad Brian M. Bendis has been criticised for removing much of the character traits and idiosyncrasies that made the Sentry who he is. I can only assume this eight issue mini has been commissioned to undo some of the damage done by blurring the lines of what he has actually done to the character. If this first issue is to be believed, the Void is still a serious threat to all concerned, and Bob is a schizophrenic taking meds to help ease the problem. On top of all this he is, it would seem, the only hero on the planet bar the Avengers.

This is a poor first issue. I refuse to believe that the Sentry has to deal with all these crises alone when the Marvel Earth is alive with super powered beings. Even our Earth doesnít have so many problems, and we donít even have the Great Lake Avengers (I know the Marvel universe doesnít either now but cut me some slack, hmmm?). Add to this the battle between the Avengers and Attuma's lads being pretty unstructured and hard to followÖ..wellÖÖitís not been worth getting out of bed for.

Now, I intended to give this , but I amended it to as the issue does have a few redeeming qualities. The strongest being that I understand and see what Jenkins was trying to do here. He was trying to show the distance the Sentry has from all those around him due to his mental issues and the threat of the void. The idea of a hero having to cost millions in ecological damage as the best course of action is a solid one, though not focused on enough here. Really we have an issue all about the Sentryís timetable and while not good, itís not terrible either. His conversations with the Void and his therapist are revealing, though hardly informative or overly interesting. The two things that give the issue the solid instead of the shakey are: the art is exciting, lots of energy and colour thrown around to keep the eyes happy even as your wallet cries out at more money spent on brightly coloured paper. The other is the idea of the Sentry himself. Yes, claims that he is a Superman clone will continue to circulate but I think if Marvel can strike the right balance the Sentry might even Surpass Superman for story potential. His Clash with Terrax provides a look at the way Marvel is hoping to play the Sentry. Previously a villain of Terraxí nature would have clashed with the entire Avengers team but here, only the Sentry is needed. His power levels still need to be explored, and I have concerns over the strength he displayed when smashing his way out of the Raft (A prison with Adamantium laced walls. Can he really break through Adamantium?), but Iím willing to wait and see. Mr. Jenkins, if youíre reading this, next issue, give me something, huh? Try to repair some of the New Avengers damage and give me the Sentry that got the coveted in the TPB.

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