Some people consider The Sentry to be Marvel's Superman, but I feel like he is more comparable to Shazam from DC Comics. I know next to nothing about the Sentry but I do know enough to give you a basic rundown of who his character is and some other supporting characters in The Sentry's mythos. Instead of going over a brief or recent history of the character, I think I know little enough about him that I can The Sentry's origin as we go through the first issue.
The first issue of the five issue run on Sentry by Jeff Lemire and Kim Jacinto is really interesting so far. Essentially it follows Bob Reynolds, who was given the powers of the Sentry from a special serum, and whenever Bob wants to use his powers he turns into The Sentry. This is why I say he's more comparable to Shazam than he is to Superman in DC. The difference between Bob Reynolds and Billy Batson (Shazam) is that Billy has to scream or say Shazam to change forms, while Bob can just turn into The Sentry whenever he pleases. Not only that, but if Bob is not in his Sentry form, then he is just a regular person like Billy Batson. The thing that makes Bob Reynolds' Sentry a bit different from the Shazam character is that Bob has two characters or forms that he can turn into.
Bob Reynolds theoretically has three forms. The first form is his regular human form. While he is in this form he has no powers, and is just a regular middle-aged guy with a little bit of a gut. When Bob turns into the Sentry, he become muscular with long Blonde hair, a Gold and Blue Costume, with a belt that has a large "S" on it, and has the power of "one million exploding suns." His third form is really cool actually because of the fact that he is unable to control his transformation into The Sentry's evil self, The Void. The Void really only looks like the sentry but black and red with a backwards "S." But The Void has other more terrifying forms too though.
There is no explanation as to why Bob Reynolds can turn into The Void, but what we do know is that is he turns into the sentry and uses his powers, then he risks losing control and unleashing The Void. The Void is supposed to be so powerful that if he were to be unleashed he'd completely wreck the entire universe. This is primarily the reason that we don't see the Sentry in action all that much in the Marvel Universe. He could try to become the Sentry to save people, but what's the point if you're trying to save a few people, but accidentally destroy the galaxy in the process.
Since I've given you a very basic understanding of Bob Reynolds and his forms, I think we have enough information to get into the main story now. The first issue begins with Bob Reynolds sitting down with his eyes closed while in front of what looks like the pendulum of a clock. While Bob is doing this, he tells the reader about how he doesn't just remember his life as Robert Reynolds, but his life as Sentry, and at times, The Void. Reynolds also explains that in order for him to prevent Void from being unleashed he stayed away from heroics. This is because if he uses his Sentry powers he may end up turning into the Void, and that would be just a huge mess for everybody in the universe, so for Bob staying away is probably the most logical conclusion you could reach.
Bob continues by saying that he has a solution to all of his Sentry/Void problems, and the solution lies in The Confluctor, the machine that he has been sitting in front of. Essentially what The Confluctor does is it houses a pocket universe where Bob can unleash the powers of the Sentry and the Void without hurting anybody in the real world. When we are shown what is happening in this pocket universe we find out that the version New York from there is being attacked by "shadows" that are being controlled by the Void. The Sentry is there to fight both the shadows and Void. He finds that he's having a hard time, and that's when back-up shows.
Swooping in to aid the Sentry, we have Scout, who is Sentry's sidekick, his dog, Watchdog, and a female version of Sentry called Sentress. Scout is actually Sentry's former sidekick in the main Marvel Universe named Billy Turner. Watchdog is his actual dog in the Marvel Universe as well. The only new addition to this team is Sentress. What this whole scene is meant to do is give us a quick introduction to characters that have been present in Sentry's publication history, and introduce characters that are just now entering the Sentry mythos to the reader.
With Scout, Watchdog, and Sentress joining the fight, Sentry goes off to find Void with the help of his own A.I. named Cloc. What Cloc does is tell Sentry that he is tracing some frequencies originating from the Moon, and that he is inside the Moon itself. So Sentry flies to the Moon and smashes it until the Moon has broken into a few pieces and he finds Void. Having Sentry punch holes through the moon shows that the guy is immensely powerful—so powerful that he can break a giant hunk of rock. Before the two start fighting, Void tells Sentry that he's about to lose, which is funny because literally two panels later The Sentry is doing this...
I'm actually really happy that Lemire and Jacinto included this panel in the issue because it highlights how strong Sentry is. Sentry literally grabbed Void's neck and ripped him in half. He didn't even throw a punch to take down Void. This really goes to show not just how strong he is, but how fast he is too. But the actual reason why I liked this panel so much was because it alludes to one of the most bad-ass moments in Sentry history. Or at least what I know of The Sentry's history. In essence, this panel is a recreation of the time that Sentry fought Ares, the Greek God of War, and won... by ripping him in half (shown below).
Continuing with the story, Sentry returns to his team after defeating the Void and they discuss some very important details. The Sentry notes that the Moon is starting to reform, and that's why he likes this pocket dimension. He likes it because nothing ever gets destroyed, nothing ever breaks forever. What Sentress says here is that because of the nature of this pocket universe, the Void will likely comeback. The Sentry responds to this by saying that he will be back to fight Void when he does. With that Sentry exits this pocket universe via The Confluctor.
I want you guys to understand something about Scout and Sentress in this issue. They are not from our universe; they were created with the pocket universe. What this means is that Scout and Sentress believe that this is how the world really is. A place that just rebuilds when it get destroyed. Not only that, but they think they are real, and weren't just creations made to serve the purpose of helping Sentry fight the Void in this little universe.
We pick up in the story with Bob finishing up in Sentry-land. And the first thing that he does is look at his watch that tells him how long he has until he needs to go back to Sentry-land. The reason as to why will be explained later in the issue. After this, Bob goes about his day as a regular guy. He eats breakfast and goes to work. Once Bob gets to work we are introduced to the people in his life (his regular life). First we have Billy Turner who works at Sven's Diner. If you remember, he was Scout in Sentry-land, but he was also Scout in the main Marvel Universe. But the important thing here is the introduction of Jenny. Jenny was Sentress while Bob was in Sentry-land, but in the main Marvel Universe she never took up the role. In fact, she's just a regular person like Bob. I'm not entirely sure what Billy Turner's current situation with superpowers is.
The introduction of Jenny could be used to create more opportunities to improve upon the Sentry's characterization. It could also be an attempt to expand Sentry's mythos by giving him new characters to interact with. What I think is that the introduction of Jenny does the job of adding newer elements to Sentry's story, while the inclusion of Billy in the issue is to serve as a placeholder for the older elements of the Sentry story.
When taking a break, Bob and Billy talk about what Bob was up to in the pocket universe, and Billy asks if he can find a way to go in there with Bob. Bob replies by saying that would be impossible because Doctor Strange created this pocket Universe inside of Bob's mind. This means that the only person that is allowed to physically go in there is supposed to be Bob. Since Bob only uses Sentry powers in Sentry-land, the Sentry and The Void are essentially trapped in the pocket universe within Bob's mind. However, he must go into the pocket universe every 24 hours; otherwise he risks having his Sentry or Void abilities manifest in the real world, which would put literally everybody in the universe in a terrible situation.
After Bob tells Billy that he can't go into Sentry-land, the conversation ends and the two get back to work. After work, Bob heads home when a large black car pulls up in front of Bob and a woman with a cybernetic arms steps out. This woman is Misty Knight, a character that I know virtually nothing about. But she says that Bob hasn't checked in with the A.C.D in the last week. Bob begins to argue with Misty by saying that she knows he has been sticking to his schedule of going into The Confluctor and becoming the Sentry once every 24 hours. What we find out here is that A.C.D stands for "Aberrant Crimes Division" and that they are in charge of making sure that Bob Reynolds doesn't destroy everything by accidentally becoming Void. This short conversation with Misty ends when she threatens Bob with being placed in a bunker hundreds of feet underground if he misses another appointment. Bob has no choice but to say that he will not miss an appointment again, and with that said, Misty leaves with her other A.C.D. agents.
Nearing the end of the issue, we are given two settings to focus on at the same time, Sentry-land and the Main Marvel Universe. In Sentry-land we see Scout and Watchdog waiting for Sentry to return to their pocket universe. Bob, in the "real world," is all grumpy as he makes his way home because of the encounter he had with Misty Knight and the other A.C.D agents. Once Bob gets home he finds that his door has been busted down, and that his Confluctor has been stolen. Back in Sentry-land, Scout and Watchdog see someone entering through the Confluctor. Surprised, Scout asked what the unknown person is doing in Sentry-land, which is then followed by Scout and Watchdog getting murdered by this person before the issue ends.
I'm really excited to see where Lemire is going to take the story, and the effect that it will have on the Marvel Universe. I mean with the Confluctor gone Bob is going to have to think of something fast. It's a race against time that leaves you wondering what will happen to Bob/Sentry/Void in the Marvel Universe, but also leaves us wondering what is going to happen to the Sentry-land because of this mysterious person. I'm also pretty excited to learn more about the main antagonist of this mini-series because I'm assuming the person that killed Scout and Watchdog is the main antagonist. People that have read ahead know who he is, and people that know a lot about Sentry probably have a good guess, but new readers to Sentry, like me, have absolutely no idea who this person is. Though we are going to find out a lot of things in the next issue I am sure.
With that, we have reached the end of this post. So what you have to look forward to is the stuff that I put on my profile update post. And the first installment of that should come out in a few days. Until then, please feel free to check out my other posts! See you in the next post!
Note: I do not own the panels, art, and characters shown in this post. All arts, panels and characters belong to their respective owners.