Sentry: Hero or Mistake?

Siege #4
Siege #4

Well Marvel did it they got rid of Sentry in the last issue of Siege of Asgard. It helped bring the end to a lot of story lines and ushered the Age of Heroes to the Marvel Universe after the journey down the dark side with “Dark Reign“.

Siege is a turning point in Marvel and the end of the many Avenger titles to one as it should be. Sentry began as a forgotten hero of yesterday and ended as a threat to mankind and a mentally deranged psychopath. The Sentry (Robert “Bob” Reynolds) first appears in The Sentry #1 (Sep. 2000) and was created by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee, with uncredited conceptual contributions by Rick Veitch. The Marvel Knights 2000 miniseries was very popular and people labeled the Sentry as the Marvel Superman. He had super-speed, super-strength, could fly, and was invulnerable but the similarities to Superman ended there. He had no moral compass in his childhood as Superman. In fact nothing about his childhood was brought out in the series or later manifestations of the hero. Also he had a dark-side that tried to undo every good work the Sentry did. As good as the Sentry was the dark-side (Void) was just as evil.

In the series Dark Avengers Lindy (Bob’s wife) records Sentry’s origins as a drug addict and that he found the Professor’s super serum by accident. After drinking the serum Bob destroyed the lab, killing his partner and two guards. As the Sentry, Bob lives a hero’s life, forgetting about his past as a thief, murderer, and addict, blaming them on “a bogey-man” that would become the Void. Lindy knew that Osborn’s manipulations were unlocking the Void again. And then it happened the Void became the dominate persona of Sentry and it took the collective power of of all the heroes and the power of Thor to defeat the Sentry. And Thor threw Sentry’s body into the sun.

Some people are happy the Sentry is gone he was a mistake that Marvel made right by throwing him into the sun. Others say it was a waste of a great character one with “the Power of a Million Exploding Suns”.  The fact is I don’t know what his creators intended in bringing him to the Marvel universe but Bob Reynolds never knew who he was and as extraordinary as he was as a hero, he never was real to himself. He was a phony trying to live a life that betrayed his roots. He was a very messed up young man. He really had no anchor of good in his life. He had no reference point of morality in his early childhood leading to a life of addiction and crime.

The Sentry Fallen Sun

It is amazing he did not become the Void in the beginning. Perhaps out of guilt he created the Guardian of Good persona but the unusual circumstances of his origin as a super-powered being made it so he could not see things gray only black or white. Good or Evil only dominated his life. There was no struggle to find who he was and his purpose. He gave in to being good and being evil at the same time and the serum gave him the power to be both.

We do not have the power that Bob Reynolds to manifest our diverse personalities. Duel personalities are caused by some life trauma and people create other personality to protect themselves from the trauma. Perhaps this is what happened to Bob Reynolds in the accident at the Professor’s lab it was traumatic enough to create the good vs evil personalities. What ever the reason he became one of the strangest characters ever to be in the Marvel universe. I think he was happiest when he was just a normal guy with no memory of being a hero married to Lindy. After all this is just a comic character but I think he is the most interesting Hero/Villain to come along in comic history. And as it has been know to happen in comic-dom just maybe we have not seen the last of The Sentry. Only time and the comic writers will tell. Let me know what you think. See you at the comic shop. Stay tuned comic faithful for More. 🙂 Walt

4 Thoughts to “Sentry: Hero or Mistake?”

  1. Nice blog. I just bookmarked you on my bloglines.

    Sent from my iPhone 4G

  2. I really liked the Sentry. I felt like his story arc was actually going somewhere as opposed to most comic book characters who just fight and live to fight another day.
    Philosophically speaking, the Sentry was on par with the Sandman, Silver Surfer, Dr. Manhattan, and Dr. Strange. These are beings with endless power, but the conflict is in the “why” not the “how” of facing conflict.
    I don’t know why people would rather read Spiderman beating up whomever is next, or Cap and Ironman getting along just fine. I learn more about the human condition from characters like the Sentry.
    I know it is a hard story to resolve, since how do you resolve the struggle of morality and the human spirit? (Which is why all those characters I mentioned earlier are now Deus Ex Machinas mostly.) But I think Bendis rocked it, and it’s too bad we didn’t get to see it all pan out.

  3. Walt

    I agree Andy you are right on that is why I follow these powerful characters to test the human condition and stretch the imagination to see what we are capable of. The only limits we have on imagination is in the mind. Thanks for your comments, Walt

  4. Cedric Mohinani

    Insightful website:) I am going to want a decent amount of time to entertain this blog.

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