Friday, February 1, 2013

Hero Spotlight: Sentry

What happened here? How did the star of one of the best mini series Marvel's ever produced become a Poochie like character fans seemed to largely cheer for when he was finally killed off? The short answer is Bendis. The long answer is Bendis has a tendency for setting up status quos, character developments, conflicts, and situations he has no clue how to deal with or solve.

First, for those of you who don't know the Sentry is Robert Reynolds, the greatest hero of Marvel's silver age that we all forgot. Back in 2000 Marvel published the original Sentry series. As a promotion an article was ran in Wizard magazine claiming that this was a lost Stan Lee creation he has rediscovered in some old filed away paper work. Fake original art was even made for the article. This was all just a clever way to promote the mini series, and given the concept of the mini, that memory of Sentry had been erased, I thought it gave things a cool little meta touch.

In the mini Reynolds is beginning to remember he's the Sentry and others are too. Unfortunately his nemesis, the Void, is also returning. As the Sentry and an assortment of Earth's heroes gather to stand up to the Void it becomes apparent the Void is another personality of Sentry and that's why memory of the Sentry was erased and must be erased again.

Like I said, it was a damn good series and if you haven't read it you should check out the trade. But then came Bendis and his New Avengers run. As I said before, Bendis did a lot of good for the Avengers franchise and his run had a lot of great moments. But for reasons I've never understood he brought the Sentry back and made him an Avenger. Bendis essentially turned Sentry into just Superman with mental problems. But like I said Bendis tends to set things up with little thought to what to do with them or how to resolve them. Because Sentry was so insanely powerful, on par with silver age pre-crisis Superman, he basically rendered his fellow Avengers irrelevant in a fight. So more often than not Sentry found himself sitting on the sidelines for often the flimsiest of reasons. So Bendis brought back a character who was literally designed to be in comic book limbo and then never used him because he didn't know how. Sentry was finally killed in the Siege event to no tears and even a few sighs of relief from fans. Truly the Sentry is an example of why sometimes you should just leave things be.

2 comments:

  1. I think the reason Sentry failed is BECAUSE he was nothing more than a Superman copy. There's NOTHING like the original, and Sentry was nothing like the original! :)

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  2. I had always believed the theory that the Sentry was really an amnesic Beyonder. Who else could warp reality by inserting him into the Silver Age? There were plenty of little "clues" along the way that could suggest he really was the Beyonder all along. And his secret identity Robert Reynolds? An anagram for "RR Lost Beyonder". I agree with you that Bendis didn't really know what direction to take this character so he took a shortcut and just made him crazy. A shame; I was always hoping there was something "more" to the character.

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