Sentry (Robert Reynolds)

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  • Powers: Serum-based powers grant him Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, agility, reflexes, senses, and durability
    Flight
    Light and radiation manipulation
    Telepathy

The Sentry (Robert "Bob" Reynolds) is a comic book superhero who lives in the Marvel Comics universe. Created by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee for the Marvel Knights line, the character starred in a successful 2000 limited series whose promotion included a hoax that claimed the Sentry to be a forgotten pre-Fantastic Four creation of Stan Lee. Writer Brian Michael Bendis returned the character to print in 2004 when he re-introduced the Sentry as a member of the Avengers.

Contents

Publication history

Hoax

Marvel promoted The Sentry limited series as the first appearance of an unknown Stan Lee Silver Age hero; the publisher, however, fabricated the story. Comic book magazine Wizard: The Guide to Comics participated in the hoax, reporting that Marvel had discovered sketches by a forgotten artist named Artie Rosen of a superhero created by Stan Lee that pre-dated the Fantastic Four's creation.

character biography

Sentry and the Marvel Universe

In the 2000 limited series The Sentry, and its related one-shots, Bob Reynolds remembers that he is the Sentry, a superhero whose "power of one million exploding suns" derives from a special serum. Realizing that his arch-nemesis the Void is returning, Reynolds seeks out several prominent Marvel characters to warn them and to discover why no one remembers the Sentry.

The characters' memories of the Sentry and the Void resurface when Reynolds talks with them. The Sentry had taught Angel how to conquer his fear of falling. Peter Parker's photograph of the Sentry earned him a Pulitzer Prize and fame. The Hulk had never forgotten the Sentry, whom he called "Golden Man". Under the Sentry's influence, the Hulk had been a force for good which had redeemed his violent actions and won the adoration of the public. Reed Richards remembers the Sentry was his best friend and that the Fantastic Four had teamed up with him on many adventures. Meanwhile the general public themselves gradually come to remember the Sentry as does Reynolds' old sidekick, Billy Turner, formerly known as the Scout.

During the course of his investigation, Reynolds and Reed Richards discover what had happened: as the Void had threatened the Earth, the heroes learned that the Sentry and the Void were two halves of the same person, and in order to save the world, Robert Reynolds erased his memory from the mind of nearly every person on Earth. As the heroes stand along the United States' East Coast, united against the coming Void, Reynolds realizes that he must make the sacrifice again, and with the help of his mechanical servant C.L.O.C., Richards, and Doctor Strange, Reynolds erases the Sentry from the world's memories once more.

New Avenger

In 2004's New Avengers #1, Reynolds re-appears inside the supervillain prison the Raft, voluntarily imprisoned for murdering his wife Lindy Lee. During a massive jail break in which several Marvel superheroes are caught, the Sentry defends several other characters from Carnage, whom he flies to space and rips in half.

Eventually, the Avengers learn that Mastermind, under the direction of Sentry villain the crazed General, implanted a virus in Reynolds' mind that created delusions and the existence of the Void, which is actually Reynolds' repressed persona. The mental virus impaired Reynolds' ability to remember life, and, as a cry for help, he subconsciously implanted his memories into the mind of comic book writer Paul Jenkins, who then transferred those memories to comic books. Emma Frost releases Reynolds from the virus, and the Sentry joins the Avengers (though the world no longer remembers him or the Void) and discovers that he had never killed his wife. Additionally, the Sentry's Watchtower appears atop the Stark Tower, where it had been all along.

Cover art to The Sentry (vol 2) #1.Art by John Romita Jr
Cover art to The Sentry (vol 2) #1.
Art by John Romita Jr

In the 2005 Sentry limited series by Paul Jenkins and John Romita Jr, the Sentry has captured the hearts of the public, newspapers refer to him as "the Golden Guardian of Good", and he saves hundreds of lives on a daily basis; Reynolds' psychological problems, however, have worsened. Unable to reconcile that Robert Reynolds, the Sentry and the Void are the same being, the Sentry contained the Void in a vault in the Watchtower. At C.L.O.C.'s urging, Reynolds' psychiatrist Dr. Cornelius Worth enters the vault and finds only a chair and a mirror. When Cornelius confronts Reynolds with this, Reynolds becomes confused and runs to the fairgrounds where he first gained his powers.

Cornelius follows Reynolds to the fairgrounds where the Sentry and the Void have been fighting. The Void claims that Reynolds transforms into him rather than the Sentry: the Sentry is merely a guilt-borne byproduct. With only half of Robert Reynolds' memories (the Void possessing the other half), the Sentry isn't sure the Void is wrong. The Sentry chases the Void away and then explains to Cornelius that Reynolds hired him because he subconsciously wanted someone to reveal the Void's existence to the world so he would no longer have to hide that aspect of himself. The Sentry then tells Cornelius how Reynolds really gained his powers as a teenager: by stealing the Professor's serum and ingesting it to get high. He further reveals he knew all along that the Void was never really in the Watchtower's vault, but if Reynolds believed the Void to be there then the Void would be dormant.

In a final battle at Antarctica, the Void claimed that Reynolds had actually ingested a super-saturated, exponentially more potent version of the Super-Soldier formula that created Captain America. This was considered dangerous by the government because the Sentry's blood could be used to create more of the serum, enough for the entire world. Several failed attempts were made to kill him. Enraged by this revelation, the Sentry throws the Void into the Sun, telling his enemy that he no longer needs him to balance his own actions of good. The Void promises to return.

In New Avengers Annual #1, Yelena Belova attacks the Avengers and absorbs the Sentry's powers. After Belova defeats each of the Avengers, she is defeated by the manifestation of the Void, which envelops and incapacitates her. The Sentry tells Belova that absorbing his powers has exposed her to the Void, but if she answers his questions, he can send the Void away.

The Sentry continues to be troubled by his psychological issues, including his fear of the Void. In New Avengers #17, Captain America has to give the Sentry a pep talk before he could work up the nerve to join a fight.

In Iron Man (vol.4) #9-10, the U.S. government sends Sentry to apprehend Iron Man, who had been mind-controlled to assassinate a number of high-profile former terrorists. Unable to find any physical weaknesses or outrun the Sentry, Iron Man attacks the Sentry's mind; he remotely hacks C.L.O.C. and has Sentry barraged with unfiltered warnings about multiple devastating disasters occurring simultaneously throughout the world. Unable to prioritize which alarm to deal with first, Sentry collapsed to the ground in tears, utterly incapacitated.

Civil War

See Civil War In Marvel Comics' 2006 Civil War storyline, the Sentry sides with Iron Man's Pro-Registration program. He has been seen in a promotional poster labeled "Civil War: The Final Battle," again on Iron Man's side. He accompanies a SHIELD squad to battle Wolverine and tells him that he doesn't want to get involved but sees no choice - he claims he has to stop the ugly business even if that means becoming part of it for a while. He then knocks Wolverine unconscious and hands him over to S.H.I.E.L.D.Wolverine #47

Trying to escape from the battle, believing that every path he could choose would ultimately lead to the death of people he knew (one of his thoughts at this point consisted of himself and Hulk triumphantly returning to Earth and 'ending' the war via killing all the heroes) Sentry was confronted by the Inhumans.New Avengers #24 Believed a threat, he was ordered to follow them to Black Bolt's presence. Then, after a discussion of the Civil War events with the (still unaware) Inhumans, he rekindled his friendship with them and almost resumed his past relationship with Crystal. He was then confronted by Iron Man himself, who finally convinced a still reluctant Sentry to join him.

It is stated that the Sentry publicly announces his support of the Registration Act three days after the climactic battle of the Civil War limited series.In Civil War: Front Line #11

World War Hulk

A confrontation with the Hulk ends up dropping Sentry's Watchtower straight down through Stark Tower/Avengers headquarters, destroying it.World War Hulk #1 Reed Richards tries to build a machine that will cast a projection of the Sentry and recreates his calming aura, hoping that it would calm the Hulk, but the Hulk doesn't fall for it.World War Hulk #2

Later in a confrontation between the Hulk and the Fantastic Four, Sue Storm tries to call the real Sentry for help, but he does not answer the call and is sitting in his apartment watching television. The President of the United States tries to convince the Sentry to fight against his longtime friend the Hulk. It is still unclear in this issue whether or not he will take the call.World War Hulk #3

After the Hulk turns Madison Square Garden into a gladiatorial arena and forces Mister Fantastic, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, and Iron Man to fight one another, the military turns to the Sentry for help once again. The Sentry admits to his fear of his tremendous power mixed with his agoraphobia, stating,

"It's the agoraphobia. Some days it's...I can't...Sorry, Tony. You'll have to handle this one yourselves."

Followed by...

"Against an opponent this powerful...The amount of energy I'd have to expend...if I...lost control, for even a millisecond..."

After watching the events on TV and witnessing the Hulk apparently deciding, in Roman-style, to force Reed Richards to kill Tony Stark, he leaves his home stating that, "It's time to play god".World War Hulk #4

The Sentry engages the Hulk and unleashes his power. During the prolonged fight they both expend massive amounts of energy, while Sentry displays a side of blood lust to himself as a result of finally utilizing his full power. In the last few seconds they both revert to human form. After Bruce delivers a weak final punch, the broken-faced Robert Reynolds thanks Bruce before immediately collapsing before his feet.World War Hulk #5

Mighty Avengers

The Sentry was recruited by Tony Stark to be part of the Mighty Avengers, the newest incarnation of the Avengers team. While at first there was some dispute between the Sentry and his wife, Robert joins the team while Tony Stark and Ms. Marvel offer him assistance to battle his mental issues. He's described to be the most powerful member of the team, but lacks proper training on how to use his abilities, usually apologizing for his mistakes (apologizing for damage to a building and being thrown into a blimp in #1).

In the battle against Ultron the two proved to be evenly matched. Neither was able to win until Ultron used a virus to down Stark's helicarrier. Ultron then initiated "Plan B" and killed Lindy, the Sentry's wife.Mighty Avengers #4

An enraged Sentry - his eyes completely dark, reminiscient of a possible return of the Void - attacks Ultron once more. And in an exchange of blows Sentry is knocked away as Ares and Ant-Man proceed to infest Ultron with a virus intended to destroy it. Soon after, Sentry once again attacks Ultron, almost compromising the Avengers plan, nearly destroying Ultron by tearing its head off. Before he can finish, he is knocked away by Ms. Marvel. After Ultron's defeat he returns to the Watchtower to find his wife, Lindy, alive and well - having apparently revived her himself. Stark is later shocked when a terrified Lindy secretly requests that he find a way to either de-power or kill her husband.Mighty Avengers #5, #6 and #7

Powers and abilities

The Sentry rips Carnage in half. Interior panel from New Avengers #2. Drawn by David Finch.
The Sentry rips Carnage in half. Interior panel from New Avengers #2. Drawn by David Finch.

The Sentry's powers derive from a serum that moves his molecules an instant ahead of the current timeline, although he also absorbs solar radiation for strength.The Sentry #1 Even though most of his powers and their limits are unknown, he displays several abilities including vast superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability and senses, the power of flight, and energy projection.

The Sentry has been shown to be able to easily lift tremendous weights, but generally greatly restrains his full power,<ref name="Sentry Reborn">Sentry: Reborn and was unable to stop the S.H.I.E.L.D. carrier from crashing without the help of Wonder Man and Ms. Marvel.Mighty Avengers #3 He has been able to effortlessly defeat, and break the axe of Terrax,Sentry #1 a herald of Galactus shown as powerful enough to slice planets in two,Annihilation: Heralds of Galactus #1 and his unrestrained power even overloaded the Absorbing Man.<ref name="Sentry Reborn">Sentry: Reborn His speed is great enough to catch bullets, and through flight he can travel to the sun and back in a matter of minutes. Nick Fury has stated that SHIE.LD has not yet found a way to kill the Sentry, and Iron Man's scanners have found no physical weaknesses in his body. His durability rivals that of Thor, and Hercules.The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol. 4, Avengers 2005. By unleashing his entire might he even managed to fight an extremely enraged Hulk for a prolonged time, until the point of a standstill.World War Hulk #5.

The Sentry also has superhuman senses as he once told an opponent that he can see his nerve centers and claimed to be able to "hear a butterfly sneeze in Central Africa" from New York City. He can project energy fields and control light, and he uses his mental powers in his daily life, although they are primarily used for holding his physical form together. He was once able to implant his memories inside another person's mind. He can also emit a radiation that pacifies the Hulk, severely limiting the latter's rage-fueled power. His main weakness may be that he's been shown as susceptible to mental manipulation.

Sentry has boasted,New Avengers #24; Civil War: The Return and been referred to by the Thing,World War Hulk #5 as having the "power of a million exploding suns," and possesses tremendous energy projection, capable of harming even the Hulk, who has withstood the equivalent of solar flares unharmed.World War Hulk #5 The serum he drank was stated as being a hundred thousand times stronger than the original used on Captain America, and was modified by Weapon X.

His Void 'counterpart'/nemesis possesses the ability to shape-shift, and through its control over the weather and darkness it can create destructive storms and deadly "infini-tendrils" attacking the mind. Victims impaled on the tendrils experience traumatic visions of the past, present, and future. Its regular appearance varies between a shadowy, trench coat-wearing villain to a massive hurricane of darkness. It can also assume powers dependent on shape, like a flame form that breathes fire, alternately an armored monster with super strength and toughness. It is at its strongest during the night and in the Negative Zone. Coincidentally, Sentry is at his weakest in the negative zone, although he can still withstand blasts of N-Zone energy.

As revealed in The Mighty Avengers issue 6 series, The Sentry appears to be able to bring the dead back to life under extreme emotional distress. After Ultron/Tony Stark murdered his wife, Sentry was able to resuscitate her by simply touching her. It does not appear he has control over this power, as he was shocked by his ability to do such an act.

Appearance

The Sentry was originally drawn with short blonde hair in his first miniseries; in subsequent appearances he has grown his hair longer.

Other versions

Marvel Zombies

A version of the Sentry is responsible for the zombie outbreak depicted in Ultimate Fantastic Four and Marvel Zombies. A Sentry from another alternate universe appears looking for food, and the zombie virus quickly spreads to nearly every super-powered character in that world. It is explained that the infection started only a few days ago after an unidentified infected superhero similar to Sentry from yet another dimension crashed into New York City looking for more people to eat and infect. He is never called by name and is only distinguishable by his outfit. His ultimate fate isn't mentioned in either series.

In other media

Action figures

Toy Biz has released 2 Marvel Legends Sentry action figures, exclusive to Wal-Mart. The normal figure is clean shaven and has short hair, while the chase figure has long hair and a beard, similar to his appearance in New Avengers #1.

Sentry is a unique figure in the Armor Wars expansion of the collectible figurine game Heroclix.

Sentry is also featured in the 12th wave of Marvel Minimates.

Trading card games

The Sentry has two cards in the VS system trading card game. The first is a powerful rare from the Marvel Team-Up set, in which he is affiliated with the Spider-Friends. The second card is from the Marvel Legends set, in which he is affiliated with the Marvel Knights team.

Bibliography

See also

External links

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