My issue with Marvel Earth's "greatest hero, ever"

I'm putting down my thoughts and personal opinions on the matter because I can recall at least three instances in recent memory when an assortment of Sentry fans on the Battle Forums accused me of bearing an extreme bias against the character. Here's the thing: I don't hate Sentry. I don't really think or care about the character enough to hate him. At best I'm disinterested in anything to do with him, and there are a few times when that disinterest has veered towards actual dislike. But I don't consider myself the kind of person who'll argue against a character simply because of any kind of blind hatred. I'll admit that there are some characters that a few of the folks on the Battle Forum know I openly hate, Hulk and Deadpool being the most prominent examples that I can think of. But even so, I don't charge into every Hulk thread and say "Hulk loses because he's a shitty character who should burn in the fire of a thousand hells!" or anything like that. If I believe Hulk or Deadpool would beat one of my favorite characters in a fight, I'll freely admit it.

But I digress: back to Sentry. For the purposes of this blog, let's assume that I do, in fact, actively dislike Bob Reynolds.

Before anyone says I don't "get" the character: perhaps, perhaps not. I know I've read almost everything Sentry has ever appeared in, so I have no fear in saying that I understand the character to a substantial degree at the least. And what I've observed from reading all those issues is a mountain of ignominy that contrary to the beliefs of many Sentry fans, did not originate with Bendis. The problem goes all the way back to Jenkins and his original Modern Age introduction of the character.

The crux of my distaste for Sentry is the fact that his mere existence is disrespectful to half the Marvel Universe. We've watched these characters for years and years. We've seen their heights and their depths, and when we identified characters that we liked more than the rest, we probed deeper and read all the stories we could find. We watched them grow from the grassroots up.

Not so with Sentry. I've seen Sentry fans on this site comment on what a glorious work Jenkins' Sentry was, and the only response I could come up with was "Are you serious?".

When I first read Marvel Knights: Sentry and the rest of the pre-Mighty Avengers stuff that he appeared in I couldn't believe what was happening. Many of Marvel's events were just being edited to shove Sentry in. Not just that, vital elements of established characters were being morphed in a manner that made some of their greatest achievements now possible only because of the previously unseen hand of the Sentry. We're told that he was always present, he was always there, he was always the greatest hero of all. Everyone just forgot about it. Come on. Is it just me or does that seem like an utterly incompetent way to establish your character? What's wrong with building him up from scratch? What's wrong with making his exploits unique? Why must he leech off the trials and tribulations of others and reduce the things that are so central to their character development?

Here's what Ragnell on blogspot had to say about the same thing. I'm just going to quote it directly here, because he covers absolutely all of my gripes and says it far better than I ever could:

That is the ultimate problem with the Sentry being shoehorned into the Marvel Universe. He becomes the Sun around which the rest of the Marvel Universe revolves. Forget every niche occupied by the characters of Marvel, those aren't their stories. Those are just backstories so that we can read about how wonderful the Sentry is! The Marvel Universe goes from being about the characters we love, the ones we love to read about, and becomes All About Bob.
Did you know Angel was once afraid to fly? Amazing, a mutant with wings being afraid of that. Surely, that's something to have overcome during his training under Professor Xavier? Nope, it's something the Sentry helped him through and is now a memory of how awesome Bob is. Why? Doesn't add anything to Angel, but it has to be there for Bob because he has to have taught the X-men something early on, or he wouldn't have been a notable hero in the Silver Age. Warren overcoming his fears? All About Bob.
Did you know that Reed Richards had a best friend outside the Fantastic Four? Someone close to him that wasn't Ben, Johnny, or Sue--his FAMILY members? Why, it was the Sentry. So perfect that one of the most standoffish men in the world was open to him. All of this bonding, of course, happened off-panel during the most important moments of Reed's life. You know, the moments we read that didn't have the Sentry in them. Don't get me wrong, Reed's not an unfriendly man or an extremely shy person, I actually consider him one of the more compassionate characters I've read--but he is incredibly self-absorbed and work-absorbed. Even Sue and Ben can barely get him to come up for air, so if he has a friendship outside of his small, insular group--a friendship where he would actually consider someone other than Ben his best friend--then it's something that built up over time and is a very big thing in Reed's life. It is something we find out about in Reed's story, not in that other character's story. But nope. It's only in Sentry stories and Sentry flashbacks that it comes up. Why? Because it's nothing to do with Reed. Nothing gets added to Reed because he was friends with the Sentry, and the Sentry was there during those moments. It's to show that the Sentry was smart, so smart he was friends with the smartest man in the world. And to show that the Sentry was a great hero that everyone was comfortable with off-duty too. Reed's friendship? All About Bob.
Did you know that Crystal slept with the Sentry? This, I suppose fits a bit. She likes temperamental, impulsive men with light coloring it seems. Of course, she doesn't remember the affair. He does. Why? Because the Sentry was there in the Silver Age, and he had to have gone to the moon. And what could he have done on the moon? Why, he can sleep with Crystal, because she's just some dumb slut, right? Not because she married too young and let two guys push her into choosing one or the other. Not because of her own insecurities or desires. Nope, doesn't matter why Crystal did it, because that romance had nothing to do with Crystal's situation or storyline. It was because sleeping with a moon princess is just something a Silver Age hero does. Crystal's love life? All About Bob.
And of course, there's Rogue. Poor Rogue, starved for the touch of another person. Rogue who it turns out had her first full sexual encounter with none other than the Sentry. What led to this? How did she react? How did the relationship end? Was there even a relationship? Who cares?! It doesn't matter what Rogue's role in this was, only that there was a void in her life and the Sentry filled it. Why? Because Rogue losing her virginity isn't about Rogue, silly. It's about how wonderful the Sentry was and how much we miss him! It's just one more throwaway moment in a list of moments of how awesome the Sentry is, how he saved everyone's lives and helped everyone do everything, and was the Superman-like inspiration they needed because Captain America somehow just didn't cut it. Not only that, he is so amazing that not only did he have a romance with the X-men's poor chaste belle, but he actually f**ked her which not even Gambit or Magneto can seem to pull off. He got the the prize, folks, and what is possibly the most desired experience in Rogue's life? You guessed it, All About Bob.

I find the Reed Richards incident particularly irritating. I'm a big fan of Reed, and I consider him to be quite possibly the smartest man in either Marvel or DC. In the post Dark Reign story arc "Solve Everything", Reed decides to, well, solve everything. When he's offered the possibility of unraveling the secrets of existence itself with alternate-universe versions of himself he turns his back on it. Why? Because he learns that the price of solving everything, is everything. He'd have to abandon his family and devote himself entirely to that cause. The Reed that I'm a fan of wouldn't do that, because no matter how insular he can be, at some level he needs his family to keep himself together, and he knows it. That was a moment of personal development for Reed, one that proved he wasn't a cold unthinking machine who'd isolate himself from humanity in the pursuit of knowledge. But now it's devalued, because thanks to Jenkins we know that in reality it was the wise and noble Sentry who first managed to bring Reed out of his shell. Apparently Reed was just applying the lessons that he learned from his "friendship" with Bob. Step into my shoes for a minute. Wouldn't you be frustrated?

The last comic that Sentry appeared in was Fallen Sun. It was an opportunity to highlight the character's own development and accomplishments. Instead it just devolved into Jenkins fanwanking his own character. Again.

I am by no means an expert on Iron Man. But isn't the protracted period where he overcame his alcohol addiction a major milestone for the character? As I understand it, he had people to guide him at every step, but for the most part conquering his demons was his own achievement, and a moment of pride for him. But no, it's now been revealed that Tony would never have been able to beat the booze if it wasn't for the wonderful Sentry helping him in his darkest hour.

At Reynolds' funeral, Ben Grimm says "I never forgave Sentry for being a better man than I am". Seriously? This is the same Ben who's lived for years and years as a hideous monster, and still strives to be a hero. This is the same Ben who's fought alongside the Avengers. This is the same Ben who's a source of comfort for the kids in the Future Foundation. This is the same Ben who never forgave himself for being helpless to stop Johnny Storm from being overrun by the Annihilation Wave. In what idiotic world is Sentry "a better man" than Ben Grimm? Jenkins' world, that's what. Except now it's not just his world. It's the entire Marvel Universe. Nothing you've read about those characters matters. Yes, you guys have countless acts of heroism to your name, but step the f**k back now, 'cause here comes Sentry. A character none of us have ever heard about. A character we've never seen grow. A character that we have no reason to care about. But none of that matters, because without this flawless ubermensch in their lives many of our favorite characters would be poorer.

Sentry fans despise Brian Michael Bendis, condemning his portrayal of the character as repugnant. Jenkins' portrayal is just as bad. Bob is a pillar of strength for the Earth's greatest heroes. He's this handsome, polite, kind young man who would be oh-so-perfect if it wasn't for the mean ol' Void.

What part of this character doesn't scream "wish fulfillment!"?

There's really no point blaming Bendis alone for what happened to Sentry in Siege. Jenkins's execution was just as shoddy. You can't keep reducing the achievements and character development of established characters and then wonder why people start to resent your shiny new toy. I'm a DC fan at heart, but there are some things that only Marvel can give me. And I don't appreciate watching all these heroes worship some writer's brand new God Mode Mary Sue just because we're instructed to assume that he's the best of the best. If the House of Ideas is smart, they'll keep him dead. He's done enough damage already. The circumstances of his end were just as dreadful as those of his beginning. There's some consistency in that at least.

(These were simply my personal views on the matter. Your response is your prerogative. Perhaps you'll agree with me, perhaps you won't, perhaps you'll build an effigy of me and set it on fire. I don't know, man. But thanks for reading this.)

38 Comments
38 Comments
Posted by yumyumbubblegum
What should have happened to the Sentry in issue #1 of Siege.

As to why Thor had a difficult time battling the Sentry/Void in Siege is beyond me.

Posted by Decoy Elite

I like the idea of Sentry, a character that was around but everyone forgot due to insane plot crap. Too bad it's been done. Justice from JLA was the same idea, the difference was that he was a villain and he didn't really appear after his story(at least nothing I've read). It was nice because he wasn't happy about being forgotten, he was bitter as heck and it was really interesting.  I'd have liked bitterness to be Sentry's problem, not being crazy.  
 
Just my take. 

Posted by Vance Astro
@Decoy Elite said:
I like the idea of Sentry, a character that was around but everyone forgot due to insane plot crap. Too bad it's been done. Justice from JLA was the same idea, the difference was that he was a villain and he didn't really appear after his story(at least nothing I've read). It was nice because he wasn't happy about being forgotten, he was bitter as heck and it was really interesting.  I'd have liked bitterness to be Sentry's problem, not being crazy.   Just my take. 
Everyone didn't forget though. He made them forget.
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Posted by Decoy Elite
@Vance Astro said:
@Decoy Elite said:
I like the idea of Sentry, a character that was around but everyone forgot due to insane plot crap. Too bad it's been done. Justice from JLA was the same idea, the difference was that he was a villain and he didn't really appear after his story(at least nothing I've read). It was nice because he wasn't happy about being forgotten, he was bitter as heck and it was really interesting.  I'd have liked bitterness to be Sentry's problem, not being crazy.   Just my take. 
Everyone didn't forget though. He made them forget.
Eh, I don't know Sentry that well. But didn't he make them forget because of plot? 
Posted by Saren

@Decoy Elite said:

@Vance Astro said:
@Decoy Elite said:
I like the idea of Sentry, a character that was around but everyone forgot due to insane plot crap. Too bad it's been done. Justice from JLA was the same idea, the difference was that he was a villain and he didn't really appear after his story(at least nothing I've read). It was nice because he wasn't happy about being forgotten, he was bitter as heck and it was really interesting. I'd have liked bitterness to be Sentry's problem, not being crazy. Just my take.
Everyone didn't forget though. He made them forget.
Eh, I don't know Sentry that well. But didn't he make them forget because of plot?

Essentially, yes. That was the only way to justify this garbage about all the wonderful things he'd already supposedly done.

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Posted by Decoy Elite
@CitizenBane: Then he's sort of similar to Justice (Justice was kind of erased from existence or something like that).  
 
I found Sentry too bland, I think a little bad in him would have done a lot of good. 
Posted by Dernman
@CitizenBane: Great blog it summed up a lot of the reasons why I don't like the character.
Posted by Vance Astro

As a Sentry fan myself allow me to respond. 
 
Personally I have no connection to characters like Angel or Reed Richards or any of the other characters that have had Sentry carelessly inserted into their origins. I can completely understand how that would be a problem for some people but at the same time I don't think any big changes where made to those characters because of the presence of the Sentry. Basically what was done with Sentry is they had to go back and create those moments for him that would have already existed with other characters given the time they existed but since Sentry didn't actually exist in the Golden Age, they added those things in. If you look back in every characters history that have been around for decades they all have ties to other superheroes because of things they had done for each other. Bendis did something similar to what was done with Sentry and Angel as far as overcoming his fear to fly with Jessica Jones and Jean Grey where Jean inadvertently helped Jessica overcome Purple Man's pheromones. Since Jessica hadn't existed until Alias came out, Bendis pretty much had to simulate past relationships for her and add her to other characters origins so it wouldn't seem like she just appeared but had been around for years. It's a way of lending credibility to the story that she had been around. So basically Jenkins was just showing for Sentry something that is apart of all characters histories.  
 
I am one of those people who personally believe that Jenkins did Sentry more justice than Bendis because although some may not like Jenkins writing, at the very least..Sentry was at least the hero in his book.Sentry had issues when he found out the avoid existed and that he was responsible for the Void.Once Bendis gets a hold of him, he can't decide whether Sentry is or isn't afraid of the Void. The first couple times we see him he's hiding and running from the Void and when the Void returns he stomps the Avengers and needs Emma Frost's help to stop him. The when Yelena Belova takes his powers and develops her own Void he speaks as if his level of concentration keeps him from not only not being afraid of the Void but in control of him. 
  
Bendis is to blame for what happened in Siege. He orchestrated it. He was writing the books that Sentry was most important in. He had this mapped out years ago.He made Dark Avengers all about Sentry and Sentry only and he didn't just develop Sentry in a way that ruined the character for his fans but he didn't bother developing anyone else. The rest of the team did pretty much nothing.

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Posted by Vance Astro
@Decoy Elite said:
@CitizenBane: Then he's sort of similar to Justice (Justice was kind of erased from existence or something like that).   I found Sentry too bland, I think a little bad in him would have done a lot of good. 
Justice as in "Vance Astrovik"? 
 
@CitizenBane said:

Essentially, yes. That was the only way to justify this garbage about all the wonderful things he'd already supposedly done.

Sentry is one of several characters created in our lifetime where the writers pretended they were always around and they really weren't.
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Posted by Dernman
Honestly I pretend that none of those events happened and that he didn't use his powers to make them forget but implant false memories into them.
Posted by Decoy Elite
@Vance Astro: Nah, it was some guy who appeared in JLA(Morrison's run I think). 
Posted by Saren

@Vance Astro: But even for Jessica, editing her into the Marvel Universe was done far smoother than what Jenkins did for Sentry. She wasn't shoved into every possible book around in an effort to boost her popularity. It was a neat job. Not so for Sentry. Being forgotten is one thing, but being forgotten after supposedly having been everywhere and doing everything under the sun? How am I supposed to take a strategy like that seriously? How am I supposed to believe that so many of those old stories, that took years to develop, were now just footnotes on the Sentry's resume?

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Posted by Dernman
@Vance Astro: I thought he was talking about Triumph when he said Justice.
Posted by Decoy Elite
@Decoy Elite said:
@Vance Astro: Nah, it was some guy who appeared in JLA(Morrison's run I think). 
Snap, I don't think he even has a page. Sturmer has a page for goodness sake.  
 
Well that tells you how important he was in the long run.
Edited by TheWitchingHour

Really fantastic and well thought out blog post Citizen Bane. While I personally liked the Sentry and even liked his demise I can absolutely understand where you're coming from. I was more of a fan of the Dark Reign Sentry than anything else. And I also enjoyed Bendis take on him during the New Avengers and even during Siege. I am sadly ignorant of Jenkins run on Sentry, however I think I would enjoy it as well. The entire concept of bringing back a silver age hero who Stan Lee "forgot about" may have seemed like a gimmick but it also seemed like a gimmick with moxy. And seeing the thought process pour out of that was really cool. However I totally agree with you that retconning other characters history to fit in with Bob's didn't always work. Your examples with Reed, Rogue, and Crystal are perfectly appropriate. It's sad that they disregard other character's history and personality for the sake of Robert Reynolds. But overall I think I'm one of probably six people who enjoyed the Sentry in most aspects even during Siege. To tell the truth I think Siege just needed to be longer. If it was a few more issues it wouldn't have felt so rushed and half assed.

Edited by Vance Astro
@TheWitchingHour said:

Really fantastic and well thought out blog post Citizen Bane. While I personally liked the Sentry and even liked his demise I can absolutely understand where you're coming from. I was more of a fan of the Dark Reign Sentry than anything else. And I also enjoyed Bendis take on him during the New Avengers and even during Siege. I am sadly ignorant of Jenkins run on Sentry, however I think I would enjoy it as well. The entire concept of bringing back a silver age hero who Stan Lee "forgot about" may have seemed like a gimmick but it also seemed like a gimmick with moxy. And seeing the thought process poor out of that was really cool. However I totally agree with you that retconning other characters history to fit in with Bob's didn't always work. Your examples with Reed, Rogue, and Crystal are perfectly appropriate. It's sad that they disregard other character's history and personality for the sake of Robert Reynolds. But overall I think I'm one of probably six people who enjoyed the Sentry in most aspects even during Siege. To tell the truth I think Siege just needed to be longer. If it was a few more issues it wouldn't have felt so rushed and half assed.

I love that you used moxy!
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Posted by TheWitchingHour

@Vance Astro: Haha thanks

Posted by Saren

@TheWitchingHour: Thanks. I think that even with all the character assassination that took place during Bendis' run, Sentry was at least portrayed as imperfect as anyone else, not this flawless god that everyone sang the praises of. It had that going for it at least.

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Posted by Saren

@Dernman: Thanks.

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Posted by Decoy Elite
@Decoy Elite said:
@Decoy Elite said:
@Vance Astro: Nah, it was some guy who appeared in JLA(Morrison's run I think). 
Snap, I don't think he even has a page. Sturmer has a page for goodness sake.   Well that tells you how important he was in the long run.
Haha, had his name wrong the whole time. He's actually Triumph, apparently he's from a lot of other stuff so he wasn't just made up on the spot.  
Posted by Billy Batson

Too bad Enzeru isn't here to see this.
BB

Edited by Vance Astro
@CitizenBane said:

@Vance Astro: But even for Jessica, editing her into the Marvel Universe was done far smoother than what Jenkins did for Sentry. She wasn't shoved into every possible book around in an effort to boost her popularity. It was a neat job. Not so for Sentry. Being forgotten is one thing, but being forgotten after supposedly having been everywhere and doing everything under the sun? How am I supposed to take a strategy like that seriously? How am I supposed to believe that so many of those old stories, that took years to develop, were now just footnotes on the Sentry's resume?

Sentry wasn't really shoved anywhere. He had a three miniseries (one of which isn't canon), a few one shots about him and then he was on several Avengers teams, I don't really think he did any more than any other Avenger.As far as him "doing everything under the sun", it's explained why nobody remembers it. Bendis' transition for Jessica was no smoother than it was for Sentry because it actually makes no sense that Daredevil,The Avengers,and Spider-Man wouldn't remember who she is and never mentioned her until now. She was dating an Avenger and Carol Danvers and Jessica Drew are supposed to be her BFF's. Somehow we never met a close friend of Spider-Woman and Ms.Marvel until 2001 and they both had ongoings? The idea is supposed to be that she is such a nerd and even less of a nerd than Peter Parker that nobody would have remembered she existed because she's that lame. Which would have actually made more sense had she not beat up some of his villains and fought the Avengers under the control of Purple Man? How could you possibly have forgotten that?
 
The whole "Sentry erased the worlds memory thing" is kind of cheezy and it's kind of a cop out but at the same time the existence of the Void explains why he didn't want people to remember he exists, because he's responsible for all the people that were hurt by the Void because it is a product of his own abilities.If people don't remember he exists he wouldn't have it hanging over his head that the alleged "greatest hero ever" also the "greatest villain ever". Which also explains why we didn't see him for so long because he was running from what he created..the Void.
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Posted by RainEffect

"Furthermore, Enzeru, you can go f**k yourself."

Wrong tropic?

In all seriousness, as a loyal fan of Iron Man, I took great offense to the Sentry being given any form of credit with Tony overcoming his alcoholism.

This was an incredibly well written blog that brought to light some things that I weren't even aware of. I had no idea that he somehow supposedly assisted Reed in being the noble family man that he is. That is a total joke. I also deeply dislike the idea that, the more 'stable' Bob is, the more powerful he is. It just doesn't make sense. If you're enraged at the death of a loved one, wouldn't that make you more powerful (in the world of comics, of course)? Personally, the helicarrier incident couldn't have come soon enough.

Edited by Saren

@Vance Astro: I don't know about the Ms. Marvel/Spider-Woman angle but Spider-Man did actually acknowledge once knowing Jessica during Dark Reign, he stated that she used to be one of his classmates or something. The point is that her entrance is smoother because she was never supposed to have this colossal, life-shaping impact on them. If you can make the assumption that at some point of time she met Luke and they fell in love and got married, that's really the only thing that needs to be taken at face value. And even that doesn't detract from Luke in any way.With Sentry, you're being told that all these characters would not be what they are today if it wasn't for all the wonderful things he did once upon a time. That's not the case with Jessica.

As for erasing the world's memory, didn't the Void kill a million people prior to that? So any and all explanation for why a million people were dead was just deleted from the collective memory of humanity? Fiction is populated extensively by heroes who are their own villains as well. Take Legion, for example. He tries his best to be a hero but he's fighting his own madness everyday. Given the scale of his powers, he could be (and for a brief time this year, was) Marvel Earth's greatest villain ever. There was still no need for a stunt like erasing everyone's memories. It's an idiotic plot device that's apparently supposed to show how noble and self-sacrificing Bob was.

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Edited by Vance Astro
@CitizenBane said:

@Vance Astro: I don't know about the Ms. Marvel/Spider-Woman angle but Spider-Man did actually acknowledge once knowing Jessica during Dark Reign, he stated that she used to be one of his classmates or something. The point is that her entrance is smoother because she was never supposed to have this colossal, life-shaping impact on them. If you can make the assumption that at some point of time she met Luke and they fell in love and got married, that's really the only thing that needs to be taken at face value. With Sentry, you're being told that all these characters would not be what they are today if it wasn't for all the wonderful things he did once upon a time. That's not the case with Jessica.

As for erasing the world's memory, didn't the Void kill a million people prior to that? So any and all explanation for why a million people were dead was just deleted from the collective memory of humanity? Fiction is populated extensively by heroes who are their own villains as well. Take Legion, for example. He tries his best to be a hero but he's fighting his own madness everyday. Given the scale of his powers, he could be (and for a brief time this year, was) Marvel Earth's greatest villain ever. There was still no need for a stunt like erasing everyone's memories. It's an idiotic plot device that's apparently supposed to show how noble and self-sacrificing Bob was.

Oh ok. I understand what you're saying now. Spider-Man did acknowledge that Jessica Jones is someone he met before but that wasn't until she reminded them that they had met. They lived in the same house together all that time and unlike him she doesn't wear a mask so she didn't know he was Peter Parker until he told the rest of the Avengers (they didn't know because of the OMD retcon). You're right though she didn't really have any life-shaping impact on many heroes, definitely no comparison to Sentry in that regard but I think the connection i'm trying to draw is there is no easy or even realistic way to insert someone into a comic universe whom is supposed to have been there from the beginning. For most characters like that, Marvel simply pretends that people forgot they existed...which as far as I am concerned is more ridiculous than having everyone's memory erased because at least that way there is SOME sort of explanation. 
 
I don't disagree with you on your overall point because I can understand how someone who isn't already a fan of the Sentry would take some of the things they've done with him and have some sort of a beef with them. Especially anything that happened in Fallen Sun. That is by far one of the worst things i've ever read, but it's also a far cry from anything Jenkins previously wrote for the Sentry which is why his fans enjoyed what was written about him before. I think the problem you are having with Sentry is definitely Bendis' fault if not because of his terrible writing but because of how heavily he used him and wrote him poorly one top of it.Even if you thought what Jenkins wrote was absolute crap. New Avengers was Bendis' chance to make something out of the character but from then on he just broke him down until eventually he was killed.
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Posted by SC

Really nice blog. Great stuff.  
 
I'm a fan of the character strangely enough, but like all the characters I like, there are things about them I don't like, as well as like, and you pretty much covered all the things I dislike about Sentry. In his first mini his writer was given free reign to do whatever. Mess with continuity, make stuff up, alter things, since it was firmly out of continuity. Got a brand new shiny character to play with as well. Thats a huge and amazing opportunity for any Marvel or DC writer. So I liked the mini but thought it was overrated. Not many writers actually get that opportunity. These a reason it doesn't work so well in mainstream continuity as well, because it leaves the door for such things to happen over and over watering down other characters and stories and histories and continuity. Like... actually there was this character character called Hole. He actually had the power of a Trillion Billion Sucking Black Holes. That sort of sucking power can only be hyperbole, but its not here, its literal. He literally sucks. All the stuff Sentry thought he did and made people forget and remember? Hole actually did, because he actually invented all the characters. Then all their defining moments, they were all the Hole's doing. Just we didn't realize all this until Hole 2012 Maximum Suckage mini series, where he came back to Earth to fight the Penetrator - who is like the Holes alter ego and does the opposite of what the Hole does? Where the Hole sucks, the Penetrator penetrates - but turns out Penetrator is just the Hole. Penetrator was also the guy who shoot Uncle Ben, and the Hole was the one who actually invented With Great Power comes... and the Hole should know, since he has the power of a Trillion Billion Sucking Black Holes.  
 
So I think Sentry has potential. I think he needs a writer that actually likes and cares about other Marvel characters and their histories to integrate him into Marvel Universe with some stories focusing more on his mental health, and meta confusion, and not so much about the Powa, being Da Greatest, or how he helped Stella get Her Groove back., oh and let him realize half his publication history actually just happened in a fantasy day dream he had. 

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Posted by Morpheus_
For reference, I read an interview by Jenkins some time ago on CBR in which he stated he writes characters based on his overall perception of them, not necessarily knowing their history, or who they are. He basically wrote a successful Inhumans series from scratch just by flipping a couple of issues from Inhumans v1 without really knowing the group in depth. It explains why Iron Man was acting like he was still a recovering alcoholic during Fallen Sun, Jenkins just did what most people do, clutch on a plot point that died years ago and think it's still relevant (and that was before Fraction briefly brought it back during Fear Itself). As for Sentry himself, much as I liked Jenkins' take a great deal at first, the Mary-Suing bothered me. Particularly in Fallen Sun. Sentry was supposedly better than the Thing, helped Iron Man out of a jam, and was banging Rogue under wraps. Give it a rest already.
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Posted by Saren

@SC said:

So I think Sentry has potential. I think he needs a writer that actually likes and cares about other Marvel characters and their histories to integrate him into Marvel Universe with some stories focusing more on his mental health, and meta confusion, and not so much about the Powa, being Da Greatest, or how he helped Stella get Her Groove back., oh and let him realize half his publication history actually just happened in a fantasy day dream he had.

I'm personally of the opinion that they should just leave him in his grave, but if they do bring him back the only way for him to stop interfering with the plotlines of the past would be to make all those stories day-dreams/inserted memories/something like that. And that'd be just one more idiotic maneuver in an already frustrating publishing history.

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Edited by DocHurt

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Posted by azza04

Not been reading marvel and haven't read the Sentry, but it sounds terrible.

Posted by BlackArmor

I've never read a single issue with the sentry in it and your awesome blog has convinced not to start reading one now

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I dont understand why people go out of there way to flag the Sentry off, more pepole slag the character off on this sight than they do Bendis

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Posted by Iron_Turtle

@CitizenBane Great topic. Sentry's ham fisted insertion into the Marvel universe was something I really had a huge problem with. I just tend to ignore him and everything he appears in. Even easier now that he's dead.

Posted by Saren

@spiderbat87 said:

I dont understand why people go out of there way to flag the Sentry off, more pepole slag the character off on this sight than they do Bendis

I won't lie, it's partly because most people have only read Bendis' version, but the Jenkins version is equally irritating if you're a fan of one of the characters whose life was supposedly enriched by Sentry.

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Edited by CATPANEXE

I liked the Sentry. Really anyone has already gone laid out anything I could even try and say. I liked the character. I liked a lot of the refreshing things that came with the character. But, the writers went overboard, and then went too out in left field and all over the place. They didn't pace things right shortly. It's real easy to look at things and see why anyone likes, dislikes or is somewhere in the middle in regards to him. Noting with any new character in any established continuity the fact of their existence automatically brings with it a pebble throw ripple effect one which will change the story and world around them. And some people don't want change, in fact it's human nature. Of course the only other option is to not introduce new characters, and not change a thing and retell the same stories over and over and over for years. That sounds extreme I know, but think of other characters that have been introduced in say the past five years even in both Marvel and DC. Think of every single one you can. Think of their stories and how they were established as part of their respective timelines. Think of how all of this effected and changed what was known before them and the details of the worlds they're in. Think of the bad parts, like the plot holes it created. This is the number one source in fact of every complaint lodged against every character and new series and story and concept on this comic book site and any other, just sliding the details of this specific character aside. How many current Marvel and DC characters that anyone can think of are the same as they were years ago currently? How many status quo's are the same? See what I mean? Even as it stands most of the effects caused by Sentry's ripple have already been changed by new ones and aren't relevant anymore either. I'm not fully supporting everything that happened, like I said, I have some qualms myself. Then again looking at that ripple effect, which is always in place no matter what character it happens to be and always has to be in effect lest the story never progresses, it was amplified by Sentry's popularity, much as we saw with Red Hulk, X-23, Ares, Normans status as Iron Patriot, Sin, Bucky as Captain America, Hope Summers, ect on down the line. This could have easily been Blue Marvel. The point there is people whether they liked or disliked Sentry, where hyped up about what he was doing either way and therefore paying more attention to the comics he was in. A lot of people tend to overlook the power of gossip, you know? Well Sentry was an immediate made pariah actually. So naturally any time something shocking happened involving his character, it made the news in this digital age, and people ran to read the issues and talk about it some more. People expressed extreme shock whenever a piece of Marvels history was revealed with an alteration tied to the character. People expressed the same when Sentry displayed an unknown ability. Readers expressed it whenever he easily beat a normally known high caliber character. The same for every other notorious aspect of his character. Sentry was in fact, a star, and readers kept hitting the feeder bar, and did so very loudly, and as you know, the loudest people in the crowd are the ones first heard, so Marvel in turn listened and provided them with what they were demanding. In fact you could say they delivered any of these things in spades with him. So as a result of this phenomenon, which is literally what it was, things sadly spiraled out of control completely, and therein we find the bad writing, nonsensical plot points, looks good on paper ideas but not in practice ones, over exposure fatigue ect. I think it was more an experiment than anything, and even the people driving it lost a lot of control, after all they were only human right? And so this Frankenstein grew and rampaged all over comic dom. And in the end, really Sentry as with any character, is just a character, and none are anything but what they are made at the time and by whom, much as we all in effect much the product of others perceptions of us and imaginations, in addition to our choices and accidents. I point again to Blue Marvel, who I see as the opposite of Sentry at this time. Maybe there's something said for not being so big one explodes? Blue Marvel was elegant, well written, and so because he was well defined. He didn't make a lot of ripples either, and didn't earn much spite as a result of not messing with anyone else's story (in fact Sentry was so big he even rippled Blue Marvels as well). So there's the mote of my own critical eye regarding the character, and pretty much any other you can name. I liked him, I didn't like everything that happened with him, I can pretty much see why it did though and why anyone else likes or dislikes him. Imo as it always is and was. *adding: I thought of one perfect example that exemplifies everything you refer to as change to other character continuity, change to his own origin, and the big thing in Marvel. He even has a blue and yellow suit. See really what sticks out with Sentry, is actually just common form in comics for most characters.

Posted by feebadger

I think that Sentry was indicative of the arrogant decisions made during Quesada's run as editor in chief. I loved and applauded a lot of those decisions for the ballsy moves they were, but i couldn't help but feel that some of those character choices just pissed on the fans. The Sentry was one of them. The character himself was neither here nor there, not particularly exciting and not particularly bad. To me he just seemed to exist as a plot point, an agent of change to cause things to happen for the characters around him. I w.old hope that if he was reintroduced, as has been previously stated, that a writer who can handle such things makes it apparent that all these 'historical' happenings in the Marvel Universe that Sentry was involved in were all in his head.

If not, i hope that they just call the series "All About Bob" and make it a wacky sitcom.

Posted by SexualLobster

I liked the character. He was all powerful, but in a bad way.

But there were some pretty EFFING stupid things around his character.

Posted by fodigg

I'll just post my usual sentry thoughts:

  • As a hero, he's an interesting twist but does NOT have a place in central continuity as he's too powerful.
  • As a villain, I like him even better as his superpower is basically the ability to screw up continuity, however he still should be used only sparingly and that has not been the case.
  • His good stories are his original run and AGE OF THE SENTRY, everything else kind of missed the point.