Brutally Honest: The One Where Sentry Gets Mad
At last! I feel like I can finally talk about what bugged me in Dark Avengers #15! If you caught the Unscripted review of the comic then you already know that even though I felt conflicted with certain scenes (one in particular) in the issue, I still gave it a 4.5 out of 5. I feel like I take my ratings pretty seriously, so the fact that I speculated and still gave it a high score has been in the back of my mind for a week now. So if you aren't thinking 'Sara, you take this way too seriously,' then you are probably thinking, 'OK Sara, get to the point.' So let me go ahead and do that...
The issue was written by Brian Michael Bendis, who not only carefully crafted the Dark Avengers series, but so much of the current state of the Marvel Universe. The phenomenal artwork is executed by Mike Deodato Jr. who has consistently dished out some of the most fantastic comic book panels over at Marvel. His ability to capture a scene is incredible and his art has continued to improve throughout the entire series. So the writing was good, and the art was great-- so what is my problem?
== TEASER ==
First for some background information. Dark Avengers #15 occurs before SIEGE #3, even though the latter was released prior to the issue in question. The issue opens up with Norman Osborn's legendary Cabal. It is here that Norman's ultimate secret weapon is revealed. No surprise here , it's The Sentry. But you knew that already because you've been reading SIEGE, right? The book moves it's focus to Victoria Hand who; having a more prominent role in the Marvel Universe thanks to this series, displays her capacity as a leader. Now, all this stuff is really great, but it is the third scene that is what has been on my mind.
If you look back to issue #14 of Dark Avengers, you'll notice that Norman had (ever so climactically) pulled Hawkeye ( Bullseye) aside and told him to get rid of Lindy Reynolds, The Sentry's wife. This is exactly what happens in this issue.
Throughout the Dark Avengers series, we have seen an abundance of instances where Bob has struggled to control ' The Void,' something that Norman uses to his advantage as a means to psychologically control the character. Bendis has executed this concept pretty well, playing Bob down to look like this dim witted all powerful character who is easily outsmarted and manipulated by Osborn. This is why I can almost accept Lindy's death--because it can be looked at as a means to control The Sentry.
Having said that, I admit the scene left me somewhat squeamish. Bullseye takes Lindy Reynolds (The Sentry's wife) on a plane. Things are going fine until he begins to mentally break her down, telling her Bob could have supermodels; that he (Bob) is "missing out on ass because he is married [to her]." He literally chips at her self esteem, making her feel terrible. It is Bullseye though, so I have to imagine he gets off on degrading women and he needed that push (her reaction to what he was saying) to send him over the edge. Then, he kills her. First, why degrade the character to that extent? Lindy's helplessness is so evident in the scene that the reader knows she won't survive the following panel. It is not enough that you are going to kill the character, you have to humiliate her first? Second, the use of a character (particularly female) as a plot device to move the story forward is something we covered a long time ago. Suddenly, The Sentry is starting to look a lot like Kyle Rayner and Lindy-- Alexandra DeWitt. So why the 4.5 out of 5 rating? The scene, however messed up and aggravating, was written well. It is in character for Bullseye. I mean, I'm cringing when I write this, but I can admit it. It also succeeded in evoking emotion in me as a reader, which some might argue is kind of the point. Bendis left me feeling for the character, so he essentially succeeded in writing a good story. How her death is treated in the coming issues is what will (at least for me) determine whether or not her death is justified. What do you guys think, am I on point or way off base?
yeah... questioning why bullseye was acting so.. bullseye-ish.. is kind of silly.
but killing her as a plot device i get. the only thing to remember is that she's died before. so her being killed there doesnt really shock me. since hes basicly a god, if bob wishes it so (or the writers) she'll be back.
Great article. I think the way in which she was degraded and humiliated before eventually being killed fits in very well with how we expect Bullseye to behave. But like yourself I agree completely that the only real way to judge this personally myself is to see how her death is handled and delivered in future issues to see if it is indeed justified etc.
Well, it's not as if the degradation of a victim is out of Bullseye's character. Just look at the level of sadism the man has. He's wearing the uniform of his enemy, an image he has despised over decades, just to torment the original Hawkeye. This is selling what a sick and demented character Bullseye is. He's not someone to think of as the "cool" bad guy. The way people loved the original Venom, Eddy Brock; or try and see how Magneto may be an extremist, but still trying to save his own people. There are certain motivations readers seen in these two that they can tend to relate or even justify. With the way Bullseye is written for this. There is no gray area. He is evil without being that mustache twirling cliche. He feels like the kind of real evil you would find in a real world killer like this. A sadist and a serial killer.
This is merely speculation, but there are a lot of people who really don't like Sentry. Perhaps, what Bendis was trying to do was at the very least trying to get readers to feel sympathy for Lindy as the victim she was going to become. To get the reader to despise Bullseye more and actually feel something for Lindy's death. In spite of their feelings for Sentry.
Killing off comic characters in Marvel has reached such a point that when a character dies. It's hard to feel much of anything. More often they are even jokes. Even in your article, you admit that it made you "feel" something. How often do we get that kind of writing in comics? Just reading moments like that you almost feel like you are in Lindy's position and can feel the darkness of the moment slowly envelope you. You know that this is coming, but still feel a sense of shock when it happens.
I do have to agree. That this has to mean something past this arc for Sentry. Providing he survives. He can't just move on as if this never happened. This can't just be a moment in his life, but a "defining moment". The way the death of Bruce's parents is a huge motivation to him.
Seriously enjoyed this article. Well done, and I hope to read more of these in the future. BRAVO!! **applaud**
I had a problem with the issue for the reasons you mentioned. It was straight forward sort of. He plans to kill her, he degrades her, kills her, the end. Then I was lost because it was a flashback and I have no clue where in continuity this issue took place. What happened next?
Did Sentry bring her back? What happened in Siege #1? I missed it.
I felt like there should have been some hint at what was coming next. Maybe show that Sentry doesn't really believe Bullseye and now Bullseye just made a powerful enemy or something.
Can anyone tell me what came from this issue? What where the repercussions of this?
I would say the "taking apart" of Lindy pretty dam brutal. And made me feel really sorry for the character, and despise Bullseye even more. Who is one of the most sadistic un-redeemable characters in the Marvel Continuity.
Bendis uses the denigration of women by villains, to hammer home their inhumanity. I mean the whole Purple Man Jessica Jones thing made me feel dirty.
Does anyone else feel the coloring, after about half way through the issue, really changed/stepped it up a notch. I haven't been a huge fan of the really heavy inks and dark colors. Towards the middle/end, the coloring turns more to shading and less reliant on heavy inks and darkness. IMO it really takes Deodato's art to the next level.
Great issue. While I'm awaiting the Heroic Age with great anticipation, I'll be sad to see this book go. When is Clint gonna give Bullseye a severe beat down?! It has to happen soon. He's had some brief confrontations, but it seems like BMB has missed the opportunity. At this point it will seem like an afterthought.
i have to say the only reason they did that and degrade her so was to get you to care about a seemingly worthless character and here we are one more step closer to the marvel universe vs. the sentry
just do it and get it over with i am sick of the build up and sick of hearing about it just have hulk or captain america kill him already
my three issues with it..
1. Sentry has already resurrected Lindy from death. shown to be no problem. Makes it somewhat
pointless for alot of reasons, number one being Sentry didnt lose it that hard then, he immediately
found her and resurrected her (so the point is lost since he didnt act that heavily before, and he can bring her back again, who cares if shes dead? Bob shouldnt, since once he finds her she isnt).
2. Norman knew about the prior incident. He knew Bob could ressurect her. Yet he kills her to get rid of her? How does this work? He can bring her back and Norman knows it. So why bother. Also in Siege, Norman goes into great detail about how the Void needs to be controlled by keeping Bob stable (want some cheeseburgers Bob?lol <---Catman does, keeps his Void at bay, you know?), So why would after displaying to be the tactician and master manipulator he is, nationwide and then some, and knowing he needs to stable the Void by keeping Bob happy, would he do the thing that would make him lose it. they better have a real good explanation for it next issue
3. Bullseye out of character. The tormenting thing didnt bother me. Bullseye actually does this all the time, before, and after the kill. He is sadistic and gets off on it. Think Joker in DK. He goes into about how he got to see his victims reactions, and torments the guard, ect. Its all about the mind screw. The control.
So thats actually right for Bullseye, though understandable if one wouldnt be aware because alot of Bullseyes real panel time happens in side stories and mini's. What was out of character however was that Bullseye would actually commit to something that stupid. Lester just isnt that dumb. In fact Lester knows when to fear. And he is afraid of Sentry as much as he was Ares, if not moreso. And alot more than he is Norman. Lester goes pretty far, but he is spineless when it comes down to it, and would be smarter than to be the one to piss off uber-Sentry, no matter what was at stake, since he would know it will come down to his neck. He backed down with Ares for the same reasoning in DA ( " Be a man and take your meds or Ares will spank you!!!! " " Yes sir, cap'n sir! " ).
None of it of course moot when directed at the fact that Lindy already has died and Sentry brought her back to life with no effort at all, as if she never had died to begin with.
lol. thats my rant on it. otherwise the issue was better than the last few, art great as always.
My problem does not lie in the portrayal of Bullseye, I think he's a great character and yes, extremely sadistic. However, my problem is actually in the Sentry. I really hate him. I hate the entire concept of him, and the fact marvel tool a great mini series and completely destroyed it by bringing that character into the mainstream. To put it simply, I just want the sentry to die, and am holding out hope he does by the end of the Siege.
I might agree with your anger Babs if not for the fact that Bullseye has an extensive history of dragging out the slaughter of a woman (see Elecktra and Karen Page).
MY beef with this issue, Lindsay asked Tony Stark to kill her in Mighty Avengers (that's the lead into Secret Invasion). In fact, she's been killed a few times (once by Ultron)...so it doesn't make any sense to kill her now and she wouldn't be indifferent. You might be thinking continuity issues EXCEPT all those moments were written by Bendis himself.
I just think Bendis didn't know where to go with the Sentry. It's just stupid that the Sentry, a Stan Lee hoax of a character is now this all powerful god that the world forgot thanks to the Void...but now the world has forgotten the Void too? Makes no sense.
The only thing I liked about Dark Avengers is the concept of a crazy man playing shrink to a crazy powerful man.
I agree that the whole thing is a total Woman in the Refrigerator moment, but I don't have a problem with the degrading part. You're supposed to hate Bullseye, and the fact that he got this reaction from you just means that he was written correctly. Although, you did say that he was completely in character, so I guess I'm just preaching to the choir.
I felt Bullseye degrading was necessary. This is Bullseye were talking about here, he wants to break someone spiritually before he kills them sometime. However, him cowering before The Void was not his most proud moment, but than who wouldn't cower before him? None the less this book was a great read.
I think you're on to something here Babs cause I recently read Iron Man: Haunted and I have to say that the death of Gadget really bugged me. I'm not sure why since she was a character that was pretty much set up for that role alone but it for some reason stuck with me. I want to say though, that whole story was really fantastic but I still just can't help but drift back to the cover of Haunted #3 and feel so depressed at looking at Gadget there. Also, I want to point out that the list of "women in refrigerators" should include her since she too was crushed and mangled in a similar fashion.
I think the whole point of the scene was not to degrade her character before she dies or to make some sort of example of her I think it was done to cast Bulls eye in a more serious more ominous light...This scene shook me buy not nearly as much as Identity crisis did...I dropped the book when I saw what Dr. Light did.....
In that scene particularly, Lindy screamed PLOT DEVICE. There's an entire team, plus Victoria Hand crammed into one plane, but Lindy and Bullseye get their own? Ok. And then her dialogue was nothing more than, "what? he wouldn't" "don't say that, it's not true", I guess I wanted more power from her. This stranger, claiming to be a hero, is speaking to her about what may be some of her biggest insecurities as a superhero's wife and she's practically letting him. Red flag should go up when the person who is hailed as one of the "good guys" is degrading you. After that hideous exchange of words we have the choke, quite frankly, I wanted to do it myself for her being so weak. A woman without a backbone is not cute to anyone, and once again she continues to be spineless. Granted Bullseye is stronger than her, but Lindy did nothing to free herself of him. There was no attempted kick to the balls, no clawing at his hands to get him off her throat, nothing, she just accepted that this man was choking her to death. Should i be upset with Bendis or for Lindy being a sucky character? Idk but that issue was garbge.
I think that fact that women so often suffer at the hands of the creative teams, is simply because the heroes tend to be male. The only exception that pops to my mind is, you could kill Jimmy Olsen and it might have a strong effect.
and I'm with dr. detfink. Sentry was a nice gag and a fun mini series, but his inclusions since then has left so much to be desired. It's funny because they say he is Marvel's version of Superman, but he lacks the bit that is trademark with marvel. He's basically everything people complained about superman in the 70s. An impotent character with limitless power that is completely uninteresting. They haven't added anything new, and even the psychosis factor is bland and not at all riveting.
"In that scene particularly, Lindy screamed PLOT DEVICE. There's an entire team, plus Victoria Hand crammed into one plane, but Lindy and Bullseye get their own? Ok. And then her dialogue was nothing more than, "what? he wouldn't" "don't say that, it's not true", I guess I wanted more power from her. This stranger, claiming to be a hero, is speaking to her about what may be some of her biggest insecurities as a superhero's wife and she's practically letting him. Red flag should go up when the person who is hailed as one of the "good guys" is degrading you. After that hideous exchange of words we have the choke, quite frankly, I wanted to do it myself for her being so weak. A woman without a backbone is not cute to anyone, and once again she continues to be spineless. Granted Bullseye is stronger than her, but Lindy did nothing to free herself of him. There was no attempted kick to the balls, no clawing at his hands to get him off her throat, nothing, she just accepted that this man was choking her to death. Should i be upset with Bendis or for Lindy being a sucky character? Idk but that issue was garbge. "
I will just say that anyone stuck with someone as powerful and mad as the sentry will suffer a breakdown from the long term, and that once you are breaked, you will surrender to absolutely ANYTHING to get rid of that kind of bull$h@t ....including death...
But now, I'm so sick f Dark Reign and Siege "OH WE ARE SO EVIL !" that I feel a little numb by now and insensitive over all the character by now...
" @The Devil Tiger: She would have killed herself ages ago. "Debatable... but still pointless as one poster have said earlier in the thread : Bob should have ressurected her, like he did before, so what ?
Otherwise I'm entirely of the same advice than you.
Maybe since Void's the part that wanted her dead so he could assert more control, he's preventing Bob from resurrecting her?
I pretty much agree with everyone's assertion that yeah, Bullseye is a giant bastard. It may be one of those 'refrigerator' moments, but it did get you to feel something, which was the point.
I was waiting for you to say something Babs... and here it is. Well stated, I think he (Bullseye) had to be this despicable in order for the retribution that is coming to him seem just. Bullseye truly lived up to how menacing and filled with cunning sadistic fury he has. Bendis is by far created a very exiting run here and I agreed with your points. Great art too, not often that the writing takes top shelf to the art but in this case I think it's well deserved.
I'm against everything Bendis has done to the Sentry and his supporting cast, I even wrote a massive blog on here about it.
On to the scene itself, I felt it was solidly written and well-executed, but it certainly was repugnant, but it still worked for Bulleye's character. However, I think having Bullseye commit a similar act to a random on the street would have had the same effect, without the feeling of Women In Refrigerators kicking in.
Side note: Deodato Jr is my favourite artist atm. I cannot say enough positive things about him.
No surprise here , it's The Sentry.
Nope... it was The Void...
I kno... i cant help it... i gotta be a smart-ass
First, why degrade the character to that extent?
is that a rhetorical question?
So it was a rhetorical question...
It is in character for Bullseye. I mean, I'm cringing when I write this, but I can admit it. It also succeeded in evoking emotion in me as a reader, which some might argue is kind of the point.
is that another rhetorical question?
What do you guys think, am I on point or way off base?
Seriously. I think its both... because you do have a point, but... U clearly understand... Why the book was written the way it was written... so ur way off base... because... U kno exactly why he did it... its Bullseye...
i think u were jus repulsed by it soo much... that u thought... "Why".... even tho u kno why....
its like if someone didnt like asks. "Why did Punisher kill them that way".... its obvious WHy... but because u were discusted by it... u jus wouldnt accept it.... and felt like it was TOO MUCH
agreed. as well, in retrospect, just through the course of this year Bullseye killed some doctors,
" I mean bullseye has done worse, c'mon.
(right click and open in new tab)
guys and girls, and dressed up as one by wearing his skin (1), blew up an apartment filled with 107
families, that being men women and children just to see the look on Daredevils face (2), and killed off some more innocents, a women included and used the same scare tactics in his Dark Reign mini (3). so really, this was actually a mild one for Bullseye's year, in fact, he let Lindy off pretty easily.
what was disturbing to put on panel was Lester and Karla doing it like nasty pigs right out in
the open (4). that wasnt really needed and that was definatly just there for the shock of it. though that could just be me as no one seemed to mention any of that being an issue yet, lol.
i am one of the many who feels like Sentry himself is a plot device. all he is is marvels answer to the anguished "we need a Superman" cry . They made him and started using him in the exact same manner as Superman has been rather annoyingly used: The end-all-be-all to any situation unless hes indisposed. they made the same type of character a fanboy would make, immune to everything, more powerful than everyone, 85 different powers.... and for what?
yes, i think Lindy's death wasa pointless plot device, mostly because shes a character defined by her plot device husband. She was brought into comics as such, she "lived' as such, and she was killed all "shock value" like because they needed some reason to make some other point in Sentry's story work... is if it where some sort of mechanism whos sole purpose was to manipulate the story.... idk what to call it....
MARVEL's stories are 100% driven by their desire to see their heroes get into fights with one another. whether their pointless squabbles, random misunderstandings, or elaborate Wars. this is how they work. and a character like Sentry is just one big lightning rod for more of the same. But before the "Sentry vs. EVERYONE" scene.... we gotta knock off his wife.
... i would get into how her death is also another installment of Marvel's "women are for sex, saving, molestation, and being murdered(ssmbm)" mentality, but i feel like we all know that already...
She was killed for a reason, though-- but I agree that had it been executed in a different way, it would have had the same long tern effect (affected Sentry the same way).
I think having Bullseye commit a similar act to a random on the street would have had the same effect, without the feeling of Women In Refrigerators kicking in.
Granted Bullseye is stronger than her, but Lindy did nothing to free herself of him. There was no attempted kick to the balls, no clawing at his hands to get him off her throat, nothing, she just accepted that this man was choking her to death.
Comics are mostly read by males, especially adolescent males and young adults. Most men, and men of this age group in particular, have an innate, probably even genetic, drive to claim females as their lovers and mates (and eventually wives). There is a complementary drive to protect them against the advances, not to mention the physical and sexual aggression, of other males. Little else except threatening the children that most of the readers don't yet have and aren't even thinking about can raise play at their emotions in the same way that threatening/harming a female love interest would. Thus, the "women in refrigerators" phenomenon is inevitable and makes perfect sense. It's not even restricted to comic books or today's popular culture: saving/avenging the damsel is a trope as old as myth itself.
Having said that, I would add that I think there's a degree to which it becomes titillating and perverse fantasy rather than trying to strike at a noble and healthy emotional cord, but that too is nothing new. In any case, I think this hand wringing and hair pulling over the trope smacks of a bogus political agenda or, at least, ideological ax grinding. These complaints are rarely voiced against the male hero being threatened, trounced, and nearly killed in every issue. It's similar to the fashionable complaints about the unrealistic physical depiction of females in comics, with their tiny waists and gigantic boobs and perfect curves, meanwhile males are portrayed in that same unattainable standard and nary a peep is heard about that.
it's not like everyone can simply release oneself or even have the time too. Bullseye is no brat to be meddled with. If he chokes someone, he does it hard, and if her instinct was to try and release his grasp, than it was the wrong one. Yet, possible. Don't any room for argumentation here for any kind.
A well thought out issue though somewhat brutal but again it's the whole death thing with comics, it happens so often that you do just start to loose sight of the power that should be felt when someone dies. Even though this is relitivly in character for Bullseye it was a little much really.
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