Hello true believers and Golden Guardians of Good!
WHAT THIS IS
This Frequently Asked Questions series is all about Robert Reynolds also known as The Sentry and sometimes even as the Void. It exists to clear up some of the confusion regarding the Sentry. It is dedicated to the following people:
- Robert "Sentry / Void" Reynolds himself,
- his creator and overall amazing writer Paul Jenkins,
- Brian Michael Bendis, the writer who decided to bring the Sentry into the Marvel continuity,
- Rick Remender, who decided to bring the character back,
- all the writers who ever wrote on the Sentry,
- and ultimately all of the Sentry fans out there!
WHAT THIS IS NOT
This is NOT final, set-in-stone information. All of this is subject to change, especially considering the fact that this has been written one week before the Sentry returned to the Marvel universe. We don't know how the take of the new writer Rick Remender will be on the Sentry.
This is also NOT the biased take of a crazy Sentry fanboy on the character. My only goal is to clarify some stuff with as much backed up information as possible.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Sentry's origin?
Are Void and Sentry separate entities?
Does Sentry have molecule manipulation?
Just how powerful is Sentry?
Did Thor defeat the Void?
Is Void the Angel of Death? [PROFANITY WARNING]
Is Sentry a Superman ripoff?
How can Sentry become a better character?
WHAT THIS SPECIFIC PART IS ALL ABOUT
So... can he?
Of course he can. What kind of a question is that? Well ... unfortunately it's something that causes a lot of confusion. Many (and by many I mean the large majority) of comic book readers, who know about Sentry's existence believe that he can't control the molecules and that only the Void is able to do that. That of course is wrong and by saying it's wrong ... I actually mean it's wrong. This is not my take on the character anymore, it's simply how it is and we will now take a look at the answer.
Before we actually start I want to show you the scan, where it all started and also explain the misconception everyone has:
This is where Sentry realized it for the first time. He realized that EVERYTHING he does is based on molecule manipulation. The mistake people tend to make is to say that he gained a new ability. Some go even so far to call him a Silver Age Superman ripoff (something for a different FAQ), who was pulling abilities out of his rear end on a daily basis. But that is not correct. Think about it.
That particular moment in comics was a power-set retcon for the Sentry. It explained that everything he does and that everything he has ever done ... is based on his molecule manipulation, which is his only ability. He doesn't have super strenght, super speed and flight. He has molecule manipulation with which these stuns can be pulled off.
(Oh and on the side note ... that was indeed the Sentry using molecule manipulation and NOT the Void. That is covered up in different FAQs in more detail, I think but to make it short: Sentry only had black eyes, which is NOT a real indicator for the Void. Void is more about black speech bubbles, which we don't see during that instance and Void is also about bad intentions, which Sentry did not have there. He wanted Molecule Man to revert everything back and as we all know Void wouldn't care, if Molecule Man does something to Daken, Ares and the others.)
Now you might ask why Sentry was able to defeat the Molecule Man by using molecule manipulation, but at the same time he was not able to revert the things Molecule Man did by himself.
It's actually quite simple, but I do have to make a pretty weird, but fitting example I once made... Keep in mind that Sentry himself said that Molecule Man had more exprience with that. Sentry obviously just found out what he is capable off, but pulling it off seems to be a different story.
Imagine it like this:
There is a fight (molecule manipulation) between a grown up man (the Sentry) and a kid, who knows karate (Molecule Man)... Don't ask any questions, just go with it.
However, it is obvious that the man will win the fight, even though the kid knows karate. This is not a movie, where 3 ninjas kids beat the crap out of a bunch of thugs and even older ninjas. This is now a real fight and even though the kid knows karate, it's not going to win the fight, because the man is just bigger, stronger and more powerful. BUT even though that's the case, the man still can't go to a karate tournament and win it. He simply doesn't know how to do it, but in a fight, he would still be able to overpower all the other kids at the tournament and ultimately win.
The same applies for the Sentry. He had the raw power and he was able to direct it at one target.
Does that now mean that the Sentry would have the same influence on galaxies and other timelines just like the Molecule Man did it, when he fought the Beyonder? No, he wouldn't. Maybe in the future, since you have to remember that this is not set-in-stone information. It's object to change and a writer can do to the Sentry what he wants.
But for now the Sentry was only directing his molecule manipulative shots at specific targets and it is most likely that he would be able to take out a lot of other powerful beings by using that. He does have attacks though, which can affect the entire area. That takes place in form of energy based attacks as we saw it during his fight against Photon, during his fight against World War Hulk, during his fight against Attuma's army and during few other instances.
But now let's go back to the molecule manipulation topic. I want to show you something interesting.
As you can see it above the moment where Sentry finds out about his molecule manipulation he has a golden aura with black dots inside of it. That is shown fairly often, when we see the Sentry in action and using his powers. Or at least that was the case, when and after he found out about the molecule manipulation.That doesn't neccessarily mean something, because it is based on Mike Deodato Jr's drawing style. That is simply his art style and he uses that aura very often for all kinds of characters, but that is not the point.
I want to show you the first three pictures ever of the Sentry in action. It's from the very first Sentry comic ever, which came out in the year 2000 and was written by Paul Jenkins and drawn by Jae Lee:
There is it again... his "molecule manipulation" aura, in his very first appearance.
And I'm telling you, it was tough for a Sentry fan. At the beginning you thought that he had the regular power-house abilities like strenght, speed, invulnerability, flight and even energy emission, but at the same time he did so many inexplicable things and you just couldn't grasp what his entire powerset was.
Once again I will avoid posting all of the scans to keep the thread shorter in length, so I will make a list of things the Sentry has done in the past, before the molecule manipulation revelation:
1) He created the Sentry suit multiple times out of nothing,
2) He grabbed a rock and transformed it into a healing orb, which he then gave to the Hulk,
3) He shapeshifted to a younger and muscular version of himself,
4) He healed a young girl, who was in a vegetative state (Void was not happy about that and gave a young mother breast cancer),
5) He subconsciously made the Watchtower appear out of nowhere on the top of the Avengers towers,
6) He resurrected his wife,
7) Later on, when he found what he was capable of, he defeated the Molecule Man via molecule manipulation,
8) He created life out of nothing in the form of a tiny werewolf,
9) It was then the Void who erased one of Noh-Varr's weapons and Loki via molecule manipulation...
Here are of the scans to the molecule manipulation feats (in order):
At the same time he used other interesting abilities like for example teleportation, which is obviously based on molecule manipulation in his case. The Void is able to go intangible, something the Sentry should be able to do as well (at least in theory).
Sentry has shown other abilities, which are all linked to his molecule manipulation in the end of the day. Sentry can control energy, he can turn invisible, use telepathy and empathy and give people mental breakdowns with that, erase their memories with that, or insert memories into their minds with that, create force fields (but unfortunately for him even hard light constructs in form of the Void) and so on!
There is a lot to the power-set of the Sentry and in the end of the day all of it is based on the molecule manipulation.
Now is that a good thing? I would say yes, it is. Before the Dark Avengers instance we didn't really know how the Sentry was able to pull these feats off and thanks to the revelation we finally have the clarification.
And that's it for his molecule manipulation!
I hope that this thread clears up some stuff. If you have any questions, then please go ahead and ask!
If you have a problem with my take on the power-set of the character, that's perfectly fine! Everyone is entitled to his / her own opinion. If you have a different take on it, feel free to share it with everyone!
PS: If you find any grammar mistakes or typos, keep them for yourself! English is not my native language. In fact I "main" two other languages, but my English is getting better every day and I hope that you were able to understand everything so far!