The Sentry #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artists: Kim Jacinto, Rain Beredo
Psychologically scarred, fallen superheroes.
I eat it up like M&M’s. I don’t know why, but I absolutely love it. Especially when someone is able to do it without a cynical sneer (I’m looking at you The Boys and Marshal Law). Being able to balance the heavy toll it takes being a superhero, as well as showing an actual human side to these broken godmen. I want to see someone who was able to crush a car with his bare hands lie awake at night and contemplate the meaning of existence… I don’t know why, but I just do. It’s that sicko fascination that brought me to buying Marvel’s The Sentry by Jeff Lemire, Kim Jacinto, and Rain Beredo.
The Sentry (Robert Reynolds) is a character originally created by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee in the year 2000. The Sentry had a few mini-series’s and runs, also was a part of the New Avengers for a while. During “The Siege” event in 2010, poor Sentry was killed off, and we hadn’t seen hide nor hair of him until Donny Cates’ run of “Doctor Strange”, in which he appeared pretty much out of nowhere, just knowing that Doctor Strange is helping him. For those of you who don’t know, The Sentry is a Superman type hero (super strength, invulnerability, the whole nine yards), one of the more powerful beings in the Marvel universe. But, unlike Superman, he also has a dark persona living in him called “The Void”, which commits horrendous acts to correspond with The Sentry’s good deeds. So, because of that, The Sentry has been tucked away, isolated from his superhero lifestyle…well, for the most part. In this issue, we learn what Robert Reynolds is up to now, and how he’s keeping The Void in check (Dr.Strange created a pocket dimension called Sentryworld, accessible by a machine so that Sentry can fight the void within him). Honestly, that’s what’s most of the issue is, so read it, I really don’t want to spoil this for you. I will tell you this: I friggin love it.
This book is almost tailored made for Jeff Lemire. It has a grand silver-age feel to the bits in Sentryworld, and then a heavy, mundane, realistic portrayal of a broken man adapting to life as an everyday human. The few pages focused on Robert Reynolds waking up out of Sentryworld, to getting ready to go work as a line chef at a diner is some of the best stuff I’ve ever read. The interaction Reynolds has with his old sidekick Scout is also a heart-wrencher of a scene. Man, that Lemire knows how to wrench a heart, let me tell you. The art by Jacinto and Rain Beredo fits this series like one sexy glove. At first, on Sentryworld, the art is frantic, kinetic and scratchy; completely nailing the sci-fi space battle mood it’s going for. Then all of a sudden it switches to art reminiscent of something you’d see in Jeff Lemire’s own “Sweet Tooth”, hard, men with line filled faces and hard stares, The Sentry has a nice punch, completely the opposite of the god we saw fighting back the void. Juxtapositions, man….they’ll get you every time.
If you ever at all found yourself thinking “Hey I liked that weird Sentry character”, then buy this immediately. I will say, it may be strange for first-time readers of the character, but The Sentry’s history is briefly recapped for you before the issue starts, and that’s really all you need to know. Also, if, like me, you like seeing heroic deities be miserable for some mysterious reason, this is perfect for you.
The Sentry #1
A great first issue for The Sentry. Jeff Lemire is doing what he does best, which is bringing heart and emotional realness to a fantastical story.