It’s been a while since we’ve seen Robert Reynolds, aka the Sentry. At least, it feels that way. He recently appeared in DOCTOR STRANGE, but to me, it feels like the last time I really saw him was when he destroyed Asgard during SIEGE. But, lo and behold, the Golden Guardian has returned in SENTRY #1!

Regardless of when you last saw this character, it’s nuts to see the Sentry back. In his own solo series, no less. It’s the last thing I would have expected from Marvel. Even better, one of the best comic writers around, Jeff Lemire, is writing the series. I knew when I heard about that I’d be checking this series out.

Joining Lemire for the Sentry’s new tale is artist Kim Jacinto, who absolutely kills it with his high-intensity pages. SENTRY #1 is a great promise of batshit crazy things to come, as is proper, considering the hero we’re dealing with.

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A Quick Summary of the Sentry

For those who have never heard of the hero, Robert Reynolds is the Sentry, one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Period. He’s described as having the power of a million exploding suns (which, in case it’s not obvious, is excruciatingly powerful). However, Bob suffers from severe schizophrenia. Because of this, Bob also houses another being in his mind. The flip side to the Sentry is a dark entity known as the Void. Bob battles with his dark side on a regular basis. It got him killed during the SIEGE event way back when.

The Sentry was prominently featured in Brian Michael Bendis’ NEW AVENGERS, MIGHTY AVENGERS, and DARK AVENGERS. The Apocalypse Twins resurrected the hero during Rick Remender’s UNCANNY AVENGERS. And, most recently, Sentry was featured in the pages of DOCTOR STRANGE.

Needless to say, the Sentry is a very creative and curious character. Though he doesn’t have a deep history, it’s a history full of unique occurrences and explosive events.

SENTRY #1: Reintroducing the Sentry

Coming out of his recent antics with Doctor Strange, SENTRY #1 picks up with Bob taking a look at the odd circumstances of his life. Recently, he’s found a way to keep the Void from returning to the real world. But, at the same time, he can no longer be the Sentry, and leads a rather boring life.

The machine he uses, called the Confluctor, allows him to revisit his life as the Sentry. SENTRY #1 shows the Sentry and his team, comprised of Scout, Sentress, and Watchdog, taking on the living shadows of New York City. To defeat the Void in this scenario, the Sentry cracks open the moon and rips the villain in half.

Anyone else who knows the Sentry will tell you he has a thing for ripping people in half.

SENTRY #1 page 4. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

In the real world, Bob keeps himself busy by working at a café. Oddly enough, the people he works with are the same people who act as his sidekicks in his virtual reality.

Apparently, Bob has a deal with Misty Knight to keep the Void in check. The sudden appearance of these elements of intrigue in the issue were a pleasant surprise.

SENTRY #1 does a great job of setting up this new arc for the Golden Guardian. Bob’s internal conflict is well-realized, and the characters he interacts with are all fairly grounded and very likable. Hopefully, they’ll help to ground the Sentry in reality moving forward.

SENTRY #1 page 12. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

The Mentality of the Sentry

If there’s one thing SENTRY #1 does right, it’s getting you inside the head of the hero. The Sentry’s always been a bit touched in the head. Recently, he’s been on the mend, but that doesn’t entirely protect him from the dangerous machinations of his mind.

Bob mentions having two sets of memories — memories of two lives. He remembers being the Sentry, but he also fully acknowledges the Void as being a part of himself. His internal conflict is extremely confining. The world he creates for himself with the Confluctor is his escape. It’s a blissful experience for him to be the Sentry and save the world. He’s cheerful and uplifting as the Sentry.

In contrast, his day to day life as Robert Reynolds is rather dull. Though he finds comfort in his work and the people he surrounds himself with, he never seems truly happy. Not once in SENTRY #1 does Bob smile. At best, he looks contempt, but never happy. He always seems indifferent or upset.

SENTRY #1 page 11. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Lemire does a phenomenal job of capturing Bob’s conflict as both an internal and external experience for the character. It shows us Bob is definitely a multi-layered individual. Frankly, I never looked at the Sentry as this deep of a character. Leave it to Jeff Lemire to bring the most unsuspecting characters into a new light.

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Artist Kim Jacinto expertly brings the contrast of SENTRY #1 to life. While his style remains whole and connected throughout, there are tons of great signifiers pointing to the differences between Bob’s imaginary world and the real world.

As I mentioned earlier, Bob never smiles in SENTRY #1, except for while he’s being the Sentry. In the real world, Bob always looks dour. Though it may sound like a simple task to just continually have the character looking grim, Jacinto does a nice job of making sure the expression never remains completely the same.

Also, there’s a stark difference between how Bob actually looks as himself and how he looks as the Sentry. As the Sentry, Bob is clean shaven and has long, flowing, golden hair. As himself, he’s unkempt, short, has rustled hair and a dirty beard and mustache. Frankly, he always looks dirty when he’s just Bob. These little details go a long way to excelling Jacinto’s work.

SENTRY #1 page 7. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Of course, the opening section featuring the Sentry and his team is wondrously explosive and action-packed. The art for this section is incredible. These pages really help drive home the difference between Robert Reynolds and the Sentry. I particularly enjoy watching the hero rip apart his enemies like cotton candy. As gruesome as it is, it never really does get old.

If Jacinto’s work on SENTRY #1 is any indication, his art will only get better the further along this series goes. I’m excited to see what else the artist has in store for us.

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Going Deeper into The Sentry’s Mind

SENTRY #1 will likely leave you with a handful of questions and curiosities come the conclusion. The issue ends on a solid cliffhanger; it certainly left me wanting more. Those elements of intrigue are sure to come back in future issues of this series.

Between Lemire’s storytelling and Jacinto’s artwork, there’s lots to love about SENTRY #1. Lemire aptly establishes all the key points of the series and perfectly sets up the story to come. Jacinto does a great job capturing the manic yet timid nature of the story, and his fight scene pages are absolutely awesome!

Don’t make the mistake of missing this comic! Go grab yourself a copy of SENTRY #1, pronto!

SENTRY #1 by Jeff Lemire and Kim Jacinto
SENTRY #1 is a great reintroduction to the character of Robert Reynolds. This deep dive into his world is already proving to be completely insane, and I'm eager to read more.
87 %
A Powerful Opener

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