Sentry #3 by Jeff Lemire and Kim Jacinto
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
SENTRY #3 takes place several weeks earlier coinciding with the events of the first issue and details the motives of Scout's evil plan.
94 %
Excitingly Entertaining
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The twist and turns continue in SENTRY #3 by writer Jeff Lemire and artist Kim Jacinto. If having a string of bad luck was a good thing, then Robert’s life would be amazing. Unfortunate enough for him, it is not. Robert Reynolds is a broken man who just wants to live a normal life in the real world. Is that too much to ask? He’s a guy who has some incredible powers that he can never use. His powers have become more of a burden than a gift on his life both physically and mentally. With the help of Doctor Strange, it looks like his luck might be turning around, but is it actually?

SENTRY #3

This issue takes the phrase “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” to a whole new meaning. SENTRY #3 is a flashback issue that coincides with the events of the first issue. At the end of the second issue, we learned that the culprit behind the stolen Confluctor is Robert’s friend and old sidekick, Scout. Scout catches up to Robert’s old arch nemesis Cranio and the two share an awkward exchange at a local diner.

Their encounter is rather interesting as the two find similar things in common. For Scout its the loss of his arm and power and for Cranio, it is his fall from being a supervillain. Scout’s jealousy of Robert finally boils to the surface, and he’s looking to steal the power of Sentry with Cranio’s help. With their unstable alliance intact, things are not looking good for Robert. Towards the end of the issue, there’s a panel where Cranio uses his power on Scout, and he flips out. Seems like, if I were Cranio I would watch my back too.

The Struggle with Power

First of all, the best part of this issue is that it asks the question of what happens when a sidekick and an overweight arch enemy decide to join forces. Lemire makes SENTRY #3 interesting by using power as a plot device to move the story forward. The story does a great job of showing the internal power struggle among Sentry, Scout, and Cranio.

Doctor Strange creates Sentry World for Robert so his superhero alter-ego and the Void, an evil being from his subconscious, can co-exist without him. But Robert, after dealing with the torment of his power, does not really want to move on without it. He has had this power for so long that now that although he finally has a solution and is able to be normal, he does not want to be.

Sentry #3
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The Sidekick and Villain

Scout, the Sentry’s sidekick, is an emotional volcano ready to explode plagued with jealousy and greed. He feels insignificant with the loss of his arm and powers and wants to fill that void with Sentry’s powers. He’s so consumed with wanting power again, that he is not thinking of the consequences that may come with it. Yet, you would think that after everything he sees Robert going through, and the pain it has caused his life, that he would not want such a power.

Although I do not agree with his methods, I have to sympathize with the guy. Just like Robert, Scout has been divided. He suffers in a multitude of ways including dealing with having one arm, having to work as a cook instead of a superhero sidekick, and feeling like he is past his prime. If you went from having superpowers and saving the world to flipping burgers and being normal, that would probably drive you crazy too.

Then there is Cranio, a supervillain and arch nemesis of Sentry who has been reduced over the years to a parking attendant with no purpose. He simply wants to regain his reputation and feel relevant again. He sorta gets to do that in kind of a hilarious way.

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Artwork

SENTRY #3’s artwork by Kim Jacinto gives the book a cool ’90s gritty action movie look. The art is able to display the normality of these characters. Also, he does a great job of taking these larger than life characters and making them feel normal. He shines the most in his amazing splash pages which are always fun to explore and have a heavy emphasis for whatever is going on within the scene. There is a great splash page that shows Cranio’s mental state shattering into pieces.

The detail and depth that goes into this page are worth the price of the book alone. The only problem I have with this issue was the cover art. It was a little misleading. Sentry and Iron Man appear on the cover but are not shown in this issue at all. I think that was a missed opportunity for a really cool cover involving maybe Scout, Cranio, or both in some capacity.

Sentry #3
Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Writing

Writer Jeff Lemire does a fantastic job at filling in backstory with these compelling characters as the story continues to move forward. The focus shifts away from the main character and highlights the villains, which I love. Most noteworthy, he also does a good job of taking a bunch of characters with plenty of baggage and dumping it onto the page. The diner serves as a perfect location where we learn about Scout’s motives and his love for pancakes. Furthermore, despite their conversation being pretty dull, their mutual reflections of their past helped seal their unholy alliance.

Another ironic theme I love that Lemire plays with throughout this story is the thought of being normal. None of these characters are striving to be normal. Each character is craving for power to keep themselves relevant.

Final Thoughts

SENTRY #3 serving as a flashback issue was a nice touch. Lemire and Jacinto continue to impress with each issue that follows. Lemire is building up quite a fantastic showdown between Sentry and Scout. I cannot wait to read what happens next. It will be interesting to see where Cranio fits into the equation of all this.  I am ready to read the next issue to see if Robert will obtain some type of peace.

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