sentry #4

SENTRY #4 is the penultimate chapter in this miniseries, and it delivers a lot of action and status quo changes for the Golden Guardian. Scout’s machinations to take the Sentry’s powers have come to light. Iron Man is now forced to become involved in this personal struggle between Sentry and his former partner. Meanwhile, Robert is trapped in the world created by the Confluctor, but he may have stumbled on the solution to his problem!

SENTRY #4 Smashes… Everything!

In this issue, we get the collision between Billy, Sentry’s former sidekick, and the Sentry himself. Iron Man gets dragged in, as he was trying to get Sentry to stand down the previous issue. While they wage their battle, Robert is still in the Confluctor. In the Confluctor world, Robert is faced with Cranio, and not having his powers! Robert runs for his life and comes to a conclusion: he’s been running for too long. As Scout, Sentry and Iron Man clash with each other, Robert faces down the Void. The issue leaves us on a cliffhanger as the Sentry changes in a major way.

The story of Robert Reynolds trying to have a normal life definitely pays off a bit in this issue. Writer Jeff Lemire masterfully weaves all the dangling threads. We have Robert’s desire to be normal, Scout’s jealousy of Robert’s power and the resentment he feels for being abandoned, and Tony’s desperation to both help Robert and prevent the end of the world. The collision is quite a sight to behold. 

The old axiom about how villains are best when they feel justified holds true here. Scout, aka Billy Turner, had a taste of what that power felt like. When Robert quit, he was back to being a normal person, a line cook in a diner. Power is seductive: everyone wants the means to execute their whims, and anyone can feel Billy’s resentment and frustration. Lemire does a great job of capturing the emotions, the frustration of Billy in the text and script of SENTRY #4.

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Sentry #5 Page 1
Sentry #4 Page 1, Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

If you juxtapose that lust for power with Robert Reynolds, you see the parallels and symmetry. Robert Reynolds was a meth addict before the serum. He needed a rush, another high. Robert became addicted to the power of the Sentry, which makes sense. Robert’s high, the Sentry, is counteracted by the low of the Void. There’s always a crash after a high, be it sugar, caffeine, or something quite a bit stronger. The Void personifies that.

While the struggle between Sentry and Billy takes place in the real world, Robert faces his literal demon in the Confluctor. Lemire does a great job here of having Robert acknowledge what he is and dealing with the Void in order to move forward. The results of what Robert does changes everything completely and the cliffhanger leaves readers on edge for what should be a compelling finale to this series.

Perfect Art for this Frenetic Story

Sentry #4
Sentry #4 Page 3, courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Joshua Cassara and Kim Jacinto complement Lemire’s pencils excellently with this issue. They evoke the feeling of artists like Tradd Moore, Leinil Yu, and Scottie Young, which is a very impressive triumvirate. Judging from the cover, it looks like Kim handled the Sentry fight scenes, while Joshua handled the rest. Kim Jacinto’s work on the fight scenes and exaggerated anatomy remind me of both Moore and Young, and it definitely reminded me of Moore’s work on the Luthor Strode trilogy. Joshua Cassara’s work, and specifically the physical details on the characters, reminds me of Leinil Yu.

The vibe also doesn’t feel like a typical Marvel book, more like a funky Image book. A huge part of that is the washed out color palette, and that’s a credit to colorist Rain Beredo. Beredo’s colors accentuate the vibe that the artists give off with this more retro coloring scheme. The coloring evokes a bygone era, which fits in with Sentry’s origin as a forgotten hero from the Silver Age.

Final Thoughts on SENTRY #4

The creative team has taken us on quite a journey with one of Marvel’s more complicated characters in recent memory. People have said that extremely powerful characters can be difficult to write. Writers like Brian Michael Bendis, Rick Remender, and Paul Jenkins have tackled Sentry to various effect and results. Jeff Lemire’s run has been one of the better ones, perhaps even the best. The art team has accentuated that work with gorgeous visuals. Hopefully, this will lead to more appearances and series for The Sentry, which would be a welcome addition to Marvel’s content!

SENTRY #4 by Jeff Lemire, Joshua Cassara, Kim Jacinto, and Rain Beredo.
Lemire brings together a lot of plot threads in this issue, and the collision leads to a lot of cool visuals, great storytelling, and a big development for Robert Reynolds as the Sentry.
95 %
Lemire is getting ready to end this series with a bang!
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