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Comic Book / The Sentry

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The Sentry is a Marvel Comics limited series by Paul Jenkins with art by Jae Lee.

One night, Bob Reynolds suddenly remembers that he is the Sentry, a superhero with the power of "one million exploding suns". Realizing that his arch-nemesis the Void is returning, Reynolds decides to seek out several prominent Marvel Universe characters to warn them and to discover why no one remembers the Sentry.

See Age of the Sentry for tropes related to that series.

The Sentry provides examples of:

  • Allegorical Character: A recurring enemy of Sentry, even appearing more than the Void, in the Age of the Sentry mini is a villain named Cranio who has three brains. He always boasts of being three steps ahead of him and is a recurring figure in hallucinations. Given Sentry normally has three personalities in conflict with each other he might be a representation of Bob being his own greatest enemy and the greatest threat to others.
  • Backstory Invader: A modern character retconned in as an inverted example, a hero from the Silver Age who happened to save the world in a way that erased everyone's memories of him. Leading up to the series that introduced the Sentry, Marvel got comic news sources in on the joke; they ran stories about how he really was a Silver Age hero who was created back then but never used and promptly forgotten.
  • Civvie Spandex: In the original miniseries, the Sentry's costume upon returning into action was just a gray jacket with a small cape held in place with clothespins. As the series progresses, it began to look more and more like attire appropriate for a superhero. By the end of the fourth issue, it finally became a proper superhero uniform.
  • Corrupted Character Copy: The Sentry is the all-powerful Silver Age Superman—only as a complete neurotic mess who needs a supercomputer to tell him what crisis to respond to and is saddled with an Ax-Crazy Superpowered Evil Side that commits an act of evil for every act of good that the Sentry does.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: His fight with Scout in Lemire's miniseries is absolutely brutal, and, once he stops trying to talk the other man down, very short.
  • The Dreaded: The high end of the superhero community keep a hawk-like watch on Bob in Lemire's miniseries, even when they're sure the Sentry can't return (let alone the Void) and have contingencies in case he even accidentally violates his parole.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be:
    • In New Avengers #3, a non-possessed Sentry does this to Carnage.
    • The Void, possessing the Sentry, pulls this on Ares. Vertically. With his hands.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: After defeating the Void in the second mini, Bob hurls it into the sun after giving it a kiss. In Bendis' New Avengers, he proposes doing the same thing to the Collective, which gets lampshaded in-comic: "I don't throw everything into the sun."
  • The Jekyll Is a Jerk: The Sentry is a Nigh-Invulnerable Physical God who seems like an Ideal Hero at face value but is actually very dangerous due to his mental instability coupled with his power level. The Sentry's greatest enemy and his evil split personality is an Eldritch Abomination called The Void, which is equal in power and will kill a person whenever the Sentry saves someone. The original person, Bob Reynolds, was a mentally unstable junkie who accidentally drank Super Serum when looking for a fix, and the resulting problems may be a result of Reynolds repressing the real circumstances of how he got his powers. Essentially, the serum made him the ultimate Reality Warper and he created both a (warped) version of the hero he wanted to be and a monstrous reflection of how he actually thought of himself.
  • Ideal Hero: The second miniseries reveals that the Sentry persona is actually Bob Reynolds' idealized version of himself: the handsome, invincible champion of the entire planet.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Imposed this on everyone, including himself, before the events of the first mini, courtesy of a transmitter he and Reed created.
  • Mercy Kill: In the 2018 series, Bob has to do this to Scout who was wracked with ceaseless pain from a corrupted facsimile of his own powers that rendered him virtually invincible while melting him from the inside-out.
  • Power Creep, Power Seep: In his miniseries, the Sentry actually bled after being bitten by a dog. By the time Siege rolled around, Bob was shrugging off blows from Thor's hammer without a scratch on him.
  • Power Makes Your Hair Grow: Bob's hair is of average length, but becomes quite long when he's the Sentry. This wasn't present in the original miniseries but was added when the Sentry was introduced to the main Marvel Universe to distinguish him from other blonde heroes when unmasked. This was such a late change that the cover of New Avengers 3 has a short-haired Sentry.
  • Psycho Serum: The serum that gave Bob his powers was a new version of the Super Soldier serum amplified 100,000 fold. According to the second mini, Bob became the insane Void persona from the moment he ingested the serum.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: in the Lemire miniseries, Bob willingly limits himself on a kind of parole which uses a device to periodically visit an alternate universe where he can be both Sentry and the Void. Things start to go wrong when the device, a one-of-a-kind gadget Tony Stark and Doctor Strange made for Bob, gets stolen by Scout, his bitter ex-sidekick who ended up being driven Axe-Crazy by the Sentry's powers. The result was a merger of Bob, the Sentry, and the Void, with the new Merged Sentry, decidedly not being in the mood to be imprisoned.
  • Split-Personality Merge: At the end of the 2018 miniseries, Bob and the Void merge turning into a black-haired, red-costumed being with the powers and personality of the Sentry and Void combined.
  • Superman Substitute: The original series seems to be heavily inspired by Alan Moore's rework of Marvelman/Miracleman. Both feature middle-aged guys who are vaguely haunted by their past as the most powerful person on the planet, even down to details like being jealous of their super selves, their wives being more attracted to their other selves, and their origins in a secret government program. Which makes the Sentry an Expy of a reworked Darker and Edgier Captain Ersatz of a Captain Ersatz, as Marvelman was a British copy of Captain Marvel, who was himself a copy of Superman. So he's like Superman's fifth cousin twice removed.

Alternative Title(s): Sentry 2000, Sentry 2005, Sentry 2018