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Character Redemption Attempt Number… Whatever

January 28, 2010

     There are few characters in comic books (if any) that have been as continually maligned and controversial as the Sentry.  The last issue of Dark Avengers purports to be the hidden origin of the Sentry, though I can’t say it completely lives up to that.  First, we get an ominous look into the past, where as Moses talks about God coming down to smite the Pharoah, dark energy crackles in the skies above.  Fastforward to Norman Osborn’s first talk with the Sentry, and he gives the Sentry some kind of vial, implied to be filled with the same serum that gave him his powers.  He drinks it, the Void comes out, and Osborn calls the Void his “secret weapon.”  Fastforward to when Lindy shot the Sentry (before the Molecule Man arc).  Lindy reveals that Sentry was just a druggie who got his ultimate high from the serum and took it as often as he could.  She goes into some long monologue about true heroes and how the Sentry isn’t one of them, and then the Void gets up and starts repairing Sentry’s face (molecule manipulation).  He toys with her and states that he is Galactus, Devourer of Worlds (sounds like he’s kidding).  She begs him to kill her, but when he tries to, Robbie steps in and flies off.  He tries to commit suicide by flying into the sun, but the Void takes over and convinces him to just let him take over.  Then, as the Sentry returns to New York City, the same energy that we saw back in Egypt looms above…

     Well, you have to admit that this is a good character piece by Brian Michael Bendis.  He answers a lot of questions that he’s posed about the Sentry and his nature in one nice compact book.  I particularly like the juxtaposition of Lindy’s talk about true superheroes (or heroes in general), people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for something greater than them with Sentry’s nature.  As she says, he was just a guy who got powers who didn’t deserve them.  Again, I don’t think that the Galactus comment was meant to be taken seriously, considering how obviously different the Void and Galactus are.  Bendis may screw with continuity, but that would be screwing with one of his own pet characters.  The main problem with the book is the biblical comparisons, both with the flashback and Lindy’s own discussion.  The idea that the Void is God or some power like/related to that is pretty silly.  So I’m not too hot on that idea.  Mike Deodato Jr.’s work in this issue is a tad weaker than his best, but only a tad (i.e. the Void’s firey face).  His uncolored pencils for the Sentry’s origin were particularly good, actually.  So, I think it’s clear that Bendis is setting up the Sentry/the Void as one of the big villains of Siege, considering the one teaser for Siege that has him holding a bloody skull.  Plus, this issue implies that the Void is actually that shadowy bodyguard of Osborn’s.  I’m not sure where the character will go next, but so long as Bendis doesn’t do anything ridiculous with the God comparison, I may actually not totally hate the Sentry.  Just maybe.

Plot: 8.5      Art: 9.2      Dialogue: 8.2      Overall: 8.3

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