The Sentry #1
Written By: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Kim Jacinto
Colors: Rain Beredo
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Reviewed by Evan Maroun
Back in Donny Cates’ short but sweet run on Doctor Strange, he brought back perhaps one of Marvel’s most dangerous characters: The Sentry. Brimming with power, The Sentry is a character that brings with him a whole other being of inevitable destruction unless remained in check. I’m talking about The Void, The Sentry’s dark entity. In other words, The Sentry comes with a lot of baggage, both in his history and the innate nature of this character duality.
So when I heard Jeff Lemire was taking on the character in his own series, I knew that readers would probably be in good hands. The book kicks off with a quick refresher on The Sentry for the uninitiated and quickly jumps into an awe-inspiring action sequence. Lemire knows just the structure to use. It serves as a destructive showing of the power that the blonde-haired powerhouse holds. But with purpose, as it plays directly in contrast with the next scene.
Cut to: Reality. Bob Reynolds sits slumped on the floor of his near-empty apartment next to a high-tech mystical machine. He’s out of shape, sporting a bushy beard and mustache. He works at a diner cooking up meals alongside Billy Turner, his old sidekick, Scout. In a conversation between the two, Bob tells Billy that Doctor Strange has set up another reality for Bob to visit in his mind to become the Sentry–seemingly the only way to keep The Void from coming back into reality and destroying everything.
The way that Lemire sets up this down-on-his-luck state of the character works effortlessly. He has always been very good at making characters sympathetic. You know reading that it is going to allow for a deeper exploration of the “inner-demons” type theme that comes baked into the character already. While also understanding the feelings of the man without the cape. What do you do when you can’t be the thing that makes you love yourself?
This first issue was a quick read. In this case, it wasn’t a negative thing or because of a lack of dialogue. It’s more of a testament to how well the book flowed. Nothing made me stop to question or recall. It’s written so even newcomers to the character should be able to get invested and that is always a major plus. This issue also ends with a well-executed cliffhanger. If there was any chance you weren’t onboard yet by the time you turn to those last few pages, it may just change your mind.
Joining Lemire is Kim Jacinto with the art, bringing thoughtful compositions (another aspect helping the flow of the book) and some nice nuances to the book. Between the books opening action sequence and the almost jarring cut to reality, you may start to notice the subtleties in the character design. While The Sentry is shown as a clean, almost immaculate being in the opening moments, the reality of Bob Reynolds is a lot different. In some panels, you can see the darkened, rough, hardness of his face. His brow constantly furrowed. It helps to reinforce the idea; Bob is certainly not “living his best life” as social media flaunters claim to do–but he is forced to live the way he is. It’s clearly taking a toll on him and a few around him.
Verdict: Buy It!
Lemire and Jacinto take The Sentry to new
heights lows with the aim to humanize him even further. With a smart set-up and an ending that pushes the narrative into an interesting place, the first issue begins reintroducing Bob Reynolds to the Marvel Universe and nails it.