Sentinel (comics)

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For the comic book, see Sentinel (comic book). For the DC Comics character, see Alan Scott. For The Heritage Action Sentinel Program, see The Heritage Foundation.
Sentinels
First appearance and design of the Sentinels. Original art by character creator Jack Kirby.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance The X-Men #14 (November 1965)
Created by Stan Lee
Jack Kirby
In-story information
Member(s) Sentinel Squad O*N*E
Nimrod
Master Mold
Bastion
Prime Sentinels

The Sentinels are a fictional variety of mutant-hunting robots, appearing in the Marvel Comics Universe. They are usually portrayed as antagonists to the X-Men. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, they first appeared in The X-Men (vol. 1) #14 (November 1965).

According to Marvel canon, Sentinels are programmed to locate mutants and capture or kill them. Though several types of Sentinels have been introduced, the typical Sentinel is three stories tall, capable of flight, projects energy blasts, and can detect mutants.

The Sentinels have been featured in several X-Men video games, and played a large role in the 1990s X-Men animated series. Additionally, a simulated version made a brief appearance in the beginning of the 2006 film, X-Men: The Last Stand seen in the Danger Room. They are featured prominently in the 2014 film, X-Men: Days of Future Past. In 2009, the Sentinels were ranked by IGN as the 38th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.[1]

Characteristics[edit]

The Sentinels' modern design. Art by John Cassaday.

Sentinels are designed to hunt mutants who often represent the protagonists of Marvel stories; therefore, the Sentinels are usually employed as supervillains or as the tools of other villains. While many are capable of tactical thought, only a handful are self-aware.

Sentinels are technologically advanced, and have exhibited a wide variety of abilities. They are armed (primarily with energy weapons and restraining devices), capable of flight, and can detect mutants at long range. They possess vast physical strength, and their bodies are highly resistant to damage. Some are able to alter their physical forms or re-assemble and reactivate themselves after they have been destroyed.

Some Sentinel variants have the ability to learn from their experiences, developing their defenses during an engagement. Several groups of the robots have been created or led by a single, massive Sentinel, called Master Mold.

Generations[edit]

  • Mark I and Master Mold - by Bolivar Trask. First appeared in X-Men (vol. 1) #14. Bolivar Trask sacrificed himself to destroy the Master Mold.
  • Mark II - by Larry Trask. This model was capable of adapting to and counter-acting super-powers almost instantly. First appeared in X-Men (vol. 1) #57.
  • Composite - created by merging the remaining portions of five Sentinels destroyed by the X-Men and came under control of Ashley Martin. It was destroyed by her when it rebelled against her.
  • Mark III - by Stephen Lang and Project: Armageddon, secretly funded by Edward Buckman and the Council of the Chosen. First appeared in X-Men (vol. 1) #98.
    • X-Sentinels - by Stephen Lang, androids who were duplicates of the original X-Men.
  • Mark IV - by Sebastian Shaw. First appeared in X-Men (vol. 1) #151.
  • Mark V - by Sebastian Shaw for U.S. government's Project Wideawake. First appeared in New Mutants (vol. 1) #2.
  • Mark VI - by Shaw Industries for Project: Wideawake, used by Onslaught. Also incorporated parts of Project Nimrod.
  • Mark VII - by Shaw Industries, experimental, remotely controlled.
  • Nimrod (later Bastion) - a prototype Super Sentinel that arrived from the "Days of Future Past" timeline and was later reactivated by Reverend William Stryker.
    • Project Nimrod - by an offshoot of Project: Wideawake, experimental. Cancelled after X-Force interfered. Based on the Nimrod Sentinel.
  • Prime Sentinels - by Bastion and Operation: Zero Tolerance, handicapped humans equipped with nanotechnology without their knowledge at Prospero Clinic, used as sleeper agents until activated by attack or presence of a mutant.
  • Omega Prime Sentinels - the second generation of Prime Sentinels. Karima Shapandar is one of them.
  • Wild Sentinels - Built in secret by a new Master Mold in Ecuador, activated by Donald Trask III and used by Cassandra Nova. New units are produced based on the currently available resources; salvaged parts, weapons and sometimes even entire vehicles; which give this particular type of Sentinel a very diverse, rag-tag appearance. Both due to this and their design flexibility, a wide variety of different shapes and forms have been observed. The Mega-Sentinels used to destroy Genosha and Nanosentinels both belong to this kind of Sentinel. The technology used in Nano-Sentinels is also employed by Weapon Plus for their artificial evolution experiments and the creation of their Super-Sentinels.
  • Mark VIII - Sentinel Squad O*N*E, designed by Stark Enterprises. Unlike other Sentinels, the Mark VIII requires a human pilot.
  • Bio-Sentinels - Humans infected by a technological virus created by Simon Trask, the victims become anti-mutant activists, who later at Trask's command, are fully transformed into robotic Sentinels mindlessly following Trask's commands.[2]

Related mutant-hunting creations[edit]

  • Tri-Sentinel: A combination of three fairly standard Sentinels bonded together by Loki, and defeated by Spider-Man at the peak of his cosmic (Captain Universe) powers. Later revived by The Life Foundation, only to be destroyed again by Spider-Man and Nova.
  • Soviet Sentinels: Created by the Soviet Union and later purchased by Cuban government officials.[3]
  • Super-Sentinels: Using Nano-Sentinel technology, Weapon Plus created artificially evolved superhumans at The World. Three of the creations were chosen to form the mutant-hunting Super-Sentinels, Huntsman, Fantomex and Ultimaton, who were intended to be presented to the public as superheroes in order to make the extermination of mutantkind look "like a Saturday morning cartoon".
  • Colcord's Sentinels: Some of the Boxbots created by Madison Jeffries (aka Box) to serve the Weapon X Program, run by Malcolm Colcord. In one variation of the Days of Future Past timeline seen in the Weapon X: Days of Future Now limited series, one of the Boxbots evolves into a new Master Mold and a new breed of Sentinels.
  • Hardaway: A cyborg created at Camp Hayden, killed by the Mutant Liberation Front, who called himself a Bio-Sentinel.
  • X-51 (Machine Man): Captured by Bastion and "infected" with Prime Sentinel nano-bots which reconfigured and reconstructed his systems thereby giving him similar capabilities to Nimrod, such as adapting to almost any situation and programming that at times forced him to attack mutants.
  • Juston Seyfert's Sentinel: First appearing in Sentinel #1, this is a rebuilt Sentinel (likely a Mark V or Mark VI), reprogrammed to obey Juston Seyfert. Initially, Seyfert controlled the Sentinel by riding on its shoulder; he now has built a cockpit into it. Seyfert and his Sentinel are now members of the Avengers Academy and will be featured in the upcoming Avengers Arena title.
  • Sentinaughts: one of the types of sentient robots who live in the free robot city of The Core,[4] Sentinaughts are apparently based on the Sentinel design. They vary in size from roughly human to the large stature of traditional Sentinels.

Other versions[edit]

The following are alternative versions of the Sentinels, which appear outside of regular Marvel canon.

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In the "Age of Apocalypse" timeline, Bolivar Trask created the Sentinels with his wife, Moira Trask. These Sentinels are equipped with several body-mounted gun turrets, and their primary directive is to protect humans rather than to hunt mutants. They are capable of cooperating with mutants in order to further this mission.[5] Later the Sentinels are adapted by Weapon Omega, to serve a reverse purpose, and now aid in the hunting of the human race.[6]

Days of Future Past[edit]

In the "Days of Future Past" timeline, which takes place in an alternate future, the "Omega Sentinels" have advanced technologically and become the de facto rulers of the United States. The most powerful among them is Nimrod.[volume & issue needed]

Hembeck[edit]

In the joke comic Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe, the X-Men are killed by silent, black, man-sized "Ninja Sentinels".[volume & issue needed]

Here Comes Tomorrow[edit]

In the "Here Comes Tomorrow" future timeline, a Sentinel named Rover is Tom Skylark's companion and protector. After more than 150 years of being active, Rover has become self-aware and, possibly, capable of emotion.[volume & issue needed]

House of M[edit]

In the House of M storyline, Magneto is victorious in a mutant/human war. The Sentinels are adapted by Sebastian Shaw, now the director of S.H.I.E.L.D., to serve a reverse purpose, and now aid in the hunting of sapien rebels.[volume & issue needed]

MC2[edit]

In the MC2 timeline, Wild Thing encounters a Prime Sentinel that has accidentally been activated by a faulty microwave.[volume & issue needed]

Ronin[edit]

In the alternate reality of X-Men: Ronin, the story is played out in Japan. A police unit called "Sentinel Force" designs, builds and pilots the robots. These are aesthetically similar to regular Sentinels, but each is subtly different from the others.[volume & issue needed]

Star Trek[edit]

In the comic crossover X-Men/Star Trek: Second Contact, the X-Men work with the crew of the Enterprise-E to battle Kang the Conqueror. An away team composed of Captain Picard, Deanna Troi, Nightcrawler and Colossus encounter an approximation of the "Days of Future Past" timeline, in which the Sentinels have merged with the Borg.[volume & issue needed]

Ultimate Sentinels[edit]

In Ultimate X-Men, the Sentinels, created by the Ultimate Marvel version of Bolivar Trask, were already in action at the beginning of the first story arc, hunting down and killing mutants on the streets, in a program apparently openly and publicly acknowledged by the U.S. government. Later on, there were also the New Sentinels that were actually sixty of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s top agents in a Sentinel battle armor that was described as having enough hardware to take on a fleet of the old Sentinel models (though this may have been an exaggeration). A new breed of Sentinel robots, created by Trask under orders from the Fenris twins, is currently hunting mutants. After the events of the Ultimatum Wave, a new model of Sentinel (Nimrod Sentinels) was deployed to hunt and capture, or kill, mutants that refused to turn themselves in. William Stryker, Jr. using Sentinel Tech, later displayed an ability to summon a fleet of Sentinels after being attacked by the Shroud.[7]

What If?[edit]

  • In an issue of the What If series, Cannonball's brother Josh (who would, in normal continuity, later become Icarus) found and "adopted" a Sentinel.[volume & issue needed]
  • In "What if... Starring Secret Wars: 25 Years Later", the children of Marvel heroes are teleported back to Earth where, sometime in the last 25 years, a variation of "Days of Future Past" is shown when the group is attacked by Sentinels.[volume & issue needed]
  • In "What if... Starring Juggernaut: The Kingdom of Cain", Juggernaut has killed the X-Men, and as a result there is no one to oppose the Sentinels, so the world is ravaged by them.[volume & issue needed]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Sentinels appeared in a number of episodes of the X-Men animated series voiced by David Fox. They appeared as the main antagonists of the first season. The first episode revolves around Sentinels hunting down Jubilee. The Sentinel program, controlled by Bolivar Trask and Henry Peter Gyrich, was cancelled by the president and the project moved overseas to Genosha. Trask constructed Master Mold while on Genosha, but it was apparently destroyed when Storm flooded the complex. Sentinels later appeared in the "Days of Future Past" episode. As with the comic series, in the future timeline, Sentinels had taken over the world and mutants were on the verge of extinction. In "The Final Decision", the season one finale, Master Mold reappeared in a secret base constructed by Trask and Gyrich in the United States. Acting under orders from Trask, the Sentinels rescued Senator Kelly from Magneto, but Master Mold then declared that he was "giving the orders now." Master Mold had plans to kidnap world leaders from around the world and replace their brains with computers so that the world would fall under his control. Master Mold had concluded that mutants were humans, and therefore, humans must be protected from themselves. He planned to bring order and peace to the world in accordance with his programming to protect humans from mutants. Charles Xavier destroyed Master Mold's body by flying an explosive-filled Blackbird into the robot's chest, escaping at the last minute. However, Master Mold's head survived and planned on rebuilding a new, stronger body, while also placing Xavier under his control. He was finally destroyed by Morph.
  • The Sentinels appeared in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series episode "The Mutant Agenda". They are seen in a Danger Room simulation. Spider-Man accidentally activated the simulation when he visited the X-Men seeking help from Professor X with his recent mutation.
  • In the X-Men: Evolution animated series, there is originally only one Sentinel, a prototype created by Bolivar Trask, in this series a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and to Trask's dismay, released in public by Magneto to force the X-Men to fight it and reveal the existence of mutants to the media. These Sentinels are much more powerful and heavily armed than their comic book counterparts.[citation needed] Trask's prototype alone was a dangerous challenge, even for the combined might of the X-Men and the Brotherhood. Three upgraded Sentinels are later used by S.H.I.E.L.D. against Apocalypse and prove a difficult fight for him. The series finale hinted at Nimrod appearing later in the show's timeline leading a new fleet of Sentinels.
  • Sentinels have appeared in the Wolverine and the X-Men animated series voiced by Jim Ward. A new type of Sentinel called the Prowler (a scorpion-like machine reminiscent of the Spider-Slayers of the Spider-Man franchise) is the first Sentinel that was introduced. In "Thieves Gambit", the Mark I Sentinel is seen being constructed in the background. In "Future X", during a scene set in the future, the Sentinels hunt down mutants to replicate their powers mechanically and to evolve. In "Badlands", Sentinels called Trackers (based on Wolverine) are produced and able to use laser claws and can heal themselves. The Sentinels are controlled by Master Mold.
  • Sentinels appear in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Days, Nights and Weekends of Future Past! (Six Against Infinity Part 2)", voiced by Tom Kenny. In this version, they were created in an alternate reality's future where they were created to defend a superhero-less city.
  • A Sentinel appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Game Over" as part of Arcade's Madland game. Because it was a real Sentinel, Spider-Man took control of it and used it and its firepower to cheat through Arcade's levels.

Films[edit]

  • Sentinels appeared in an early draft of the first X-Men film, wherein Henry Peter Gyrich and Bolivar Trask attacked the X-Men with the Sentinels, but this treatment didn't make it past the concept stage. Sentinels were planned for inclusion in the second X-Men film, X2, but they did not appear onscreen (although Project Wideawake is mentioned on a computer readout screen). Sketches for the film versions of the Sentinels appear as extras on the X2's DVD release. The Sentinels' height wasn't specified, but the sketches indicated that although their appearance was not severely altered, they would have had the ability to compact itself into a rolling saucer as a mode of transportation.
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, a simulation of a Sentinel was used in the Danger Room for Professor Xavier's mutant students to train and fight against. At the end of the session, Colossus throws Wolverine at the robot and he beheads it. The only part of the Sentinel ever made visible to the viewer is its severed head, while the rest is shrouded in fog.
  • The Sentinels are featured in X-Men: Days of Future Past as major antagonists.[8] In 1973, Bolivar Trask pitches the Sentinels to the US Congress but they decline him so he pitches them to foreign powers. Mystique kills Trask in revenge for the murders of mutants he has committed while creating the Sentinels. Inspired by the fear of Trask's death, the US government approves the Sentinel program to hunt and kill mutants. The Sentinels eventually expand their targets beyond mutants to baseline humans based on the logic that they have the potential to produce mutant descendants, culminating in a dystopian future where most of humanity and mutantkind have been wiped out. New upgraded models of Sentinels are eventually developed by using Mystique's DNA which gives them the ability to adapt to and use mutant powers. The X-Men then decide to send Wolverine into the past to stop Trask's assassination, setting into motion the events of the film.
    The original Sentinels from 1973 were similar in appearance to their comic counterparts being three times the size of a human, possessed gatling guns on one of their arms capable of firing 3000 rounds per minute, sensors that allow them to track carriers of the X Gene and could fly using the vent-like systems on their chest. In contrast, the future Sentinels were smaller and sleeker, have the ability to change themselves to mimic and counter mutant abilities, based on Bolivar Trask's research on the self-altering ability of Mystique. They also can alter their bodies to fit a variety of purposes. Most commonly, they are seen altering the shapes of their arms into extremely sharp blades and claws to impale their victims and can fire energy blasts from their heads. Some of the powers and overall resistance of this variant are very similar to those from the Nimrod and Larry Trask's Mark II models from the original comic stories on which the movie was based.

Video games[edit]

Sentinels have appeared as major antagonists in almost every video game to feature the X-Men. In most games, the Sentinels are human-sized foes rather than the massive figures that are seen in most of their comic book appearances:

  • A robot resembling a Sentinel also appears in both the arcade and SNES versions of Captain America and the Avengers. In the game, it is not called a 'Sentinel', but instead, is referred to simply as 'Robot'.
  • In X-Men 2: Clone Wars, in the second level (the first level after the title screen), sentinels appear in the background, as the level is set in a high-tech factory that produces sentinels.
Sentinel (right) fights Wolverine in the 1994's arcade game X-Men: Children of the Atom.
  • Sentinels appear in Cyclops' intro in X-Men: Mutant Academy. In it, they hunt for mutants in the streets of New York City. One Sentinel nearly kills a baby by stepping on it, but Cyclops tears off one of the Sentinel's legs, making it fall.
  • Sentinels are seen in Cyclops/Spider-Man's level in X-Men: Mutant Academy 2. They are shown in the background, patrolling the skies of New York City, hunting for mutants.
  • In X-Men: Next Dimension, Bastion is the main boss character, who is also unlockable as a playable character. A male Prime Sentinel and a female Prime Sentinel are both available as playable characters.
  • In X-Men Legends, they are the game's primary antagonists. There are several versions of the Sentinels in this game:
    • Sentinel Alpha uses rockets, gas, stomp, and a palm beam
    • A Sentinel with rockets, eye beams, stomp, and a bomb (this version has shoulder pads like Sentinel Squad ONE)
    • A Sentinel Controller with eye beams, stomp, an enhanced version of the palm beam, rockets, and a wave that nullifies mutant powers (this version has a blue head and its body is blue and purple)
    • A Sentinel Weapons Platform in the shape of a purple spider with green blasters, which can bash and use a green wave that reverses the controls
    • A Sentinel Advanced (based on the Prime Sentinel) with freeze beam, orange blasters, punch, groundquake (with fist), and a rush.
  • In X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, the Sentinels are shown assisting with the evacuation after Apocalypse devastates New York City. Bastion later turns them on the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. After Bastion is defeated, the Sentinels resume their evacuation duties.
  • In X-Men: The Official Game (which fills the gap between X2 and X-Men: The Last Stand), Sentinels are part of William Stryker's back-up plan if his plan to eliminate all mutants with the Dark Cerebro failed. Stryker would have the mutant-hunting robots track down and kill all mutants they could find. The Sentinels featured in the game appear to be similar to those from the game X-Men: Children of the Atom. There are two types of Sentinels: one is a smaller, aerial model; and the other is a giant walking behemoth.
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine video game, the Sentinel Mark I is one of the major bosses of the game. While infiltrating the headquarters of Project: Wideawake to find his old teammate John Wraith, Wolverine encounters two full-sized Sentinels, destroying a half-finished Sentinel with a Sentinel hand-weapon and defeating the other one in a prolonged confrontation.
  • A Sentinel is a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, with Jim Ward reprising his role. Sentinel has then appeared again in the updated version of the game Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. The Sentinel's character ending has the Sentinel uploading Master Mold's program on Galactus' worldship, with the Sentinel's planning not only the destruction of mutants but mankind as well and shows several new Sentinel models sporting a design similar to Galactus himself.
  • The Sentinels appear in X-Men Destiny. The player must defeat a Sentinel before they can challenge the final boss and main antagonist Luis Reyes.
  • The Sentinels appear in Marvel: Avengers Alliance. The Sentinels are made up of the Coeus Sentinels, the Crius Sentinels, the Cronus Sentinels, the Hyperion Sentinels, the Iapetos Sentinels, the Phoebe Sentinels, the Rhea Sentinels, and the Themis Sentinel. A Salvaged Sentinel is an opponent for the players on the tutorial level. The Brotherhood of Mutants have also included their own versions of Sentinels called the M-Series Rho MK III, the M-Series Sigma MK III, and the M-Series MK III. In a Spec-Ops mission revolving around the Hellfire Club, Crimson Dynamo was hired by the Hellfire Club to build them Sentinels that obey their every command.
  • Destroyed parts of Sentinels (including arms, legs, heads and a boot) appear in the Deadpool game.

Toys[edit]

Several different toys of Sentinels have been made since their introduction. One is the X-Men Classics 10" Sentinel by Toybiz. A "Build-A-Figure" version of the character was made in wave ten of the Marvel Legends line. The most recent Sentinel toy is made by Hasbro as part of the Marvel Universe line. Along with a large, unposeable statue, two Minimates figures have been made of the Sentinels. The first, a classic version, came with Rachel Summers in either her Phoenix or Marvel Girl guises. The second, based on Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, comes with a red-haired "First Appearance" figure of Ryu.

Parodies[edit]

  • On the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken, the episode "Sausage Fest" showed a parody of the X-Men being killed by a Sentinel, and Professor X then recruiting the cast of the Police Academy films to replace them. The Sentinel eventually kicks them far as Professor X quotes "Same time next week." The Sentinel nods yes.
  • In an episode of Codename: Kids Next Door entitled "Operation S.A.F.E.T.Y", an ambassador for children's health decided to build many giant robots to prevent children from playing harmful games. The main robot (which is a parody of Master Mold) decided to capture adults (because they could harm kids) and take over the world.
  • MAD Magazine's X-Men parody "ECH!-Men" featured a Sentinel (called "Sentinent") with a huge posterior.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sentinels is number 38 , IGN.
  2. ^ Astonishing X-Men #31
  3. ^ Mystique #3-6
  4. ^ Secret Avengers vol. 1 #26
  5. ^ Amazing X-Men #2
  6. ^ Uncanny X-Force #11
  7. ^ Ultimate Comics: X-Men #3-4
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Marvel vs Capcom 2 - Shoryuken Wiki
  10. ^ [2]