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The Prime Sentinels attack.
Cover to X-Men (vol. 2) #65. Art by Carlos Pacheco.
Sanjit Shaara/Unit 3
Ginny Mahoney/Unit #1031
The Prime Sentinels were created when Bastion initiated the Operation: Zero Tolerance program. These Sentinels were actually humans who had been fitted with cybernetic nanotech implants which, upon activation, transformed the humans into armored beings with powerful weapons systems. These altered humans set up as sleeper agents, unaware of their natures until a signal from the Operation: Zero Tolerance base activated their programming. These Sentinels were used by Bastion to capture Professor X for his own purposes, as well as attack various mutants associated with the X-Men across the country. Bastion and his Prime Sentinels were eventually defeated by the X-Men with help from the government agency S.H.I.E.L.D., who shut down Operation: Zero Tolerance.
It was assumed that the threat of the Prime Sentinels and their second generation were over with the arrest of Bastion and the end of Operation: Zero Tolerance, however when the mutant race endured another extinct event with the release of the Terrigen Mists into the atmosphere, the Omega Sentinels now revering the Terrigen Mists that's poisoning mutants, returned violently when the mutants were at their lowest.
Powers and abilities
Prime Sentinels are equipped with several technological superpowers: flight, super-strength, and force-blasts as well as being able to dampen or disrupt the powers of mutants around them. They have combat computers, which allow them to compensate for surprising events (say, the arrival of police cars) faster than normal humans. Finally, their programming may use the natural personality of the host to lull unsuspecting targets into conversation, at which point they dampen their powers and kill them. Omega Prime Sentinels, like Karima Shapandar, are equipped with some level of electromagnetic powers, but these were apparently prototypes, as their designs are clunkier than other Prime Sentinels.
In X-Men 2000 Annual, one of the deadliest abilities of the Prime Sentinels is displayed: they can inject anyone with nanomachines that will turn the target into a Prime Sentinel. It can be noticed that in the selfsame episode Rogue tries to use her personality-absorbing powers on one of the Prime Sentinels only to find nothing at all: she then states that nothing of the original host remains once the Prime Sentinel personality has taken over, though this is questionable as Magneto and Xavier were able to restore Karima's personality.
Known Prime Sentinels
- Agent Boyd
- Agent Mathers
- Ginny Mahoney - Known as Unit #1031.
- Karima Shapandar
- Number 5
- Sanjit Shaara - Known as Unit #3.
In other media
- Prime Sentinels appear as bosses in the fighting game X-Men: Next Dimension, which is based loosely on the events of Operation: Zero Tolerance. In the game, Prime Sentinels released their leader, Bastion, from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. During an invasion at the Xavier Institute, they captured a weakened Forge after he destroys a Prime Sentinel. Later, they attack Magneto in Genosha, but Magneto destroys them. After the X-Men makes an uneasy alliance with the Brotherhood of Mutants, they attack the Citadel, and several Prime Sentinels were destroyed.
- Prime Sentinels appear in X-Men Legends. In this version, they are called Bio-Sentinels and they are under control by General William Kincaid (who is very similar to an X-Men villain, William Stryker). They were destroyed when the X-Men saved a younger version of Bishop from being killed. In the end, it was revealed they were controlled by Master Mold (which is a giant Sentinel in the game). The X-Men defeated Master Mold and the Bio-Sentinels were seemingly destroyed.
- Prime Sentinels appear in Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Uncanny X-Men #15
- Prime Sentinel at Marvel Wiki