Sentinel (comic book)
Cover of Sentinel #1
|Format||Vol. 1: Ongoing series
Vol. 2: Limited series
|Publication date||Vol. 1: April 2003 – February 2004
Vol. 2: November 2005 – March 2006
|Number of issues||Vol. 1 12
Vol. 2: Five
|Main character(s)||Juston Seyfert
Robot & Bolivar Trask (in comic)
Sentinel was originally launched in 2002 as part of Marvel Comics' Tsunami imprint. Despite its popularity, the series was cancelled after its 12th issue. However, it returned in November 2005 with the original creative team for a five-issue limited series.
Vol. 1: Tsunami series
Sentinel is the story of Juston Seyfert, an ordinary human teenager tormented by the seniors at Antigo High School in Wisconsin. He lives with his younger brother Chris and his father Peter, who operates a junkyard adjacent to their house. Their mother walked out on the family years ago. Being poor, Juston must find his own fun, and spends the days playing in the salvage yard or constructing robots from spare parts.
One day, he finds a micro-processor which he then places into a Battle-Bot that he and his friends use. During the battle however, the robot disappears into the junkyard. Unbeknownst to Juston, the processor was actually the remains of a giant robot programmed to exterminate mutants: a Sentinel.
During this time, Juston also met a senior girl at his school named Jessie Ingram, who he immediately falls for.
A few days after the event, Just discovers the battle bot and the half re-built Sentinel in his junkyard. Initially frightened by the discovery, he begins to assist rebuilding from scrap metal and reprogramming it. The two form something of a bond.
The good news does not last however, as Juston soon discovers the Sentinel's original purpose while searching online and coming across an article featuring the X-Men. Additionally, some bullies that had plagued Juston earlier in the series strike back, hurting one of his friends and turning his crush Jessie against him, with lies that he had told the school body the pair had "hooked-up". Hurt and humiliated after the bullies reveal themselves, Juston returns to the Sentinel, contemplating using it for revenge.
The next day, Jessie tries to find Juston to talk with him, and while talking to his two friends, the Sentinel arrives and begins attacking the school, targeting the two bullies specifically. Before they can be hurt, Juston smashes a hot-wired jeep into the Sentinel, causing it to fall and retreat. It is later revealed that Juston staged the entire attack to earn positive standing at school and in the community, but he begins to feel guilt for the physical and psychological repercussions of his actions. He decides the best course is to use his Sentinel for good.
Juston soon discovers it is not as easy as it looks, as he and his Sentinel are almost caught trying to save the survivors from a plane crash. The Commission on Superhuman Activities (CSA), led by agent Brian Reinhart who was investigating the Sentinel's attack on the school, arrive on the scene and begin attacking the Sentinel in an effort to reclaim it. The Sentinel fights back, despite Juston's orders, which puts their relationship in further strain.
Unaware that the Sentinel was secretly repairing its prime directive, the robot begins to hunt mutants once again, leading to a final confrontation with Agent Reinhart, who figured out what Juston was up to. Reinhart is killed, and although Juston is free of suspicion, his Sentinel is damaged and confiscated.
After freeing it, Juston decides to run away and use the Sentinel's DNA Detection skills to look for his long-lost mother.
Vol. 2: Limited-series
The story continues in the 2005 limited series, with Juston still looking for his mother. His friends and family, not knowing where he went, begin to worry and his father does his best to try to find him.
Meanwhile, Juston stumbles upon data indicating that his sentinel was in fact used by previous owners. It is revealed that Wisconsin Senator Jeff Knudsen and Colonel Archibald Hun had worked together and used the Sentinel to take out Knudsen's political rival.
In Washington D.C., the pair discover "their" Sentinel is on the loose and could incriminate the both of them, leaving them with one option: Destroy it before it can. To do this, they use a new, experimental "stealth" Sentinel.
Juston's search for his mother leads him to an estranged aunt, Ginny Baker, who allows him in only with the hope that she be repaid with money that Juston received from all his media appearances following his "heroics" at the school from the previous volume. When he tells her he does not have any and is only trying to find his mother, she reveals that Juston's mother left him and his family because she did not love them. Juston rushes out the door while his aunt calls the local news, leading Peter right to her as well.
The Stealth Sentinel catches up to Juston and his Sentinel and engages them. It is defeated, but not before doing serious damage. The Sentinel, acting on its directive to protect Juston, takes the opportunity to not only repair itself, but to also build a cockpit so Juston can operate it from inside. Juston makes his way back to Antigo, but is ambushed by the Stealth Sentinel, who removes his Sentinel's hand.
In the final issue, the two androids do battle while Juston tries to protect his family and friends in the process. His Sentinel loses one of its arms, but manages to gain the upper hand and destroy the Stealth Sentinel. He fends off Archibald and Knudsen, swearing that if the pair comes after him or his Sentinel again, he will reveal their secret.
Juston reunites with his father in a heartfelt reunion where he learns the truth about his mother and then returns to school to meet Jessie and the rest of his friends again. On the final page, it is revealed Juston still has the Sentinel, which now wields one of the Stealth Sentinel's arms, and he hopes that he can do some real good now.
Here Comes Tomorrow
In Grant Morrison's "Here Comes Tomorrow" arc of New X-Men, a similar story was crafted with a young man named Tom Skylark, who owned a Sentinel named 'Rover' that fed him as a child and looked after him, despite being able to only say the word 'DESTROY!'. He and Rover join the remnants of the future X-Men in a last-ditch effort to fight against impending destruction.
In other media
- In the animated series Wolverine and the X-Men, the Sentinel Rover appears in the dystopic future and assists Professor X's future X-Men. Like its comic counterpart, it can only say "DESTROY!". Marrow forms a close relationship with Rover (similar to Tom Skylark) and considers it her only friend. Rover is destroyed by other Sentinels while defending the team as Bishop was using it as a decoy. Sensing that she is in danger, Rover revives one last time to defend Marrow (similar to the final events in Here Comes Tomorrow) and is destroyed afterward. Rover's "death" prompts Marrow to join the Sentinels and lead them to Professor X as revenge for the death of her only true friend.
Three Sentinel digests, collecting the entire series, have been released:
|Sentinel vol. 1: Salvage||Sentinel vol. 1 #1-6||ISBN 0-7851-1245-6|
|Sentinel vol. 2: No Hero||Sentinel vol. 1 #7-12||ISBN 0-7851-1368-1|
|Sentinel vol. 3: Past Imperfect||Sentinel vol. 2 #1-5||ISBN 0-7851-1914-0|
- Wolverine e os X-Men #21 "Rover"