Sentry (2nd series) #1

Issue Date: 
November 2005
Story Title: 
The Sentry: part 1: Under the Eye of the Clock

Paul Jenkins (writer), John Romita, JR (pencils), Mark Morales (inks), Dean White (colors), VC’s Rus Wooton (letters), Molly Lazer, Andy Schmitd & Aubret Sitterson (assistant editors), Tom Brevoort (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Attuma attacks Manhattan. The new Avengers answer to the emergency, though they have the hardest time dealing with the situation. Luckily, their newest member, the Sentry, is on his way. With the help of his entrusted computer, Clock, the Sentry manages to defeat Attuma. With the villain gone, Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Spider-Woman and Luke Cage are able to deal with the remaining soldiers. Sentry quickly departs and deals with more dangerous situations across the globe, though not all of them work out as planned and he even ends up getting sued for destroying a ship. Later, the Sentry meets up with his archenemy, the Void. They discuss who they could truly be, with the Void threatening he can’t wait to deal with Bob’s wife again. Bob promises the Void, should he ever escape from his cell, he will kill him. After dealing with yet another super-villain, Terrax, the Sentry heads back to the Watchtower for his appointment with his psychiatrist, Dr. Cornelius Worth. Worth is troubled that Bob spends too much time being the Sentry but he claims he’s fine. Clock reports another situation, and Bob has to close down the session. He heads into space where he rescues a troubled space shuttle.

Full Summary: 

Manhattan, today…

A lot of scared people are trying to get into safety, as giant robotic machines are chasing them and destroying the entire city! Luckily, help is on the way in the forms of Iron Man, Spider-Man and Luke Cage. Luke wants to know what the hold up is, as they were supposed to be at the crime scene three minutes ago! He fears that the robots are going to destroy the entire place if they don’t get there in time and wonders where their other member of the team is.

Iron Man asks Luke to hold his course and position. He mentions that he’s getting a situational report on the build-in scanners in his armor as they speak. Tony explains to Cap that he’s seeing some of the larger Octo-meks bottlenecking at the bridge. He guesses the bridge will remain structurally sound for a little while longer. While dodging a tentacle, Cap fears that they might not be structurally sound much longer! He wonders what’s taking their assistant so long and what he’s doing. Iron Man reports that the guy said he was busy.

Elsewhere downtown, the Sentry is gathering his strength and floating nearby the leader of the Octo-meks. Iron Man opens communication and asks Sentry what he’s doing. Tony wants his ETA is, as they need his help. Sentry reports that he’s assessing and prioritizing and tells Tony to hold his position, and closes the communication. The Octo-mek isn’t impressed and is prepared to unleash more fire and damage. Iron Man can’t hold his position any longer, because their enemies have send in a second wave of soldiers! If they can’t pin Attuma down, they’re going to have big problems in upper Manhattan. The Sentry, calmly, tells Tony that’s fine. He finishes the Octo-mek by flying at top speed right through it!

Robert remembers that he is the Golden Guardian of Good. Ever vigilant, he is humanity’s only hope. He thinks he’s everything… Shakespeare’s Caesar: he bestrides the narrow world like a colossus. He watches over the world, living each moment under the eye of the Clock. The Clock warns his partner that there are only 48 seconds left to finish the job. When all else has failed, when all hope seems lost, he’ll be there. As the Sentry unleashes an attack upon Attuma, who’s bossing his troops around on his troops, Robert remembers a time from his golden past where he was attacking with the power of a million exploding suns.

The Clock informs Sentry that he’s unleashing an enormous powerful blast. Clock warns there’s a volcanic eruption danger in Sumatra. The blast takes out most of Attuma’s troops and the Sentry thanks Clock for the information and now wants it to reprioritize. Clock mentions it is running the priority algorithm, and mentions that a suicide bomber is up on the Eiffel Tower in France about to attack in 41 seconds. The Sentry understands and, with glowing eyes, receives the information and mentions he’ll stay another thirty seconds at his current location.

Attuma shouts that, because of their support for his adversary, Namor, he and his troops declare all “Hu-men” to be enemies of Homomeramus and all true Atlanteans. He orders the Sentry to stop his attack, but Bob ignores the guy and knocks him right out! Below, Spider-Woman and Wolverine have witnessed the punch and Jessica believes that did it, as their enemies are already retreating back into the sea, but Logan wants to go catch some fish by himself.

The Sentry tells Spider-Man that he can mop up from here and wants him to tell Reed Richards that he’ll need to look into Namor’s latest diplomatic overture to the Skarkans and promises to brief the other Avengers about it later. Peter asks Bob to stay but he can’t, as there’s a volcano eruption. As Sentry takes off, Peter tries to contact him later as MJ wanted to go catch a movie with Bob and Lindy sometime soon.

Sentry fears. If only people knew his mind remains elsewhere half of the time. And that he hears voices in his head. More specifically, Sentry can hear the Clock, his Centrally Located Organic Computer, which is a machine programmed to calculate probabilities, to weigh the importance of one emergency against another. As Sentry destroys enemy jets, Clock never stops to warn him about the minutes left to take care of them. The Sentry and Clock remain in constant contact. Clock decides who lives and who dies so Bob doesn’t have to do that.

While Bob has been engaging the jets, four people were burned to death in a Boston fire. He wonders what people would say if they knew he ran this ship around to avoid lifting it, thereby killing all aboard? That the millions of dollars in environmental damage, for which Bob is about to be sued ten times over, pales into insignificance next to the lives about to be lost in a nuclear accident near Tehran? He wonders if those people would be ready to rely on him if they knew he made decisions about their lives based on probability? While answering to the press, Sentry wonders if they would accept the filming of a public service announcement as more important than a life lost in a car crash in Mexico, a death Sentry could have prevented if he had chosen to do it?

While sitting at his lair on top of Avengers Tower at observing his many viewing screens which gather info from across the entire world, Bob wonders how those people would feel to have the weight of the world on their shoulders. He wonders if they could carry this burden that weights so heavily on his mind.

Clock reports that the volcanic eruption spawned several incidents of seismic activity and thinks it’s fortunate they were in the neighborhood. He adds that nine deaths are attributed to the bombing incident in Paris, and he has detected a developing humanitarian crisis in western Sudan, to which Clock thinks Sentry’s response is currently discretionary. Sentry gets up and thanks the Clock. He wants him to continue monitoring the situation and to open access to the Watchtower’s secure unit.

Clock thinks that’s a highly illogical request. Sentry explains that he doesn’t want to tear the door off, as it’s expensive and time-consuming, which he is certain Clock will agree is also highly illogical. As Bob takes off, he reminds himself that he has to remember to forget sometimes that Clock’s not a person. That he’s an exotic computer program, designed to review world events and prioritize his responses to them. Clock always speaks to Bob, always, and predicts how Bob will think before even he does. But Bob knows he could never expect Clock to understand what he’s about to do next.

The Sentry flies deeper down the Watchtower and makes it to a giant, closed door. After opening it and getting scanned for security reasons, Bob enters a room with nothing in it but two chairs, and he goes to sit on one of them. After waiting for a while, someone starts materializing inside and starts singing, “Yesterday, life was such an easy game to play. Now I’ve found a place to hide-a-way. Oh-Oh, I believe in yesterday. Suddenly, I’m not the man I’m used to be.”

It’s the Void! He goes to sit on the other chair and Bob asks him to shut up. The Void sarcastically says hi to the Sentry and has heard about him having missed out on the terrorists in Paris. Bob defends that he isn’t here for the Void’s entertainment. He just wants to make sure his enemy is still safely under lock and key. The Void confirms that he is. For the moment. But he mentions that he’s working on that problem. Bob doesn’t like being mimicked. Void laughs at that remark. He smiles that he would never mimic Bob. That’s not what he’s doing at all. The Void smiles that… they are one and the same person!

The Sentry knows that isn’t true. He knows that the Void wants to be him, that this is what this childish little game of him is all about. That the game is a delusion of grandeur. The Void knows a secret of Bob: that he wants to be him. Void knows that Bob doesn’t come here to check on him, but to further torture himself. With angry glowing eyes, Sentry warns the Void not to flatter himself. He knows that the Void is just a rogue aspect of his personality. He knows that the Void is a separate entity, and that before long he wouldn’t exist because he’s getting weaker.

Void wonders if Bob even considered the notion that he could be a rogue aspect of his personality?! That maybe it’s the Sentry who’s the imposter around here? Bob tells his enemy to shut up. The Void tells Bob that he’s out of his mind for coming here and talking to himself like this. Void jokes, wondering about what he really is. He explains to the Sentry that he is his dark conscience, his grubby little secret. Void wonders if the Sentry ever tells his Avenger friends about the scabby little part of his brain that he can’t itch? He wonders if Bob has told those heroes what both Bob and the Void know – that Bob will eventually will escape from here and that then it’s curtains up for humanity? While fading away, Void threatens that he can’t wait to scratch Bob’s wife a little more.

Sentry gets angry, but then Clock warns his master that they are receiving an important communication from the Pentagon. Bob shouts at Clock that he never wants to be disturbed when he’s down here. Clock apologizes, but he calculates this priority override situation and claims that Terrax has made planet fall in the Ukraine. Bob hesitates. Upon leaving, he mentions to the Void that he hopes he tries it and to give him the excuse he needs. Because, Bob promises, the next time Void sets foot out of this vault Bob won’t stand on ceremony. Next time… Void wants to know what’s going to happen next time. Bob promises that next time, he will kill the Void.

The Ukraine…

Terrax, demonstrating the full potential of his power in glory, shouts that hereby he has claimed planet Earth. He wants this moment to serve notice that judgment has been passed and that the world has been found guilty of the crime of sentience. In addition, he concludes, the world has been found guilty of harboring impure aspirations, of spreading malignancy beyond the confines of Earth’s atmosphere. And for these crimes, Terrax wants to nullify Earth!

Army helicopters start firing upon Terrax, but none of their bullets harm him. The Sentry lands down and Clock mentions he has 38 seconds to deal with this situation. Terrax isn’t impressed by the Sentry and fires the weapons build inside his axe at the Sentry, but thanks to Bob’s enormous powers is unharmed by the attack. Terrax decides to simply kill the Sentry and raises up his axe to do it, but Sentry holds him back! Startled, Terrax can only witness how Sentry takes his axe away from him, and breaks it in half! Terrax’ power goes down and he feels humiliated. Sentry tells the alien to just leave the planet.

Upon returning home, the Clock reports that the Sentry only needed thirteen seconds to deal with the villain, which is much sooner than he expected. Upon landing in the Watchtower, Clock reports to Bob that his appointment is waiting for him in the upper room. The Sentry takes off his super hero uniform and wears his casual clothes in return. He goes to the upper room, where he meets up with his psychiatrist, Dr. Worth. Realizing that Bob’s time is limited, Worth decides to skip to the point. They shake hands and Worth asks Bob how he has been. Bob mentions that he has been busy and hasn’t been around much.

Worth would like to pick up the threat from their last session. He wants to know if it concerns Bob that he can’t be himself, even if he wants to be. Bob admits that he believes it annoys his wife, as she keeps staring at him like she’s expecting things to change. And things are different living at the Watchtower. He knows his wife lives in a big house, which might feel her lonely even with the robot to do the dishes. Worth wants to know how that makes Bob feel. Bob admits that makes him think he’s not as much in command of his body as he thinks he is.

Clock warns there’s only 24 seconds left. Worth explains that these feelings of worthlessness are quite typical for a man in Bob’s situation. Worth knows that coming back to the Watchtower hasn’t been easy for him and is concerned that he hasn’t been taking his anti-psychotic medicines. Bob claims that the pills make his mouth dry. Worth wants Bob to be honest, and asks Robert if he is trying to avoid being himself. He wonders if that’s why he spends more time as the Sentry these days, which is more time than he should.

Bob promises the Doctor that he doesn’t have to worry about the Void, claiming to have him under control. But Worth does concern about Bob. He believes that Bob talks too much about the Sentry and the Void, but thinks they only exist because Bob feels incomplete. He wants Bob to hear him talk about himself. Bob doesn’t think he’s that important. Taking a stress doll from Worth’s desk, upon saying that he isn’t important, Bob starts squishing it. Worth tells Bob that if he’s both the Sentry and the Void, that would mean he’s the most important person on the planet. Worth thinks that’s what is infecting Bob. He wants to know if Bob doesn’t feel being important. Bob cries.

Worth reminds Bob that they have discussed how his illness puts him at risk of depression. Bob stands up, apologizing, mentioning that they’re out of time. Worth thinks that’s fine, but tells Bob that he has to realize he is the only of his patients who does this to him. Bob apologizes for doing it, but duty calls. As always, he thanks Dr. Worth for his time, as he has been most helpful. Bob thinks he has a lot to think about now and promises Clock will make sure Worth gets to his car. He walks out of the office and asks Clock to fill him in.

After Bob put on his Sentry uniform again, Clock reports that a priority request from the European Space Agency has come in: one of their new shuttles is in jeopardy. As the Sentry flies into action, he believes that this is who he truly is: the Golden Guardian of Good. He’s a man of priorities, subject to the parameters of the prioritizing algorithm that he created. And, he wonders, maybe he is the Void, a creature of the blackest heart, like pitch. Maybe he’s trying to worm his way out of prison and unleash an unknowable fury upon the world. And maybe, he’s just plain Robert Reynolds, a man struggling to keep himself together. A diagnosed schizophrenic with agoraphobia. A man who likes cartoons and Captain Crunch cereals. A man who thinks his wife doesn’t love him anymore. And maybe, he’s more than all of those things put together. One leg on either side of the world. Like a colossus.

He is the Sentry, a man with the power of a million exploding suns. A man who’s ever vigilant, humanity’s only hope. The weight of the world rests uneasily on the Sentry’s perfect shoulders. The weight of the world. And, he wouldn’t have it any other way. Sentry heads into space, where he finds the shuttle in trouble and rescues it.

Characters Involved: 

Captain America, Iron Man, Luke Cage, Sentry, Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Wolverine (all Avengers)

Watchdog (Sentry’s dog)

The Clock

The Void


Terrax the Tamer

Dr. Cornelius Worth (Sentry’s psychiatrist)

Attuma’s army (all unnamed)

several people in danger, reports and others (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

The Sentry is Robert Reynolds, a super hero that time forgot. Seemingly giving his life to defeat his archenemy, the Void, he disappeared without a trace and for safety reasons made everyone believe he was truly dead, even his wife, family and super-hero friends. Until recently, the Avengers discovered that the Sentry was still alive but in SHIELD custody, because thanks to the Void believed he had killed his own wife. When the truth was revealed and the Void returned as well, Bob returned to his super-hero status and helped his former friends to once again take his enemy down, this time hoping it’s for good. After accepting an invitation to fully join the ranks of the Avengers, the Sentry struggles with his personal life, finding his meaning of existence and the urge to do good wherever he can. (The Sentry (1st series) #1-5, Sentry vs. the Void #1, New Avengers #7-10)

Attuma is most often an adversary of Namor due to his numerous attacks upon his underwater city of Atlantis and first appeared in Fantastic Four (1st series) #33. Terrax the Tamer is a dictator and one-time Herald of Galactus, who first appeared in Fantastic Four (1st series) #211.

First appearance of Dr. Cornelius Worth.

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