SENTINELS - ENGINES OF EVIL: Page 7 of 9

Last Updated: 
9th May 2014

Russian Sentinels

Creator: unknown
Appearances: Mystique #3-6
Russian Sentinels: models of original design replicating size, armor and flight of American counterparts; presumably designed with similar comparable capabilities as well, though to an unknown degree

While the numerical population of mutants in the world as always curiously seem to have been concentrated in the United States, other countries have still worried about the growing number of mutants within their own borders. Not unsurprisingly, some have looked to emulate some of the solutions of the Americans. After noting a sharp increase in the number of mutant births across their nation, a phenomenon which officials blamed on the nuclear accident in Chernobyl, the government of the Soviet Union embarked upon their own Sentinel program. However, while the idea behind this mirrored that of the Americans, these models seemed completely different in appearance and operation to those of Bolivar Trask and the designers who followed.

While still towering in height, these Soviet units looked almost Japanese in appearance. Charged with the daunting task of beginning a Sentinel program from scratch, the Soviet government might have actually turned to the Japanese for technical support, influencing the final design. While a group of Sentinels were indeed constructed, after the fall of the Soviet Union Professor Xavier managed to convince the emerging Russian government to destroy the robots. While they agreed and mostly complied, a few units were merely decommissioned, on the off-chance that the Cold War with the United States ever began again. In the years that followed, a freelance arms dealer named Steinbeck was able to take advantage of the poor state of the Russian economy and purchased the two remaining Sentinels from a rogue general and then resold them to a general in Cuba. While to date the government of Cuba had not yet had any problems with its mutant population, it recognized that it was burgeoning and questioned their threat to national security.

Learning of the recent Cuban acquisition, Professor Xavier set upon an indirect solution. Using her status as a fugitive to blackmail her into service, Xavier recruited Mystique as a secret agent, intending to use her in operations too politically sensitive for his high-profile X-Men. Journeying to the island under cover, Mystique quickly made her way into the secret government installation under the guise of General Luis Diosvil, who had purchased the Sentinels in the first place. Unfortunately, Mystique’s infiltration coincided with a citizen insurrection, led by the brother of a mutant girl named Evangelina, whom the base had been holding for some time. Seeing their installation overrun, one of the soldiers activated the Sentinels, which rocketed to the Havana, the city of greatest mutant concentration in the country.

Quickly realizing that the Sentinels were being remote controlled, Mystique searched the facility for the computer, discovering to her horror that it was in fact Evangelina, whose mutant power was to control machines. When Mystique questioned her own ability to kill the young girl to stop the Sentinels, Evangelina’s brother, Lazaro, did the deed, knowing that his sister could not have lived with the loss of so many souls on her conscience. As a result of no longer having a CPU controlling their actions, the two Sentinels turned around, returning to their base. However, whether as a result of the lack of control or some automatic subroutine, the two Sentinels collided with the installation, destroying both themselves and the base. Having escaped with the rest of the insurrectionists and the liberated mutants, Mystique hoped that the Cuban government would learn that the incident proved that trying to eradicate mutants created more problems that it solved. [Mystique #3-6]


Sentinel Squad O*N*E

Creator: Stark Enterprises
Appearances: Black Panther (4th series) #21-22, Civil War #3, Civil War: X-Men #1-4, House of M - The Day After, New X-Men (2nd series) #21-26, 28, 30-36, 38-44, Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-5, Uncanny X-Men #466, 468-473, 487-489, 493, X-Men (2nd series) #177-179, 182-183, 185-186, 188-190, 192-194, 204-205, X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1, 3, 5-6, X-Men: Messiah Complex, X-Men: The 198 #1-5
Sentinel Squad O*N*E: piloted battlemech possessing extraordinary size and strength, reinforced armor plating, pulsar beams, optical lasers, non-lethal smoke bomb and capture net ordinance, and boot rockets; Brawler model comes with additional physical strength and triple-reinforced armor; Stealth model can become invisible to visual and electromagnetic detection; Recon model is capable of wide-range audio, visual, and electromagnetic scanning, monitoring squad member lifesigns and mechanical systems, remote operating other Sentinel models, and stores a vast database of information; other known models include War Machine, Crazy Train, Ogre, Megaton and Shrapnel

The United States' next Sentinel project would also involve have the giant robots no longer capable of independent thought or action, but needing human pilots to steer them. Whereas before Henry Peter Gyrich was assigned to the Sentinels programs, this time it was his colleague Valerie Cooper who acted as the driving force behind the new program. Having acted as governmental liaison to both Freedom Force and X-Factor in the past, Cooper always had felt the need for the government to have their own operatives to deal with not only mutants but all superhuman threads. At a time when the Avengers had recently disbanded, following the break-down of the Scarlet Witch, Cooper formed O*N*E, the Office of National Emergency and had Stark Enterprises build a prototype model of what she had in mind. She then presented the new Sentinel, piloted by Jim Rhodes (the former Avenger known as War Machine) to several influential US Senators. Despite the incredibly high costs to produce the new Sentinels, Cooper was given the green light and the new Sentinel program moved to a secluded military base.

Within five months, about two dozen models had been built. For reasons unknown, though, it was not Valerie Cooper who became the director of Sentinel Squad O*N*E but a high ranking U.S. General by the name of Lazer. Serving directly under him, Val was the deputy director whereas Jim Rhodes took on the job of combat instructor for the various groups of recruits to be trained as pilots of the new Sentinels. These recruits were a mix of highly-decorated soldiers, war heroes, computer technicians, scientists and even at least one mutant, to emphasize that it hunting down mutants was no longer the primary tasks of the Sentinels. However, not too fond of mutants himself, this didn't sit quite well with General Lazer and he made it a strict rule that no mutant would become squad leader.

Little is known about the first group of pilots to train with the Sentinels, but the second set of recruits had their problems to get along with each other. There being various models of Sentinels with different abilities, the pilots were supposed to act as a team, working together and watching each other's back. While the O*N*E staff had purposely aimed for recruits with quite varying personalities, hoping that they'd match with the capabilities of the Sentinel models the pilots were assigned to, the members of the second training squad were almost constantly at each other's throats. This changed a bit after their first mission went wrong. While acting as bodyguards for one of the senators, who provided funding for the Sentinel Squad O*N*E* program, the Squad had to face Hydra's secret weapon - the Growing Man. His Sentinel being ripped apart by the Growing Man, pilot Jake Slayton lost both legs. Partially this was the fault of Nathaniel Briggs, who froze during the battle, though would later claim it to have been either a malfunction or the fault of his teammates. As a result, the other Squad members grew much closer, especially after Briggs was nominated squad leader by General Lazer. [Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-2]

Next, Sentinel Squad O*N*E were sent to the Savage Land. Brainchild of the Savage Land Mutates had amplified a herd of dinosaurs with cybernetic implants, granting them even a limited form of telekinesis. The Sentinel Squad not expecting such a trait, they were easily overpowered by the dinosaurs. With the rest of their team killed in action, Jim Rhodes and a female pilot named Tracy Skylark were taken captive by Brainchild. Lazer sent all of the remaining Sentinels to rescue them, regardless whether their pilots had fully finished their training or not. Unfortunately, the man in charge of the operation had not learned anything from the first Sentinels' group defeat and tried a similar “brute force” approach. Seeing the other Sentinels destroyed one by one, Alexander Lexington defied clear orders and convinced his teammates to retreat before they too were killed. He then took charge of the few surviving Sentinel pilots and came up with a different plan.

While the others caused a diversion, Lexington had Briggs use the cloaked Stealth Sentinel to take him and Meld, the two mutant squad members, inside the base of the savage Land Mutates. Using their powers for a surprise attack, the pair managed to rescue Rhodes and Skylark and made it out of the base, where two of the other squad members used their superior intellects in combination with Meld's metal manipulating powers to create a giant “Super-Sentinel” from the spare parts of the earlier destroyed Sentinels. After defeating the dinosaurs in Brainchild's service and returning home, though, the squad had to face a very disappointed General Lazer for Briggs not only told the general about Lexington defying the chain of command, but of him keeping secret his status as a mutant. [Sentinel Squad O*N*E #3-4] If not for Rhodes and Cooper stepping up for him, Lexington would have been arrested for treason.

His status as a mutant was not a problem for much longer though, for when the Scarlet Witch's reality altering wave hit Earth's mutant population on M-Day, Lexington was among those to permanently be de-powered. No longer qualifying as a mutant, he was even placed in charge of the Sentinel Squad by Val Cooper, when the team was given its next assignment. With mutants now being on the verge of extinction and the X-Men offering safe haven to the few hundred mutants left in the world, the Xavier Institute was to become a target by the various mutant-hating organizations. For that reason, the O*N*E sent their Sentinel Squad to safeguard the Xavier estate, whether the mutants living there wanted protection or not. Under the watchful eyes of the Sentinels, military troops commandeered by Colonel Miguel Reyes helped to erect a makeshift camp for “The 198,” as the remaining mutants began to call themselves. [Sentinel Squad O*N*E #5, House of M - The Day After]

The X-Men didn't want to have the Sentinels on their grounds, but as the giant robots helped them against the militant Sapiens League they couldn't deny that they might benefit from having them around. Besides, there wasn't much they could do about the governmental order. While Cooper and Reyes tried to play nice with the X-Men, informing them of their next steps, General Lazer had a rather different approach to handle the situation. A huge wall was erected around the camp apparently with the intent to keep potential attackers outside, though at the same time they keep the mutants contained inside, and the Sentinels had to make sure that none of them would leave. Additionally, while some mutants agreed to receive sub-dermal tracking implants, they later discovered that the devices also served as electro-shock restraints, should they use their powers to attack someone. The Sentinels had to deal with several riots in the camp, and tempers only cooled down a bit when one of the 198 destroyed the implants with his powers. [X-Men: The 198 #1-5]

Still, it's not surprising that many of the 198 sided with Apocalypse when he and his Horsemen attacked the Sentinels protecting the Xavier Institute. After being exposed to Famine's draining power, only Lexington showed enough will-power to stay on his post and keep on fighting, whereas the other pilots all abandoned their Sentinels to get some food. Quite furious, Val Cooper promised to see them court-martialed. However, if that really did happen, apparently the verdict was in favor of the pilots, because they continued to serve the O*N*E. With the Sentinels at Xavier's temporarily out of commission, two of their teammates aided the X-Men against Apocalypse. As an unexpected bonus, Tracy Skylark and Jim Rhodes got to try out new Sentinels models during the fight. [X-Men (2nd series) #182-186] In the aftermath of that crisis, the O*N*E would try out various other models on monitor duty at Xavier's. Unfortunately, they weren't very effective. Repeatedly, the Sentinels failed to prevent the X-Men from leaving the mansion to go on an unsanctioned mission, and - even worse - Apocalypse was just one of many villains whose attack couldn't be stopped by the Sentinel Squad.

Eventually, when the Super Human Registration Act was passed, the 198 decided to break out of the camp with both the X-Men and the Sentinels on their trail. Realizing the potential of the situation, General Lazer had the mutant Johnny Dee use his manipulative power to stir up the conflict, hoping to prove once and for all that mutants are a danger that needs to be contained. Assuming mental control of some X-Men and O*N*E troops, Johnny Dee started a battle between the two forces. However, Val Cooper eventually realizes that he and Lazer were actually behind the conflict. After arresting and interrogating the general, she arranged for the 198 to be given full amnesty. Now fully in charge of the O*N*E, Cooper also changed the mission parameters at the Xavier Institute. While the Sentinels stayed to protect the mansion and the people living there, mutants could now come and go freely and were no longer monitored or restricted. [Civil War: X-Men #1-4]

During a rather tumultuous time, when the X-Men and several other parties raced to find and recover the first mutant baby born after M-Day, the O*N*E experienced yet another set-back. The two Sentinels piloted by Alexander Lexington and Jake Slayton were infected by Nano-Sentinels. At first it seemed they merely re-programmed the giant robots into hunting mutants once more, however the Nano-Sentinels continued to transform their giant counterparts and their operators, effectively killing them as it transformed them into a strange, humanoid amalgamation. While one such entity was destroyed, the other got away. [X-Men (2nd series) #205, Uncanny X-Men #493] It remains to be seen if the Sentinel Squad O*N*E program will recover from having lost two of their most experienced and dedicated squad members. In the long run, the huge costs for constant repairs and re-designs, might seem too high, compared to this Sentinels' version actual use. The only thing known for sure is that the assignment at the Xavier Institute is over, for the X-Men chose to disband after the aforementioned search for the mutant child.


Administrative Staff

Cooper, Valerie
First appearance: Uncanny X-Men #176

All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-3, 5, House of M - The Day After, X-Men (2nd series) #177-179, Uncanny X-Men #466, X-Men: The 198 #2-5, Uncanny X-Men #469-473, New X-Men (2nd series) #24, 27, 30-31, X-Men (2nd series) #183-187, Civil War: X-Men #1-4, New X-Men (2nd series) #39, Uncanny X-Men #487-488

Status: active

Notes:
- When Val Cooper worked as a National Security Advisor, she arranged for Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to receive full pardons for their crimes in exchange for their services under the name of Freedom Force.
- Later on, she acted as governmental liaison to the governmentally sanctioned X-Factor.

General Lazer
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-2, 4-5, House of M - The Day After, X-Men: The 198 #3-5, Civil War: X-Men #1-4

Status: deceased (killed by Johnny Dee)

Notes:
- Despite the fact that the Sentinel O*N*E program was not started to hunt down mutants, Lazer never made any attempt to hide his anti-mutant sentiments.

Colonel Reyes, Miguel
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Uncanny X-Men #466, X-Men: The 198 #3-5, Uncanny X-Men #469, 472-473, New X-Men (2nd series) #24, 27-28, 30, Civil War: X-Men #1, 3-4, New X-Men (2nd series) #34-36, 39

Status: active

Notes:
- Miguel Reyes is the brother of former X-Man Cecilia Reyes.
- Just like the X-Men, Colonel Reyes has not seen or heard from his sister in months, and he wonders if she is still alive.

Rhodes, James / “War Machine“
First appearance: Iron Man (1st series) #118

All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-3, 5, X-Men (2nd series) #185-186, Black Panther (4th series) #22

Status: active

Powers: Stark armor equipped with exoskeletal strength, magnetic-reinforced body armor, advanced sensor arrays, repulsor rays, pulse bolts, flamethrower, laser blade, armor-piercing Gatling gun, micro-rocket launcher, mini-cannon, and boot jets

Notes:
- Jim Rhodes has filled in as Iron Man during a time when Tony Stark lapsed into alcoholism.
- He later also served the Avengers as War Machine.
- He not only has experience using battle armors designed by Stark Enterprises, as he also wore an alien symbiotic suit for quite some time.

Known Sentinel pilots
Listed below are only the named Sentinel pilots. The exact number of people receiving Sentinel training is not known, though there were at least two dozen more recruits who trained at the military base

Briggs, Nathaniel
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-5, X-Men (2nd series) #178-179, 183, X-Men: Deadly Genesis #5

Status: deceased (killed by Vulcan)

Notes:
- Nathaniel Brigess is a highly decorated war hero who served both in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Initially, he had severe spells of claustrophobia while operating the Sentinels and tended to freeze in midst of a fight.
- Briggs was given a promotion by General Lazer after he outed Lexington as a closet mutant.

Dhama, Rajani
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-5, X-Men (2nd series) #178, 183

Status: unrevealed

Notes:
- Rajani is a computer-scenario expert from India.
- At first being trained for the Recon unit, her bad temper made her a much better match for the Brawler model.

Jennings
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1

Status: expelled from the Sentinel pilot program

Notes:
- Already on his first day, Jennings was kicked out of the Sentinel O*N*E program by War Machine because of his anti-mutant views. He never got to train with one of the Sentinels.

Lexington, Alexander
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-5, X-Men (2nd series) #178, 183, New X-Men (2nd series) #24, 34-35, 38, 40-41, X-Men (2nd series) #205, Uncanny X-Men #493

Status: deceased (transfomed by Nano-Sentinels)

Powers: formerly could generate electrical current to manipulate electronic systems or produce high-voltage discharges

Notes:
- Upon entering the military and later the Sentinel pilot program, Lexington kept his mutant powers secret. However, to save his teammates, Lexington used his abilities during a battle, outing himself in the process.
- Lexington didn't seem to be bothered by losing his mutant powers on M-Day. In fact, because of this, he could finally be promoted to squad leader, as General Lazer had previously declared that the position should not be filled by a mutant.

Muldoon, Jeremiah / “Meld“
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-5

Status: faked his own death

Powers: metal-altering power enables him to liquefy and reshape all forms of metal through physical contact

Notes:
- Already sporting his green skin at birth, Jeremiah was abandoned by his mother and left on a military base. He was raised by the government and placed in several different projects until he wound up in the Sentinel program.
- The whole time, he was given no choice, which is why his fellow squad members covered for him when Meld faked his own death during a mission, to be finally able to live a normal life outside the military.
- It is unknown if he retains his powers and appearance after M-Day.

Nixon
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-4

Status: deceased (killed while fighting Brainchild's dinosaurs)

Notes:
- Little is known about Nixon's background.
- He was among the many Sentinel pilots that were killed by the semi-sentient dinosaurs in the Savage Land. Just to make a point about his own superior intellect, Brainchild dissected Nixon's body to humiliate the size and capabilities of a standard human mind.

Skylark, Tracy
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1, 3-5, X-Men (2nd series) #185-186

Status: unrevealed

Notes:
- Tracy is the only survivor of the first group of Sentinel pilots.
- She received training on next to all models of Sentinels, including experimental units such as Crazy Train.

Slayton, Jake
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-5, X-Men (2nd series) #178, 183, Civil War: X-Men #2, X-Men (2nd series) #205, Uncanny X-Men #493

Status: deceased (transformed by Nano-Sentinels)

Notes:
- During his first mission, Slayton's Sentinel was ripped apart by the Growing Man. As a result of this, Slayton lost both of his legs, though this didn't stop him to continue his training as a Sentinel pilot.
- Following his injury, he was re-assigned to the Recon unit.

Steele, John
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #3

Status: deceased (killed while fighting Brainchild's dinosaurs)

Notes:
- Steele was the stereotypical drill sergeant, more interested in pulling rank than listening to a good and reasonable idea of the members of his squad.
- He was killed by the semi-sentient dinosaurs in the Savage Land.

Winston, Emil
All Sentinel Squad O*N*E appearances: Sentinel Squad O*N*E #1-5

Status: quit the Sentinel pilot program

Notes:
- One of the leading scientists working on the Sentinels, Emil Winston, insisted on being included in the pilot training program, apparently gaining more ideas for re-designs and modifications from using the armor himself and seeing his teammates in action.
- Seeing about two dozen of other Sentinel pilots killed in the Savage Land, Winston quit the program, returning to his labs instead.