Robert Reynolds is no more. But The Sentry lives on, in a manner of speaking. Your Major Spoilers review of The Sentry #1 from Marvel Comics awaits!
THE SENTRY #1
Writer: Jason Loo
Artist: Luigi Zagaria
Colorist: Arthur Hesli
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Editor: Alanna Smith
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 6, 2023
Previously in The Sentry: The Sentry is dead, but ordinary people all over the world are suddenly manifesting his powers and experiencing snippets of Bob Reynolds’ memories. Will one of them survive long enough to emerge as the new Sentry? Or will their newfound power destroy them? When Misty Knight and Jessica Jones cross paths in search of answers, they open an investigation that will change everything you think you know about the Sentry!
THE ADVENTURES OF JESSICA AND MISTY
Now that her husband, Luke Cage, is busy as the Mayor of New York City, Jessica Jones has decided that she, too, needs to get out of the house. Thus, she returns to Alias Investigations, and before she can say “My children are wrecking the mayor’s office,” there’s an explosion in the neighborhood. Before she can get too far into investigating, Misty Knight, head of the Aberrant Crimes Division of the NYPD arrives. They grudgingly work together to find out what happened to collapse an entire apartment building, but their investigations reveal a missing girl, one Mallory Gibbs. Cue the flashback, and we find out what happened to Mallory, and it’s… not good. And then, we see what happens to a young bike messenger named Farhad, and both their situations are somehow tied to the death of Bob Reynolds.
A LITTLE HAM-FISTED
Marvel’s new status quo, wherein it’s illegal for superheroes to operate in New York City, even under the auspices of Mayor Cage, makes for some odd creative choices in various books. The team of Misty Knight and Jessica Jones is one of the good ones, though I’m not thrilled with Misty in the humorless, inflexible cop role. Their interactions are the best parts of the book (“What CAN’T your arm do?” Jessica asks, to which Misty responds “Talk too much”), but the way the events in this issue are presented bothers me. Starting with Jessica and not Mallory getting the Sentry powers makes the sequence of events confusing, with two unexpected flashback sequences and more than one impossible coincidence. The art is equally wobbly, with Zagaria’s layouts strong and the primary characters well-defined, but background characters looking nearly identical. The ending sequence should be powerful, but aside from Mallory’s intense facial expression, it doesn’t hold together.
BOTTOM LINE: NOT AS STRONG AS I HAD HOPED
It’s been 23 years since the creation of the character as a metatextual mystery, and The Sentry #1 shows that Marvel is still struggling to find something interesting to do with him, and while there are situations and characters within this issue that have promise, the finished product is disappointing, earning 2 out of 5 stars overall. With an MCU Sentry on the way, this limited series is a rare example of the comics getting ahead of the game, but if all six issues are this disjointed, I don’t know that I’m coming along for the ride.
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THE SENTRY #1
There's gonna be a new Sentry in town, but a predictable story and bizarre art don't really drive me to want to find out their secrets.