The Sentry #1 is published by Marvel, written by Jason Loo, with art by Luigi Zagaria, colors by Arthur Hesli, and letters by Joe Caramagna. In this issue, Misty Knight and Jessica Jones start investigating signs of the Sentry’s return, except Robert Reynolds, who seems nowhere to be found.
This is a story that was certainly unexpected. The main characters of the first issue aren’t the Sentry but instead two private detectives. Jessica Jones and Misty Knight are drawn to a scene of destruction, where the remnants definitely look like the Sentry has been there. But a shocking twist sends the plot of the entire series swerving in a different direction.
At first, the scale of this change seems minimal, only affecting a couple of interesting characters. But it later transpires that this will be a story that spreads further and further as it progresses. The complete upheaval gives The Sentry #1 huge amounts of unpredictability as it becomes a comic of investigation and discovery. Even within this first chapter, it features what feels like multiple stories. The pacing is perfect, giving multiple characters the time they need to flourish and have their lives unfold.
It’s very easy to get attached to the characters within The Sentry #1, and there are early signs of that being dangerous. Even the name Sentry seems to cause panic and alarm, even for experienced superheroes. Where he goes, death and destruction follow, and so anyone who is missing or potentially in the line of fire is a cause for concern.
The new characters introduced, three in total, have heaps of personality. Within a page, we learn small pieces that make up the entirety of a character. This series opens up a really interesting concept that changes completely depending on the personality of the person involved.
Jones and Knight are investigating the inclusion of these other characters, both of whom have received upgrades in their private and professional lives. Jessica is now the First Lady of New York City, and Misty has a whole organisation. It was an unforeseen yet genius decision to use these two as the figureheads of the story, as they have the attitude and the intelligence to get to the bottom of it.
There’s something of a rivalry between Jessica and Misty, and it creates a fantastic, intense dynamic. From the viewpoint of the newer characters, the captions may feature a lot of exposition, but that is both welcome and necessary. They’ve never been seen before, and the peril inside the comic means that this could be the last time are ever seen. So, their personality needs to be established quickly.
The art is fantastic. Zagaria brilliantly implements a tactic that places the extraordinary within the ordinary. New York is crucial to this first story, as it is for so much of Marvel’s stories, and the city looks amazing. Compared to normal humans, the scale and the general humdrum of people within the city are beautifully established. But then come the superheroes and the devastation they can cause. The first sign of that is Jessica Jones, who is doing zero damage when she flies into a scene of chaos. But it is an example of how the heroes look to the pedestrians.
But then the devastation that the most powerful of these beings can cause is horrifying. Damage is superbly illustrated, placed within the normality of the rest of the world. As the story unfolds further, there are more fight scenes, and they are terrific.
There were no signs earlier in the book that it could be as brutal as it gets. But there will be expansive and destructive battlers that will flourish in this art style. But the tranquil moments are also phenomenal. There is a stunning amount of detail to bedrooms and homes, and some activities that feature no superhero activities look better than those that do.
The colors are immaculate. For much of The Sentry #1, there is a naturalistic approach to how the issue looks. But there is a constant evolution of that, with different shades appearing on every page. The colors help characters display their identity, personalities, and the city itself. But when necessary, superpowers are given bright and powerful tones, both yellows and reds, to capture the attention and signify the introduction of danger into the comic. The lettering is faultless, with no issues with the custom word balloons’ legibility.
The Sentry #1 is one of the surprises of the year. The start of the series possesses a plot with the energy and the essence of the Sentry but reinvents the character entirely. It has always been difficult for creators to know what to do with Robert Reynolds. The extreme power was too much for the Marvel Universe. And that’s coming from someone who adored the era when Bendis was using Sentry in every book and adored every minute of it.
The Sentry #1 finds another avenue. That same power is still worth telling stories about, as is the character itself, and the plot of this series is filled with even more terrific personalities. It has led to the creation of one of the most unique superhero comics currently available.
The Sentry #1
The Sentry #1 is one of the surprises of the year.