Yes, I've mentioned this character a lot, but now Marvel has set the stage for a way to combine the best of the two hottest selling independent titles out there, with a sprinkling of DC's "Elseworlds" and Marvel's "What If?", but keeping it all based in Marvel's current reality.
Quick recap of where Marvel is now: The Sentry is dead. During the "Dark Avengers" storyline that led into "Seige", Norman Osborn gradually manipulated him to the point where he finally snapped and became this evil incarnate that finally had to be killed by Thor. The world is terrified of him returning (witnessed in the "Hawkeye" limited series where Bullseye told the guards Sentry wasn't dead and it scared them to death). Remember, Marvel had originally set him up as the most powerful hero in their universe, then Quesada realized he didn't know how to write a comic book with a Superman-type character, so he gave him the "dark side" to hide behind. So here we go...
In the first eight issues, we have the return of the Sentry (no one in comics stays dead forever). But this time, we allow him to return without the dark "Void" crap that Marvel has clung onto from the beginning (never ever ever to return to this character again). Now we just have Bob Reynolds, a hero very sorry for what he's done and desperately wanting to have the chance to make up for it. Unfortunately, the world has seen this evil side and is terrified of him, unwilling to trust him. He must now justify himself. Even the other heroes won't trust him and want him dead!
Imagine this, we combine the concepts of Boom! Studios "Irredeemable" and "Incorruptible" by having the superhero who turns evil and kills his friends (remember Aries?), but then has a change of heart and wants to do right while the world is afraid of him. All of this, while staying in Marvel's current reality! A mainstream comic that is about redemption rather than one constant death after another!
During the second, fourth, and seventh issues, we see very quick one-page inserts of various alien warriors being abducted by some powerful force calling their name and saying "You are needed." All of this will come into play later in the storyline.
At the end of the eighth issue, Sentry goes into outer space to seek refuge because the world is terrified of him. For the next eight issues, Sentry finds planets that hail him as a hero because of how he helps them. But then at the same time there are worlds that have heard of him as the Void and fear him. Eventually we have several very cosmic fights as Sentry faces Gladiator of the Shi'ar and even has a rematch with Terrax.
Throughout this 8-issue arch, Sentry begins to slowly atone for what the Void made him do. He doesn't blame himself completely for what happened, and instead is able to realize he needs to fix things rather than constantly apologize for them.
But then we reach the final 8-issue storyline. A hugely powerful galactic warrior comes and attacks Sentry. After a very hard-fought battle, Sentry would find out this was the latest herald of Galactus, sent to kill him while Galactus himself is bearing down on Earth to destroy it. I could picture this being Galactus, though he's been defeated by the Fantastic Four so many times it's not funny. My Galactus, however, would have undergone a change. Instead of one herald, he would have created a small army of heralds, like a dozen or more (remember the abductions I mentioned earlier?). Now we have 12 heralds all rivaling Silver Surfer in terms of raw power, each with a different skill set.
They would lay waste to the heroes of Earth after an epic battle. All looks hopeless and lost, as Sentry streaks to Earth while Galactus sets up his machine to finally eat the planet.
Sentry arrives and begins a series of fights against the heralds of Galactus. One he could easily defeat, but four or five at a time would truly make for some great storytelling. As each herald is defeated, Sentry absorbs their power through his molecular manipulation. Each time he becomes more powerful as he turns each herald into the alien they were before they were changed.
And yes, the Silver Surfer would count as one of those heralds. A pretty epic fight, I think.
|Sentry, herald of Galactus by Khris Reaves|
Then we hit issue 24. Sentry has already shown an ability to manipulate molecules (as he did to defeat the Molecule Man in Dark Avengers), so we see him override the change made to him and attempt to pull the very life essence from Galactus. In the process, he finds that The Void had actually taken over Galactus and used him in an attempt to destroy Sentry and Earth. The Void escapes into one of the former heralds and disappears into space. Galactus leaves the planet (again), and Sentry is seen as the hero who saved the world, though the people are still leery of him.
So there you have it, 24 issues of potential that could allow Marvel to cash in on some of the "hot stories" of today while still being original and keeping it all in current continuity without some massive bloodshed or people ripped in half or scenes of Sentry running off in tears again like we saw in Secret Invasion. Instead, we have a Superman-type character actually facing challenges in the Marvel Universe without crazy stuff. Can you tell I'm a writer who has always wanted to try his hand at comic books?
And how about his weakness now? With no Void, we have no weakness, right? Wrong. He's always been known as the man with "power of a million exploding suns", so his weakness now is the fact that he has to constantly vent off his power or he will die. In other words, he has to fly off somewhere (like the other side of the moon) and explode this massive power surge on a regular basis, or he'll go nuclear/cosmic. Khristian came up with that twist, and I liked it.
Just think, when the people finally start trusting him again, someone discovers he's a walking thermonuclear bomb just waiting to detonate and everyone is scared of him again! There's another eight-issue arch in that one!
So there you go, my look at Marvel is over. Someday soon I may take on DC, but for next week I'm turning it over to my new co-blogger, Khristian. My son is a comic book fan and you've seen his graphic work before on here (and on this very post in two places!) and he's agreed to help me out with guest posts. Next week, is sure to be interesting if you're a movie buff! I'll be back in two weeks with more rants and raves.
So what do you think about the story? Comment away!