Monday, August 10, 2009

Age of the Sentry TPB

Jeff Parker and Paul Tobin deserve a round of applause. They actually made me like the Sentry. It turns out all they had to do was re-create the character as Golden Age Superman and suddenly the Golden Guardian of Good is a pretty cool guy. The two writers create a complete world for the Sentry, with a great golden age origin, a fun sidekick and super-dog, and even a great cover job. It seems Rob Reynolds is an encyclopedia entry writer, so naturally he has to travel all over the world to research that! I love how Rob slips away as the Sentry too. He gets a craving for custard and pops out to get some, a few minutes later, the Sentry arrives!

The TPB is just filled with great ideas. I loved that Ms. Marvel shows up as the Sentress. Manoo the alien is Sentry's buddy. Women everywhere swoon when the Sentry arrives. One of Sentry's best allies is a caveman lawyer of Wall Street. This was a whirlwind of neat ideas that really gave the Sentry a fun feel.

That of course, just makes the eventual conclusion more upsetting. After Cranio, the 3-brained villain (always 3 steps ahead!) and the Void team up to take out Sentry, the actually succeed. The Void absorbs so much of the Sentry's power that he actually collects Sentry's personality as he absorbs his powers. This is all presented as an "imaginary story," but Parker and Tobin have set out a great explanation for the ongoing sanity problems the modern-day Sentry suffers. If the guy we know is really the Void with Sentry's personality layered on, that is a great idea for a hero. And since the theory is floated by our narrator (and the smartest man in the Marvel U) Reed Richards, I'm inclined to believe him.

Nick Dragotta and a variety of back-up artists do a wonderful job drawing aliens, cavemen, hillbillies, super-heroes, and bubling brain-cases. This comic won't leave you thinking like Watchmen or Golden Age, but it will leave you smiling and chuckling as you ponder Ultra-Bears and mutated Lobsters retiring to Monster Island. The world needs more comics like this!


1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

Excellent indeed, till that last issue, which almost manages to suck the fun away from the previous ones. Did they have to tie it in to the pitiful Bendis version of the Sentry?

And after Reed's contribution to Civil War I no longer believe a word he says.

The earlier issues, though, were a joy - very Alan Moore Supreme/Tom strong.