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First seen in The Sentry #1 (September, 2000), Robert Reynolds was an overweight, middle aged, alcoholic until one day he awakens and realizes that he is the Sentry, a superhero with the power of one million exploding suns, whom must once again take the mantle of the hero to fight his archnemesis the Void, who he fears is returning soon.
This rather strange origin story begun via a hoax that was perpetuated by Stan Lee himself in stating that there was a golden age superhero whom he just forgot about and wanted to weave into the continuity. Through a series of recursive flashbacks Robert Reynolds is seen fighting alongside Marvel's most popular superheroes including the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and Spider-Man, and the entirety of the Sentry's first miniseries revolves around figuring out why everyone has Laser-Guided Amnesia surrounding his existence.
His actual powers were bestowed upon him when a young Robert, while working in a physics lab, drank a serum that "moved his molecules 1 second ahead of the current timeline." It was later revealed that this was a newer version of the Super Soldier serum that transformed Captain America. It was also revealed that Robert drank the serum to get high...higher than a million suns
Seen as somewhat of an Alternate Company Equivalent of Superman due to his seemingly limitless powers, including: energy blasts, super strength, flight, and of course a hefty dose of New Powers as the Plot Demands.
WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Sentry while seeming like an Invincible Hero actually has many weaknesses due to his being Ax Crazy (this is not expunged when Robert becomes the Sentry). Robert Reynolds is an agoraphobic, anxiety-ridden schizophrenic who relies on his robot sidekick CLOC to calculate the severity of problems that need his help, and solves them in order based on CLOC's input.
These mental problems culminate in the big reveal that Robert Reynolds is actually the Void, and the Sentry persona is but a guilt-born creation to counterbalance the evil that Reynolds commits; however, this origin story is constantly called into question throughout the Sentry's run.
Tropes this character's series use:
Sentry: How many gods will I have to kill today?
- Blonde Guys Are Evil
- Body Horror
- Brains Evil Brawn Good
- Brought to You by The Letter "S"
- Bullet Catch: The Sentry once stopped an assassination attempt in this manner.
- Care Bear Stare: The Sentry can emit a calming aura to help the Hulk manage his rage. Reed Richards tries to simulate this aura during World War Hulk, but it doesn't work.
- Color Coded for Your Convenience: The Sentry's eyes glow yellow when he uses most of his powers, blue when he's using his psychic powers, and red when the Void is about to emerge.
- Combat Tentacles: Part of the Void's physical makeup, the tentacles are strong enough to restrain the Hulk and break his bones.
- In Siege, they ripped Loki in half (and then maybe a few more pieces).
- Comic Book Time
- Conspicuous Trenchcoat: The Void's wardrobe of choice throughout The Sentry limited series.
- The Corrupter: Norman Osborn, who thoroughly abuses Bob's fragile mental state. It wasn't until Osborn provided the Sentry with another dose of the serum that the Void became the dominant personality.
- Curb Stomp Battle: Sentry has multiple examples of being the one issuing these out. One is Sentry vs. Ares during Siege.
- Dark Secret: The truth behind the origin of the Sentry, kept between Bob and his wife, Lindy. Bob was just a drug addict looking for a fix, not an innocent young man working in a physics lab.
- Death Is Cheap: Sentry had died and returned within the confines of a single issue, usually as a result of the Void's intervention.
- Demon Slaying
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Sentry has defeated Galactus before.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Bob finds out that some Yoga instructor is pulling some moves on his wife; sometime later, presumably, The Sentry saves 150.000 people from a crashing boat while The Void hurls a jet airliner into a building killing 150.000 people, Ramón the Yoga instructor was in that building.
- Driven to Suicide: He's tried more than once.
- Drugs Are Bad: Sentry tries his best to hide his drug-filled past from everyone he can.
- Elemental Powers: The Void can control the weather.
- Eye Beams
- Expy: His original series seems to be heavily inspired by Alan Moore's rework of Marvelman/Miracleman. Both feature middle aged guys who are vaguely haunted by their past as the most powerful person on the planet. Down to details like being jealous of their super selves, their wives being more attracted to their other selves and their origins in a secret government program. Which makes the Sentry an Expy of a reworked Darker and EdgierCaptain Ersatz of a Captain Ersatz, as Marvelman was a British copy of Captain Marvel, who was himself a copy of Superman. So he's like Superman's fifth cousin twice removed. Or something.
- Fallen Hero
- From a Single Cell: The Sentry has been blown into pieces by powerful enemies like Morgan Le Fey and the Molecule Man but his body always reconstitutes itself.
- From Nobody to Nightmare
- Hero-Killer: Ares
- Hand Blast
- Home Base: The Sentry has the Watchtower, while the Void has the "hidey-hole" in Antarctica.
- Hurl It Into the Sun: After defeating the Void, Bob hurls it into the sun after giving it a kiss.
- Lampshaded in-comic: "I don't throw everything into the sun."
- Ideal Hero: The Sentry limited series reveals that the Sentry persona is actually Bob Reynolds' idealized version of himself: the handsome, invincible champion of the entire planet.
- Intangible Man: Part of the Void's power set.
- Involuntary Shapeshifting: Bob forcibly transforms into the Void after he loses control.
- Karmic Death: Ramón, the Yoga instructor who was having an affair with Lindy, just happened to be in his apartment when a jet airlainer "mysteriously" crashed at the building that he and other 149.999 people were in.
- Losing Your Head: The Sentry killed Sub-Mariner villain Attuma in this manner.
- Sentry rips the head off things quite a bit. Not just fodder opponents either. Even Ultron's head isn't safe from the Golden Guardian of Good.
- Made of Iron: The Thing throws his best punch at Sentry. There was probably more pain in Thing's hand then in Sentry's body.
- Megaton Punch
- Mercy Kill: A reluctant Thor puts Bob out of his misery at the end of Siege.
- Mind Rape: If beating an opponent to a pulp with fists won't do the trick, Bob will resort to this. He'll even make the victim see him as the Void and not the Sentry.
- What if a foe has Wolverine's healing factor and unbreakable bones and Luke Cage's unbreakable skin? Sentry won't even blink and will let the mind rape commence.
- Multiple Choice Past: In truth, it is still not clear exactly what the relationship is between Bob Reynolds, the Sentry and the Void (Is the Void the real Bob Reynolds, or is the Sentry, or is neither, or are they both?), exactly what the serum was he took or even whether it actually did anything, what the exact nature and source of his powers is (I am a superhuman! I am actually the angel of Death! I am a refugee from another universe! I am Galactus!), how the Void really came into existence and whether he is really dead. This, of course, fits in very nicely with the notion that the Sentry is bugnuts insane and genuinely does not know what happened, and perhaps subconsciously even alters reality to suit whatever his psychosis says is the real story that day!
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: If you're one of the very few who can escape from him, you probably should.
- Neck Snap: Thor snapped the Sentry's neck in a What If? centered around Secret Invasion.
- The Needless
- Nigh Invulnerability: To an absolutely insane degree. He was bodily desintegrated by both Morgana leFay and Molecule Man, and simply re-appeared with no explanation. When he tried to commit suicide by flying into the sun, he was already swimming in superheated solar plasma when his evil self basically said "Don't be silly, kiddo".
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown
- The Omnipotent: He has a power level on par with the Molecule Man. Meaning: He is actually even more powerful than the Beyonder.
- No, that is not what it means - the Molecule Man was always the second fiddle to the Beyonder. There were, however, fans who contended that 'Robert Reynolds' has all the letters of 'Beyonder' in it...
- Playing with Fire: And what powerful fire it is.
- Power Creep, Power Seep: In his miniseries, the Sentry actually bled from the hand after being bitten by a dog. By the time Siege rolled around, Bob was shrugging off blows from Thor's hammer without a scratch on him.
- Power Glows: He's not called the "Golden Guardian of Good" for nothing.
- Psychic Powers: The Sentry has shown psychic powers strong enough to give Doctor Strange pause. It is believed that Bob used this power to erase the entire planet's memory of the Sentry, including his own.
- Psycho Serum: The serum that gave Bob his powers was a new version of the Super Soldier serum amplified 100,000 fold. According to The Sentry limited series, Bob became the insane Void persona from the moment he injested the serum.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Sentry's pupils start to glow red when the Void is about to emerge, while the rest of his eyes turn pitch black.
- Samaritan Syndrome
- Sealed Badass in a Can: The Sentry was voluntarily imprisoned at the start of the New Avengers series, sporting a scraggly Beard of Sorrow.
- Sexier Alter Ego: Bob's wife, Lindy, prefers sleeping with him while he's in Sentry form.
- Shaping Your Attacks: A rarer skill, the Sentry can create yellow Hard Light constructs similar to Quasar's quantum constructs. In a fight against Terrax, Sentry created a bubble construct to block the Herald's Hand Blast.
- Shockwave Clap: One of the Sentry's attacks. He uses this one against a bunch of the Void's attack drones in The Sentry #8.
- Speech Bubbles: The Void's speech bubbles are black with white lettering, the exact opposite of the Sentry's and most other characters.
- Speed Blitz
- Split Personality: The Sentry (good) and the Void (evil). The relationship between them were described as god complex: every time Sentry did something good, Void did something equally evil.
- Strong as They Need to Be: Sentry only gets stronger with time. He cannot be completely destroyed (see his immortality trope entry) and can exchange punches with Hulk and Thor. Sentry can impress even Doctor Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme, with his psychic and telepathic abilities and possesses molecular manipulation on the same level as Molecule Man. Moving faster than the speed of light is a simple matter for Sentry and he can travel distances in seconds that even the speedier characters require minutes for. The only weakness Bob has is his unstable mind but making use of this weakness is a huge gamble even for master manipulators because they risk releasing the Void.
- Sentry while either completely stable mentally or Voided out is a true monster to behold. Sentry's strength depends on his mental stability and Sentry managed to fight World War Hulk after being consumed by his agoraphobia for 29 hours, showing even a weakened Sentry is a force to be reckoned with. The Void managed to rampage through Asgard and topple foes such as Thor and Ares in Siege, and he was just getting started. When Void was not as powerful, he was still able to break every single bone in the Hulk's body.
- Super Reflexes
- Super Senses
- Super Speed: Sentry can fly to the Sun and back in seconds.
- Super Strength: The Sentry is one of the strongest heroes in the Marvel Universe, capable of matching strength with the Hulk, Thor, and Hercules. The Void's strength is enough to break almost every bone in the Hulk's body.
- Superheroes Wear Capes
- Superheroes Wear Tights
- Super-Powered Evil Side: The Void
- Took a Level In Badass: The Void began taking on larger, more powerful forms leading up to Siege, possibly due to the second dose of serum provided by Norman Osborn. Before, during the Sentry miniseries, the Void seemed to be limited to humanoid size at best.
- Unskilled but Strong: With the Mighty Avengers, Sentry is stated outright to be the strongest member, but held back by his lack of skill.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: Unlike the Sentry, the Void can shapeshift at will, sometimes taking the form of whatever its opponents fear most.
- Willfully Weak: Possessing incredible power, the Sentry holds back because he's afraid of losing control.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: A poster boy. It was suggested by characters that Sentry is addicted to his power, which stems from his past as a junkee.
- World's Strongest Man: The Sentry is without question a heavy contender for this title and Marvel has no problem with making characters say so.
- Would Hit a Girl: And kill a girl, too. Violently.
- You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good
- Your Cheating Heart: Lindy has this issue in The Sentry V2, besides prefering the Sentry persona instead of ol' Bob, she also had to cope with her husband's unstable presence by seeking an affair with her Yoga instructor Ramón.