In his position as the U.S. government’s top superhuman law enforcement officer, Norman Osborn wields almost unlimited power. But there is somebody in the Marvel Universe that’s even more powerful. His name is Robert Reynolds, and unfortunately, he’s also a friend and ally of Osborn. Starting this June, the man better known as The Sentry will join Osborn and his fellow “Dark Avengers” for a trip to San Francisco in “Utopia,” a six-part crossover with “Uncanny X-Men.”
In our latest installment of IRON PATRIOTISM, our continuing discussion with “Utopia” writer Matt Fraction, we look at the Dark Avenger with the power of a thousand exploding suns, The Sentry.
Robert Reynolds is mentally ill, and unlike his fellow Dark Avengers, he’s not truly a villain. The Sentry’s a man who wants to do good in the world, but the bond he shares with Norman Osborn has lead him to believe that the former Green Goblin is the best person to help him achieve those ends.
“What Norman is struggling with, Bob struggles with, too. Norman said to him, ‘I know what it’s like to have this thing inside of you and I know what it’s like to have to struggle against it,” Fraction told CBR News. “That’s the cornerstone of their relationship; it’s the foundation of their everything. And to me that’s interesting.”
As leader of the Dark Avengers, Norman Osborn has many powerful people at his disposal like The God of War, Ares; the ferocious and fast-healing Daken; and the savage Venom. Fraction sees these characters and the other Dark Avengers as conventional forces, while the Sentry is Osborn’s living H-bomb. “He’s Norman’s ace in the hole,” the writer stated. “No Matter how bad things get, Norman has the bomb.”
Like any powerful figure, Osborn isn’t going to use his bomb recklessly. Even when he’s only using some of his vast power, the Sentry is still capable causing massive destruction. Of course, Osborn has to keep Sentry in reserve because Reynold’s mental problems can prevent him from going into the action. “That’s his biggest flaw. The Sentry is a question mark,” Fraction explained. “He’s an ace card but more often than not he’s a wild card. He’s someone who’s always right on the edge of sanity and insanity. You want to keep him as removed from outside stimuli as humanly possible!”
Nevertheless, the Sentry will be seeing some action in “Utopia.” Fraction couldn’t reveal exactly which of the X-Men the Sentry will tangle with in the storyline, but he hinted that it would be someone who can go toe-to-toe with the troubled hero.
Of course, the Sentry won’t just be getting into fights in “Utopia,” he’ll have a substantial part to play in the outcome of the story as well. “He’s great fun to write and this story involves a lot of long term payoffs from things like the ‘Cabal’ special and ‘Uncanny X-Men’ #504,” Fraction said. “Seeds with the Sentry, the Void [the Sentry’s villainous alter ego], Emma Frost, and Norman Osborn have been interwoven throughout what we’re doing. So the opportunity to pay this stuff off is pretty exciting and very fulfilling.”