If you’re not familiar with Sentry, here’s a quick run-through of the Marvel superhero: Sentry was created in the 2000s and is considered one of the most powerful people in the entire Marvel Universe. Essentially, he has everything you’d think an ultimate superhero would have, from super speed and strength to incredible durability and regenerative ability. In a lot of ways, Sentry is considered massively overpowered, especially because he’s impervious to most things. But there’s one person we almost always see him getting compared to: the one and only Superman.
You have to admit, the two do share a lot of common themes. Superman is one of the most iconic superheroes to ever come out of DC and he’s been known to do pretty much everything. The biggest difference is that Superman has a much longer history than Sentry and often people feel that this character was a response to the iconic superhero. In a lot of ways, we can’t blame fans for feeling this way. Sentry certainly shares a lot of attributes with Superman and even the logo on his suit looks just a little too familiar. Unfortunately, this along with a lot of other factors has lead to Sentry not being as popular of a character when it comes to Marvel. That being said, we decided to take a look at the hero just to see if there are any redeeming qualities worth noting. Here are ten ways Sentry is way better than Superman and ten ways he’s worse.
20 BETTER: HE’S BASICALLY IMMORTAL
Sentry is actually considered immortal -- that is, unless he chooses not to be. One of his strongest elements is that he’s impervious to most harm unless he actually wills it. Not to mention, even when he does get hurt, he has so many regenerative abilities it’s a little insane.
Imagine having no weaknesses whatsoever and that sums up The Sentry. And we all know that Superman’s biggest weakness is kryptonite. So while it’s relatively easy to get rid of Superman with the right weapon, it’s exceptionally difficult to get rid of Sentry unless he actually wants you to.
19 WORSE: SUPERMAN IS FASTER
We know that Sentry has a ton of incredible, literally out of this world powers but there is one thing that Superman definitely has over him: speed. While Sentry is obviously faster than your average human and he does hold super speed, Superman still remains rougher to catch at full speed.
Sentry is significantly faster than the speed of light whereas Superman is faster than light itself -- he’s even proven it by flying around the world to turn back time. Seriously, if it came to a race, Superman would have Sentry beat. That being said, there are a lot of other ways Sentry could win a fight, that have nothing to do with racing.
18 BETTER: HAS THE POWER OF A MILLION EXPLODING SUNS
Sentry has been described to have “the power of a million exploding suns” which, let’s be honest, sounds really awesome. We know that Superman has a lot of crazy capabilities within his power, but Sentry’s just seems a little more poetic in name and tactic.
In a lot of ways, Sentry seemed to be Marvel’s way of overpowering the popular Superman by giving Bob unthinkable powers that couldn’t be rivaled. The only thing people really seemed to find issue with is the fact that this came from a serum, whereas Superman’s abilities came naturally from his home planet and with a little help from the sun.
17 WORSE: SUPERMAN HAS HELD A BLACK HOLE BEFORE
Do you remember that time that Superman held an actual black hole? Well, we do. Now granted, it wasn’t a huge black hole, as they can vary in size, but that’s still something worth noting. We’re not so sure that Sentry, despite how powerful he is, would be able to achieve that same feat.
For example, Sentry actually couldn’t survive being in the sun. He could regenerate after it, but before that kicks in he would continue to burn. Superman can hold a blackhole and has extensive heat vision -- would this give him the upper advantage he needs to defeat someone line Sentry in a battle? Perhaps. These are huge feats that could be in Superman’s favor.
16 BETTER: HE'S CAPABLE OF MORE POWER
When you’re as powerful as Sentry is, you know you have a great responsibility in your hands, which is obviously a theme Marvel enjoys placing on its heroes. Sentry is one of the most unstoppable people in the Marvel Universe and you’d be crazy not to be afraid of him.
We find him often on the side of heroes, but he can also be an anti-hero from time to time and it’s not always fun. Sentry often has to hold back how much power he truly has because, if he were to let go, we don’t really know what kind of atrocious things would happen. Let’s just be thankful he’s mostly the responsible type when it comes to this... mostly.
15 WORSE: SUPERMAN CAN BEAT HERCULES
There’s one thing that both Marvel and DC tend to do, and that's bring Gods into the mix. One such legendary being we’ve seen show up in both universes is Hercules. Both The Sentry and Superman have found Hercules at least once, but the outcomes were very different for both of them.
Sentry was pretty much run into the ground despite how overpowered he is. Superman, on the other hand, was able to defeat Hercules with one hit. Keep in mind, Superman had held back and lost in a previous battle with the Olympian, but that doesn’t seem to mean much when your revenge is so sweet.
14 BETTER: SENTRY DEFEATED MOLECULE MAN
Remember when Sentry defeated Molecule Man? Yes, the Molecule Man! During the Dark Avengers series, Sentry went toe-to-toe with Molecule Man and won. Now, there were plenty of Marvel fans that weren’t too happy about Sentry being the winner in this battle because being able to go up against someone who can, as the name suggest, manipulate molecules seems like a failing endeavor.
Bu it was a huge testament to just how powerful Sentry is and just where the thought process was for his hero creation. It may not have been a huge hit with fans, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t canon or that Sentry didn’t showcase a lot of real strength during that battle! We have to wonder if Superman would have been able to win that fight.
13 WORSE: SUPERMAN’S THINKING SEEMS A LITTLE MORE ADVANCED
We know that Superman isn’t human and a part of that comes with not exactly thinking like one either. Another advantage that Superman might have over Sentry is that he has exceptional mental processes that Bob might be lacking. We know that Sentry hasn’t always had the best judgement, hence his troubled background story, but also that at the end of the day he’s still a human or, at least he is without the serum.
While the serum is able to give him some genius, it’s not able to go through the kind of thought process Superman has, which is almost instant and certainly much faster than your average human. When it comes to thinking on your feet during a battle, Superman might have Sentry beat.
12 BETTER: THE VOID
The Void is one of the most destructive forces in all of the Marvel Universe -- remember, it’s equally important to have a good villain as it is to have a good hero. In this instance, the Void is this negative force that just so happens to be a part of Sentry and it’s been the cause of so much destruction of the things Bob loves, including his wife.
As overpowered as Sentry might be considered, at the very least there’s something in the negative that can balance out that power. But the biggest plot twist is definitely that he’s essentially his own enemy.
11 WORSE: SUPERMAN COULD FIGHT FOR DAYS
There have been a couple of fights were Sentry seems to back off during a critical moment that we would probably see Superman pick himself back up and continue on with the battle -- take the battle against Hercules, for example. While we saw Superman originally hold back and get defeated, he still came back to prove his strength.
His durability is shown once again when we see him find a solution to taking down Brainiac who had seemed invulnerable before. Considering that Sentry also has quite a few regenerative powers, it’s safe to say that Superman might also be able to find a way to defeat him as well.
10 BETTER: DESTROYED ASGARD
On the other hand, there was that one time that The Sentry demolished Asgard right along with Odin. To do that, you’d have to have some pretty considerable powers, not to mention a lot of confidence that you could actually succeed -- it's a pretty exceptional feat, even by comic book hero standards.
Surely, Superman has done some pretty spectacular things, but this definitely takes the cake when it comes to a test of strength on mythical planes. We know that Sentry holds back a lot of the time, for obvious reasons, but this was clearly a demonstration of some of the sheer power he keeps hidden.
9 WORSE: ESSENTIALLY A RIP-OFF OF SUPERMAN
We see Sentry and Superman get compared a lot, and there’s a reason for that. Primarily, this is because many people see Sentry’s existence as a response to how overpowered Superman tends to be: the “fix all” hero for Marvel that Superman seems to be for DC.
Superman was launched in 1938 and Sentry was created in the 2000s, so we can’t really argue that they came out around the same time. The comparisons are a little uncanny to the point that both of them even have an “S” logo on their suits. Some also found it odd that someone as overpowered as Sentry was even in the Marvel Universe.
8 BETTER: HE’S AN OVERPOWERED MARVEL CHARACTER...
Marvel usually has flawed superheroes with specific background stories and weaknesses. This isn’t because they want to make weak heroes, but rather that they want to make interesting ones that are capable of losing, hurting and ultimately improving. That being said, Sentry was a real curveball because he’s exceptionally overpowered compared to the rest of the Marvel Universe characters.
You could consider this a bad or redundant element, especially since so many people feel he’s a rip-off of DC’s Superman, but it could also be an attribute to his creativity. Being so powerful in a world where we don’t see nearly as many characters with little weaknesses makes him a new route for Marvel to really dig into to.
7 WORSE: ...BUT HE CAN BE A LITTLE TOO OVERPOWERED AT TIMES
That being said, not everyone enjoys a Mary Sue character that can do pretty much everything, and that’s exactly what Sentry can do for the most part. He’s known for being an impossibly strong character that’s one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, but this doesn’t mean that his story is always interesting or even creative.
From a story standpoint, there are a lot of times where it feels like Sentry might be able to really rush through his story, if he wanted to, and it doesn’t leave a lot of room for conflict or plot and leaves readers disappointed.
6 BETTER: SENTRY’S LOSSES MAKE HIM STRONGER
As discussed in his background story, including how Bob becomes Sentry, we know that this character does have a relatively rough time with multiple issues. He struggles a lot, both physically and mentally, and can sometimes be considered an anti-hero. We love this about Sentry because regardless of how many falls he takes, he’s still able to get back up and try to do what is right in the end.
This is why we see him team up with a lot of different heroes and try to save the day, even if he knows he won’t always be the hero in that story. It just makes him a stronger person and story character in the end.
5 WORSE: SUPERMAN IS STILL GOING STRONG
Unfortunately, there just isn’t a great demand for Sentry like there is for Superman, and even someone who isn’t into comic books could see that. Just by the sheer amount of movies and redone stories Superman has undergone, it’s not hard to see where the fanbase for comics in general tend to lean. Sentry hasn't been on-screen yet (granted he's still pretty new by comic book standards).
In fact, Sentry isn’t even considered an iconic character for Marvel and often goes underappreciated . While Sentry’s influence always seems to be important to the Marvel Universe in his own stories, to fans he’s a character that’s just not taking off, especially when lost in the shuffle of the Avengers.
4 BETTER: HE’S A GAME CHANGER AND A PLOT DEVICE
You might think of this as a negative, but it’s actually a really interesting perspective from a writing standpoint. We’ve seen Sentry used as a plot device, even in his own stories, and whether it’s because he could be used as a weapon or because of forces like the Void, Sentry seems to be a focal point not only for his story, but also for the other heroes he interacts with.
Seeing him as a fellow hero, or sometimes anti-hero, it makes his point of view so different from the “good guy vs bad guy” narrative that often leads heroes to be somewhat detached and uninvolved to a certain level when it comes to their nemesis.
3 WORSE: LACK OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
While Sentry is often in an interesting position compared to his fellow characters, being used as a plot device can have some backlash and unfortunate hindrances in other areas. Some fans feel that Sentry is a little one dimensional or that he lacks a lot of character development.
When it comes to someone like Superman, who’s grown up with humans without being one and has obvious weaknesses, there’s a lot of depth that goes into his development. Between his position as a plot device and the fact that he is so overpowered, some might find Sentry to be lacking in a lot of depth as a person because, quite frankly, he doesn’t need it.
2 BETTER: HE’S GOT A LOT OF PERSONAL FLAWS
A lot of people feel that Sentry’s backstory is exceptionally mature and holds a lot of traumatic experiences. In particular, we know that Bob has a history and issues with substances from what his wife leads us to believe, but many also feel that his entire backstory alludes to a stronger addiction.
This is exceptionally unnerving, when you consider that he gains his power from a serum he got from an unknown lab, but there’s also a reason that this is actually a little inspiring. Sentry does a lot of good in the Marvel Universe or at least always seems to strive too and it’s always hopeful to see a character pick themselves back up, even when they’ve made mistakes.
1 WORSE: SUPERMAN ISN’T AS DARK
While we love that Bob always seeks redemption in his arcs, we also have to acknowledge that his backstory isn’t for everyone. Superman has always been one of the most iconic superheroes in comic book history and people have always seen him as a symbol of hope and peace.
While Bob certainly has a story that people can relate to or at least understand, Superman has a bit of a lighter story. It can certainly vary depending on personal taste, but many times you’ll see fans find more lighthearted hope in a Superman comic while The Sentry seems to hold a little too much darkness in his background.