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Christian said on May 23rd, 2010 at 8:27 pm

nobody’s mentioned Buffy’s sister? they retconned her in. worked perfectly

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I dunno about “perfectly”; I think the show started to go downhill around then. But since I don’t think it was specifically due to Dawn’s arrival, I’ll grant you that one.

And the key to Dawn’s retcon? It was presented as something inserted into the history, not something that had been there all along and everyone forgot it until now. We were not expected to have more of an emotional connection to Dawn than we did.

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@ Betty Kane

As an in-joke, Sentry’s all right. It might not be the greatest joke ever, but that’s fine. Sure, some people are going to over-react, but that’s just normal fanwanking, and should be ignored.

But Marvel isn’t using it as a joke anymore. They’re actually trying to shoe-horn Sentry into the Marvel universe, and they’ve failed, because: A. Sentry isn’t all that interesting or enjoyable, and B. Marvel’s giving all this important stuff to a boring character- like being Mr. Fantastic’s best friend or taking Rogue’s cherry.

I think if Marvel had used made-up events for Sentry’s funeral- like, say, the time Sentry raced Silver Surfer for charity, or whatever- I’d enjoy it. But Marvel used rather personal and important events to build up goddam Sentry.

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Mary Warner said on May 23rd, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Okay. So I can see how the Sentry is a copy of Marvelmiracleman, but was Marvelmiracleman inspired by Anti-Lad at all? He was in a Legion story I read when I was eight or nine, I think. The Legionaires were looking through old photos and found a picture with Anti-Lad, but nobody had any memory of him. Then the story became a flashback to the time of Anti-Lad’s induction. He was actually from the future (their future) and had travelled back in time to stop something from happening, I don’t remember what. He used advanced technology to give himself the ability to cancell out everyone else’s powers, hence the name Anti-Lad. Then after doing whatever it was he needed to do, he erased everybody’s memory and returned to the future.
I know there’s not much similarity with the Sentry (aside from the memory thing and having whatever power was convenient). But he was the earliest forgotten retcon hero I could think of, so I thought I’d mention him.
I realise I’m not adding much to the discussion since I doubt anyone else even remembers Anti-Lad, but then again, they’re not supposed to, are they?

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Legionfangirl said on May 24th, 2010 at 7:59 am

I don’t think whoever created Sentry even meant for him to be liked. The man looked like Fabio. Do you know who liked Fabio? My Great-Grandma. So unless Marvel was looking to tap the dead lady demographic, I’d say he was a dud from the very beginning.

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I think the Sentry was potentially workable, but lost much in execution. I think it could have been appealing if they’d kept Bob Reynolds and the Sentry as semi-separate characters, as the Void was separate. That way you can have the Sentry as your guiltless wish-fulfillment paragon, the Void as the required balance, and Bob Reynolds as ostensibly the reader avatar (or unreliable narrator). This is what the original fiction set up seemed to be, but the Bendis reinvention (reinvestment?) of the character reduced it to a duality, but the problem was that Bob just isn’t really a driven character.

I agree with the above about how the Sentry’s retroactive fiction should be the results of his psychic powers. Heck, it’s even somewhat done already in the fiction, as Nate Grey was characterized as being a telepath so strong that a video of his illusions would carry the psychic imprint; viewers would see that same illusion as if it were real, ergo there was no way to tell what was really there. (somewhere in the mid to late 30s of the X-Man series).

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Actually, new idea: Bob was an average Joe in the Marvel universe became an omnipotent telepath/telekinetic either through consuming that power formula and/or absorbing some ancient biblical force. The guy was just normal and couldn’t deal with the power, so he framed his powers in the way that was familiar to him: His love of comic books and the real superheros in his universe.* He became a Mary Sue because he literally was importing himself as a Mary Sue into existing continuity. The Void came from his inability to cope, plus his belief that there should be a matching supervillain, plus perhaps some pre-existing entity.

That’s all known staid stuff, although there wasn’t a lot directly touching on the difficulty of the human mind dealing with omnipotence meaning that imagination automatically becomes reality… which is a drug metaphor kids. It’s like being on acid.

Y’know what really happened, kids? Nick Fury noticed! He always does. He then Batman’d himself up a counter-plan: He got some C-list heroes that the Sentry would never waste time thinking about! He embedded the mission in their subconscious so they’d know without knowing! Then he gave them all some ground up Cosmic Cube to snort! Creating… NEXTWAVE!

NextWave went on a weird adventure, wherein they killed the Sentry. It took a while to kick in, as Bob had to rationalize it for himself. His muddled fading omnipotence caused his confusing endings in Dark Avengers and Siege. No further reference to Nextwave occurred, because Bob hated them, so their adventures were disconnected from continuity until Bob’s passing. Team Nextwave realized the crap Fury had pulled just as they started onto the inevitable bad trip and then come down that one gets after a Cosmic Cube dust high, causing the portion of the series as chronicled by Ellis. Nick Fury could handle this, as that dude’s accustomed to riding flying motorcycles while shirtless and coping with Steranko’s backgrounds.

This could all be pretty tightly scripted, especially if you just go ahead and make some Superboy Prime references during the Nextwave team’s confrontation with Bob. Oh, and make sure there’s a reference in there to Philip K Dick’s “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said”

Bang, you’ve got the Sentry dissed on, Nextwave officially in-continuity in 616, fun drug-use, and nods to all sorts of different fiction. Where’s my check? (or at least a sandwich!)

* There have been recurring hints that Marvel characters have read DC comics. This adds a layer to this characterization.

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The problem with the Sentry is he’s Jonathan in that one BtvS episode except the episode NEVER ENDS.

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Only 57 comments late on that one!

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Jason Barnett said on May 24th, 2010 at 11:25 pm

you know I did just think of something.

In the original mini Sentry and Void seemed to have some sort of temporal abilities. Maybe the Void wasn’t an ancient biblical thing, but a modern thing that reached back to ancienct biblical times.

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I’d say a final nail in the Big Gold S’s extremely dimwitted coffin is that he saw use mainly in the post-Civil War days, working with Norman Osborn or Der Eisenfuher to pacify other heroes or beat up more sympathetic guys like Hulk or Doom. As a result, instead of coming off as a great man who fell from grace, he comes off as a neurotic, overpowered stooge, because, again, he doesn’t do anything good – basically his sole positive achievement was killing Carnage, and that was so early in his career that nobody even mentions it anymore.

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