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The Sentry

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

You can't solve all your problems by ripping them in half and throwing them into the sun.

Wielding unprecedented power but locked in never-ending battle with the Void, his evil inner self, the Sentry may be the Avengers' most powerful ally... or deadliest threat!

Again, that bio is not printed on the box anywhere, just in the sales copy. And since this is a Walgreens exclusive, the only place it's for sale is on their website; the figure is currently sold out, which means its page has been taken down, and the bio info with it, so the only way for anyone to see it is to be dedicated enough to spend an hour or so data-mining to dig the info out. (And now my dumb ass realizes I could have just looked on GameStop Canada's site, since that's where he's sold up there. Always remember that I'm quite stupid.) Put the info back on the packaging, Hasbro!

Hasbro already made one Sentry a few years ago, but with the rumor that he's going to be the threat in the "Dark Avengers" movie the MCU is clearly building toward, it's a fine time to release another. The last one used the big body, because he's a Superman knockoff, but it was perhaps too big; this one is a new mold, slightly smaller but still big and still very muscular. The torso is the new part; the arms and legs are from the medium body, which isn't a great combo: the shoulders stick out too far from the torso, much like they did on Quasar, and the hips were designed for a pelvis that's not this shallow, so now the legs look way too long in the thigh and comparatively short in the shin (same as they did when they were similarly used on Vulcan).

Sentry's belt and cape are new pieces. The belt is less "wrestling world championship" than the last one, and the cape actually falls over his chest rather than just being painted there. It's glued into a hole in the center of the chest, which will really limit future uses of this tooling, but the cape has a little notch at the collar and is sculpted with strong folds at the edges behind him. It's a deep, deep blue, contrasting quite drastically against the pale lemon yellow of the rest of the costume. The shade of yellow is minorly darker in the packaging art, and it really does look better there than on the toy. Why's he so very pale? He has the power of a million exploding suns!

This is certainly the best head sculpt a Sentry has had yet. Well, the old ToyBiz ones Dave Cortes did weren't bad, but Hasbro's was too harsh, even when it was reused later for Unworthy Thor. The face this time is smooth and clean, and the dynamic way his hair is blowing around makes him look like he's washed it sometime in the last month for a change. Unfortunately, those long, luxurious locks mean the poseability of the head is pretty much nil. He's got all the usual joints, but that one doesn't offer much.

The figure includes an alternate head and hands. According to the image on the box, the hands are supposed to be the same "clutching" ones Hyperion and Sentry came with, but instead we get a pair with the trigger fingers out? Has Sentry ever even touched a gun, let alone held one to fire? It's a strange choice. Apparently when this figure was revealed at SDCC, the Hasbro design team said this second head is supposed to be the Void, but The Void doesn't have any set physical form - it's more of an evil presence than a single being. And even when it does take a form, it's kind of like one of Knull's symbiotes than anything else: black and amorphous, not "crazy zombie-skull man." Usually the only visual difference between Bob Reynolds and the Void is the color of their speech balloons, and that's not something an action figure can portray.

What this alternate head is actually referencing is 2010's Dark Avengers #13, when the Sentry, having been shot in the face by one of Noh-Varr's space-guns, picked himself up off the floor and began healing, his skin regrowing and the fire in his hair burning out. So no, this head doesn't represent "The Void," it represents The Void having taken control of Sentry's body in a moment of extreme trauma. It could just as easily be Sentry after getting blasted by Darkseid or something. Sentry and the Void are like Smeagol and Gollum, not Johnny Blaze and Zarathos.

Sentry is an odd choice for Walgreens. After doing four "cosmic" characters in 2021 and starting 2022 with two villains, a lot of fans thought that would be the theme for the year. Looks like we were wrong! I suppose you could claim The Void fits the theme, but no, no he doesn't. This one doesn't tie in with any recent releases (cf. Infamous Iron Man following hot on the heels of Invincible Iron Man, or Obsidian Surfer dropping at the same time as King Thanos), and he's a major enough character that you'd think Hasbro would want to put him in a main line. Maybe they will one day, and hopefully that one will have limbs that better suit his torso.

-- 11/28/22


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