The Sentinels


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Rogue battles a Sentinel in the animated TV series X-Men (1992–1997).

The Sentinels

(pop culture)
“Destroy all mutants” may sound like the title of a 1950s science-fiction movie, but it is instead the mission of the Sentinels, the robotic giants programmed to apprehend or annihilate the X-Men. As seen in X-Men vol. 1 #14 (1965)—by writer Stan Lee, layout artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, and penciler Werner Roth (using the pseudonym Jay Gavin)—these towering terrors are designed under the auspices of anthropologist Dr. Bolivar Trask, who regards mutants as a threat to Homo sapiens. Attacking during a televised debate between Trask and X-Men founder Charles Xavier (Professor X), the Sentinels kidnap Xavier and take him before the principal Sentinel called Master Mold. Via their artificially constructed logic the Sentinels elect to protect humankind by dominating it, and upon the intervention of the mutant heroes the X-Men, Trask has a change of heart, sacrificing himself to destroy his killer creations. Mutantdom was not safe for long, however, as the X-Men soon discovered that “The Sentinels Live!” Written by Roy Thomas and penciled by Neal Adams, X-Men #57–#59 (1969) introduced the Sentinels Mach II, under the retaliatory command of Trask's son Larry, against whom the automatons turned once discovering that Larry was actually a mutant. The U.S. government later assumed control of the Sentinels, partnering with the Hellfire Club's Sebastian Shaw on Project Wideawake, a means of regulating mutant population. The Sentinels have consistently attacked the X-Men over the years, but their most dreadful onslaught was their 2001 extermination of the majority of the population of the mutant haven Genosha. Despite the Sentinels' infamy, a twelveissue Sentinel superhero series was published in 2003–2004; its Iron Giant–like storyline featured a boy who reprogrammed a Sentinel to become a force for good, and its success inspired a 2005–2006 follow-up miniseries. The Sentinels have also imperiled the X-Men in alternate realities. In 1981's “Days of Future Past” by Chris Claremont and John Byrne, ultra-sophisticated Omega-Sentinels ruled the United States, and in a grisly scene incinerated Wolverine. The Sentinels have been a formidable force in the alternate version of the X-Men, Ultimate X-Men, since that series' first issue in 2001. Remotely human in their original appearances, the purple-hued Sentinels, often dispatched under the leadership of a Master Mold, have evolved since Trask first rolled them off his assembly line. Outfitted with mutant-tracking sensors, concussive and disintegrator beams (fired from their palms), telescoping snares, and lasers, the Sentinels can smash through reinforced steel walls and rocket through the air. They speak in steely voices, ordering their mutant prey to surrender or to prepare for extermination. Technological upgrades have produced unending variations: X-Sentinels that duplicate the forms and powers of mutants, microscopic nano-Sentinels, transforming Sentinels, mutant-Sentinel amalgamations, and cyber-organic human-Sentinels. Some Sentinel variants are self-adapting, defensively reprogramming themselves after attacks, making it impossible to use the same offensive strike against them more than once. While their forms may vary, their mission remains singular: the eradication of mutants. The Sentinels' menace has not been solely relegated to comic books. They appeared in numerous episodes of the animated series X-Men (1992–1997) and X-Men: Evolution (2000–2003). Computer-generated Sentinels were planned for the live-action film X2: X-Men United (2003) but were scrapped because their inclusion would have added $8 million to the movie's budget; Sentinel design sketches were included as extras in X2's DVD release. The Sentinels are popular adversaries in numerous X-Men video games, and collectible mini-busts and toys have been produced, including 2005's “Sentinels Series” from Toy Biz, seven separate pieces of a single Sentinel sold in seven different Marvel superhero action figures, encouraging consumers to purchase them all to build the Sentinel!
References in classic literature ?
Beyond one of the sentinels nobody was in sight; the railroad ran straight away into a forest for a hundred yards, then, curving, was lost to view.
But instead of that, at the next village the sentinels of Davout's infantry corps detained him as the pickets of the vanguard had done, and an adjutant of the corps commander, who was fetched, conducted him into the village to Marshal Davout.
The moon, which was partially obscured by heavy clouds, now and then lit up the muskets of the sentinels, or silvered the walls, the roofs, and the spires of the town that Charles I.
As the town clock of Newcastle struck one the sleeper awoke, and with all the gestures of a man rousing himself out of deep sleep he looked attentively about him; perceiving that he was alone he rose and making a little circuit passed close to the cavalier who was speaking to the sentinel.
You see, we are, too obviously within the sentinels of the enemy; what course do you propose to follow?
He started, on catching sight of the children, and came forwards to meet them, keeping his musket pointed straight at Bruno, who stood quite still, though he turned pale and kept tight hold of Sylvie's hand, while the Sentinel walked solemnly round and round them, and looked at them from all points of view.
He turned to the sentinel and added in German, "Draw the curtain again; and if the woman persists, put her back into this room with your own hand.
The ape-man stood so concealed in a clump of bushes that he could watch the interior of the room without being seen from within, while he was at the same time hidden from the view of anyone who might chance to pass along the post of the sentinel he had slain.
The camp fires gradually died away; all was dark and silent; the sentinel stationed to watch the horses had marched as far, and supped as heartily as any of his companions, and while they snored, he began to nod at his post.
Fouquet gained ground, regardless of the cries of the man, who, however, having at last come up with Fouquet, called out to the sentinel of the second gate, "Look out, look out, sentinel
The sentinel awakes, sees what has happened, and gives himself up for lost.
But he was stopped short by a presented musket and the cry of the sentinel.