Sentinels - Reborn!
Credits: Chris Claremont (writer), Steve Scott & Peter Vale (pencils), Al Vey & Gary Martin (inks), Ed Dukeshire (letters), Sotocolor’s C. Garcia (colors)
Summary: The X-Men fight the Sentinels destroying a village. Jean surprises the team by taking out numerous Sentinels simultaneously. Shadowcat tours the inside of a Sentinel and hypothesizes that they’re being used as foundries. Meanwhile, Daisy Dugan arrives and rescues Nick Fury from Ziggy Trask. Daisy’s ship is shot down by a mystery opponent, however. As Ziggy escapes, the situation is monitored by the Consortium, which includes her mother. In the jungle, Ziggy discovers her Sentinels have created an army of newer models.
This version of the Sentinels follows their last Silver Age appearance, when the robots declared that all humans and mutants must be killed. This new model, however, is now able to assimilate raw material.
According to the opening narration, Dr. Dietrich Trask was a noble man whose work was co-opted by the Nazis. Dietrich created a method that allows DNA to be sampled remotely.
Ziggy reveals that she is Bolivar Trask’s daughter from his second marriage, and that Larry Trask is her half-brother. Ziggy also appears to be the exception to the Sentinel’s “kill everyone” rule.
Review: Wow, this is really going to last three issues? I guess there’s some significance to this storyline as the only Claremont story dealing with the Trasks (unless there’s one I’ve forgotten), but I can’t imagine why anyone thought there was enough material here to fill three issues. This issue is possibly the strongest of the arc, since Ziggy is given a somewhat defensible point of view and there are two twists at the end that could lead to some interesting stories later. (I also like the sudden appearance on the final pages of Peter Vale, whose work has a Brent Anderson quality, as the fill-in’s fill-in artist. Future issues will not have fill-in art of this caliber.) But the Sentinels remain so utterly boring it’s hard to get too excited about any scene they’re in. They’re not even portrayed as real threats to the team, as Jean casually wipes them out in a scene designed to hint, yet again, that the Phoenix has returned.
Storylines with weak villains like this one are made even more annoying when you remember the original premise of this series. Had Claremont continued with his X-Men run into 1992, would we really be seeing an extended Sentinel arc? It seems unlikely. Think back to the opening of Uncanny X-Men #273, when the united leaders of the X-teams looked at a globe marked with all potential threats to mutants across the planet. I want to see the X-Men rescuing Gateway from the Reavers in Australia, or discovering what exactly Shinobi Shaw and Fenris are up to, or learning the true story behind Zaladane’s connection to Polaris. Sentinels? Unless there’s a great twist on the concept, it’s hard to care too much about them. If Claremont ultimately wants to use the Sentinels as enforcers for the Consortium, as he’s used them in the past for Sebastian Shaw, that’s a reasonable move. But dedicating so many issues to their return is an odd choice, and emphasizing that these Sentinels just want to kill everyone makes the Consortium seem either crazy or dumb.