Superman versus the Sentry

Marvel seriously tries to pretend that the Sentry isn't just a bad Superman knockoff.Superman has shown up in a lot of fights on this page, and he’s lost every single one of them. Who better to oppose him this time than Marvel’s own Superman knockoff, the Sentry? The Sentry was introduced in a really cool mini-series years ago. A schizophrenic agoraphobic with the power of a million exploding suns, he was stripped of his powers at the end of that series. For some reason, though, Marvel decided to bring the character back, and has made him the crappiest, most annoying comic book character in history ever since. Up until his death, every Marvel crossover has an obligatory fifteen pages of the Sentry sitting on his couch, thinking about how he could save the day if only he wasn’t so batshit crazy. I’m starting to let my hostility toward the character show now, so I’ll shut up and just sit back and see how the fight shakes out from here.

Round One:
A challenge has been formally issued to both Superman and the Sentry, with the victor gaining a chance to claim that he is not the most pathetic combatant of all time. Even with that important title at stake, however, it takes a little while for this fight to get off the ground. Superman has been beaten so often and so mercilessly on this page that he’s afraid to leave his house. Meanwhile, the Sentry is an agoraphobic schizophrenic, so he prefers to sit on his couch in his yellow tights anyway. Both of the fighters spend most of the day cringing in the isolation of their homes, fearing what will happen if they go outside. Finally, realizing that Superman needs a push in order to get his confidence back, Lois Lane fakes her own kidnapping and sends a message to her husband saying that the Sentry played a part in it. When Superman gets word of the dilemma, he stands up, clenches his fist, and makes a decision.

“This looks like a job for…mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent!”

As it turns out, Superman’s confidence is still shattered to the point where he isn’t willing to don the cape and tights yet. Instead, he decides to use Clark Kent’s investigational reporter skills to solve the problem, preferably without a fight. Disguised as Clark Kent, Superman heads to the home of Bob Reynolds, aka the Sentry. He knocks on the door, which is enough to set the Sentry off – that guy’s wound up tighter than Al Gore’s sphincter. (Yeah…I said that. And now I can’t unsay it. What have I done?!?!) The Sentry opens the door, sees an awkward, geeky reporter standing in front of him, and punches him into space. Why? Because he’s ka-raazy! Who needs characterization or logic when you can have the uber-powerful character just rip guys in half whenever he goes nuts? Round One goes to the Sentry.

Round Two:
Stunned by the force of the blow, Superman recovers and stops himself in near orbit. Feeling the bruise on his jaw, he’s about ready to call it quits and go home when his hero instinct kicks in and reminds him that his wife is still in danger. Knowing that he’ll probably only lose – again – Superman nonetheless pulls off his glasses and gets ready for a good old-fashioned superhero brawl. He jets back down to the Sentry’s home at light speed and uses his heat vision to torch the building, forcing the Sentry outside. Then Superman starts laying into the Sentry with a series of haymakers. The Sentry, for his part, doesn’t fight back. He’s too busy pretending to have character depth by being afraid to fight. Even though he does that in every single comic book appearance ever, he apparently still thinks it’s an important tradition to maintain. So while Superman is pummeling the Sentry, the Golden Guardian of Good is busy hyperventilating and talking about how dangerous he can be if he lets loose his full power. Meanwhile, Superman’s confidence is returning, and his punches are getting harder and harder. Round Two goes to Superman.

Round Three:
As the fight progresses, Superman’s blows really start to hurt the Sentry, which in turn pulls him out of his craziness and into a white-hot rage. Even so, Superman seems to have the fight well in hand, until he inexplicably stops fighting and backs off. He’s been in this situation before, going into the home stretch of a fight with the advantage being his. It’s always backfired on him, and now he waits for the other shoe to drop. And drop it does.

Finally sick of the beating he’s received at the hands of the Man of Steel, the Sentry gets up and decides to stop holding back. He unleashes the power of a million exploding suns, creating a massive energy blast that could destroy the entire planet it it wasn’t for the fact that it’s directed at Superman instead. The resulting solar flare can be seen from space, and smoke curls around where Superman’s corpse should be, lingering in dramatic Dragonball Z style. But, also in Dragonball Z style, when the smoke clears, Superman is standing unharmed.

“Hm…” says Supes, as shocked as anyone else that he’s still alive. “The power of a million exploding suns. Pretty effective, unless you’re using it against someone whose power comes from the sun.”

Since Superman is essentialluy a big solar battery and the Sentry’s powers are reflective of immense solar energy, the blast really only supercharges Superman’s body, bringing him up to the pre-Crisis, “let’s juggle suns and sneeze out stars” power level that he had in the early 1960s. God himself wouldn’t be able to stand against that, and neither does the Sentry. Superman proceeds to give his Marvel counterpart a whuppin’, knocking his yellow-clad butt a few star systems away with ease. As he starts to power down, Lois emerges from a nearby lead-lined building, reuniting with her husband and revealing that the whole thing was a ploy all along. Superman would feel bad about the beating he just gave to an innocent man, but the Sentry is kind of a prick. Round Three and the fight go to Superman. That’s right, Superman won a fight. This is not a dream or an imaginary story or any other sort of cop-out!

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One Response to “Superman versus the Sentry”

  1. LOL enjoyed that

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