It turns out Marvel's new Sentry isn't actually "the Sentry" at all

The Sentry #4
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Marvel Comics has finally crowned the successor to the Sentry, one of the publisher's most controversial and embattled superheroes. But in a somewhat surprising twist, the new Sentry isn't actually a new "Sentry" at all.

That said, the new heir to Robert Reynolds' "power of million exploding suns" brings some interesting representation to the Marvel Universe that I'm personally excited to see.

Spoilers ahead for Sentry #4

Sentry #4 by writer Jason Loo, artist Luigi Zagaria, colorist Arthur Hesli, and letterer Joe Caramagna finishes the saga of the new Sentry, with the out-of-control Sentry inheritor Ryan Topper facing off with fellow recipient of Sentry's powers Mallory Gibbs, a young woman with cerebral palsy who has struggled to fully control her new abilities.

As the pair clash, each using the powers of the original Sentry, Bob Reynolds, which were distributed among several people following his death, Mallory sees the spirits of all the other heirs of the Sentry's powers, each of whom was killed by Ryan.

Tapping into her own abilities, she manages to temporarily resurrect the other Sentries, all of whom manage to beat Ryan down and absorb his powers.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

With Ryan defeated, the spirits of the dead Sentries disappear, leaving Mallory as the sole heir to the Sentry's vaunted "power of a million exploding suns." She surrenders herself to Misty Knight of New York City's soon to be defunct Aberrant Crimes Division for training in using her abilities.

And though Mallory Gibbs inherits the Sentry's powers and even his legacy, in her own version of Sentry's blue and yellow costume, she tells Misty that she believes that Robert Reynolds' dark side, the Void, has left his superhero identity tainted. Instead, she announces she'll take up her own superhero name: Solarus, presumably a reference to the aforementioned "power of a million exploding suns."

This also leaves Ryan Topper powerless in custody, though his ultimate fate isn't shown. Given his own connection to the Sentry combined with his own twisted idea of what that should mean, it seems entirely possible that he could return as the equivalent of the Void for the newly christened Solarus.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Along with the power of the Sentry, Solarus has the interesting distinction of being one of only a few wheelchair using superheroes in the Marvel Universe, due to her cerebral palsy. I grew up knowing many wheelchair athletes, traveling around the country volunteering at wheelchair sports events, and I personally tend to light up when I see a disabled character as a hero. There's far too little representation for wheelchairs and physical disability in superhero comics, so it's cool to see Marvel not shying away from putting Mallory Gibbs in the spotlight.

Marvel hasn't announced when or where we'll see Solarus again, but now that she's established in the Marvel Universe, it's only a matter of time. Hopefully they won't keep us waiting too long, as Mallory Gibbs has the potential to occupy a unique and important place among Marvel's many heroes.

Even though we don't know when we'll see Solarus again, we're expecting some version of the Sentry to show up in the MCU in the upcoming Thunderbolts movie, where the original version Robert Reynolds was going to be played by Invincible's Steven Yuen until he dropped out of the film due to scheduling conflicts. His replacement is rumored to be Top Gun: Maverick actor Lewis Pullman.

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George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)