The role of a superhero is often defined by the people around them. Every traditional hero has a sidekick, love interest and archenemy, with each character enhancing the hero’s journey. Jeff Lemire’s Sentry series asks the question of what happens when the sidekicks and archenemies of the world are tossed aside and forced to live a mundane life. Sentry #3 pulls apart the traditional superhero narrative, turning it into a story of superpowered addiction.
In the last issue, it was revealed that Sentry’s sidekick, Scout, was behind Bob Reynolds’ recent troubles. The third issue focuses on Billy Turner’s motives and how he teamed up with Sentry’s nemesis Cranio. Turner tracks Cranio down to a car park, where the villain has been working as an attendant for several years. The two of them have a tense first meeting, but agree to meet up in a diner.
The monotony of being normal is the key theme that plays out between Turner and Cranio. Turner’s bitterness at losing his arm and powers contrasts with Cranio’s fall from grace. The former villain cuts a pathetic presence, with him admitting that his supervillain appearance was all part of his branding. This is personified in Turner saying he used to think Cranio’s three brains were real, only for Cranio to say that they belonged to chimps.
Turner plans on becoming the new Sentry and convinces Cranio to help him through invading Bob’s mind. Lemire adds depth to Scout’s motivations by showing how jealous he is of Bob’s ability to be Sentry without any consequences.
Addiction courses through the comic. Each character is prone to getting high on the idea of having powers. Scout wants to stop feeling insignificant by taking Sentry’s powers. Cranio wants to feel relevant again by getting his reputation back. Even Bob is jonesing for the rush of being a hero again. He experiences the high every time he goes into Sentry World, but that’s not enough anymore.
Kim Jacinto continues to knock it out of the park with a psychedelic art style. There’s an amazing splash page that shows a mind shattering into pieces. Each shard contains a detailed image that’s reminiscent of a funhouse mirror.
Despite Sentry #3 serving as a flashback issue, the pace has picked up for the better. Lemire has set up an epic showdown between superhero and sidekick and I can’t wait to see how it goes down in the next issue.