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Sentinel Squad O*N*E #3: Review

Mar 2006
John Layman, Aaron Lopresti

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Story Name:

Tin can heroes, part 3: Savagery

Review & Comments

4 stars

Sentinel Squad O*N*E #3 Review by (October 28, 2014)
There's been an unnamed Afro-American guy with a large hairstyle among the new recruits since #1, and in this issue he's seen as a member of this squad. But he and Randall Nixon die in the Savage Land (Nixon's death is confirmed next issue, and the afro-guy isn't seen again), reducing the team from 8 to 6. Sgt Steele and Pvt Williamson also die, along with the rest of the other 2 squads. This John Steele is not the character from Marvels Project and Secret Avengers (not to mention the 1940 Daring Mystery Comics #1). The Savage Land Mutates, including the 3 seen here, were introduced in the original Uncanny X-Men #62. Magneto 'evolved' them from Swamp Men, and they've been hanging around ever since. Sgt Steele mentions intelligent Savage Land dinosaurs (not the ones here). He's probably referring to the Hauk'Ka whom the Mutates (including these 3) helped the X-Men against in their last appearance in UXM#457-459. Next issue we'll find that Lex's plan doesn't *really* involve them ditching the Sentinels *completely*.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Sentinel Squad O*N*E #3 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
We finally get to see the mission to the Savage Land promised in #1. But James Rhodes has led a different team there, ending in disaster.

Some Savage Land Mutates find the shattered Sentinels, and extract the living. 4-armed Barbarus picks up Rhodes and Amphibius takes Skylark. They find another recruit who's still alive but too far gone, and Brainchild tells them to leave him. When they've gone a dinosaur pops in for a snack.

Meanwhile back at the Sentinel Squad base it's the debriefing the morning after last issue's debacle - a devastated town, Jake Slayton in a wheelchair, and 2 wrecked Sentinels (Slayton's and I think Lexington's). But Assistant Director Val Cooper zeroes in on how Lex managed to defeat the Growing Man with an inexplicable surge of energy from his Sentinel. Lex is saved from having to admit he's a mutant by the intervention of obvious mutant Meld. He says he was angry after an argument with Lexington and used his metal-melding power (only a little bit) on Lex's Sentinel. So that probably caused a (lucky) power overload. (We also learn that Muldoon has a special Sentinel which is designed to actively respond to his power.)

Cooper says this would normally get him thrown off the program. But he'll just get a black mark on his record. (The other students wonder why Meld gets special treatment. We know from last issue it's because Gen'l Lazer has plans for him.)

She then moves on to ask why Cpl Briggs didn't coordinate the team's actions. (We know it's because he was paralysed by claustrophobia.) Nathaniel repeats his lie about his comms failing. But he immediately switches to the attack and blames the absent Commander Rhodes for sending them on a mission when they weren't ready.

Cooper responds by telling Briggs he'll be replaced by a new unit commander. And Jim Rhodes is M.I.A. with another Sentinel Squad in the Savage Land. The remains of that team's Sentinels have been brought back to base.

As the recruits survey the wreckage, Alex Lexington thanks Jeremiah Muldoon for the save, and apologises for being nasty to him in #1. We hear that Rajani Dhama has been reassigned from a Recon Sentinel to a Brawler type, to channel her aggression. And legless Jake Slayton appears to take her place. And their new squad commander Sgt John Steele will take the full team to Antarctica.

In the Savage Land Sgt Steele makes it clear he's going to rule this rookie squad with a will of iron. He's led them to a hi-tech base that is believed to be occupied by the Savage Land Mutates. They also see oversize T-Rex-type dinosaurs with the electronic gizmos on their heads that we were shown in #1.

Their objective is to rescue any survivors of Jim Rhodes' team. It turns out that Steele has 2 other squads here, and his plan is that all 24 of them wade into the patrolling dinosaurs. He's confidant that they'll be more than a match for the reptiles, despite what happened to the previous team.

At 1st things go well. Then Steele ups the ante by calling on Pvt Williamson in his special Ballistic Sentinel. Williamson launches a barrage of guided missiles. But suddenly he loses control of them, and they hit other Sentinels, including that of our squad's Prof Emil Winston. He himself survives, but he deduces that the dinos are telekinetics, as well as their physical enhancements.

Briggs freezes up again, and his Sentinel has to be rescued. Lexington infuses his Sentinel with his electrical power again (as last issue), and fries the brains of some nearby dinosaurs. His teammates realise that he's a mutant.

Lex wants his team to use the opportunity to escape. But Steele demands they all stay and fight. Until a dino telekinetically tears his Sentinel apart. Then our 6 remaining Sentinels (including Winston's being carried) make a strategic retreat, as everyone else becomes dino-fodder.

Briggs is incensed at Lexington effortlessly taking the command role he lost. But the rest of the team back Lex, who exits his Sentinel and suggests they continue their rescue mission without the armour.

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Barberoids 1 cover original artwork on ebay

Aaron Lopresti
Norm Rapmund
Chris Walker
Pascual Ferry (Cover Penciler)
Pascual Ferry (Cover Inker)
Pascual Ferry (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Dave Sharpe.
Editor: Sean Ryan.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

James Rhodes
James Rhodes


Plus: Alexander Lexington, Amphibius, Barbarus, Emil Winston, Jake Slayton, Meld, Nathaniel Briggs, Rajani Dhama, Randall Nixon, Tracy Skylark, Valerie Cooper.

> Sentinel Squad O*N*E: Book info and issue index

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