The X-Men have many foes, with most of these threats being enemies of mutantkind as a whole. The most common example of this would be the Sentinel robots, which hunt mutants down to eliminate them – with extreme prejudice. There are numerous variations of Sentinels, but one type of these genocidal robots that recently appeared in X-Men ’97 are now set to star in their own comics.

Sentinels is a new comic book series released under the current “From the Ashes” banner of X-Men titles. Focused on a team of cyborg Sentinels, the series seeks to develop a team of human/Sentinel hybrids as they hunt down mutants. This recalls the Prime Sentinels, perhaps the most dangerous form of the automatons who recently made a major impact on the first season of the latest X-Men cartoon. These elements will make Sentinels more relevant than ever, especially since mutants no longer have a perfect island home to protect them.

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Sentinels is an upcoming miniseries that’s part of the “From the Ashes” relaunch of the X-Men comic book line. This and other titles are chronologically set after the end of the Krakoa Era that had defined the franchise for the past few years, and it seems to be putting mutants back on the receiving end of bad luck within the Marvel Universe. One example of how the deck will be stacked against them once more is through the revived Sentinel program.

Sentinels will focus on Lawrence Trask, a descendant of Sentinel program founder Bolivar Trask and himself secretly a mutant. Seeing visions of an all-out war between humans and mutants in a dark, brutal future, he seeks to use his knowledge of upcoming events to prevent them from happening. To do so, he and a team of Sentinels will try to track down the mutants that he knows will cause this apocalyptic set of events.

Lawrence Trask first appeared in X-Men #57 by Roy Thomas and Neal Adams, though he appeared to die in Avengers #104 by Roy Thomas and Rich Buckler The technological inventor mutant Forge will lead a new team in the relaunched X-Force book Cyclops will return to his revolutionary ways in the new X-Men series Rogue, Gambit, Wolverine and Nightcrawler will carry on Xavier’s dream in Uncanny X-Men Emma Frost and Shadowcat will train a new team of young mutants in Exceptional X-Men

The series is written and drawn by Alex Paknadel (writer of the relaunched main X-Men comic) and Justin Mason. Its five issues will display the cutting edge of Sentinel technology. Said upgrades involve a nanotech fusion of man and machine in team members Sawtooth, Lockstep, Drumfire and Voivod. Each member of the team has been scarred in some way by one of Marvel’s many destructive events over the years, which inspired them to undergo the Sentinel process. Their aim is ultimately to protect the tenuous “peace” between humans and mutants despite being humanoid Sentinels.

Of course, the characters must become living weapons to achieve this goal, asking how much of their humanity they’re willing to lose for world peace. Major mutants will be in their crosshairs, including the Soviet psychopath, Omega Red. It’s a dirty job for a supposedly good cause, but this has also arguably been the modus operandi of the Sentinels since their introduction. Their goal has always been to eradicate the threat of mutants, namely for the safety of humans. In fact, this isn’t the first time that Sentinels have taken a more human form.

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Sentinel Variations In Marvel Comics




Classic Sentinels

The X-Men #14 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Bolivar Trask

Master Mold

The X-Men #15 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Bolivar Trask


Uncanny X-Men #191 by Chris Claremont and John Romita, Jr.

Unknown, hails from an alternate future

Prime Sentinels

X-Men #65 by Scott Lobdell and Carlos Pacheco


Wild Sentinels

New X-Men #114 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

Cassandra Nova


X-Men #65 by Scott Lobdell and Carlos Pacheco

Bastion (repurposed by Cassandra Nova)


Amazing Spider-Man #329 by David Michelinie and Erik Larsen


Sentinel Squad O*N*E

Decimation: House of M – The Day After #1 by Chris Claremont and Randy Green

Tony Stark

Hellfire Club Sentinels

Wolverine and the X-Men #16 by Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo

Sebastian Shaw

Inhuman Sentinels

Inhumans vs. X-Men #5 by Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire and Javier Garron

Emma Frost, Forge

Mother Mold

House of X #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Pepe Larraz


Sentinel Zero

X-Men #22 by Gerry Duggan and Joshua Cassara



X-Men/Fantastic Four #3 by Chip Zdarsky and Terry Dodson

Doctor Doom

Box Sentinels

Alpha Flight #1 by Ed Brisson and Scott Godlewski

Roger Bochs, Jr.

Stark Sentinels

Invincible Iron Man #5 by Gerry Duggan and Juan Frigeri



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Some of the most dangerous Sentinels to ever face the X-Men were the Prime Sentinels, which were far different from the usual forms of the machines. Instead of being gigantic yet unwieldy robots that were as cumbersome as they were dangerous, Prime Sentinels fused Sentinel technology with normal human beings. They were created through technology derived from the “Days of Future Past” timeline. That tech was used by the villainous Bastion, who himself was a fusion of a human being with the mechanics of both Master Mold (the progenitor of other Sentinels) and the highly-advanced future Sentinel, Nimrod. His Prime Sentinels were completely unaware of their true nature, and they were merely sleeper agents that had unknowingly been infected with Bastion’s gadgetry.

Bastion’s public anti-mutant crusade came in the aftermath of the “Onslaught” storyline The X-Men were forced to attack their fellow heroes to stop Onslaught Public anti-mutant hate was stoked to a new high by mayoral candidate Graydon Creed

Upon activation, these Prime Sentinels took on the appearance of cyborgs with incredible powers and durability. Able to quickly repair physical damage, shapeshift and vastly outpace the physical attributes of normal humans, they were meant to attack and kill mutants throughout the world as part of Bastion’s “Operation: Zero Tolerance.” Able to somewhat disguise themselves after being activated, they used their human appearances (something that the giant and completely robotic Sentinel varieties lacked) to lure in unsuspecting targets. From there, Prime Sentinels would use their implanted technology to dampen mutants’ powers and kill them when they least expected it. Appearing all across the United States, they were defeated by the combined might of S.H.I.E.L.D. and numerous X-Men.

However, these Prime Sentinels weren’t the only fusions between organic material and Sentinel technology. Another example was that of the Bio-Sentinels, which were actually the corpses of dead mutants that became infected with a technological virus. This reanimated their bodies into undead weapons, and they were even equipped with biomechanical weapons derived from alien technology tied to the Brood species. Nano-sentinels were as deadly as they sound and could infiltrate a mutant’s bloodstream to exterminate them from the inside or control them for their own purposes.

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Like the more mainstream giant Sentinels, the Prime Sentinels have appeared in numerous adaptations of the X-Men mythos. The most recent example occurred in the animated series X-Men ’97, a sequel to the classic 1990s cartoon X-Men: The Animated Series. Like the classic show, the new cartoon adapts various storylines from throughout the X-Men’s history. To this end, the overarching foe in X-Men ’97‘s first season was none other than Bastion, who has a backstory and goal similar to that of the comics, namely “Operation: Zero Tolerance.” The basic premise of that storyline is directly lifted, though it’s combined with other stories such as “E Is for Extinction,” the initial story arc from Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s New X-Men.

The Sentinels’ destruction of Genosha in X-Men ’97 swapped out Cassandra Nova from New X-Men with Sinister and Bastion Cassandra Nova can still be seen as one of the antagonists in the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine film Magneto’s response to Operation: Zero Tolerance in X-Men ’97 used an unpublished storyline

Various humans are made into Prime Sentinels, including Bolivar Trask himself and Valerie Cooper. However, as with many Sentinel attacks, they soon turned their sights against both humans and mutants, hoping to make human/machine hybrids into the planet’s dominant lifeforms. When Magneto disorients Earth’s magnetic field, the creatures are temporarily deactivated. Once the planet is restored, however, it takes Jean Grey using the Phoenix Force to sever Bastion’s connection to them to end their threat for good.

One change made to the Prime Sentinels made in X-Men ’97 is that they’re derived from techno-organic machinery made by Mr. Sinister. This was repurposed as the same thing he used to infect young Nathan Summers, indirectly turning him into Cable. Even with these changes, the Prime Sentinels’ freakish threat is readily apparent on the new X-Men show, and there’s definitely a chance that they might return in another season.

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Given that the series already used elements from “Operation: Zero Tolerance,” any similarities between the recent season of X-Men ’97 and the upcoming Sentinels miniseries would just be due to the subject matter. At the same time, one element that can be parallel between them is the relationship between humanity and technology. Sentinels will look at how much the title characters are still truly human beings, and this reflects how the Prime Sentinels in X-Men ’97 sought to replace normal humans and mutants with human/Sentinel hybrids. Fears over AI and transhumanism are rampant in today’s society and media, and it may become the ultimate conflict in the coming years. This seems to be a concern shared with series protagonist Lawrence Trask, which recalls a science fiction movie classic.

“Here Comes Tomorrow” was the final arc in Morrison and Quitely’s New X-Men, and it involved a future where bacterium and Sentinels plagued the remnants of the mutant race The Krakoa Era introduced a future where humanity, mutantkind, and machines are locked in a devastating war for the planet

The X-Men are no strangers to dark futures, and a species war involving humans, mutants and mechanical cyborgs sounds a lot like the Terminator franchise. The same is the case for Lawrence Trask’s mission to keep this future from happening, and this overriding sense of fear can and should be the driving force of the new series. This will elevate the miniseries beyond being what might seem like a book about “racist cyborgs.” It will also recall the recent X-Men ’97, which has put both the Sentinels and the X-Men franchise as a whole back on the map. The Sentinels are usually human-created machines meant to save humanity from mutants. Now, the technology will combine with its progenitors to possibly save mutants and humans from each other.

Sentinels #1 will be available from Marvel Comics on 10/09/2024.

“}]] A new X-Men miniseries will focus on human/Sentinel hybrids, and this evokes the Prime Sentinels from 1990s comic books and the finale of X-Men ’97.  Read More