Marvel just gave the Sentinels a New (and Scary) Twist | Popgen Tech
Sentinels have long been symbols of mutant oppression, and now common mutant-hating humans have access to them!
Warning: contains spoilers for X-Men Annual #1
The Sentinels is one of those X-Men’s biggest nightmares, and now Marvel has given them a new and terrifying twist. In X-Men Annual #1, Firestar and Iceman, while putting out small fires around the world, stumble upon a terrifying secret: white supremacist militias have bought old Sentinels, and are using them for their own racist purposes. The issue is now on sale in print and digital.
The X-Men are being pushed to their breaking point, as many small disasters crop up around the world, each one requiring their attention. Incidents include an attack by the Bi-Beast, a distress call from Mojo as well as a theft of Krakoan drugs from a clinic in Florida. Firestar and Iceman head to Florida, where they discover the villain Whirlwind (a mutant) is behind the drug theft. After dispatching the Whirlwind, Firestar and Iceman continue their whirlwind tour, eventually arriving in Plainfield, Michigan. There, a white supremacist militia buys what Iceman refers to as “junkyard Sentinels,” that is, old and outdated Sentinel models, which they get relatively cheap. The X-Men make quick work of the old Sentinels as the militia members flee. X-Men Annual #1 is written by Steve Foxe, illustrated by Andrea Di Vito, colored by Sebastain Cheng and lettered by Clayton Cowles.
Sentinels have long been the vanguard of humanity’s defense against mutants. The giant robots became iconic, and struck fear into the hearts of mutants around the world. First appeared in the 1965’s Weird X-Men #14, they terrorized and killed many mutants; Sentinels have also been integral to several classic X-Men storylines, such as Days of Future Past and E is for Extinction. Over the years, there have been many types of Sentinels, including self-replicating models as well as a biomechanical version. These robots are mostly used by governments, but now local terrorists, in the form of white supremacy militias, have gotten their hands on these monsters.
Militias Don’t Stop Just Killing Mutants
The idea of hate groups, such as white militias, having access to Sentinel technology is terrifying. These groups preach hateful rhetoric that excludes everyone else—including mutants, and now these militias have access to technology that could potentially kill someone. There have been stories where Sentinels have been reprogrammed to kill people, so what’s to stop one of these local terrorists, assuming they have the smarts to do so, from doing the same? A Sentinel designed to kill Black people, or LGBTQIA people or anyone who isn’t White is a terrifying prospect. While the militia members seen in this issue do not inspire confidence, as they run in fear for their lives, others may be more direct in their approach–and may cause serious injury and destruction.
Domestic terrorist organizations, such as the kind embodied in white supremacist militias, are some of the worst examples of humanity; they seek to intimidate those who differ and do not fall into their narrow, dogmatic views. Also, Sentinels represent the worst of humans, technological embodiments of the human desire for hatred and Otherness. The X-Men have been full of these killer robots for years, and now they must fight the common humans who have them too.
Next: Age of Apocalypse Proves Humans Will Always Be the X-Men’s Ultimate Enemy
X-Men Annual #1 is on sale now from Marvel Comics!