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Knowledge Waits: Jack Kirby’s Original Design of the Sentinels

This is the latest in a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me. Here is a collection of all of the installments in the feature so far.

With the recent reveal of what the Sentinels will look like in the new X-Men: Days of Future Past film, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at Jack Kirby’s original design for the Sentinels from FOOM #10…


Here’s what they looked like when they made their debut (as drawn by Kirby, as well)…

Not a whole lot changed, really.

It as not until Neal Adams re-designed them in the “The Sentinels Live!” storyline that the famous Sentinels design debuted…


To be fair…

1. The Sentinels are machines and, as such, are subject to upgrades.
2. The Kirby design didn’t totally go away and was later repurposed for Master Mold.

Weird, I wasn’t aware the original sentinels were human sized. When did they turn giant?

It’s too bad the blue-grey Sentinel design that debuted in “New Mutants” never stuck. I thought that was a nice updated design. (Maybe if they had stuck with the classic color scheme…?)

Is there any reason why the Sentinels have the same faces as Doctor Doom’s purple robots? Or did Kirby just like that design?

Toozin, If I remember correctly, even though the sentinel on the cover looks human-sized, within the book they are larger, but still smaller than they would become in later incarnations. I seem to remember a particular scene of one holding Iceman by the arms off the ground with ease, so I would guess they would have been about 10 feet tall or so.

I don’t understand why scifi AI’s are always built into humanoid shapes when it’s such an inefficient design. Johnny-5 and WALL-E are the only robots that make sense to me.

I love this feature. I think humanoid design for robots is scarier just because they look vaguely human. They’re trying to be like us!

Still don’t know why no one has appropriated the use of the ninja sentinel yet. Much more effective than a fifty foot robot with lasers.

Someone needs to photoshop a picture of a basketball and put it in Xavier’s hands. It looks like that Sentinel is trying to block a three point hoop shot.

Haha, that can’t be unseen. Pass the rock, Chuck, you creepy fuckin’ ball hog. Kudos to the Sentinel, though, giving the extra effort and d’ing up on the perimeter. Michael Cooper, Keith Askins, or Bruce Bowen-esque.

@Smokescreen see: Fantomex

Wasn’t my best attempt at image editing, but… http://gyazo.com/919c9908bb96619b9b5c12f720501e92.png

@Kyle: Was referring to Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe; it’s a ridiculous comic with hit or miss humor, but he has human-sized ninja sentinels sneak into the X-Mansion and kill all the X-Men while they sleep.

Outside of the obvious (the X-Men being dead), the idea of a non-giant Sentinel always seemed interesting.

@Chris G.: much appreciated, it’s great. Charles is gonna give that up to Warren, call timeout, or the clock’s expiring. No way he’s getting a shot off without getting his shit packed.

@ Smokescreen: I really liked Morrison’s variations on the sentinels in New X-Men.

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