Nothing in life has come easy for Juston Seyfert, and in fact if you asked him he might tell you that nothing much has ever come his way, period. Life is hard on the world’s junior-high geeks and dorks, budding engineers and clever introverts, and for Juston the addition of a posse of bullies with a special interest in his welfare feels like the last straw. Just getting through the day in one piece can be a challenge for our anti-hero, pursued by high school goons during the day and hazarding life and limb at night on a variety of mechanical salvage projects supplied by his dad’s scrap business. Years of obscurity and practice with discarded technology pay off in a heartbeat the night Juston discovers a giant robot clumsily reassembling itself in the family junkyard’s empty barn. Nothing much changes on the surface after Juston makes his most incredible find, except that every interaction and decision is now tinged with a starry glow of “Wow, have I found the coolest new friend EVER.” Juston isn’t as invisible as he thinks he is, however, and after a few days his friends and family are starting to wonder what’s made him so jumpy and distracted. Struggling to hide his discovery from over-curious friends, Juston soon finds himself up to the neck in difficult questions: is strength the only thing that separates a nice guy from a bully? Does great power come with great responsibility? How does a giant robot help you get over your first big crush? And perhaps most importantly, what the heck is a fully-loaded battle robot doing crashing around in the rural woods of Juston’s hometown, and who is going to come looking for him? McKeever’s shadowy color palette and hip young-superhero drawing style will appeal to fans of Sidekicks (for the hair and clothes) and Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant (for everything else) – even if you’re not a big fan of robot-fiction, Sentinel is a great read for its sweetly accurate portrayal of the hazards of high school and mechanical expertise.

Sentinel, vol. 1: Salvage
by Sean McKeever, UDON
ISBN: 0785113800
Marvel, 2004

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