Sentinels are programmed to locate mutants and capture or kill them. Though several types of Sentinels have been introduced, the typical Sentinel is three stories tall, is capable of flight, projects energy blasts, and can detect mutants. Pursuing genocide as the means of dealing with a threat has made the Sentinels an analogy for racial hatred and other negative types of fanaticism in Marvel stories, represent the horrific consequences of humanity's actions based on hate and ignorance, along with a caution of the risks of AI takeover.
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Sentinels are technologically advanced, and have exhibited a wide variety of abilities. They are armed (primarily with energy weapons and restraining devices), capable of flight, and can detect mutants at long range. They possess vast physical strength, and their bodies are highly resistant to damage. Some are able to alter their physical forms or re-assemble and reactivate themselves after they have been destroyed.
Some Sentinel variants have the ability to learn from their experiences, developing their defenses during an engagement. Several groups of Sentinels have been created and/or led by a single massive Sentinel called Master Mold. Some Sentinels are also equipped with an inconspicuous logic loop in case they should go rogue to convince them that they are mutants as demonstrated in the Tri-Sentinel.
Because of their power, sophistication, and high mass production, Sentinels are sold on the black market. Entities obtain them—often in poor condition—for their own purposes (not necessarily mutant-related).
Project Nimrod - Created by an offshoot of Project Wideawake and was in the experimental stage, Project Nimrod was actually a self-awareness program that Nimrod implanted before its demise into the base's military computer cybernet, the program served as a sleeper virus that awaited the opportunity to access a Sentinel development program so it could use it to re-create Nimrod itself. Cancelled after X-Force interfered.
Prime Sentinels - Created by Bastion and Operation: Zero Tolerance. They were at first disabled humans infected with Nano-Sentinel technology at Prospero Clinic under the believe that they were being equipped with cybernetic nanotech implants to replace their lost limbs. Unbeknownst to many of them, they became sleeper agents for Operation: Zero Tolerance, as they would, upon activation by a mutant attack or near the presence of one, transformed into armored beings with powerful weapons systems.
Sentinels in Marvels #2 (February 1994). Art by Alex Ross.
Omega Prime Sentinels - The second generation of Prime Sentinels. Often simply called Omega Sentinels, their nanotechnology is far afield's in advancement to their brethren. Omega's have an 8 step cycle of transformation they undergo before transmuting from full organic to complete machine entities; which are Infection, Nesting, Replication, Dormancy, Activation, Union, Adaptation and finally Omega.Karima Shapandar is one of them.
Wild Sentinels - Built in secret by a new Master Mold in Ecuador, activated by Donald Trask III and used by Cassandra Nova. New units are produced based on the currently available resources – salvaged parts, weapons and sometimes even entire vehicles – which give this particular type of Sentinel a very diverse, rag-tag appearance. Due to both this and their design flexibility, a wide variety of different shapes and forms have been observed. The Mega-Sentinels used to destroy Genosha and Nanosentinels both belong to this kind of Sentinel. The technology used in Nano-Sentinels is also employed by Weapon Plus for their artificial evolution experiments and the creation of their Super-Sentinels.
Mark VIII - Sentinel Squad O*N*E, designed by Stark Enterprises. Unlike other Sentinels, the Mark VIII requires a human pilot.
T.O. Sentinels - An intended upgrade to the Squad O*N*E sentinels conceived of by director Robert Callahan, who sought to use techno-organic substance to increase the effectiveness of his Sentinel program. Failing in his first attempt he would get a second chance after obtaining the Warlock infected New Mutants to use as experimental fodder for further technoforming augmentation to his Sentinel Squad Armor unit.
Bio-Sentinels - Human mutant corpse infected by a technological virus created by Kaga, They come with the innate capacity of weaponizing bio-technological apparati such as Brood designed missiles as a means of offense.
Stark Sentinels - The Stark Sentinels debuted during the AXIS storyline. Under the influence of the Red Skull (who also had erased from him any memory of their construction), Tony Stark created a model of Adamantium constructed Sentinels outfitted with Pym Particle technology with databases withholding knowledge of different super heroes he acquired after the 1st Civil War storyline. When Red Skull became the Red Onslaught, and the Avengers arrived to Genosha to stop him, he deployed the Stark Sentinels.
Mother Mold - A self-aware and capable of adaptation Master Mold variant head designed to create "Master Molds" which in turn create Sentinels. Built in secrecy near the sun by a human group called Project Orchis which is made up of various members of human organizations such as A.I.M., S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, Alpha Flight and others, once coming online, Mother Mold will lead directly to the creation of Nimrod, the ultimate nanotechnological Sentinel form.
Nimrod the Hunter - Created in the modern era solely from contemporary technology and independent of its time-travelling counterparts by Dr. Alia Gregor on Orchis's Mother Mold
Related mutant-hunting creations
The X-Men battle Sentinels in X-Men: Schism #1 (July 2011). Art by Carlos Pacheco and Cam Smith.
Tri-Sentinel - A giant-sized, six-armed, three-faced combination of three fairly standard Sentinels (created by Shaw Industries) bonded together by Loki as retribution for losing the "Acts of Vengeance" ploy, and defeated by Spider-Man at the peak of his cosmic (Captain Universe) powers. Later revived by The Life Foundation, only to be destroyed again by Spider-Man and Nova. Mendel Stromm later obtained another one from the bunker of the bankrupt Life Foundation and was later approached by a mysterious benefactor who prepared to give him a Master Mold that specializes in creating Tri-Sentinels.
Soviet Sentinels - Created by the Soviet Union and later purchased by Cuban government officials.[full citation needed]
Super-Sentinels - Using Nano-Sentinel technology, Weapon Plus created artificially evolved superhumans at The World. Three of the creations were chosen to form the mutant-hunting Super-Sentinels: Huntsman, Fantomex and Ultimaton, who were intended to be presented to the public as superheroes in order to make the extermination of mutantkind look "like a Saturday morning cartoon".
Colcord's Sentinels - Some of the Boxbots created by Madison Jeffries (aka Box) to serve the Weapon X Program, run by Malcolm Colcord. In one variation of the Days of Future Past timeline seen in the Weapon X: Days of Future Now limited series, one of the Boxbots evolves into a new Master Mold and a new breed of Sentinels.
Hardaway - A cyborg created at Camp Hayden, killed by the Mutant Liberation Front, who called himself a Bio-Sentinel.
X-51 (Machine Man) - Captured by Bastion and "infected" with Prime Sentinel nano-bots which reconfigured and reconstructed his systems thereby giving him similar capabilities to Nimrod, such as adapting to almost any situation and programming that at times forced him to attack mutants.
Juston Seyfert's Sentinel: First appearing in Sentinel #1, this is a rebuilt Sentinel (likely a Mark V or Mark VI), reprogrammed to obey Juston Seyfert. Initially, Seyfert controlled the Sentinel by riding on its shoulder; he now has built a cockpit into it. Seyfert and his Sentinel are former members of Avengers Academy and featured in Avengers Arena.
Sentinaughts - One of the types of sentient robots who live in the free robot city of The Core,[full citation needed] Sentinaughts are apparently based on the Sentinel design. They vary in size from roughly human to the large stature of traditional Sentinels.
Nano-Sentinel - Microscopic sentinel type of tech created by Cassandra Nova and implemented in various ways by other users. Moving within the body and attaching themselves to the brains of humans and mutants alike, turning them into mutant-hating assault drones with no self control. Ready to take down any mutant who so much as looks at them.
An unknown form of human made sentinels created by Simon Trask using a nanite based Sentinel Tech virus. The victims become anti-mutant activists who later, at Trask's command, are fully transformed into lifeless robotic Sentinels mindlessly following Trask's orders.
Adamantium Cyborgs - Near-fully mechanical mutant hunter killers refitted by Weapon X with the titular metal as an endoskeleton using sentinel based nanotech. Coming in numerous alphabetical categorical batches, these bionic weapons can shed their skin revealing a murderous automaton with the abilities of various X-Men heroes & villains integrated into them.
Core/Central Command - A biotech Master Mold variant behind the design parameters of the new Prime Sentinel's.
The following are alternative versions of the Sentinels, which appear outside of regular Marvel canon.
Age of Apocalypse
In the "Age of Apocalypse" timeline, Bolivar Trask created the Sentinels with his wife Moira. These Sentinels are equipped with several body-mounted gun turrets, and their primary directive is to protect humans rather than to hunt mutants. They are capable of cooperating with mutants in order to further this mission.[full citation needed] Later, the Sentinels are adapted by Weapon Omega to serve a reverse purpose, and now aid in the hunting of the human race.[full citation needed]
In the alternate reality of X-Men: Ronin, the story is played out in Japan. A police unit called "Sentinel Force" designs, builds and pilots the robots. These are aesthetically similar to regular Sentinels, but each is subtly different from the others.[volume & issue needed]
The Ultimate Marvel version of Sentinels were created by Bolivar Trask, were already in action in the Ultimate X-Men story arc, hunting down and killing mutants on the streets, in a program apparently openly and publicly acknowledged by the U.S. government. Later on, there were also the New Sentinels that were sixty of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s top agents in Sentinel battle armor and they were described to have enough hardware to take on a fleet of the old Sentinel models. A new breed of Sentinel robots, created by Trask under the Fenris twins' orders, was later created. After the events of the Ultimatum Wave, Nimrod Sentinels was deployed to hunt, capture or kill mutants that refused to turn themselves in. William Stryker, Jr., using Sentinel tech, later displayed an ability to summon a fleet of Sentinels after being attacked by the Shroud.[full citation needed]
In "What if... Starring Secret Wars: 25 Years Later", the children of Marvel heroes are teleported back to Earth where, sometime in the last 25 years, a variation of "Days of Future Past" is shown when the group is attacked by Sentinels.[full citation needed]
In "What if... Starring Juggernaut: The Kingdom of Cain", Juggernaut has killed the X-Men, and as a result there is no one to oppose the Sentinels, so the world is ravaged by them until they are destroyed by Juggernaut.
The Sentinels appeared a number of times on the X-Men animated series, voiced by David Fox. They were season one's main antagonists. The Sentinels first hunt down Jubilee. The Sentinel program, controlled by Bolivar Trask and Henry Peter Gyrich, was cancelled but was moved overseas to Genosha. Master Mold was constructed as the Sentinels' leader/mass-production while on Genosha, but it was apparently destroyed when Storm flooded the complex. Sentinels are later seen in Bishop's future timeline where they had taken over the world and mutants were on the verge of extinction. In the season one finale, the Sentinels, acting under Trask's orders, rescued Senator Robert Kelly from Magneto, but Master Mold was then "giving the orders now" in Trask's and Gyrich's secret base in the United States. As Master Mold plans to kidnap world leaders from around the world and replace their brains with computers so that the world would fall under its control, the X-Men managed to fight through a seemingly endless wave of Sentinels until Professor X flew the explosive-filled Blackbird into Master Mold and escaped at the last minute with Magneto's help. However, the Sentinels had sporadic appearances in season four.
The Sentinels appear in X-Men: Evolution. This version is much more powerful and heavily armed than their comic book counterparts. There was originally only a prototype created by former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Bolivar Trask, however, released in public by Magneto to force the X-Men to fight the prototype and reveal mutant existence to the media. The prototype alone was a dangerous challenge, even for the combined might of the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. Three upgraded models are later used by S.H.I.E.L.D. against Apocalypse and prove a difficult fight for the ancient mutant. Professor X's future visions in the series finale hinted at Nimrod appearing later in the show's timeline leading a fleet of Sentinels.
The Sentinels appear in the Wolverine and the X-Men animated series, voiced by Jim Ward. There are several types: Sentinel Prowler, the Mark I Sentinel, a more futuristic Sentinel, and Sentinel Hounds. The Sentinels are controlled by Master Mold.
The Sentinels appear in The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Tom Kenny. This version were created in an alternate reality's future to defend a superhero-less city. They are seen in the episode "Days, Nights and Weekends of Future Past! (Six Against Infinity Part 2)".
A Sentinel appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. In the episode "Game Over", a Sentinel is included in Arcade's Madland game which Spider-Man takes control of, using its firepower to cheat through one of Arcade's levels.
The Gifted television series, which is connected to the X-Men cinematic universe, features a modern-day government agency called Sentinel Services under the control of Agents Jace Turner and Edward Weeks. After failing to capture the Mutant Underground, and Weeks is killed by Esme Frost, the determined Turner quit Sentinel Services. Turner allied with Trask Industries (the Sentinels' creator) under Dr. Roderick Campbell is revealed to have been responsible for the Hound Program, which reprograms mutants. Sentinels in this universe are small spider-like robots with a rotating red eye in the center. They are extremely durable and can withstand intense physical assaults and intense heat, capable of quickly adapting to damage to continue functioning. They capture mutants by latching onto them with immense grip, even Thunderbird could not break free from a Sentinel until the mutant Eclipse assisted with an intense heat blast and even then the Sentinel continued to function and hunt them. With their spider-like design, they can crawl and maneuver on walls and ceilings.
The Sentinels as they appear in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014); the Mark I model in 1973 (left) and the Mark X model in 2023 (right)
The Sentinels were originally to appear in X-Men (2000). In an early draft written by Andrew Kevin Walker and turned in during June 1994, Henry Gyrich and Bolivar Trask use three 8 feet (2.4 m) tall Sentinels to attack the X-Men. Following a rewrite by Laeta Kalogridis, as well as various other rewrites and new scripts, the Sentinels were eventually dropped from the film.
A simulated Sentinel was seen in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). During a training session in the Danger Room for the mutants at Professor X's school, Colossus throws Wolverine at the robot which results in its beheading; the Sentinel's body is shrouded in fog with the only part ever made visible to the viewer is a severed head.
The Sentinels are featured in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) as a secondary threat to mutants. In 1973, Bolivar Trask pitches the Sentinel concept to the US Congress, but they decline, so Trask attempts pitching it to foreign powers. Mystique hunts down and kills Trask in revenge for the murder of mutants that were experimented on during the Sentinels' conception to accelerate research and is captured soon after. Trask's death convinces the US government to approve the Sentinel program, and experimentation on the captured Mystique leads to the creation of Sentinels that can adapt to and use mutant powers. The Sentinels eventually expand their targets beyond mutants to baseline humans based on the logic to have the potential to produce mutant descendants, culminating in a dystopian future where most of humanity and mutantkind have been wiped out. With Kitty Pryde's new ability to project the minds of others into their past selves, the X-Men project Wolverine - the only person capable of surviving the time-travel's psychological strain - back into his own past version in 1973 to rally the younger versions of Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr to stop Trask's assassination, setting into motion the film's events. The storyline concludes with Mystique defeating Magneto and then deciding not to kill Trask on Xavier's and Beast's encouragement, resulting in the government witnessing clear evidence that not all mutants are a threat to normal humans and deciding to abandon the Sentinel program. The original prototypes from 1973 were similar in appearance to their comic counterparts being three times the size of a human, possessed gatling guns on one arm capable of firing 3000 rounds per minute, sensors that allow to track X-Gene carriers and could fly using the vent-like systems on their chest, and were built out of a space-age polymer to be immune to Magneto's powers to which Magneto infuses the prototypes with metal bars to control in the film's climax. In contrast, the future iterations with Mystique's adaptive powers were smaller and sleeker, with bodies built out of adaptive mechanical scales, and hands they could reshape into stabbing blades. The Sentinels were designed by Legacy Effects with Digital Domain building digital models based on their full-scale practical model while the future variant were all computer graphics made by Moving Picture Company.
The Sentinels briefly appear at the end of X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). After Apocalypse's defeat, the 1973 versions are used by the new X-Men team during a training simulation.
Sentinels have appeared as major antagonists in almost every video game to feature the X-Men:
The Sentinels appeared in the X-Men arcade game as the bulk of enemies.
The Sentinels appear in X-Men: Mutant Academy in Cyclops's intro. They hunt for mutants in the streets of New York City. One nearly kills a baby by stepping on it, but Cyclops tears off one of its legs, making the robot fall.
The Sentinels are seen in X-Men: Mutant Academy 2 in Cyclops/Spider-Man's level. They are shown in the background, patrolling the skies of New York City, hunting for mutants.
The Sentinels appear in X-Men: Next Dimension. A male Prime Sentinel and a female Prime Sentinel are both available as playable characters.
Sentinel Alpha uses rockets, gas, stomp, and a palm beam
A Sentinel with rockets, eye beams, stomp, and a bomb (this version has shoulder pads like Sentinel Squad ONE)
A Sentinel Controller with eye beams, stomp, an enhanced version of the palm beam, rockets, and a wave that nullifies mutant powers (this version has a blue head and its body is blue and purple)
A Sentinel Weapons Platform in the shape of a purple spider with green blasters, which can bash and use a green wave that reverses the controls
A Sentinel Advanced (based on the Prime Sentinel) with freeze beam, orange blasters, punch, groundquake (with fist), and a rush.
The Sentinels appear in X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, assisting with the evacuation after Apocalypse devastates New York City. Bastion later turns the Sentinels on the X-Men and the Brotherhood of Mutants. After Bastion is defeated, the Sentinels resume their evacuation duties.
The Sentinels appear in X-Men: The Official Game as part of William Stryker's back-up plan to eliminate all mutants. Stryker would have the mutant-hunting robots track down and kill all mutants they could find. The Sentinels featured in the game appear to be similar to those from X-Men: Children of the Atom. There are two types of Sentinels: one is a smaller, aerial model, and the other is a giant walking behemoth.
The Sentinels appear in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. The Sentinel Mark I is one of the major bosses of the game. While infiltrating the headquarters of Project Wideawake to find John Wraith, Wolverine encounters two full-sized Sentinels, destroying a half-finished Sentinel with a Sentinel hand-weapon and defeating the other one in a prolonged confrontation.
The Sentinel from X-Men: Children of the Atom (now given the model number "COTA-94" in reference to when Children of the Atom was released) is an unlockable playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and its updated version Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, with Jim Ward reprising his role from Wolverine and the X-Men. Its character ending has the Sentinel uploading Master Mold's program on Galactus's worldship, with the Sentinel's planning not only the destruction of mutants but mankind as well and shows several new Sentinel models sporting a design similar to Galactus himself.
The Sentinels appear in X-Men Destiny. The player must defeat a Sentinel before they can challenge the final boss and main antagonist Luis Reyes.
The Sentinels appear in Marvel: Avengers Alliance. The Sentinels are made up of the Coeus Sentinels, the Crius Sentinels, the Cronus Sentinels, the Hyperion Sentinels, the Iapetos Sentinels, the Phoebe Sentinels, the Rhea Sentinels, and the Themis Sentinel. A Salvaged Sentinel is an opponent for the players on the tutorial level. The Brotherhood of Mutants have also included their own versions of Sentinels called the M-Series Rho MK III, the M-Series Sigma MK III, and the M-Series MK III. In a Spec-Ops mission revolving around the Hellfire Club, Crimson Dynamo was hired by the Hellfire Club to build the Sentinels that obey their every command.
The Sentinels appear in the 2013 Deadpool video game. Destroyed parts of Sentinels (including arms, legs, heads and a boot) are seen in the ruins of Genosha. Deadpool narrates that the Sentinels attacked Magneto's country and slaughtered the six million Mutant residents.
Several different toys of Sentinels have been made since their introduction. One is the X-Men Classics 10" Sentinel by Toybiz. A "Build-A-Figure" version of the character (based on the "Here Comes Tomorrow" storyline) was made in wave ten of the Marvel Legends line. In 2010, Hasbro released a large Sentinel (available in two color schemes) as part of the Marvel Universe line. Along with a large, unposeable statue, two Minimates figures have been made of the Sentinels. The first, a classic version, came with Rachel Summers in either her Phoenix or Marvel Girl guises. The second, based on Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, comes with a red-haired "First Appearance" figure of Ryu.
In 2014, The Lego group released a set in the Marvel Super Heroes line titled "X-Men vs. the Sentinel", featuring the sentinel as a buildable figure, also including the Blackbird, Magneto, Wolverine, Storm, and Cyclops.
In July 2020, Hasbro announced a twenty-six inch Sentinel as part of their HasLab crowdfunding releases.
On the Adult Swim show Robot Chicken, the episode "Sausage Fest" showed a parody of the X-Men being killed by a Sentinel, and Professor X then recruiting the cast of the Police Academy films as replacements. The Sentinel eventually kicks them far as Professor X quotes "Same time next week?" to which the Sentinel nods yes.
On the Cartoon Network show Codename: Kids Next Door, the episode "Operation S.A.F.E.T.Y." shows an ambassador for children's health decided to build many giant robots to prevent children from playing harmful games. The main robot (which is a parody of Master Mold) decided to capture adults (because they could harm kids) and take over the world.
MAD Magazine has and X-Men parody "ECH!-Men" featured a Sentinel (called "Sentinent") with a huge posterior.