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The Sentinels were first created by Dr. Bolivar Trask, who intended to use them to save humanity from what he saw as a threat to the species' existence in the form of mutants.
In a television debate between Trask and Professor Charles Xavier, Trask revealed and then activated the Sentinels, who promptly decided that the best way to protect humanity was to rule over it themselves. The Sentinels kidnapped Xavier and brought him and Trask to the primary Sentinel, Master Mold, only for Xavier's students, the X-Men, to find them. When Trask realized the error in his ways and that not all mutants were a threat to the world at large, he aided the X-Men by sabotaging the machinery in the Sentinel base, destroying Master Mold and the Sentinels in the explosion, but he died in the process. However, numerous Sentinels and several Master Molds were built after the destruction of the original models.
Trask had a son, Larry, who was also a mutant. Trask gave his son a control medallion which blocked the Sentinels' mutant-sensing equipment. Not aware that he was a mutant, Larry built the next batch of Sentinels, only to be slain by them when he removed the control medallion. Larry's "Mark II" Sentinels were later persuaded by Cyclops to fly into the sun, as he was able to convince them that they needed to destroy the sun in order to completely prevent mutation.
The Sentinel program was reawakened as Project Armageddon under the lead of Steven Lang, who created the Mark III Sentinels, some of which were the so-called X-Sentinels, Sentinels who looked like the original X-Men.
The most long-lived Sentinel project was that of Project Wideawake, a government agency led by Henry Gyrich and Valerie Cooper that purchased Sentinels from Sebastian Shaw, the mutant Black King of the Hellfire Club. Project: Wideawake also had its own research and development division, based at Camp Hayden, which included an attempt to recreate Nimrod and use this technology to adapt the purchased Sentinels. Sentinels created by this project fought the X-Men, the New Mutants, the Falcon, and X-Factor, among others.
During the "Acts of Vengeance", the Asgardian trickster god Loki manipulated various super-villains into attacking random superheroes with whom they had no previous enmity. For the climax of this chaos, he magically amplified the power of three Sentinels, merged them into the massive Tri-Sentinel, and sent the gestalt robot to destroy New York City by leveling a nearby nuclear power plant. Spider-Man was possessed by the disembodied spirit known as Captain Universe to prevent this from occurring, and lost the Captain Universe power once he destroyed the Tri-Sentinel. However, the Tri-Sentinel's remains were gathered by a survivalist group, and it rebuilt itself and again attempted to destroy the power plant. It was destroyed on a sub-molecular level by Spider-Man, with the assistance of Nova, who released a deposit of "anti-metal" (Antarctic vibranium) at the center of its body.
During the Onslaught crossover, a number of government-owned Sentinels were reprogrammed by the Dark Beast in service of the psychic entity called Onslaught. These Sentinels fought the X-Men, Avengers, a then-retired Peter Parker and the current Spider-Man (Ben Reilly). They ended the career of the heroic Green Goblin (Phil Urich) when a piece of machinery damaged his mask. The effects of Onslaught's rampage ends the lives of the parents of Hallie Takahama, who would later join the Thunderbolts as Jolt.
One of the Sentinels involved in this operation had data-gathering as it's primary function. Observing from the edge of space, it survived when Onslaught was defeated. Its extrapolations served to convince it a more deadly threat was facing the population of Earth. It overrode its own programming and tried to warn the X-Men. Wary of any Sentinel, they shot it down. It died, saying it was afraid to do so, before it could deliver its warning.
During the "Operation: Zero Tolerance" crossover, a number of humans were transformed into cyborg Human-Sentinel hybrids known as Prime Sentinels. These Pseudo-Sentinels were led by the robotic humanoid Bastion. One of these Prime Sentinels, Karima Shapandar, had her mind restored by Magneto and Professor X, though her physical modifications remained.
During the war against Kang the Conqueror, a battalion of Sentinels was sent into space to attack his space station. Kang had, during a prolonged visit to the early 20th century, become an influential pioneer in robotics under the alias "Victor Timely", and was able to use his knowledge of modern robotics to instantly take control of these Sentinels and send them to attack Earth.
Despite his success in the battle, during which thousands of Washington D.C. citizens were slain, Kang was ultimately defeated by the Avengers. The robotic hero X-51, better known as Machine Man, was temporary reprogrammed with Sentinel programming.
In New X-Men #115, Wolverine and Cyclops destroy two Sentinels in Australia. Meanwhile, Professor X's evil twin Cassandra Nova used the nephew of Bolivar Trask to revive a Master Mold in Amazonia and control it's array of "Wild Sentinels". The nephew was genetically similar enough to Bolivar so as to be protected, the Sentinel's prime directive was to preserve Trask DNA. Cassandra eventually transformed herself into the man's genetic duplicate, killed him and took control of the machines.
She used this Master Mold to send a number of skyscraper-sized, highly adaptive "Wild Sentinels" to destroy most of the population of Genosha. 16 million people, mostly mutants, were killed. In Mekanix, a number of Wild Sentinels hijacked a ship from South America and attacked Chicago, where Kitty Pryde was attending university.
On Genosha, one of the deactivated Wild Sentinels was transformed by several of the surviving Genoshan mutants (Unus, Paralyzer, Toad and Toad-In-Waiting) into a statue of Magneto, with Professor X's face later also added to the statue, another was temporarily animated by Danger, the sentient manifestation of the X-Men's Danger Room.
Nova also programmed a number of microscopic, nanite-based "Nano-Sentinels" to attack the blood cells of the inhabitants of the Xavier Institute, making the X-Men and their students sick. The Nano-Sentinels were destroyed by Xorn, who may have been an alias of Magneto, although some of them were used to restore Professor Xavier's spine and legs for the duration of Xorn's stay with the X-Men. The entity calling itself Xorn had used the Micro-Sentinels to fake healing abilities. When he left, he took away Xavier's mobility.
Months later during Time Runs Out event, the Sentinels are reprogrammed to serve Nation X and other Illuminati's related to protect them from being caught by S.H.I.E.L.D. and its Avengers.
- 593 Appearances of Sentinels
- 84 Minor Appearances of Sentinels
- 77 Media Sentinels was Mentioned in
- 382 Images featuring Sentinels
- Item Gallery: Sentinels