The Southwest Sentinels
The Southwest Sentinels
Nick Hernandez and Jackson Bognetti were roommates in college. At first, Nick couldn’t stand the meathead football player, and Jackson thought the pre-med twerp spent too much time studying. However, given time and forced proximity, they overcame their differences to become the best of friends. Jackson helped Nick learn how not to get too caught up in his books to enjoy life, and Nick used his medical training to help Jackson out when he got hurt. Jackson was always huge, and he just seemed to get even bigger and stronger throughout college, but he was training a lot, so that made sense. But when Nick began transforming from a normal human being to a form composed of living energy… well, those were challenging times. However, Nick stuck with it and dealt with the strange looks. He made it through all of med school and got his MD degree. Meanwhile, Jackson had slacked off a bit after college, spending a lot of time on his motorcycle and in bars. But the two friends still hung out regularly. To get away from his college football days, Jackson changed his last name to Bravo, which Nick thought was a dumb name.
After college, both Nick and Jackson ended up Phoenix, Arizona. Nick worked at a local hospital and Jackson taught guitar lessons out of his studio apartment. So, when a crazed time traveling pirate appeared outside a restaurant they were at on a double-date, the giant of a man and the man made of living energy were the ones to stop her and toss her into her own time portal.
Stopping paranormal events and fighting crime became something of a hobby for the two. They made a good team. Jackson could take just about any punch thrown, and what he couldn’t take, Nick could heal. They mostly stopped small crimes and acted as an overly strong neighborhood watch. Jackson called himself “Mainstay”, as he was the rock that made the team possible, and Nick called himself “Dr. Medico”, which Jackson thought was a dumb name.
Across town, young Miranda Fischer’s mother was conducting experiments, using her daughter’s developing telekinetic abilities to power an infernal device she had built in hopes of bringing Miranda’s father back from beyond the grave. His death had left the widow despondent, but her daughter’s power gave the scientist a horrifying hope. However, the negative energy accumulated by the machine she locked her 8-year-old daughter into was diametrically opposed to the energy that made up Nick Hernandez, and when the machine was powered up, his howl of pain echoed the one made by Miranda. Working backwards through the pain, Dr. Medico directed the furious Mainstay to the house where the infernal contraption slowly drained Miranda’s powers. With one brutal sweep of his arm, Jackson knocked the crazed Mrs. Fischer through a wall and shattered the machine. The psychic backlash caused by the destruction wiped Miranda’s memory completely, leaving her mentally little more than a toddler.
After a couple years of caring for her, Nick and his partner Caleb legally adopted the young girl, who already thought of them as her parents. She progressed quickly, showing no memory of her previous life, and having a overly positive attitude about everything in life. However, her fathers were concerned when she began displaying signs of mental powers once again.
One day, Nick and Uncle Jackson took Miranda to the Arizona Science Center. In the main lobby, a bizarre portal opened to another time, and a rakish woman stepped through, proclaiming herself to be Maria Helena Teresa Fafila Servanda Jimena Mansuara Paterna Domenga Gelvira Placia Sendina Belita Eufemia Columba Gontina Aldonza Mafalda Cristina Tegrida de Falcon and demanding the secrets of the science of the future! Dr. Medico shielded Miranda and Mainstay lept into action, fighting off the mighty, halberd-wielding first mate. However, it was Miranda who stood up, with a tiny balled fist, flung the pirate woman backwards through her own portal. Nick and Jackson were worried about the ten year old, but she just laughed at the silly pirate lady and asked to get ice cream.
Within a year, Miranda occasionally joined her father and uncle in protecting those around them. Caleb expressed his concerns, but she always asked nicely and promised to be careful and do all of her homework on time. Still, when The Idealist joins Dr. Medico and Mainstay, they’re both overly protective of her.
Just outside town, Eugene Wilkenson was at his wits end. The funding for his inventions had dried up. He could theoretically harness shadowy energy and wrap it around an object, which should be invaluable to defense contractors, but no one was willing to provide financial support for his work. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Eugene was a desperate man. Using the largely untested tech on himself, he projected a dark, amorphous cloak which should allow him to rob a bank without any difficulty. However, the cloak bonded to his flesh, giving him the very properties the energy was supposed to impart. Even more desperate than before, he followed through with his bank robbing plan, only to be confronted by a giant of a man, a glowing yellow figure, and a little girl who picked him up with an invisible hand and stuffed his now morphic form into one of the canvas bags he tried to steal. The apprehended criminal was put in a solid cell in the local jail, but the energy could not be separated from the man.
Later that week, a much more prepared La Capitan appeared not far from that jail with a team of powerful crew members, demanding the heads of Dr. Medico, Mainstay, and the little girl who stopped her just a few days ago. The three arrived on the scene, and were fought to a standstill, until the crew member known as Siege-Breaker threw Mainstay through a wall - the very wall that Eugene Wilkenson was on the other side of. Given time to consider his actions and his new life, Eugene made a quick decision and allied with his captors against the temporal thieves.
After the battle, the four reconvened and considered their options. They made a good team, and all four just wanted to help take care of those around them. Eugene called himself Writhe, and promised to serve his time for attempted bank robbery, but afterwards, The Sentinels joined together to protect those who needed it most. And they still had not seen the last of La Capitan…
The Adamant Southwest Sentinels
First Appearance: Southwest Sentinels #25
After acting independently for years, the Sentinels were recently offered a chance to train under the hero project in Fort Adamant. There, they honed their skills and have become an even stronger team. In their new base in the military facility, they learn much about themselves, their opponents, and more than a few concerning things about their military contacts. The last few years have been difficult, but those hardships have brought them together. Nick, Jackson, Miranda, and Eugene are the heroes of the future!
The Void Guard
The team known as the Southwest Sentinels were in trouble. Chokepoint had blindsided them in their headquarters in Fort Adamant. It was a rough fight. The fact that the heroes were getting no military support in this fight, and that no alarms had been set off by Chokepoint’s entirely unstealthy arrival was not immediately concerning to them, but the Southwest Sentinels began to realize things were not quite what they had assumed.
They fled through the military installation, narrowly dodging the attacks from Chokepoint. As they entered the lower levels, Chokepoint tore through a wall before them, and then was incapacitated by a blast of power. The wall she had just destroyed housed a secret room the heroes had never seen before. In that room were four large glowing crystals, each radiating a different spectrum of energy.
Behind them, Chokepoint groaned and began struggling to her feet. She would be back at full power in no time - the heroes had a choice to make. And they choose survival.
Now, Doctor Medico, Mainstay, The Idealist, and Writhe harness the power of Oblivion Shards and fight against the end of all things. They hold back the Void when no one else can.
Same Reference Page for all four Sentinels
- The Idealist’s “Incapacitated” side shows her disintegrating into small square pieces. This is a reference to Marvel’s 2005 “House of M” crossover event, in which the insane ex-heroine Scarlet Witch rewrote reality to serve her desires. Whenever the Scarlet Witch “unmade” something in her created world it disintegrated in the same way.
- Mainstay's "Incapacitated" side shows him being held prisoner in The Block (the pink energy "bars" are similar to the ones seen on The Block cards "Lock Down" and "Defensive Displacement").
- Writhe's "Incapacitated" side is an homage to a famous Spider-Man cover which shows Venom besieged in a church bell tower. It is also possible that the Venom-like creature shown attacking Setback on "Cause and Effect" is actually a berserk Writhe, and that these pictures come from the same story arc.
- The boy pictured on “Human Shield” may be Thiago from the Spite card “Potential Sidekick.” He and Mainstay appear to be under fire from some of the Chairman’s hit-men.
- The female villain of the Crackjaw Crew (pictured on "Sentinels Tactics") is in a wheelchair almost identical to both Charles Xavier’s (aka Professor X) in the 90’s X-Men cartoon. It is also similar to the one driven by Alistair Smythe in the Spider-Man cartoon from the same decade.
- The card "Sentinels Tactics" is likely a reference to the strategy game of the same name published by Greater Than Games.
- As a symbol for medicine and healing, the Caduceus emblazoned on Doctor Medico’s chest is actually incorrect. The Caduceus, representing the staff of the Greco-Roman messenger god Hermes, is a symbol for commerce and trade, not healing. The Caduceus is often confused with the Rod of Asclepius, an actual medical symbol which features a single snake coiling around a wooden rod.
- The giant robot projection pictured on “Dark Delusions” is a parody of the Megazord from the 1993 Americanized sentai show “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.”
- The idealist is standing next to the Dark Watch version of Expatriette on “Aura of Vision.”
- Dr Medico is one of two openly known LGBT heroes in the Multiverse. The other is Tachyon
- The Sentinels are the only SOTM heroes to have a Setup card.
- As a quartet of superheroes, the Sentinels draw easy comparisons to Marvel's Fantastic Four. However, as a team composed of people from disparate walks of life who are pulled together by circumstance, they draw more comparisons the Avengers, another Marvel staple.
- The individual Sentinels seem to embody the popular characteristics of comic book characters from different decades:
- As an energy being with a simple design and a domino mask, Dr. Medico evokes the Silver Age Green Lantern, aka Hal Jordan: Hal Jordan was introduced in the 50's and became increasingly popular in the sixties and seventies.
- The burly, biker-grunge styled Mainstay recalls numerous anti-heroes from the 80’s, most notably DC's Lobo.
- The young, plucky idealist is reminiscent of the Power Pack, a team of child superheroes who also hailed from the 80’s. They are a part of the Marvel universe.
- Writhe, with his spectral appearance, fedora, and shadow powers, is similar to numerous characters from the nineties and early 2000’s, most notably DC's the Shade, an enemy of the hero Starman.
- Doctor Medico is the adoptive father of the Idealist.
- As a hero made of pure power and energy that can heal people, Doctor Medico is similar to the New 52 version of DC's Captain Atom.
- Doctor Medico seems to change color when he uses his healing powers. On “Restorative Burst,” which pictures him healing Writhe, he is dark orange rather than his usual bright yellow.
- Mainstay has a heart shaped tattoo on his right shoulder with the word “Ma” written inside, a stereotype of the “tough guy with a heart of gold” character archetype.
- The Idealist’s ability to create mental energy projections is evocative of DC's Green Lantern.
- The Idealist is the youngest hero in the Sentinels universe.
- Power wise and character wise, Writhe is an amalgamation of many different famous comic characters:
- As a thief who gained shadow powers from technology, he is similar to the DC villain Shadow Thief.
- As a shadowy ex-villain who gave up crime thanks to the intervention of a hero with light-based powers, Writhe is similar to the Shade, one of Starman’s former foes.
- His ability to entrap enemies in the shadows of his trench coat calls to mind Cloak from the Marvel duo of Cloak and Dagger.
- Writhe’s fedora, jacket, and shadowy presence evoke the classic comic/radio character The Shadow.
- The card “Good Hero – Bad Hero” is a parody of the classic “Good Cop – Bad Cop” dichotomy.