So Jenky and I started talking about how to build his long-gestating plot idea into the Marvel Universe. We met at a diner in Brattleboro, Vermont and fueled by greasy burgers and french fries got the old creative give-and-take giving and taking.
Paul saw the character as a guardian type, with a watchtower. We tossed around possible names and initially hit on THE CENTURION which seemed a bit clunky. It was Paul who boiled CENTURION down to SENTRY which sounded so good we couldn’t believe it wasn’t already taken.
What I brought to the table was the retro angle. I’d been involved in two major retro projects (1963 and SUPREME) in which Alan Moore and I had developed a sort of “deadpan” approach to the genre. Then and now, most retro stories you see tend to be over-exaggerated. The dumbness is caricatured; played for laughs in both the writing and art. Alan and I believed such an approach was to be avoided; that in fact the mad random lunacy of a Mort Weisenberger SUPERMAN or a Lee/Kirby THOR needed no exaggeration at all.
It was this close-as-you-can-get-it mimicry approach that I wanted to bring to SENTRY, creating a false history of the character with versions going back to Timely Comics in the 1940’s. Paul liked the idea but wondered how we could explain the character’s absence in sixty years of company continuity. That’s when the light bulb went on. More tomorrow.
Above: Golden Age SENTRY by Rick Veitch