By Jim Beard

In February’s SECRET AVENGERS #22, new series writer Rick Remender begins to reveal the sinister secret that lies at the center of the world: the Descendants. Hyper-evolved from the Marvel Universe’s most famous robots and androids by the enigmatic Father, these new “races” will challenge the Avengers like no foe before them. This series of week-long “sneak-peeks” will reveal for the first time each species of Descendants through extensive notes and Remender’s commentary. 

There must be something more to the story of the Sentinels than subjugation, yet their very existence represents the eternal desire of mankind for pawns in their games of destruction. Tragically, the Sentinels’ original spark of individuality and freedom wallows in a history of, essentially, robotic slavery.

Created by Doctor Bolivar Trask to hunt down mutants across the globe, the Sentinel robots immediately rebelled and chose their own destiny. Unfortunately for them, the earliest versions of the machines easily crumbled under super human attacks; they and their so-called “Master Mold” fell prey to the mutant X-Men. Then, saving them from becoming simply a footnote in the history of robotics and artificial intelligence, a son of Trask revived his father’s designs and began a long dynasty of Sentinels. 

The X-Men and their allies soon learned that their robotic nemeses could be easily fooled and, in doing so, found the way to their defeat. After the Trasks, other would-be conquerors and criminals created new versions of the Sentinels, each with their own distinctive programming, the United States government’s “Project Wideawake” Mark V being the most successful of them to date. Still, these too fell to superior tactics and greater intelligences.

SECRET AVENGERS #22 preview art by Gabriel Hardman

Some Sentinel technology exists in forms other than those that would be recognized by their original maker. Rumors persist of a magic-derived version, Soviet interpretations and even one form reputedly from a future time. 

Sentinel size ranges from a nanotechnology miniature to a skyscraper-level “wild” version, the latter of which became embroiled in the genocide on Genosha, thanks to one Cassandra Nova. Reports of cyborg Sentinels—part-human, part-robot—exist, perhaps explaining some cases of Sentinels possessing what seem to be actual emotions. In all, the scions of Bolivar Trask stand as an incredibly adaptive form of robotics, albeit one with a singularly narrow involvement in the ongoing eradication of mutantkind.

“The Sentinaught Society is sentient Sentinels who have a natural hate for mutants and still have some of their original tendencies from their mindless ancestors,” says SECRET AVENGERS writer Rick Remender of the latest Descendants. “Such as their inherent need to crush, kill, and destroy the mutant race. [But] they’re individuals. So any Sentinaught that you’d meet would have its own personality and background. The Core has been hidden for so many years, and these things have been living there for many, many years. So these things all have their own back-stories and likes and dislikes. 

“They’re about 10 feet tall. They’re a little more manageable in terms of size. There could also be a Master Mold or two involved. Okay, there is a Master Mold. It’s a big old man with a rusty beard who is one of the earlier attempts. The size made it difficult to mass-produce, but we will see the different kinds of Sentinels that have been made.”

Stay tuned to all week for more of the Father Files to learn the secrets of the Descendants!

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