Because of how generous I am — and because of the fact that I don’t know when I’ll ever get a chance to talk about this character again — I’d like to talk about an unofficial member of the Captain Marvel family. Like Monica Rambeau, this one also happens to be of the African-American persuasion. I’m going to introduce you folks to a (very) little-known character that I think had great potential but never went anywhere: the Earth Sentry.
Earth Sentry first appeared as part of writer Tom DeFalco‘s short-lived MC2 imprint. The MC2 Universe was an alternate future for the Marvel Universe set in the present day with the first appearances of most of the well known Marvel heroes having taken place fifteen years earlier.
The majority of the heroes featured here are the offspring of the classic Marvel heroes like:
- Spider-Girl – the daughter of Spider-Man
- J2 – the Juggernaut’s heroic teenage son
- Wild Thing – the daughter of Wolverine and Elektra
- Thunderstrike – the son of the original Thunderstrike, who was an alternate version of the Mighty Thor
- Mainframe – a self-aware computer program created by and has a personality based on Tony Stark. His robot body utilizes Stark technology similar to the Iron Man armor
- Fantastic Five – a continuation of the Fantastic Four composed of the Human Torch, his Skrull wife Lyja (Ms. Fantastic), the Thing, Big Brain (Reed Richards’ remote-controlled robotic body), and Psi-Lord (Franklin Richards)
- Most of the young heroes form the basis for A-Next, a new team who comes together after the original Avengers disbanded.
The character of Earth Sentry is, in a lot of ways, is a retelling of the story arc of the original Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) but with added elements that were similar to that of Carol Danvers, the current Captain Marvel.
In fact, the character actually debuted wearing a variation of the classic Kree uniform first worn by Mar-Vell in Marvel Super Heroes #12 ( 1967).
Also, just like Mar-Vell’s first adventure, Earth Sentry even winds up fighting a robotic Sentry to end his introductory tale.
Our hero starts out as an Armed Forces veteran and pilot named John Foster. John is the adult son of Dr. Bill Foster, a retired scientist who had a brief superhero career as Black Goliath in the 1970’s.
John is suffering a lack of purpose after the end of his military career. Working as a pilot, John accompanies his father on a reforestation research mission when an unidentified object crashes in the forest close to them. Upon further investigation, the object turns out to be a crashed Kree spacecraft.
When they approached, the ship’s defense systems are activated and a gigantic Sentry robot is dispatched. John and his father find themselves trapped on the ship. Bill’s leg is crushed beneath a metal door and he is at the mercy of the giant automaton. Amidst the chaos, Bill manages to send out a distress call that was picked up by A-Next, the new incarnation of The Avengers.
In an attempt to save his father, John goes to the ship’s controls to try to shut the robot down. In doing so, John unknowingly interacts with the bionic interface and is transformed into a Kree-human hybrid!
This accidental genetic change has John transformed into a part Kree/human mutate with superhuman strength, endurance and resilience. John also is outfitted with the alien battle suit of a Kree Captain that grants him flight through his rocket belt and the ability to fire photon blasts with wrist-mounted blasters.
After defeating the Kree Sentry robot, John names himself ‘The Earth Sentry’ and decides his new powers to protect and defend Earth’s interest, especially from the Kree (whom he now knows to have plans of conquest for Earth). The Avengers arrives on the scene and John is immediately offered membership. Preferring to be a solo hero, John turns them down and flies away to his new life.
The character was last seen on the outer rim of Earth’s Satellite Defense Program with Nova The Human Rocket as his partner. Their sensors pick up the energy signature of what turns out to be the being Dominas, Herald of Galactus. Dominas creates an tidal wave of energy which destroys the satellite that Earth Sentry happened to be on as he made his way back to Earth.
It was later confirmed by President G.W. Bridge that Earth Sentry had survived the explosion. As of this article, the character has yet to be featured in any other Marvel Comics storyline. To me, an African American Kree/human hybrid is too good an opportunity to let die out and I hope the character is brought back one day soon.