Summary

  • The Sentry, Marvel's version of Superman, has an array of superpowers and no clear weakness like kryptonite. However, he has been defeated by stronger opponents.
  • Absorbing Man used the power of the Cosmic Cube to overwhelm the Sentry, fracturing his mind and securing a victory.
  • X-Man, with his immense telepathic and metaphysical abilities, reshaped the Sentry's memories and convinced him to retreat from the fight.

The Sentry is effectively Marvel Comics’ own resident Superman, as he shares a number of the same powers with DC’s Man of Steel, with the added benefit of not having a clear weakness. With kryptonite, anyone can take Superman down, but there is no equivalent for Sentry. However, that isn’t to say Sentry’s invincible, as a being who is strong enough can absolutely defeat ‘Marvel’s Superman’ in battle. In fact, there are more than a few heroes and villains alike who not only could beat Sentry, but canonically have.

Robert Reynolds aka the Sentry was the product of ‘super-soldier’ testing the likes of which had never been attempted before. Reynolds was born a regular human, who fell into addiction in his adulthood, only to come across a scientist who offered to turn him into a god. After the chemicals and serums were introduced to his body, Robert Reynolds became the Sentry, and decided to use his powers for the good of the Marvel Universe. Those powers include: flight, super strength and speed, superhuman intelligence, photokinesis, energy absorption, and even teleportation - and these only scratch the surface of what this god-man is capable of. Though despite that, the Sentry has lost a number of battles to even more overpowered characters in Marvel history. Here are the 10 most powerful heroes/villains who beat ‘Marvel’s Superman’, the Sentry.

10 Absorbing Man

The Sentry vs Absorbing Man.

Carl Creel aka Absorbing Man is a D-list villain who is incredibly overlooked in Marvel canon, as his power to absorb anything was granted to him through Asgardian magic courtesy of Loki, which he utilized to its fullest extent to win a major victory over the Sentry. In Mighty Avengers #33 by Dan Slott and Khoi Pham, Absorbing Man is supercharged with the power of the Cosmic Cube, and even the Sentry’s ‘strength of a thousand exploding suns’ couldn’t match that raw, universal power. Absorbing Man flooded the Sentry’s mind with Cosmic Cube energy, fracturing his already damaged psyche, and winning a sound victory.

9 Emma Frost

The Sentry vs Emma Frost.

Just as Absorbing Man used the Cosmic Cube to mess with the Sentry’s mind, so too did Emma Frost in Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus by Matt Fraction, Mike Deodato Jr., and Terry Dodson. It’s no secret that the Sentry is mentally unstable, and even inadvertently created an entire alter ego/personal supervillain called the Void as a result. So, while it doesn’t work all the time, attacking the Sentry’s mind is usually a good place to start when trying to take him down. And in this issue, Emma Frost did just that.

8 X-Man

The Sentry vs X-Man.

There are few beings more powerful than Nathaniel Grey aka X-Man. To call him an Omega Level telepath would be doing the description of his powers a disservice, as he’s more akin to an omniscient god than a mere superhuman. Sentry might have the strength of a god, but X-Man is the master of both the physical and metaphysical planes, and is honestly too strong to be regularly included in X-Men canon. And he proves as much in Dark X-Men #3 by Paul Cornell and Leonard Kirk, when he literally reshapes the Sentry’s memories in real time to make him think they were once friends, inspiring the Sentry to leave the fight altogether.

7 Human Torch

The Sentry vs Human Torch.

Without psychic or reality-warping powers at his disposal, the Human Torch had to handle the Sentry the old-fashioned way: sheer power. While many would assume this Human Torch in-question is the iconic member of the Fantastic Four, this character is actually the original Human Torch who served alongside Captain America and Namor on the Invaders team during World War II. In Avengers/Invaders by Jim Krueger, Alex Ross, and Steve Sadowski, the Invaders are shot forward in time after the events of Civil War, and it’s up to the Avengers to take them in - including the Sentry. However, when the Sentry faces off against the Human Torch in issue #6, the old-school hero proves too powerful for him, and actually overloads his body with a fiery heat that seems to melt the Sentry’s eyeballs right out of his skull.

6 Thor

The Sentry vs Thor.

While Sentry always tried to use his powers for good (even when he unwittingly served in the Dark Avengers), the darkness of the Void persona oftentimes proved too much to contain, and the damage he causes as a result is too great to forgive. In Siege #4 by Brian Michael Bendis and Olivier Coipel, Thor has no choice but to kill the Sentry as a result of the Void’s influence over him, and he does so with the crushing strength only a true god can deliver.

5 Knull

The Sentry vs Knull.

Speaking of dying by the hand of a cosmic god, the Sentry’s battle with Knull during the King In Black crossover event (by Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman) ended with a similar finality, though with a touch more brutality. In the first issue of the crossover, the Sentry flies to challenge Knull when the King in Black invades Planet Earth. However, the fight is horrifyingly short, as Knull grabs Sentry and rips him in half like he’s nothing.

4 Clea & Doctor Strange

The Sentry vs Clea and Doctor Strange.

A living Sentry is a powerful adversary (even if he’s faced his fair-share of defeats), but an undead Sentry is absolutely terrifying on a cosmic scale. In Strange #10 by Jed MacKay and Marcelo Ferreira, Clea and Doctor Strange are facing off against Revenant Prime - the name of the undead Sentry who’s immune to magic and overpowered to a frightening degree. In the end, the only way they can beat him is by combining their magic and merging to create an entity more powerful than the Sentry, channeling the very essence of Life and Death.

3 Conserve And Protect Robot (aka C.A.P.)

The Sentry vs CAP.

In Fantastic Four #556 by Mark Miller and Bryan Hitch, readers see the full extent of the ‘heroic’ robot designated Conserve And Protect (or C.A.P.). While it was built to be the perfect protector, this issue showed that its power was shockingly god-tier, proven true by the sight of almost every Marvel Comics hero laying defeated at the robot’s feet in this very issue - including the Sentry. While fans don’t get to see the actual battle, the outcome speaks for itself.

2 Morgan Le Fay

The Sentry vs Morgan Le Fay.

This defeat is easily one of the most cruel, and most brutal. In Dark Avengers #2 by Brian Michael Bendis and Mike Deodato Jr., the Dark Avengers challenge Morgan Le Fay after she defeats Doctor Doom single-handedly. In the battle, Sentry is successful in getting the drop on Morgan, and he actually rips her head off with his bare hands. However, right after this supposed victory, Sentry just explodes for seemingly no reason at all, with a fully intact Morgan Le Fay standing behind him.

1 The General/Mastermind

The Sentry vs Mastermind and the General.

And this, the final entry on the list, is the Sentry’s greatest defeat - as explained in New Avengers #9 by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven. The General (with the employed help of Mastermind) effectively deleted the Sentry from the minds of everyone on the planet, and turned this all-powerful hero into someone who was too afraid to even use his powers at all. No one remembered who he was, not even himself, and therefore he essentially ceased to exist. Other heroes and villains have beaten Sentry in battle, and even succeeded in killing him, but this is something far beyond what any other foe had ever done to the Sentry, as the General and Mastermind actually erased him from history.

With barely a weakness to exploit, and standing against the raw power of a man effectively turned into a god, these 10 villains/heroes were able to beat the Sentry in battle (with the addition of a random Skrull in Mighty Avengers #14, though that was due to the collective efforts of an entire species during Secret Invasion, not a squared matchup). So, while the Sentry may be regarded as Marvel’s Superman, he wasn’t so super during these particular fights, and the 10 most powerful characters who beat the Sentry prove it.