That cover there, for Age of the Sentry#1, provides the most egregious case of false advertising since the movie The Neverending Story. Specifically:
At no point in this issue does the Sentry fight a monkey. No monkey even appears!! I want my money back, Marvel.
Of course, it's my own damn fault for spending yet more money on the lastest attempt to salvage the colossal wank-off excuse of a character, the Sentry.
No disrespect to the efforts of Jeff Parker or Paul Tobin here, but forcing a brand new character into already-existing past continuity via the "everyone forgot" retcon just doesn't work. It didn't work in 1994 when DC tried to pull it off with Triumph, "founder" of the Justice League who supposedly got eaten by limbo on their first mission and everybody forgot him. Hell, even Grant Morrison couldn't make him work. And it didn't work in 2000 when Marvel tried the same stunt (albeit more creatively) with the Sentry.
Despite the hammered repetition of "the power of a million exploding suns" and "a golden guardian of good," the Silver Age pastiche doesn't work. First, he's a terrifically lame character in present day, which negates our desire to see his "past" adventures. And nothing anyone has done, either earlier on or in this issue, provides him one lick of character, one interesting personality trait, one reason to care. He's a couple of I-wish-I-were-as-good-as-Stan-Lee slogans with nothing to back them up. He's an idea searching for a character and a story, and they still haven't found it. You could replace Sentry with Captain Everything from normalman in this issue and not have to change one line of dialogue.
Secondly, since we know his adventures aren't "real," we lose the suspension of disbelief necessary to make us enjoy these stories. Instead, they keep calling attention to the artiface, constantly referring to other Marvel characters, encouraging us to look for seams and continuity. They're afraid to tell an all-original Sentry Silver Age story without constantly name-checking actual Marvel characters, reinforcing the idea that Sentry is not a strong enough idea to stand on his own.
Finally, this type of Silver Age pastiche has been done much better before, from Alan Moore's 1963 and his run on Supreme to normalman to All-Star Superman to Mark Waid's Silver Age...when treading this ground, Marvel needs to bring something new to the game to justify $2.99...and they fail. Aside from the Mad Thinker dressed as a beatnik, this comic is a pretty bland affair. Go big or go home guys.
Admit it, Marvel...The Sentry was fine as a one-off who was forgotten again at the end of the mini-series. As an ongoing character, or as a basis for 1960's nostalgia, he just doesn't work. Ship him off to the Ultimate Universe, or the Squadron Supreme, or have him hang with the Exiles. Just get him out of my Marvel Universe, please.
And if you promise me a monkey on the cover, you'd damn well better give me a monkey on the inside!!