The good people at Sentinel sent me a preview copy of their comic’s eighth issue. For those unaware, Sentinel is an independent title that revives a format once common in the UK, marked by a higher page count than a typical US comic issue by a smaller number of panels per page, theoretically amounting to roughly the same amount of story on the whole.
But while the format is British, the subject matter of issue 8 is distinctly US-influenced: the issue is given over to a series of short stories about superheroes.
I recently mentioned that I’m not especially keen on superhero anthology comics, as the genre’s formula tends to become too obvious when used as the basis of one short story after the other. Sentinel‘s superhero issue finds a neat way of avoiding this pitfall: each story is ultimately revealed to be a work of fiction (a comic, film or even card game) existing in the world of the next story. This allows the comic to pull the rug out from under the reader at unexpected moments, and helps to keep up the pace.
Although all of the stories were put together by the same team of writer Alan Holloway and artist Andrew Richmond, they turn out to be fairly varied in style. One is drawn from the first-person perspective of its heroine; another is rendered in a noir style. Some are comedic, others are relatively straight.
Sentinel issue 8 is an enjoyable romp that gets the fun out of its hero-and-villain punch-ups without becoming bogged down. If you’d like to help it see publication, you can visit the Kickstarter here.