SENTINELS : THE DARK CRUSADE
By Van Allen Plexico
White Rocket Books
If, like this reviewer, you are a fan of Van Plexico’s star spanning superhero saga, The Sentinels, then the arrival of this book, the eight in the series, was a much anticipated reading pleasure. Of course with this many volumes into the saga, it would be impossible for any reviewer to explain everything without having to write a book-length tome about what has gone before. Here’s a thought, as we’ve had the fun of reading and reviewing the previous seven books, feel free to scroll through our reviews and find those early critiques.
Otherwise, leave us offer up an abbreviated synopsis to launch you into this truly amazing series whose inspirations derive from the classic comic books of the 70s and 80s, specifically Marvel’s the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy with DC’s Green Lantern.
The Sentinels are a group of human super powered heroes led by Ultraa. In recent adventures they battled invading alien beings and ultimately came to ally themselves with a squad of Kur-Bai warriors known as the Elites. No sooner do they save the Earth, then it is discovered a civil war has broken out on the Kur-Bain homeworld and the Elites are compelled hurry back. Only now half the Sentinels agree to accompany them, led by Esro Brachis, the millionaire genius inventor, who has fallen in love with the beautiful Kur-Bai Captain Mondrian.
No sooner to they depart our solar system, then a charismatic fellow named Law convinces the Earth’s governments that the Kur-Bai Empire will remain a continuing threat unless a human led space armada can be sent against them; under his leadership of course. What the world leaders don’t know is that Law is actually a powerful super being known as the Black Terror and his desire to destroy the Kur-Bai is fueled solely by a personal vendetta. Thus the ominous crusade referred to in the title. Now if this dozen or so characters wasn’t enough to hold your interest in the main plot, Plexico throws a little background history concerning the martial arts fighter known as the Black Dragon and then brings us up to speed with the situation concerning teenage hero Mitch Michaelson, who now possesses the powerful golden armor of a Star Knight.
Confused yet? Well, in all truth, you needn’t be; ever. Plexico’s enthusiasm for the stories he tells has never once waned. From the very first Sentinel novel to this new chapter, his love for these myriad characters remains as strong as ever, infusing his fiction with a clear, precise storytelling economy that is to be envied. He tells a truly fast paced adventure that never slows down from opening scene to climatic, cliffhanger finale. And as ever, we are left wanting more, much, much more.
We love this series, Plexico’s writing, and the gorgeous art of Chris Kohler. Honestly, if you call yourself a fan of New Pulp and haven’t latched onto The Sentinels Saga yet, you are missing out on something special. Don’t say we didn’t tell you.