Matt Brady, Newsarama.com

Critical darling, commercial whipping boy. Marvel’s Sentinel series written by Sean McKeever has received accolades from the critics as one of the best new series to come from Marvel, but sells for crap. Newsarama chatted with McKeever about the book, his plans, and his hopes for the series’ survival.

Bringing everyone up to speed, Sentinel is about a young boy, Juston Seyfret, the son a Midwestern salvage dealer. A whiz with building things, Juston, his brother Chris, and friends Matt and Alex occupy many of the hours of their pretty dull lives by building homegrown battle ‘bots.

After finding a robotic control chip amidst all the junk of his father’s business, Juston installs it in his ‘bot, only to see it go crazy, and take off into a nearby field. Fully juiced and mobile, the computer chip reinstates its original programming. Unknown and unseen by Juston, his ‘bot starts working feverishly to rebuild a Sentinel, one of the governments’ giant robots designed to hunt and capture mutants.

Juston eventually discovers the giant robot, co-ops its programming as best he can, and “adopts” the robot as his own.

In the series’ first six issues, high school life goes on, Juston gets picked on, the girl he thinks likes him burns him, and life gets pretty crappy for the kid, leading him to take actions with his robot in issue #6 that were pretty…drastic.

A new storyline starts with October’s #7, aptly titled, “No Hero.”

But enough from not Sean McKeever…

Newsarama: Let’s go back to the beginning – was this something you had pitched at Marvel, or was it something Marvel tossed your way as an idea to develop?

Sean McKeever: Yeah, Marvel came to me. Editor Marc Sumerak called me up and wanted me to pitch for some new books they were doing. One was Inhumans, and the other was this idea Marc had about a kid who’d find a beat-up Sentinel in a salvage yard.

I wrote up a pitch from that basic premise and Marc initially told me I had to rewrite it. There was a concern that I shouldn’t go where I wanted to go with the series. I want to be less vague than that but I’m sure plenty of people haven’t read issue #6 yet, or they’re going to pick it up in graphic novel form, so I don’t want to spoil anything. In the end, I never rewrote the pitch and it’s because of the unique direction in which I wanted to take the story that I was hired.

Get the rest of the interview at Newsarama.com

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