Thursday, January 30, 2014


They probably ended up in The L.A.W. but I can't make heads nor tails of that series.
Among the Charlton Action Heroes who apparently didn’t come over when DC Comics bought the company’s intellectual property – or were unloved enough that no one bothered to revive them once they were over, one or the other – was this timely trio of Beatniks-turned-baddie-bashers, THE SENTINELS.

Actually a group of domino-masked counter-culture musicians troubadoring together under the name of The Protestors, the soon-to-be-Sentinels were rock-jawed leading man Rick Strong, beautiful blonde Cindy Carson, and Crunch Wilson, the delicious snack just bursting with nuts. Gifted by their dying landlord – secretly a super-genius scientist on the run from the Communists – they become, in order, HELIOS (gifted with flight), MENTALIA (gifted with mentals) and superstrong THE BRUTE (gifted with power gloves or something).

This seems alarmingly intimate.

Mind you, you’re not going to see real live Beatnik action ripped from the headlines in any magazine over which the Comics Code Authority continues to swing its far-reaching dick, so the Sentinels are portrayed as the unlikeliest Beats since all your friends in college discovered On The Road and started wearing turtlenecks; they love the government, they hate commies, they hop to for any authority figure who flashes a badge and they’re only in the superhero and/or music game until (Rick) the fame and money rolls in, (Cindy) she’s discovered by Hollywood and (Crunch) that pro football contract arrives.

Still, musically, the Protestors’ catalog contains some of the most head-scratching lyrics of all time, including:

Got me a great big explodin' bomb
Fixin' to drop it on Vietnam
But I lost my way and instead
I dropped it on my Uncle's head


I was sitting in the jailhouse late last night
Getting really bugged by all the peace and quiet
When an idea came to me that seemed all right
And I decided that I would incite a riot

Then I flung a pie into the warden's face
And he yelled of tricks like that you should be wary
Then he grabbed me and he said you're a disgrace
Now I'm eating bread and water in solitary!

Compelling. Woody Guthrie they ain't. Still, remember all the backlash when The Sentinels went electric?

You can tell!

Until their fortunes kick in, The Sentinels battle against Mind-Bender and his enormous bronze superman Titan, get a surprise visit from Sarge Steel, and then vanish completely in comicdom’s most familiar exit, the “You’ll see more of them next month!” blurb.

I ... couldn't say.

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