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Supervillain Origins: The Sentinels and Bolivar Trask

VO: Dan Paradis
This anthropologist and scientist first caused trouble for the X-Men team early on, by revealing to the world that the real terror wasn't the cold war or atomic bombs, but mutants hiding and waiting for their chance to enslave humanity. To combat the mutant threat, Trask unveiled the creation of deadly unstoppable robot guardians called Sentinels, who appeared to have a mind of their own. Welcome to and today we will explore the comic book origins of the Sentinels and Bolivar Trask. Special thanks to our user Jaime Enrique Gutierrez Pérezfor submitting the idea on our WatchMojo.comsuggest page!

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Supervillain Origins: The Sentinels and Bolivar Trask

This military scientist created the most dangerous weapon the X-Men have ever faced. Welcome to, and today we will explore the comic book origins of Bolivar Trask.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginings and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen to primarily follow the storyline that unfolded in 1965’s Uncanny X-Men #14-16, which was expanded upon in issues #57-59.

This anthropologist and scientist first appeared to cause trouble for the X-Men team during a period in which they thought they had a chance to rest and recuperate, following their previous battles against with mutants.

While the team trained to get back to fighting form, Trask held a press conference in which he revealed to the world that the real terror isn’t the cold war or atomic bombs, but mutants hiding and waiting for their chance to enslave humanity.

With the news circulating, Xavier soon realized that his greatest fear was coming true, that the government would begin a witch-hunt for his kind. To tackle this menace head-on, Xavier called up the National Television Network and demanded a televised debate with Dr. Trask to debate his theories.

The debate was held the following evening, in which Xavier tried to explain that just because mutants are different, it does not mean that they have diabolical intentions.

In response, Trask revealed that he has created a robotic defense for mankind so that the mutants can never take over, his army of sentinels. At the same time, he concluded that Xavier must be a mutant, and commanded his Sentinels to take the professor into custody.

With Xavier detained, Trask informed the public that his robot army would be more than powerful enough to defeat any mutant. However, without warning the sentinels rebelled and zapped Trask. As the situation took a turn for the worst, Xavier used his mental powers to call his team for help.

Following the X-men’s arrival, several Sentinels fled with Trask as their prisoner, as they required his assistance to replicate themselves.

With the downing of a sentinel left behind, Xavier used his powers to extract the location of its factory from the inner workings of its robotic brain.

Back at the factory, the Sentinels ordered Trask to create their army, stating that the only way to protect mankind is to conquer it.

At the same time, the X-Men arrived at the hidden base, which arose from underneath a hill. While two members of the X-Men team were quickly captured, Trask pleaded with the Sentinels to stop, revealing that he didn’t create them, but only the “Master Mold”. Taking him to assist the Master Mold in creating more sentinels, the giant robots commanded Trask to serve them, to which he refused. In turn, he was threatened with the destruction of half of the United States.

Thanks to Xavier’s mental powers, he managed to knock out the Sentinel army manning the bases defenses, giving the rest of the team the chance needed to invade.

Now a servant of the Master Mold in order to save humanity, Trask used his psycho probe to interrogate the captured X-Men member Beast to learn the location of their base.

Recognizing that his mutant eradicating machines were just as dangerous for humanity as the mutants he feared, Trask ended up sacrificing himself while sabotage the base’s equipment, destroying it and leaving himself buried in the rubble.

By issue #57, it was revealed that Trask’s precognitive mutant son Larry had continued his work, believing that the X-Men murdered his father. It was even mentioned that his father Bolivar had created a medallion to shield his son’s mutant gene from Sentinels sensors.

In the years that followed, Bolivar Trask was made into far less of a sympathetic characters, and a primary villain of the X-Men in the various animated series.

He was also finally given the live-action treatment when he was portrayed by Peter Dinklage. In this film, Trask once again created the Sentinels while experimenting on mutants, and was re-written to have an instrumental role in the eventual rise of the Sentinels and the downfall of humanity.

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