Gary Allen was a former paratrooper. He had served the US military with distinction, having been a part of numerous pivotal missions abroad. That was, until that one time when he was jumping into a live combat situation and his parachute was gunned down. Gary descended at a fast pace, and ended up shattering one of his legs upon landing. The soldier finished the mission and was honorably discharged thereafter, receiving the medal of honor. He returned home to Platinum City afterward, but life was difficult. There was no work for a disabled veteran, so Gary moved in with a close friend and former paratrooper, Lionel Wallace, and began doing odd jobs. Things were rough, but Gary at least began settling in.
The Sentinel has nanocell technology throughout his entire body from telepathic cells, giving him advanced strength, speed, agility, durability and a healing factor. He has extensive military combat and weapons training.
Then one day, as the two were strolling through their neighborhood, two white Platinum City Force officers began harassing them for no other reason than the fact that the two veterans were black. After a few minutes of arguing, Gary and Lionel passionately explained they were not doing anything wrong, and they shouldn’t be treated unfairly, not only as veterans, but more importantly, as innocent people. The officers said the two were being threatening, and began forcefully arresting them. They re-injured Gary’s leg in the process, which infuriated Lionel even more. That caused one of the officers to bash Lionel in the head with his gun, cracking his skull. Later on while in a holding cell, Lionel died from his injuries. The officers tried to cover their tracks and said Gary and Lionel attacked them first, attempting to steal their guns while in a tussle. The story eventually grew into nationwide news, sparking huge protests across the country against the perpetual police brutality against minorities. Another racial divide was etched into the country.
Gary’s case was taken on by the firm of Greenwood, Archer and Pine, a trio of lawyers who actually doubled as a team of superheroes known as the Platinum City Knights (Metro, Black Jag and Night Bird, respectively). Kwame Archer served as the leader of the firm and the team, and he refused to let Gary get bulldozed by the PCPF. Archer had extensive experience in these kinds of cases, and it didn’t take long for him to secure a not guilty verdict for his client. It was a huge victory for justice! However, the two officers were found not guilty as well in a following trial, which enraged Gary. The murderers of his best friend were free.
Gary went mad, and withdrew into isolation. Black Jag could not find him anywhere. Then one night, many months later, he was shadowing the officers, as he sometimes did to make sure they were not hurting any more citizens. That was when Gary Allen reappeared. He was different, though. Gary had advanced strength, speed, agility and durability. Black Jag saw Gary fighting the two officers with incredible power, and more noticeably, with two fully functioning legs. He even saw Gary get shot in the chest and continue attacking, as if nothing happened. So he called in his partners, Metro and Night Bird, and they confronted Gary, just as he was about to kill the officers. They attempted to dissuade him, but Gary would not be deterred. He killed the officers in cold blood. However, after he did that, he turned himself over to be arrested. All Gary wanted was to kill the men who murdered his best friend, and he was willing to go quietly into custody to live life in prison to do so.
What followed next was extremely odd. As they went to take Gary in, he began spazzing and uttering strange things. He kept saying the word “sentinel” over and over, while seemingly fighting voices in his head. Gary was scratching at his temples, screaming for the noise to get out of his brain. Then, when the screaming stopped, Gary looked possessed. It was obvious he did not have control over himself. Then suddenly, he attacked the Knights! His ferocity and skill were incredible, but they were able to hold him off, which forced him to flee. They have been trying to find him ever since.
Black Jag, Night Bird and Metro were preparing to go on another night excursion, when they received a visit from Lt. Rashard Bonds, a top operative for the US government. Bonds had traveled to Platinum City in order to find recruits for an elite team that he and the Hero of Heroes, Captain Noble had been planning to put together. In response to all the recent villainous activity in Platinum City, like the Smash and Grab robberies, Fiasco‘s demolition anarchy, and Sarcophagus‘ short-lived, but extremely horrifying zombie apocalypse, a number of citizens had responded by taking on vigilante hero personas. The Platinum City Knights, the City Watch and the samurai superhero Musashi were just some of the few famous good guys to emerge into the realm of world protectors. It was a great place for Rashard to start.
The need for an elite hero squad, however, was a lot more dire than the lieutenant initially let on. After a little bit of probing, Rashard was compelled to explain that Captain Noble was missing. The Hero of Heroes, along with another, young hyper-being called Shuttershock, had been drawn into a battle with the wormhole witch, Fata Morgana. The villain was eventually defeated and taken into custody. However, Noble had been lost in one of her vortexes. The first order of the squad would be to find him. The next mission would involve protecting the planet from an ominous warning given to Captain Noble by the Zhibdean grandmaster Hosho, a powerful being, who had prophesied an impending cataclysmic event.
Black Jag and the Knights, who had worked briefly with Captain Noble in the past, were dumbfounded by the information they received. They thought they had their hands full with protecting Platinum City. But to discover the entire world was in danger, and from an unknown threat at that, made them all sit back, and take a moment to gather themselves. They honestly did not know what to think.
Night Bird inquired about the timeline for the formation of this unit. Rashard told them he was assembling it as quickly as possible, seeing how the threat could emerge at any time. Metro asked next how the lieutenant planned on even getting the government to accept this group, seeing how they are constantly denouncing heroes as vigilantes. Rashard explained that could only be done by Captain Noble, who had a certain way with their superiors. Thus, it was imperative they find him.
Black Jag asked how they could find the Captain, and Rashard told them he had Fata Morgana locked up in The Enclosure – a top secret detention center run by the United Nations, built to hold criminals with powers – and he planned on using a “dream cell” to extract the coordinates of the Captain’s last known whereabouts. The Knights were puzzled, as no one had ever heard of the facility’s existence, let alone known what a dream cell was. Rashard went into detail regarding Ebb-cell tech, and how it nullified hyper-abilities. He further explained how a dream cell had the same effect, but it also placed the prisoner in a perpetual state of dreaming, forcing them to relive their defeat and/or capture repeatedly, as a form of psychological punishment. The technology could also be used to extract information by forcing a prisoner to recall certain memories in detail. Again, the Knights were floored by what they were hearing. The world was changing so rapidly, and they were still fighting crime one bad guy at a time.
Rashard completed his pitch, and asked the Knights if they would join his team. Black Jag explained that they would love to join, but there were a couple of issues. One was that the entire group could not abandon the city they have grown to love and call home. They were needed in Platinum City, as crime and villains were continuously on the verge of running rampant. Rashard understood, and asked if Black Jag might be interested in joining solo, to represent the team when needed. The Knights obliged.
The second issue, though, was finding Gary Allen. Lt. Rashard Bonds also understood this, as the story of Gary freaking out actually sounded very familiar to him. The lieutenant inquired as to what caused Gary to be healed and become a super soldier. Metro explained their investigation into the matter led them to a secret project, run by the global tech conglomerate Universal Intelligence, which used nanotechnology combined with telepathic cells to enhance a soldier’s capabilities. Night Bird then mentioned they were working on obtaining solid evidence to try and take down UI, but all of their evidence was circumstantial, and their informants had all since disappeared.
Rashard told them about what happened with the Alpha Initiative, and how he underwent the exact same procedure, with additional biotechnology enhancements, along with other members of his unit. He detailed how his friends all went crazy as well, which forced him to hunt them down and kill them. Rashard, however, did not go crazy; a fact he attributed to an experience he had in Nigeria years ago. The Knights asked Rashard if he might be able to help Gary. The lieutenant said he could try, but would have to track someone down first. So, he left for Nigeria, while the Knights ramped up the search for their friend.