The Sentinel is a typically giant robot designed by Bolivar Trask to hunt, capture, and sometimes kill mutants. Multiple versions have been created ranging from the muscular but slightly fat Mark II's to the super broken Nimrod. They have been staples in X-Men comics for almost 50 years and were featured heavily in X-Men The Animated Series and the Days of Future Past comic series and film. While there have been multiple versions of the Sentinels, the most recognizable is the Mark II Sentinel. That is the one we will focus on.
The Mark II Sentinel was created by Larry Trask using designs made by his father Bolivar Trask. They are 20 foot tall humanoid robots that feature an inexplicable purple and magenta color scheme (the 60's) and various internal weaponry. The most recognizable weapon is the energy blasts that come from the palms of the Sentinels. They can create many different kinds of blasts depending on which mutant they are hunting. Sentinels can also fly. The most significant improvement Larry added to the Mark II is the ability to adapt to help fight any mutant. For instance, when fighting Iceman the Sentinels would heat up and fire steam at Iceman, negating his mutant powers.
In the 1969 X-Men comics, the Sentinels were used against the X-Men but Cyclops was able to convince the Sentinels to attack the source of the mutations, which is apparently the sun. This caused the Sentinels to attack the sun but the attack inadvertently caused the Sentinels to mutate and target humans as well as mutants.
In the first two episodes of the popular cartoon X-Men: The Animated Series feature Jubilee joining the X-Men because the is captured by the Sentinels and brought to Trask. It is also revealed that the Sentinels were responsible for capturing and presumably murdering their friend morph who was essentially Mystique with a leather jacket and bags under his eyes. Wolverine and Morph were friends and Wolverine, being an eternal soldier, has a really hard time with loss.
In the film X-Men: Origins Mystique 2... I mean X-Men: Days of Future Past [SPOILER ALERT] the future Sentinels have similar abilities to the Mark II. They can adapt incredibly quickly to mutant powers because they were built with the same mutant powers as -sigh- Mystique. They are debatably the most successful Sentinels considering they kill almost every mutant and are literally milliseconds away from total victory.
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