Published March 17, 2019

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Banshee

Trace the history of Marvel's premier Irish hero!

Get your green on, because St. Patrick's Day has arrived! While we're celebrating all things Irish, let's turn our attention towards one Marvel hero who called Ireland his home – Sean Cassidy, a.k.a. Banshee! This Irish mutant used his sonic scream powers as a member of the X-Men, and he used his NYPD and Interpol training to protect and guide mutant teens as the headmaster of the Massachusetts Academy. Here are some of Banshee's most defining moments!

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #28

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Banshee first encountered the X-Men while under the influence of the evil Factor Three organization. The mind-controlled mutant assisted the group in their attempt to kidnap Professor X, but the X-Men's telepathic leader saved the day by using his powers to free Banshee of Factor Three's influence.

Many years later, Professor X asked Banshee to join the next generation of X-Men. Together with fellow new recruits Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Thunderbird, and Sunfire, the all-new and all-different team of heroes rescued their predecessors from the mutant island Krakoa. The team's lineup changed immediately, as Sunfire realized he could not be a team player and Thunderbird met an early end on the next mission. Banshee became a key member of the pared down unit, and forged strong friendships with his teammates.

Uncanny X-Men (1963) #119

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When the team went up against the power-mad Moses Magnum, only Banshee's sonic scream could counteract the energy released by an earthquake machine. Banshee pushed his powers past their limits to contain the device, resulting in its explosion as well as the loss of Banshee's powers. Sean retired from the X-Men after the mission, and decided to stay on Muir Island with his scientist girlfriend, Moira MacTaggert.

After the X-Men were seemingly killed in Dallas during the Fall of Mutants, Banshee and Forge took it upon themselves to search the world for any remaining members of the team. For a short period of time, that duo held the X-Men together while reforging alliances with X-Factor and investigating Moira’s apparent corruption at the hands of the Shadow King. Banshee stayed with the team after they brought Professor X back to Earth, but he took a supporting role and left the heroics to his teammates.

Cassidy stepped up his game in a big way during the Phalanx Covenant. As one of the only X-Men left unassimilated by the techno-organic alien invaders, Banshee took control of the situation and rallied a ragtag group together to find and protect the next generation of mutants. When the dust settled, Banshee suddenly found himself in charge of these new mutants as the co-headmaster of the Massachusetts Academy. But Banshee soon faced his greatest challenge to date – running a school with the formerly evil Emma Frost!

X-Men: Deadly Genesis (2005) #2

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However, Banshee brought out the best of Frost, and together they led the young mutants of Generation X. Banshee and Frost represented two polar opposites of the moral spectrum, but they truly cared about each other and the mutants in their care. More refreshingly, their platonic friendship never veered into romance and they shared an unshakable bond.

After Generation X went their separate way, Banshee's story came to a tragic end. Cyclops' long lost brother Vulcan, who Xavier had recruited onto a secret X-Men team that ended up being slaughtered by Krakoa, returned to Earth seeking revenge. Vulcan hijacked both the X-Men's Blackbird jet and a passenger plane carrying Banshee with the intention of causing a midair collision. To avert disaster, Banshee flew in between the two planes and attempted to use his powers to redirect one of the planes off of the collision course. This heroic act became a heroic sacrifice, as Vulcan's control proved to be too absolute. Cyclops broke the news to Banshee's daughter, Theresa, in X-FACTOR #7, and she eventually took on his Super Hero name to pay tribute to her father.

X-Factor (2005) #7

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But in comics, nothing truly ends and death is rarely final. Banshee was revived by the Apocalypse Twins in UNCANNY AVENGERS #9 as one of the Four Horsemen. The Twins put a Death Seed in Banshee’s body, which placed him firmly under their control. Alongside, Daken, Grim Reaper, and the Sentry, Banshee’s Four Horsemen gave the Avengers Unity Squad all they could handle. Technically, the Twins and the Horsemen won the battle and allowed the Earth to be destroyed. Only a time-travel assist from Kang allowed the heroes to reverse that outcome.

In the aftermath of that narrow victor, Banshee was placed in stasis as Beast tried to syphon off his Death Seed energies. But in ASTONISHING X-MEN #13, Banshee was once again called upon to be in a makeshift X-Men team. Unfortunately, Banshee was more like a living zombie for most of his tenure with Havok, Colossus, Dazzler, Warpath, and Beast. However, Banshee regained his senses by the end of their adventure. Banshee acknowledged that the Death Seed was still within him, but he decided to confront that part of himself alone. Now, his future has yet to be written.

Check out more of Banshee's adventures on Marvel Unlimited!



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