Meet the Banshee
Issue 28 introduces two new villains, and one of them is a character that I’ve long known to be an X-Man. Banshee! I wasn’t expecting to see him pop up so soon, and I had no idea that Banshee was ever a villain. Issues like this are a perfect example of why we started this blog.
Banshee and another villain, the big, clunky Ogre, are plotting to kidnap Professor Xavier and ruin the X-Men. They will reveal the existence of a new secret crime syndicate and hint at a larger plot that will affect the world. This issue is full of secrets.
This story begins with a strange occurrence in downtown Manhattan. Innocent bystanders all over are hearing a loud, piercing noise and then fainting. A mysterious presence moves through the city unseen, stopping at an art museum to steal a painting. It is revealed to be the Banshee. He is stealing a painting of some Scottish hills, apparently homesick. Right away I’m learning a lot more than I knew about Banshee, starting with his alignment and then moving on to his abilities. His screams cause everyone within a certain radius to pass out. I knew that he could use his voice to fly and attack, but not to subdue. I also had no idea that he could fly with enough speed to become invisible.
Back at the mansion, the X-Men are training as usual, but not in the Danger Room. Instead, the Mimic is out for some fresh air. He’s flying away from the mansion, testing the range of his powers now that the Professor has increased them. Cocky as ever, Carl Renkin gives us his best Icarus impression and almost kills himself.
When he gets back, the Professor refrains from scolding Mimic in front of the group. This doesn’t stop Scott from unloading on him though. Xavier replaces him as leader and of course now he finally starts acting like one. Too little too late, Scott.
Meanwhile, at an undisclosed location, the Banshee relaxes with a fresh pipe of some of the finest weed in
the Shire Scotland. With him is a new goon called Ogre. Somehow Ogre is the mastermind in the situation, even though he seems fairly dumb. He mentions a super secret conspiracy being orchestrated by a shadowy group known as Factor Three. I can’t wait to find out more about that. Soon Banshee realizes that he’s all out of tobacco and since he’s cuckoo for cancer puffs we see him run around and steal some. We’ll have to wait to see Shrek and Donkey Ogre and Banshee take on the X-Men.
At Metro College, Jean is cozying up to Ted, a fellow student. He gets some upsetting news from home, and tells her about his overachieving brother Ralph. This is never mentioned again in the issue, but I’m guessing that it could become important down the road.
Back at the mansion, Banshee’s had his fix and it’s time to spring their plan into action. Professor X warns the X-Men about an incoming threat just as Banshee comes crashing through the window. The team is easily subdued, apparently lulled to sleep by his beautiful accent.
Ogre steps in to finish the job, but the X-Men are back on their feet pretty quickly. After a good fight, Xavier trips Ogre and their plan is foiled. Ogre and Banshee escape, but not before Ogre makes the mistake of mentioning Factor Three, alerting the X-Men to its existence.
Soon they return and foolishly attempt the exact same chain of events. This time the X-Men are ready. When Banshee comes crashing in through the window, he is quickly captured. He is placed into a sound proof box wearing a soundproof suit. Scott is sent downstairs for oxygen and…
A spooky door! Scott realizes that the Professor has some sort of top secret experiment locked behind it, and none of the team is aware. Didn’t I say this issue was full of secrets? We’ve got Ted’s mysterious overachieving brother, Ogre’s mysterious Factor Three, and now a spooky door.
While we’re all pondering these mysteries, Ogre steps in and makes a second attempt to kidnap the Professor. He also tries to kill Banshee for his incompetence, but is unable. Mimic finally pounces on him and gives us some of the most heroic fighting we’ve seen from Cal Renkin yet. The Ogre’s control panel is destroyed and the day is won. The Ogre is captured, and his mission is a failure.
With the Ogre defeated and Factor Three inconvenienced, Banshee is able to remove his dorky headband. And surprise! Banshee was never a bad guy after all. It was just some hokey mind control device that made him follow Ogre’s bidding. Banshee was nothing but a pawn the whole time. He continues a long standing X-Men tradition of allies that start as adversaries, following in the footsteps of Namor, Quicksilver, and Scarlett Witch. The issue ends with the X-Men pondering the existence of Factor Three, what it is and what it means for the fate of the world.