Sean Cassidy has played many roles within the Marvel Universe. Young Irish rogue, Interpol agent, early X-Men mind controlled villain, wealthy heir, detective, Castle owner, team member, consort of Dr. Moira MacTaggert and research assistant at the Muir Isle Center. We meet The Banshee, as he takes part in a criminal outfit dubbed Factor Three. Committing crimes with the Changeling and the Ogre affords Banshee several chances to get to know a ton about the American vigilante justice system. Once they broke that weird looking headband off of Banshee, we learned all about his past. Well, it took a bit of dialogue and a John Bolton short story, but it added up. The only time his past got touched upon again was in the Generation X flashback issue and some throwaway Deadpool issue.
Banshee helped out the original X-Men a few more times until he finally gained his mental freedom. This lead to a quick run-in with Captain America and The Falcon. Eventually, he gets a notice from Xavier that he needs to join up with a new team of X-Men to fight Krakoa the Living Island. Banshee agrees, saves the day and a few weeks later meets Dr. Moira Mac Taggert. The duo become incredibly close, as they are the token British Isles characters in the series. It’s not long before Mesmero shows up and hypnotizes the group into thinking that they are sideshow freaks under Magneto’s control. A skirmish happens and it’s not long before the world believes that the X-Men are dead. The group heads to the Savage Land for the first time and eventually battle it out in Japan.
Banshee also began his long history of getting injured and having to step back from action for awhile. His throat gets messed up by Moses Magnum and he waits a few issues before telling the X-Men that he’s quitting. Banshee’s time is spent shacking up with Dr. MacTaggert, dealing with the mutants left on Muir Isle and smoking a pipe. Life is good, as Banshee finds out he has a daughter that his cousin Black Tom Cassidy has been training as a crook. He works with the X-Men to free her and show her the error of her ways. Then, he goes quit for a bit until Forge approaches him about finding the X-Men immediately after The Fall of the Mutants crossover. Both men have reason to believe that they’re not dead.
Banshee and Forge were essential to rebuilding the X-Men during the Post Outback era. While the X-Men could’ve revealed themselves to the world during the Inferno crossover, they hesitated. Unfortunately, this lead to the Nimrod vs. Mastermold battle that caused the team to venture through the Siege Perilous. Most of the survivors were left amnesiac or lost, so Banshee and Forge took upon themselves to build a team on Muir Isle to go find them. The duo ended up reuniting with Wolverine, Psylocke and Jubilee. In turn, that five found the other members and starting rebuilding the team. Then, X-Tinction Agenda and the Muir Isle Saga happened.
Cassidy’s time with Generation X was where most younger readers got a chance to see him blossom into something greater. Taking over the Massachusetts Academy at a time when Emma Frost was believed dead, Cassidy would eventually work with Emma Frost to create a new school that followed Xavier’s dream. The end result was a New Mutants book for the 1990s that really went nowhere after the first three years. A few months later, Dr. Moira MacTaggert would die from injuries suffered in an attack by the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Crushed and prone to over-reacting, Banshee would hook up an outfit dubbed the X Corporation and begin trying to make a buck off mutant law enforcement. It ended badly.
Eventually, this gave way to the rise of the X Corps and what would eventually lead to Sean Cassidy’s death. Cassidy saw a period of his ideas being tweaked and newer generations outright surpassing him. After recuperating from getting stabbed in the throat again, Banshee would find himself face-to-face with Vulcan. This ended with Vulcan slamming an airplane into him. So long, Sean Cassidy. Why couldn’t this guy ever get a break?
Banshee’s daughter Theresa would go on to be the mutant code-named Siryn. Siryn would play an active role in X-Force and X-Factor, before taking on the name of Banshee as a way to honor her late father. She’d have a kid and lose it, all the while keeping the heavy Irish brogue X-Men tradition alive. I wish I had more to say about her, but I don’t. Well, Deadpool kinda had a thing for her. In the modern era, Banshee has become defined by his death. Whether it was his resurrection in “Necrosha” or “Chaos War” or the Apocalypse Twins implanting a Celestial Death Seed into his corpse. Newer generations of readers seem to want to discover the guy, but they can’t quite make the connection. I chalk a lot of that up to the force nostalgia of writers trying to recreate the tales of their Youth.
In outside media representations, Marvel is ever-so willing to march out Banshee where he’s needed. That being said, if you have him in every cartoon, video game and merchandise piece; then why not play up the role he played in the comics? Well, it’s probably because he’s too busy being a zombie enforcer for the Apocalypse death cult. There’s something to be enjoyed about that, but it’s hard to swallow when you see where the character started. What happened to just letting a mutant retire from the life? I guess that’s the price you pay for growing old with serial entertainment. A beloved favorite is either doomed to death or constant repetition of themes until they lose all meaning. Sometimes, the paths intersect and someone at Marvel pats themselves on the back. I’m not calling out any particular mutant or editorial response. But, he’s coming up in a few chapters. Until then, let’s remember Banshee as we first met him. A pipe hitting foreign cop being mind-controlled by a mutie uggo.