Warning: SPOILERS for Uncanny X-Men #21
The X-Men are going through dark times, as all of mutantkind is being hunted down by a new breed of Sentinels. The latest threat comes in the form of a vaccine that removes the X-gene and depowers mutants, but even worse, in Uncanny X-Men #21 the surviving number of first generation X-Men just dropped a little more... with Banshee killed in the line of duty.
He may not be as well known as some of his teammates, but Banshee is a longstanding member of the X-Men. He owes his modern popularity to the X-Men: First Class movie which made him a founding member of the cinematic team, as well. Born with the name Sean Cassidy, Banshee was recruited onto the team along with famous X-Men like Wolverine and Storm. His powers are based around his sonic scream, which is capable of harming hearing as well as causing physical vibrations. But after fighting in his fair share of memorable battles, his latest has proven to be his last.
Banshee has been through a lot, including death once before. After he was killed back in 2006's X-Men: Deadly Genesis event, he ended up being brought back to life (along with several other X-Men) by Apocalypse. Banshee became one of the Horsemen of Apocalypse as part of the bargain, but Beast helped reverse the damage done after he was taken in to custody. Banshee has never truly become his old self, and only recently returned to semi-active duty. Some might say it's best for him to be put out of his misery... but nobody wanted to see it happen like this.
The X-Men have been battling for mutantkind in recent issues, with the latest finding them in the midst of a battle against their old-but-always-renewing villains, the mutant-exterminating Sentinels. While the mutant Majik gives Banshee his official goodbye, screaming for him to rise to his feet after one Sentinel crushes him in undignified fashion... but her fellow X-Men assure her he is gone, and their fight is not one with room for mourning. Majik does win something of a consolation prize by causing an unforgettable death of her own, cutting off Sabretooth's head.
What will the loss of Banshee mean for the rest of the X-Men? Will the death be permanent, having already resurrected Banshee once before?And most importantly, if the world just had their memory of mutants erased... will Banshee's sacrifice be forgotten, too? Uncanny X-Men #22 hits shelves July 17th, and hopefully answers will come sooner rather than later.
Uncanny X-Men #21 is on sale now from Marvel Comics, and at your local comic shop.