Death does not mean as much in modern X-Men comics – but X Deaths of Wolverine # 4 proves some deaths are still a lot grosser than others!
This article contains spoilers for X Deaths of Wolverine # 4.
Marvel just killed off a classic X-Men member in the most horrific way. Sean Cassidy, also known as Banshee, is one of the longest-serving members of the X-Men; he first crossed paths with the Original Five back when he was forced to work for a group known as Factor Three, and ultimately switched sides to help them. Some years later, Banshee – possessed of a powerful sonic scream – became one of the Second Genesis X-Men team, alongside the likes of Wolverine, Storm and Colossus.
The last few years have seen the mutant race rise to a position of global dominance they’ve never occupied before, with every living mutant settling on the living island of Krakoa – and mutants even learning to synergize their powers to conquer death itself. All this was accomplished with the help of secret mutant Moira MacTaggert, whose power of reincarnation means she has experienced multiple lifetimes, and thus was able to give Professor X and Magneto the knowledge they needed to establish Krakoa. The Moira MacTaggert retcon was a shocking one, with profound implications for X-Men history; not least because she’d avoided telling the truth to her former lover Banshee. Readers have long wondered what would happen when Banshee learned Moira was still alive – and a mutant.
The shocking answer is revealed in Benjamin Percy and Federico Vincentini’s X Deaths of Wolverine # 4. Banished from Krakow, Moira recognizes she needs help to get through their gateways; she reaches out to Banshee, arranging a meeting. Horrifically, Moira decides she can not risk Banshee refusing to help her, and kills him. She then skins him, wearing his flesh as clothing to confuse Krakoa’s gates and allow her to make her way back on to the island.
This is probably one of the most disgusting deaths in X-Men history – made all the worse because of the betrayal of trust. It perfectly illustrates just how dramatically the Moira MacTaggert retcon has transformed X-Men history, because these two were once written as lovers who truly cared for one another – but Sean Cassidy is now just a pawn to Moira. She cares so little for him that she can wear his skin.
The death will not last, of course. The X-Men have conquered death, and they’ll bring back Banshee pretty quickly. Ironically, because it’s unlikely Banshee was scanned by Cerebro as part of the Resurrection Protocols just before he met up with Moira MacTaggert, he’ll lose any memory of what happened; he’ll have no idea why he died, or who wore his skin as clothing. Not only is Banshee’s death one of the sickest in X-Men history, it will also remain a mystery to most of the mutants.
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