Wednesday, May 16, 2012

C+C Music Factor Three (Issue #28)

The Banshee is here and he is plaguing E57th and 5th Ave in Manhattan with "E"s!

He heard Bieber was nearby. EEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Forty six years later, that intersection now looks like this:

You can just BET the next time I'm up here, I'll be making
OOOoooOOOooooOOO sounds on this corner.

Is this THE Banshee, or just A banshee, I wonder? I know there is a dude called The Banshee, later in the series, but is this the same guy? He seems to have the same powers of ear-hurty sounds, flight, and similar coloring. [This sounds like I'm writing "A Field Guide To The Common Mutant": "This uniquely colored song bird prefers to live in urban areas and uses its unique calls to steal paintings. Its diet consists of etc, etc, this joke has gone on too long."]

But I was telling the truth in that joke: He does like to steal a painting ... a rather unremarkable painting.

An original Plaincasso, from his "boring period".

Meanwhile, let's not forget that The Mimic has joined the X-Men and become their leader. [So in the TV commercials, they's going to be announced like, "The Mimic and the X-Men square off against Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants!" - a tactic which, to my mind, totally devalues the rest of the team. I mean, sure, Shaq is the star, but don't the other guys need to be there to win games, too? (Also: A Shaq reference is still relevant, right? I've not watched Basketsports since Kazam-times.)]

No one is happy about this arrangement, but Xavier says it's a necessary evil, if they are to fight the, sigh, - say it with me - "greatest menace they've ever faced" which the Prof swears is coming soon. Is it The Banshee?! Or is it still unknown? Stop crying wolf, Professor. Remember what happened to the last boy who did? He was Jon Bon Jovi and he got shot! Or something, the details of that movie are a bit fuzzy. [Whoops! Forgot to call "Spoilers!" on a 7-year-old movie! You don't mind, right?] Though, maybe Professor X. ["Professor X was my father! Please, call me 'Xavier'!"] is just hedging his bets each issue and saying it just in case? Maybe he doesn't want to NOT say it and be embarrassed when a new, really dangerous threat does show up? We'll never know (until we find out, later.)

Mean whiles, back at Banshee HQ - which turns out NOT to be Banshee HQ, because he is just a henchman in the employ of a shadowy organization called "Factor Three", so, if anything, it's a Factor Three HQ ... except that it's not their headquarters, but just an outpost of theirs in Manhattan. I could go back and fix this paragraph, but, like you, I'd rather just grit my teeth and plow through this post to get it over with, quickly. I have solidarity with my readers!

Anyway, The Banshee has a chit-chat with fellow hench-person, The Ogre, and it is revealed that the painting that The Banshee stole has NO part in Factor Three's plans. The Banshee stole it just to have it. So he's doing a little evil moonlighting on the side, in addition to his henching for F3. Well, you know what they say: Find something you love doing and you'll never work a day in your life. For The Banshee, what he loves is "stealing". I guess that means he literally doesn't have to work another day in his life! Further proof of my point: The Banshee announces that he is stepping out to steal some pipe tobacco.

He "EEEEeeeEEEEEEE"s to a tobacconist shop at Broadway at 44th St, where, to the best of my research, this is there, now:

Only slightly less addictive.

Stealing a pouch of tobacco seems a bit irrational seeing as how in 1967 a pouch of tobacco probably cost 2 cents, but thanks to his robbery, Cerebro was able to pick up his mutant activity. The Prof even says that The Banshee is stronger than Magneto. Nor sure if I believe that one. Since both can be used to find your way (magnetic compass vs  echolocation), in my book, they're tied.

Instead of sending the X-Men out, the Prof kinda panics and say that they have to be ready to defend themselves. Which turns out to be the right call because once The Banshee gets back to his/Factor Three's HQ/outpost, he and The Ogre depart in some kind of submarine to ... kidnap Professor X!

Long story short: They fail. But they'll be back, so the X-Men must prepare a trap.

I want to believe this is just a bad drawing and not overt sexism.
I WANT to believe that.

Another long story short: They build their trap and it works, trapping The Banshee, when he comes back alone to the mansion to finish his mission. Part of the trap requires a tank that Cyclops must get from the basement. After numerous reassurances that there are no monsters down there, Cyke goes to get what's needed and notices a door:

Xed's dead, baby. Xed's dead.

Then The Ogre shows up and has his ass handed to him. And, with The Ogre defeated, we learn that The Banshee's spiffy headband was being used to enslave him to the will of The Ogre (and thus Factor Three) since it could have been detonated at any time, taking his head along for the high-explosive ride.

The Ogre dominated him the way his upper
lip dominates his face.

Now he's free and everyone is happy again ... except for the gallery owner from whom The Banshee stole that painting ... and the tobacconist whom he also stole from. So, The Banshee is a good guy, yes? Hmmm.

Want to read along? These stories are contained in:
Marvel Masterworks: The X-Men Volume 3