Siryn, or Banshee, is another mutant from the X-Men world who possesses enhanced hearing abilities, but she also uses sound as a weapon. She was born as Theresa Cassidy, the daughter of Sean Cassidy, who used the original Banshee alias. Sean’s most valuable ability was his sonic scream, which was capable of harming the auditory systems of those in its range. He also had a selective hearing ability that allowed him to focus, enhance, or completely block out sound; the latter protected him from the effects of his own sonic scream weapon. Siryn eventually adopted the alias Banshee in memory of her father, who died during a mission.
Banshee has powers like those of her father: a sonic scream, enhanced hearing, and the ability to create a psionic field for protection against her own sonic vibrations. However, her abilities are more evolved. While using her sonic powers, she can vary the pitch to deflect projectile attacks, she uses echolocation, and she can control other humans. Similar to the Sirens of Greek mythology, she’s also able use her sonic powers to make someone fall in love with her and do as she commands. Lastly, and what is possibly her most interesting ability, she can use a specific vocal pitch to block external sounds from others so she can secretly pass along messages to them.
A boosted sense of hearing is clearly important to elevate a superhero’s overall strengths. It’s worth mentioning that Marvel Comics created a comic book character called Blue Ear after receiving a request from a mother whose son, Anthony Smith, refused to wear his hearing aids in school. A big comic book fan, Anthony declared that superheroes don’t wear hearing devices, so he didn’t need to either. Marvel Comics assistant editor and designer, Nelson Ribeiro, created Blue Ear and sent a drawing to the family. Blue Ear’s character evolved into a child superhero, and Marvel Comics sent that along with old issues of Hawkeye, another superhero who wore hearing aids, to the family. Anthony brought it to his preschool, and his teachers started a “superhero week.” As figures we look up to or otherwise admire, superheroes can inspire us to achieve greater things, keep fighting, and hear with power.