By Mike Baron
Since turning his considerable talents to prose, Eisner Award winning comicbook writer Mike Baron has been knocking out some fantastic over-the-top fiction. Among these is “Banshees,” a horror fantasy set squarely in the world of rock and roll and its tale is as loud and boisterous as the craziest heavy metal performers blasting out musical Armageddon.
The tale revolves around the apparent resurrection of a 70s trio known as the Banshees who went out in a blaze of glory when their private plane crashed into the unyielding Scottish Highlands. Now, decades later a new group appears on the European circuit claiming to be the Banshees and playing the old band’s repertoire in perfect mimicry. Enough so that several people begin to wonder if this may in fact be the actual Banshees returned from the dead.
Chief of amongst these is Ian St. James, the only progeny of the original three, being the son of the Banshees’ drummer Oaian St.James. Himself a one time musician, now down on his luck, St. James attempts to contact the group only to be thwarted by the group’s manager, a decidedly thuggish Russian mobster associated with an occult group known as the Mad Monks. When an attempt is made on his life, St. James quickly realizes there is more going on than merely a publicity gimmick by a group of rock and roll posers. Something totally beyond his ability to deal with alone.
His luck changes when a reporter for the popular In Crowd magazine, Connie Cosgrove, enlist his aid chronicling the Banshees newly scheduled tour from Berlin to Paris, London and ultimately the US; all to culminated at a sold out venue in Los Angeles. Along the way they meet a weird fellow named Prof. Klapp who is convinced the Banshees are the resurrected dead and their appearance in the world signals the end of times. Whereas only St. James has the ability, through his blood connection, to stop them and save all mankind.
Baron’s book is a rocket blast of suspense that moves at breakneck speed. Along the way it is crammed with hundreds of hilarious cultural bon mots and innuendos that set it leagues above other mundane horror tales. “Banshees” is a brilliant achievement by a creative force that is just getting warmed up.