Over the past ten years or so we’ve seen a lot of epic superhero remakes pass through theaters. There’s the Spiderman trilogy, Iron Man 1 and 2, and The Dark Knight just to name a few. All of these movies sport excellent original scores by some of the best composers the world has to offer. But it wasn’t always that way, here are my five favorite classic superhero theme songs that, while entertaining, would make John Williams cringe.
5. Hulk (1966)
The Hulk theme from the popular animated series The Marvel Superheroes, which would feature one Marvel character each day.
I’ll admit I had to look up the lyrics even after watching this many times over, so to prevent any confusion here they are:
Doc Bruce Banner,
Belted by gamma rays,
Turned into the Hulk.
Ain’t he unglamor-ous!
Wreckin’ the town
With the power of a bull,
Ain’t no monster clown
Who is as lovable
As ever-lovin’ Hulk! HULK!!
Ah the ‘60s. Peace, love, happiness, and gamma rays. The rhymes might be a bit of a stretch, but I have to give them credit for summing up the entire back-story of the ever-lovin’ hulk in a zippy 20 seconds.
4. Captain America (1966)
Though it may seem lazy to pull from the same source as the Hulk, I couldn’t in good conscience leave out my favorite theme from the Marvel Superheroes’ Captain America! I honestly can’t sum up this theme any better than one YouTuber, who commented: “Captain America’s shield: co-starring Captain America.” This classic jingle features the always-appreciated visual onomatopoeias that we just don’t see enough of these days.
3. Spiderman (1967)
Most people with a basic understanding of superheroes know the first few lines of this classic tune. The 1967 theme is a cut above some of its contemporaries, boasting four full stanzas and a great deal of flowing rhymes. It seems as though action cartoon theme song writers took a few poetry classes somewhere between 1966 and 1967.
2. Batman (1966)
Is anyone noticing a pattern? TV of the late ‘60s was saturated with animated series featuring cartoon superheroes. In a full 180 degree turn from Spiderman’s extensive lyrics, Batman takes the simple and direct route. If you don’t know what show you’re watching after hearing batman 11 times in 42 seconds, may Adam West have mercy on your soul. This smiling rendition of Batman is quite a bit different from Christian Bale’s portrayal of the Dark Knight, which I think we can all agree is significantly … darker.
1. Iron Man (1966)
OK, it had to be done. Iron Man is yet another theme from The Marvel Superheroes, but with its wild, breathy falsetto and nearly indecipherable lyrics, Iron Man holds a special place in my heart. The “cool exec with the heart of steel” has enjoyed a new-found popularity due to recent remakes, but this charmer of a musical number is the reason my favorite Tony Stark will always be the 1966 version.
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Did we miss any good ones? Want to make up your own lyrics? Let us know! Comment below!