There have been lots of adaptations of various comics over the years, each one accompanied by their own theme song. Some are great. Others, purely forgettable. We’re counting down our top 10 favorite Marvel and DC animated series opening theme songs.
10. “SPIDER-MAN” BY PAUL FRANCIS WEBSTER & BOB HARRIS
When a song transcends the show it was made for, you have to pay it its due. The Spider-Man theme has continued to be featured in the comics, both movie series, and video games. Not to mention the various parodies and covers. It continues to be the go-to song for Spider-Man, even for those who have never seen the actual show it’s from.
9. “SUPER FRIENDS (1973)” BY HOYT CURTIN
Super Friends was the longest-running series based on a DC property, reinventing itself with every new season. The theme never really changed as the show progressed, just had some minor alterations, but the first incarnation is by far the best. Those opening beats just get you pumped, and then it falls into a classically heroic melody indicative of the Silver Age of Comics.
8. “IRON MAN (SEASON 2)” BY WILLIAM KEVIN ANDERSON
Airing as part of the Sunday Marvel Action Hour programming block, Iron Man and The Fantastic Four were incredibly rough. Their production teams ignored the excellent work FOX was doing with their Marvel properties and did the complete opposite. Then, season two came and fixed everything that was wrong with them—including giving us this awesome theme for Iron Man that really played up into the heavy metal of the character.
7. “INCREDIBLE HULK” BY SHUKI LEVY & KUSSA MAHCHI
The song just screams “monster” in its composition, which perfectly captures the raging monster that is the Hulk. Add to that the continuous heartbeat in the background, and the song covers all the bases.
6. “JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED” BY MICHAEL McCUISTION
While the original theme was excellent, when the show shifted to Justice League Unlimited it gave us a theme that was infused with energy. The first few opening notes gave you that epic sense of scale that the series would encompass, and then erupts into a treat for the ears with a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack. A departure from the usual orchestral nature of the DCAU, but a welcomed one.
5. “THE NEW BATMAN/SUPERMAN ADVENTURES” BY SHIRLEY WALKER
When the success of Superman: The Animated Series inspired Warner Bros. Animation to revive Batman: The Animated Series, they paired the two shows together in the package program The New Batman/Superman Adventures. Complete with an original opening, the show gained a new theme that deftly blended elements evocative of both heroes in an excellent composition.
4. “BATMAN BEYOND” BY KRISTOPHER CARTER
This was an all-new, all-different Batman. That meant he needed a different kind of theme. This techno riff for Batman Beyond definitely fit the futuristic tone of the show and drove home the point that this wasn’t your grandpappy’s Batman.
3. “SPDIER-MAN” BY SHUKI LEVY, KUSSA MAHCHI, UDI HARPAZ & JOE PERRY
While what few lyrics there are aren’t quite as catchy as “Spider-Man / Spider-Man / Does whatever a spider can”, it still had a way of sticking with you. This theme welcomed Spidey to a new generation of fans. The rock and roll riffs emphasized the action-oriented nature of the show, and was just damn cool to listen to.
2. “BATMAN” BY DANNY ELFMAN
For 1989’s Batman, Danny Elfman gave us the definitive Batman theme song. In 1992, he gave that song a slight tweaking and gave us the best possible theme that could accompany the dark and mature Batman: The Animated Series. The song is as distinctive as Batman’s bat symbol, and no matter how many times they try to replace it, it continues to stand out as THE Batman song in people’s minds.
According to Previously on X-Men, the song was submitted and rejected about 20 times before they found a theme that everyone was happy with. And boy, was it worth it. As the first X-Men production to take the material seriously, X-Men: The Animated Series needed a serious song to go with it. Very few people can hear the opening chords and NOT know what it belongs to.
Do you agree with out list? What's your favorite Marvel and DC theme? Let us know in the comics, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
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