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  1. #1
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    Default Superhero Movie Scores/Themes!

    Who doesn't love a good superhero theme! I actually want to share my thoughts on these hero-by-hero, at least for DC to start with.

    Superman
    John William's original theme will never be topped. Hans Zimmer's Man of Steel theme is nice, but I commend Danny Elfman for saying "Nah, this is the real one" and sticking John's theme into Justice League. That decision may have irked some, but I was totally the target audience for it!

    Batman
    Again, Danny Elfman's original theme will never be topped, and I loved his inclusion of it into Justice League (although it was a bit more self-servicing this time). When it plays as Batman shows up by the bat-signal is one of my top film moments of the decade!
    Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard's theme is cool for the Dark Knight Trilogy, but Hans and Tom Holkenborg (Junke XL)'s theme for BvS was just...bizarre.

    Wonder Woman
    I think I'm in the minority here but I kind of hate Hans Zimmer's Wonder Woman theme. I would much prefer she get a more whimsical theme akin to John Williams' Superman theme than the "badasser-than-thou" treatment she got in the film. Going back again to what Danny did in Justice League, he tried to dial that back by giving it an orchestral treatment, replacing the electric guitar riff from the previous films.

    Green Lantern

    This just about says it all. James Newton Howard dropped the ball among balls with this one. I still lament the fact that we've never gotten a great GL theme to go with all the others!

    Aquaman
    This one, however, by Rupert Gregson-Williams, knocked it out of the park, a big surprise from a guy who was to that point mostly known for Adam Sandler crap.

    Shazam!
    A nice little tune from horror-movie veteran Benjamin Wallfisch, but hardly a great superhero leitmotif that can be used for the character.

    As for the TV shows, I certainly like the themes, but I still don't think either Danny Elfman's 1990 Flash theme or Blake Neely's 2014 theme are equal to a great cinematic theme for the character like the ones above. That one, I hope, will come. Given director Andy Muschietti's history, it will probably be by Benjamin Wallfishc.
    Last edited by Slimybug; 03-01-2021 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Additonal material needed.

  2. #2
    Incredible Member green_garnish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimybug View Post
    Who doesn't love a good superhero theme! I actually want to share my thoughts on these hero-by-hero, at least for DC to start with.

    Superman
    John William's original theme will never be topped. Hans Zimmer's Man of Steel theme is nice, but I commend Danny Elfman for saying "Nah, this is the real one" and sticking John's theme into Justice League. That decision may have irked some, but I was totally the target audience for it!

    Batman
    Again, Danny Elfman's original theme will never be topped, and I loved his inclusion of it into Justice League (although it was a bit more self-servicing this time). When it plays as Batman shows up by the bat-signal is one of my top film moments of the decade!
    Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard's theme is cool for the Dark Knight Trilogy, but Hans and Tom Holkenborg (Junke XL)'s theme for BvS was just...bizarre.

    Wonder Woman
    I think I'm in the minority here but I kind of hate Hans Zimmer's Wonder Woman theme. I would much prefer she get a more whimsical theme akin to John Williams' Superman theme than the "badasser-than-thou" treatment she got in the film. Going back again to what Danny did in Justice League, he tried to dial that back by giving it an orchestral treatment, replacing the electric guitar riff from the previous films.

    Green Lantern

    This just about says it all. James Newton Howard dropped the ball among balls with this one. I still lament the fact that we've never gotten a great GL theme to go with all the others!

    Aquaman
    This one, however, by Rupert Gregson-Williams, knocked it out of the park, a big surprise from a guy who was to that point mostly known for Adam Sandler crap.

    Shazam!
    A nice little tune from horror-movie veteran Benjamin Wallfisch, but hardly a great superhero leitmotif that can be used for the character.

    As for the TV shows, I certainly like the themes, but I still don't think either Danny Elfman's 1990 Flash theme or Blake Neely's 2014 theme are equal to a great cinematic theme for the character like the ones above. That one, I hope, will come. Given director Andy Muschietti's history, it will probably be by Benjamin Wallfishc.
    Batman 89 is the one that is not likely to be beaten but a close second is Avengers.

    I get Danny's statement about Williams though. It's the only theme of any movie where I could sing the words to an orchestral work that I'd never heard before. Look up in the sky... Suuuuperman

  3. #3
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    Now, as for Marvel, I'll never understand some of the hate their scores have gotten in the past. The themes for the original films were great, and the biggest problem was that they did not continue with them.

    Iron Man
    Ramin Djawadi's original theme is epic and great, and perfectly suited to the character. John Debney's theme for IM2 is flat-out dull. I hate Brian Tyler for crafting such a memorable score for IM3, for a character that, in my mind, already has a perfect theme.

    The Hulk
    I really like Danny Elfman's score for the 2003 film, but Craig Armstrong's 2008 theme is indelible and masterful.

    Thor
    Patrick Doyle's original theme is fantastic! Brian Tyler's Dark World theme pails in comparison. Marvel, however, saw Brian Tyler as their golden boy and soon had him scoring everything, seeing him as their ticket to musical continuity! He made the first Marvel Studios opening fanfare, and began composing for Age of Ultron, where both his IM3 and Dark World themes show up again, in the first instance of real musical continuity in the MCU. But then he left (was fired?) partway through Age of Ultron, was replaced by Danny Elfman, and was replaced as Marvel's golden boy by Michael Giacchino, who composed the second Marvel Studios opening fanfare.
    Mark Mothersbaugh did great work on Ragnarok, but I was also thrilled to hear him reuse the OG score for the very end!

    Captain America
    Alan Silvestri's original theme was perfect, but was only slightly used at the beginning of Winter Soldier. Henry Jackman composed an epic, memorable main theme for that film, but even with him scoring Civil War, it doesn't show up again! Finally, Alan brought back his own theme in Endgame, and when a little bit of it plays when Cap wields Mjolnir, I lose my crap every time!

    The Avengers
    Alan Silvestri. 'Nuff said.

    Guardians of the Galaxy
    Good stuff from Tyler Bates.

    Ant-Man
    Christophe Beck created one of the MCU's more famous tunes here.

    Doctor Strange
    Michael Giacchino's original theme is good, and for the sake of continuity, I hope they keep it in DS2, even though Danny Elfman is scoring!

    Spider-Man
    Danny Elfman's original 2002 theme is probably the best we have so far, though it's a bit too Tim-Burton-y for me.
    James Horner's Amazing Spider-Man theme is nice music, but not the definitive Spidey theme for me.
    Neither is the one by Hans Zimmer "and the Magnificent Six" from ASM2.
    Or even Michael Giacchino's Homecoming suite.
    No, for me, when I think of Spider-Man swinging into action, I still think of the 90s cartoon theme!

    Black Panther
    I mean, Ludwig Goransson won an Oscar. 'Nuff said.

    Captain Marvel
    This one, by total newcomer Pinar Toprak, is pretty good too.

    I was thrilled to see Alan Silvestri begin to use multiple other composers' themes in Endgame, thus FINALLY establishing a sense of musical continuity that transcends whoever's scoring the film at hand. Both Ant-Man and Captain Marvel have their themes show up, and even some of Giacchino's Doctor Strange music does too. Again, let's hope Danny keeps Giacchino's themes for DS2!

  4. #4
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    Finally, some more Marvels.

    X-Men
    Holy musical discontinuity, Batman!
    While Michael Kamen made some beautiful music for the first film, he failed to deliver a real solid hero's theme. That fell to John Ottman in X2. But then Bryan Singer left and took Ottman with him and, wouldn't you know it, the only films this theme plays again in are the films that Singer directs and Ottman scores!
    Last Stand has some beautiful pieces by John Powell, but no real replacement theme. First Class by Henry Jackman has a great new theme, but then Ottman returns for DoFP and Apocalypse. Then Hans Zimmer took over for Dark Phoenix, and nothing previously used made it in! I wish Zimmer had composed a great new X-Men theme, but alas, it's all forgettable.
    Still, as memorable as Ottman's X2 theme is, don't a lot of us just think of the 90s opening theme when we think of X-Men?

    Fantastic Four
    John Ottman's original theme is delicious, and I kind of hold out a vain hope it'll be reused in Marvel Studios' film. Marco Beltrami and Philip Glass's score for the 2015 film? Couldn't tell you anything about it!

    Daredevil
    I will take Graeme Revell's score from the 2003 film over John Paesano's TV show theme any day!

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member stargazer01's Avatar
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    My favorite superhero themes are #1 Superman by John Williams obviously. His whole score for the movie is amazing. But I also love Zimmer's score for the movie. A close second.

    Zimmer's Wonder Woman is great too and easily recognizable. She's a warrior, it fits.

    I really liked the score for the Aquaman movie. His theme is not as memorable as the others but it's good and inspiring. The nautical sounds are great additions.

    The original X-Men theme is pretty good and recognizable.

    The iconic Spider-man theme is really good too. I'm not sure who is the composer, but I like this version by Aerosmith a lot.


  6. #6
    Mighty Member Castle's Avatar
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    Superman (Christopher reeves series)
    The original X-Men films
    Spiderman (sam raimi movies)
    Avengers 2012

    However my all time classic is this. I know it's not a movie score but still.


    dun dun dun dun dun dun, dun dun dun dun dun dun.

    Last edited by Castle; 03-02-2021 at 10:37 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stargazer01 View Post
    The original X-Men theme is pretty good and recognizable.
    You mean from the 2000 film? I've never noticed it! Just the X2 theme!



    Here's an example of me loving the Iron Man theme by Ramin Djawadi!
    Last edited by Slimybug; 03-02-2021 at 03:51 PM.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Jekyll's Avatar
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    Shirley Walker's theme for Superman will always and forever be my favorite theme for Superman.

    AKA FlashFreak
    Favorite Characters:
    DC: The Flash (Jay & Wally), The Atom (Ray Palmer) , Jack Knight, Stargirl, & Shazam!.
    MARVEL: Daredevil, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, & Ant-Man (Scott Lang).

    Current Pulls: Daredevil, Amazing Spider-Man, Venom, Immortal Hulk, The Flash, & TMNT!

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Jekyll's Avatar
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    Speaking of 90s goodness, lets not forget this amazing theme.

    Last edited by Jekyll; 03-03-2021 at 03:46 AM.
    AKA FlashFreak
    Favorite Characters:
    DC: The Flash (Jay & Wally), The Atom (Ray Palmer) , Jack Knight, Stargirl, & Shazam!.
    MARVEL: Daredevil, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Iron Fist, Doctor Strange, & Ant-Man (Scott Lang).

    Current Pulls: Daredevil, Amazing Spider-Man, Venom, Immortal Hulk, The Flash, & TMNT!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimybug View Post

    Daredevil
    I will take Graeme Revell's score from the 2003 film over John Paesano's TV show theme any day!


    I mean the theme is good, don't get me wrong, but for the first couple eps this was playing in my head till I got used to it:


  11. #11

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    Superman by John Williams is the best because it's the only one I can completely remember from start to finish.

    In general, the DC themes are better and more memorable than the Marvel ones.

    But after Superman and Batman '89, the most I remember of the others are the major phrases, not the entire thing.

    With the Marvel themes, I honestly can't remember much more than a few notes of Avengers and not much else. If I saw the movies, the music would likely sound familiar, but I just can't summon up any major portion of the Marvel themes the way I can with DC's Superman, Batman '89, Schumacher-Batman, Nolan-Batman, and Wonder Woman.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Arfguy's Avatar
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    Given the sheer amount of wonderful music he has composed, I wanted to say that it's really hard to beat music composed by Hans Zimmer, when it comes to superhero movies.

    Unfortunately, I think Zimmer only brings his A-game to DC stuff, because I have not liked a single of his work on Marvel property to be any good. Basically: If you want to run-of-the-mill music from Hans Zimmer, give him a Marvel character

    I cannot believe a guy who composed such amazing music for movies like True Romance, Lion King (1994), Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Interstellar and so so many more can make epic music for movies like Man of Steel and BvS: DoJ...then go on to make such mediocre music for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and X-Men: Dark Phoenix!

    It's really quite annoying, as a Marvel fan. Make no mistake, I love the theme for Captain America: The First Avenger by Silvestri, Ramin Djwadi's music from Iron Man, Patrick Doyle's Thor stuff and Bryan Tyler's main theme from IM3. I just can't think of any score or theme from Marvel that comes close to the sublime beauty of Zimmer's stuff from Man of Steel and BvS, IMO.

    Check out the composition by Patrik Pietschmann. Here, he has taken the Man of Steel theme and composed his own version.

    Find me on Instagram and Twitter - @arfguy
    https://whoaskd.com/

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