Today, The Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters. The latest, and perhaps biggest, Marvel movie to date, with seven years of silver screen superhero stories all combining for another showstopping endeavor it's hard to say no to the summer's biggest blockbuster we've seen thus far. I mean it's big, McLarge, huge! Imagine four or five characters from any other film franchise all coming together for one big movie. Until we get that Fast & Furious sequel with James Bond, Godzilla and the pups from Air Buddies, it's not likely a comparable mega-movie will be produced any time soon.
But while we can stroll over to the cineplex and see our favorite comic book characters brought to life, things were much harder fifty years ago. It used to be, if you wanted superhero action, you had to get up pretty early on a Saturday morning and let the barely-animated episodic television give you your fill. But if they had one advantage over the superhero-hoopla of today, it's that they had some pretty swingin' themes (and we're not just talking the guy with the webs). This is our look back at The Music of The Avengers.
Of all the songs from the 1966 animated series The Marvel Superheroes, you're probably most familiar with Iron Man's. Equal parts inspiringly triumphant and undeniably hip, it encompasses what was so great and informative of these themes. Composed by Jack Urbont on a work-for-hire basis, this track's actually been in the news lately due to Urbont's legal action attempting to get compensation for Sony allowing Wu-Tang rapper Ghostface Killah to use the theme as an interlude on his album.
The Mighty Thor
Look at the vivid fantastical world of Asgard drawn in those first few frames. Can you believe they actually made a successfully and satisfying movie out of this? The 1966 theme for god of thunder Thor is just as bombastic as one would hope. They don't really describe too much about Thor here, other than where he's from, how you'll feel when you see him, and then his name. However, the vocals are so strong, it's incredibly effective.
Ahh, here we go. Captain America has a shield. He throws his shield for America. If you attempt to opposed America and, thus, Cap's shield, it's protocol that you yield. In fact, you must. This theme's remembered lovingly by fans both for its trueness to the character in all of his incarnations, as well as (we speculate) it's the only one that begins right out the gate with the type of fun wholesome violence kids love!
While his fellow Avengers' seem to have well thought out, meticulously composed and delivered themes that capture the characters' essences with an unparalleled respect and admiration, the "ever-lovin'" Hulk's theme sounds like the team behind the songs didn't realize they had one more theme to compose and knocked one out the night before it was due, just barely making the deadline. While there is some fun to be had with the creating an endearing jingle for a character whose primary draw is destruction rhyming "wrecking the town with the power of a bull" with "there ain't no monster clown who is as lovable" is so forced it would require Hulk hands just to get the lines next to each other.
Marvel Super Heroes
The aforementioned theme songs would air weekdays as part of the Marvel Super Heroes program and, as par for the course, the show had its own whimsically heroic theme going for it as well. Lucky for us, YouTubers AlmazingStuff reedited the classic 60 theme to sync up with footage of The Avengers, bringing together 50 years of multi-media comic greatness. If any theater managers are reading this, we would love it if you aired this clip before this weekend's big Avengers screenings. Please comment how crowds respond.