12 Best Songs Inspired By Comic Book Superheroes

Michael D'Alimonte
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3 minute read
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It's never been better to be a nerd. With the major mainstream success of superhero movies over the last decade or so, comic books have been taken into the forefront of modern culture, making being a nerd a lot cooler than it used to be. While film has only recently embraced the awesome of superheroes and comics, the music scene has been doing it for years, with plenty of famous bands taking inspiration from the realm of nerdery.

You can probably name more than a few Superman-related songs (3 Doors Down's “Kryptonite,”  Our Lady Peace's “Superman’s Dead,” Eminem's “Superman” just to name a few) but far more heroes have been the source of inspiration for a wide variety of bands.  See which of your favourite musicians are actually closet comic book nerds our list of 12 songs based off of superheroes.

12"Spider-Man Theme" Ramones

Not quite a song "inspired" by a superhero, this Ramones track is just a direct cover of the infamous intro to the Spiderman cartoon from the 1960s. Celebrating the inherent goofiness of the outdated 'toon, the Ramones cover is full of energy, with their iconic sound lending well to the show's vibe without seeming like a mockery. Best of all, the video is amazingly corny, with the Ramones animated in the show's classic 60s-era style, with cuts of the web head fighting crime.

11"I Whipped Spiderman's Ass" + "I Whupped Batman's Ass" Wesley Willis

Do not mess with Wesley Willis' girlfriend or call him a bum, because you know what will happen? He'll whip (or alternatively whup) your ass, just like he did with Spiderman and Batman. It's hard to believe anyone could take down Spidey or the Caped Crusader, but apparently this now deceased Chicagoan singer-songwriter is entirely capable of doing so. What actually inspired these two oddly upbeat tracks is beyond anyone, though they're pretty fun to listen to given the absurd content of both songs.

10"Challengers" The New Pornographers

Before Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created the cosmic adventurers known as The Fantastic Four, there was Kirby's solo series Challengers of the Unknown, where the New Pornographers took inspiration from for the 2007 song "Challengers" from the album of the same name. You can miss the Silver Age comic book inspiration of this thematically dark track, though the fact that song states "We are the challengers of the unknown" makes it pretty obvious to any who remember Kirby's largely forgotten series.

9"Ghost Rider" Suicide

Synthpunk duo Suicide adoration of Marvel character Ghost Rider didn't begin with this song, the band's name is actually derived from one of the comic's stories titled "Satan Suicide," a favourite of vocalist Alan Vega. You can feel the appreciation for the character in "Ghost Rider," especially given that the song's lyrics go as far to describe the hellish hero as "lookin' so cute," which isn't something you'd generally say about a guy with a flaming head for a skull.

8"Ring Capacity" KIRBY KRACKLE

Any self-respecting comic book nerd will instantly be able to see where KIRBY KRACKLE got its name from. For the uninitiated reading, the Nerd Rock band from Seattle's namesake is an ode to famed comic book artist Jack Kirby, co-creator of many of Marvel's original heroes the man behind DC's New gods. Many of the band's songs are nerd culture-inspired, with "Ring Capacity" specifically focusing on the Green Lantern, as one could guess. Pretty poppy for a superhero track, even those unfamiliar with the character of Green Lantern can enjoy the tune.

7"Batdance" Prince

Of the songs created for a Batman film, Seal's "Kiss From A Rose" often overshadows the others, including Prince's "Batdance." Composed for Tim Burton's original 1989 Batman movie, "Batdance" truly deserves a larger place in the collective memory of Bat-film-fans. An amazing mish-mash of musical elements, the track is simultaneously dark, creepy, and ridiculously weird, much like the Batman franchise itself. You can also see Prince rocking a half-Batman half-Joker outfit in the video, which needs to be a new look in 2015.