The 50 Greatest Superhero TV Theme Songs of All Time: #41-50

September 22, 2015 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

50 Greatest Superhero TV Theme Songs

We are in the midst of a TV superhero renaissance. While super-powered heroes and villains have been part of the television landscape from its beginning, recent years have seen a marked increase in not just superhero shows, but good superhero shows. Between network, cable, streaming, and online, there are over 20 programs currently featuring live-action or animated heroes. And with as many as a dozen new shows planned in the next year, superhero fans are singing a happy tune.

Yet the one thing most modern superhero shows lack is a kick-ass theme song. Gone are the action-packed earworms of old. No “Here I come to save the day!” or “Thunder-Thunder-Thunder-Thunder-Cats!” Not even a “Na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, BATMAN!”

Instead we’re left with an assortment of indistinguishable instrumentals that do little to set the tone (or tell the story) of their shows — with nary a memorable melody among them. Can you hum the intro to Gotham, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Arrow? Didn’t think so.

But rather than harping on what’s lacking in the current bumper crop, I want to celebrate the rich, raucous history of where campy TV, catchy jingles, and spandex-clad heroes collide…by making an EPIC LIST. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be ranking the TOP 50 SUPERHERO TV THEME SONGS OF ALL TIME! My choices are based on popularity, catchiness and cultural impact… with a heaping dose of personal preference. I welcome your criticisms, your praise, and your suggested omissions!

But first, let’s kick things off with a BANG!, a POW! and a penis-shaped car!

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50. THE AMBIGUOUSLY GAY DUO

1996-2011

These animated shorts aired only 12 times during a 15-year period on Saturday Night Live, but this questionably close pair of heroes certainly left their mark. Ace and Gary (voiced by Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell) poke fun at Batman and Robin’s oft-rumored homoerotic relationship, while both the animation style and silly/serious theme song ape the ‘toons of the 1960s and 70s. Kudos to creator Robert Smigel for crafting a jingle from such an unwieldy mouthful of words.
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49. ELECTRA WOMAN & DYNA GIRL

1976-1977

The first (but not last) appearance in the “So Bad It’s Good” category. Electra Woman and Dyna Girl was part of the 1976 lineup of psychedelic Saturday-morning staple, The Kroft Supershow. Riffing on Batman and Wonder Woman, EW&DG was sheer low-budget/high-camp fun — and the theme song fit perfectly, with it’s corny premise set-up and funky disco beat. It starred Deidre Hall as Electra Woman, who would go on to play equally-campy Marlena Evans on Days of Our Lives for 32 years and counting. Dyna Girl was played by Judy Strangis, who… had fun pigtails.

Fun fact: A reboot of the series is set to premiere online in late 2015!
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48. DAREDEVIL*

2014-present

Daredevil, one of the few currently-airing shows on this list, debuted on Netflix in April of 2015, and hit the ground running, bloody, and pummeled to a pulp. The opening titles strike the perfect balance between visuals and music, (literally painting the themes from Daredevil mythology: the struggle for justice, an embattled Hell’s Kitchen, a somber church graveyard, and the tormented vigilante himself.
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47. YOUNG JUSTICE*

2010-2013

“Brief, but dramatic” is a fitting way to describe both the opening of Young Justice, and the run of the series itself. The two season-long show was essentially a darker, alternate-dimension Teen Titans, focusing on themes of betrayal, deception, and angst. Lots and lots of angst.

Fun fact: Composers Kristopher Carter, Michael McCuistion, and Lolita Ritmanis wrote music for five other shows on this list.
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46. THE SUPER HERO SQUAD SHOW*

2009-2011

It’s mind-numbing how many post-90s superhero shows rely on rock music clichés for their theme songs. One of the few that actually works is the pop-punky opener for Marvel Animation’s The Super Hero Squad Show. Like the show, it’s fast, rowdy and in-your-face. It was written and performed by Parry Gripp, lead singer of the band Nerf Herder, known for another TV theme song about a girl named Buffy.
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45. POWER RANGERS TIME FORCE* / POWER RANGERS JUNGLE FURY*

2001 / 2008

The Power Rangers have been doing battle in the U.S. since 1993, with its effective formula of super-powered teens versus an endless parade of poorly-dubbed baddies. Each season sports a slight variation on the Power Rangers name, as well as tweaks to the setting, weaponry, and team color palette. Yet the theme songs tend to run together in a nauseating medley of cheese-rock. Two seasons successfully cracked the musical mold — the pile-driving chant of Power Rangers Time Force and the arena-sized harmonizing of Power Rangers Jungle Fury.

Not-so-fun fact: Another iteration that explored new sonic territory is the cringe-worthy, hip-hoppish opening of Power Rangers Mystic Force. Listen at your own peril.
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44. SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN

2008-2009

Thanks to superhero shows like Spectacular Spider-Man, indie bands still have a chance to become one-hit wonders. Performed by LA band The Tender Box, SSM‘s theme song captures the laid-back cool and lurking urgency of modern day, teenage Spidey.

Fun fact: This is appearance number two by composing team Carter, McCuistion, and Ritmanis. Appearance number one (of three) by everyone’s favorite wall-crawler.
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43. THE SUPERMAN-AQUAMAN HOUR OF ADVENTURE

1967-1968

Corny as hell, but I love it all the same. The Superman-Aquaman Hour of Adventure was the first television appearance for any of the characters introduced in the theme song, save Superman. It included the booming voice of Ted Knight (Mary Tyler Moore, Too Close for Comfort) at the start of the song, as well as narrating the entire show. I seriously doubt the composers were true comics fans (it’s pronounced “AH-kwa-man” not “ACK-wa-man”), but the bouncy literalness of the lyrics and music socks me in the nostalgic feels every time.
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42. WONDER PETS!

2006-2013

Unless you’ve got a child under the age of 10, you’ve probably never heard of Wonder Pets! or its adorably operatic theme song. Try this: the next time you’re around the parent of a preschooler, randomly shout “What’s gonna work?” If they don’t answer “TEAM-WORK!” you’ve very likely met your first alien.

An Emmy winner in 2008, 2010 and 2012 for Music Direction & Composition, Wonder Pets! features a trio of classroom pets (a guinea pig, turtle, and duckling) who don capes, build flying cars out of toy parts, and rescue baby animals while demonstrating the benefits of — you guessed it — teamwork. My favorite episode is “The Wonder Pets Save The Beetles,” where they retrieve a band of four young beetles trapped in their “yellowish” submarine.
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41. THE AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES*

2010-2013

Hot on the heels of the biggest superhero movie of all time came a new animated iteration of Marvel’s flagship superteam —  Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Has there ever been a more epic theme song for an animated show? My only beef is that it sounds a little too much like “Citizen Soldier” for my tastes, which is why it comes in one spot below another animation-following-big-screen-success show.

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Way to go — you made it through the first 10! Be sure and leave your comments (and complaints) below.

THE REST OF THE LIST:

1-10      11-20      21-30      31-40

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I’ve also set up a YouTube Playlist of the whole shebang. So go and get your superhero TV theme song dance party on!

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*These titles currently available for streaming on Netflix. Designer Daddy is a member of the Netflix #StreamTeam.

For more super fun and frivolity, visit and like Designer Daddy on Facebook!

 

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4 responses to “The 50 Greatest Superhero TV Theme Songs of All Time: #41-50”

  1. Lee says:

    I love the wonder pets! I mean… My kids… Um, THEY loved the Wonder Pets.

    I’m wondering about Darkwing Duck? Does he make the list?

    • Brent Almond says:

      I miss the Wonder Pets’ baby talk, too. 😉

      And there are quite a few animals represented in the rest of the list, but I cannot confirm nor deny the presence of a duck. Stay tuned!

      B

  2. Berto says:

    I was just thinking about the Greatest American Hero today before I saw this, but it was in the context of George Costanza’s answering machine message.

    “Where could I beeeee? Believe it or not, I’m not hooooome!”

    Classic. I loved the Greatest American Hero when I was a kid.

    • Brent Almond says:

      I had totally forgotten about that scene on Seinfeld! George is such a tool — miss him. 😉

      Thanks for stopping by, and sorry it wasn’t higher on the list. I’ve gotten a lot of grief for that one, but what can you do?

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