The 50 Greatest Superhero TV Theme Songs of All Time: #21-30

October 7, 2015 | By Brent Almond | POP CULTURE

50 Greatest Superhero TV Theme Songs

No intro this time… let’s just jump right into the action of the 50 GREATEST SUPERHERO TV THEME SONGS OF ALL TIME, part 3!

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30. BATMAN BEYOND

1999-2001

Batman Beyond was a big departure for the Dark Knight franchise, as it placed Gotham City into the future, with a retired Bruce Wayne mentoring — nay, controlling — a new Batman in the form of teenager Terry McGinnis. The show tackled darker themes and grittier emotions, which was also reflected in its techno/industrial opening theme song. The music and the show were both pretty kick-ass, and I can’t wait to get to the future, where (like in nearly every interpretation of the future) it’s just one nonstop rave!
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29. X-MEN

1992-1997

While DC may have ruled the animated roost in the 60s, 70s and 80s, Marvel came into their own in the 1990’s with X-Men. The sinister and synthy theme played over an action-packed intro of the team, in all their flowing-haired glory. The song is listed on IMDB as the first composing credit for Ron Wasserman, who would go on to compose themes for multiple iterations of the Power Rangers.
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28. G.I. JOE

1983-1986

Like Transformers and Jem & the Holograms, G.I. Joe was a Hasbro toy brought to (animated) life in the 1980s. The show and its theme song are packed full of action, swagger, and lots of freaky-looking Cobra dudes. But I’ve always wondered… if knowing is half the battle, why do they need so many weapons? Yo, Joe!

Not-so-fun fact: Want to see how many people enjoy politicizing a 30-year-old kids’ cartoon? View the video above in YouTube and read the comments.
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27. SPACE GHOST / SPACE GHOST COAST-TO-COAST

1966-1968 / 1994-2008

An eerie, instrumental intro, then the cosmic cry, “SPAAAACE GHOOOOST!” was all I needed to go bonkers for this show as a kid. Warp speed a few decades to the ironic nineties, and SG has his own talk show, Space Ghost Coast to Coast. The theme song got a grungy, jazzy makeover, but fit nicely with the new gig.

Fun fact: Space Ghost voice actor Gary Owens played himself on a 1998 episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast; he reprised his animated alter ego on a 2011 episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, at the age of 77.
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26. SAMURAI JACK

2001-2004

Hands down, the coolest song on the list. Following a spoken-word origin story, it leaps from Kung Fu-like storytelling to chilled-out, choppy hip-hop. Produced by Will.i.am, the theme song repeats its sparse lyrics, “Gotta get back, back to the past,” summing up this multiple Emmy-winning show: A samurai travels through time to defeat a demon wizard, kicking lots of ass and saying very little. A gorgeous, inventive track for a gorgeous, inventive show.

Fun fact: The distinctive style of Samurai Jack is what convinced Lucasfilm to recruit creator Genndny Tartakovsky for the Star Wars: Clone Wars series.
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25. BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD

2008-2011

Short, but oh so sweet, the opening music to Batman: The Brave and the Bold pairs cool and classy with fast and fun, and even finds time for a short bongo solo. It was composed by Andy Sturmer, who also worked on the theme songs for Teen Titans and Ben 10.
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24. GODZILLA

1978-1979

Up from the depths! 30 stories high! Breathing fire! His head in the sky! GODZILLA!

Everyone’s favorite nuclear-powered lizard monster took a heroic turn in this late-seventies-but-seems-like-the-fifties series. Like our main man G, the theme song is epically awesome…until Godzooky. A common animation trope of the 60s, 70s and 80s, this ridiculous sidekick is on par with Bat-Mite, Snarf, and Scrappy Doo. But then the song picks back up, ending with a final, triumphant GODZILLA-AHHH!, framed in a wall of magnificent, apocalyptic fire.

Fun fact: Godzilla’s screams and roars were voiced by Ted Cassidy, best known for playing Lurch on The Addams Family.
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23. INSPECTOR GADGET*

1983-1986

Inspector Gadget follows in the bumbling, incompetent footsteps of similarly silly spies, The Pink Panther’s Inspector Clouseau and Get Smart’s Maxwell Smart. But this time he’s a cyborg (Hey, it was the 80s). Also like its predecessors, IG’s opening theme is both mysterious and immediately memorable. Earlier this year, the Inspector got a reboot, with the 1st season of the new show appearing on Netflix, and a second season in the works.

Fun fact: Gadget may have dressed like Clouseau, but he sounded like Smart. Which makes sense, considering Don Adams did the voices for both Maxwell Smart and Inspector Gadget.
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22. THE AQUABATS! SUPER SHOW!*

2012-2014

The Aquabats! Super Show! is best described by one of its creators, Christian Jacobs, “If the person is over 30, I’d say it’s like Batman meets The Monkees, with a little bit of Sid and Marty Krofft in it. If they’re under 30, I’d say Power Rangers meets Flight of the Conchords, very sarcastic. If they’re kids… superheroes fighting monsters. And at some point, something will explode.”

Equally as awesome as the show’s premise is the music. The Aquabats originated as an actual (though always humorous) band, so it’s a no-brainer the series would be kicked off by such a ridiculously raucous theme song.

Fun fact: The show was created by Christian Jacobs (The Aquabats’ leader, MC Bat Commander) and Scott Schultz, the pair responsible for creating Yo Gabba Gabba!

Funner fact: The raucous, ska-tinged theme song was co-written by The Aquabats and Warren Fitzgerald, guitarist for The Vandals and Oingo Boingo.
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21. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER*

1997-2003

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is all about creating paradoxes and busting stereotypes. A blonde high school girl (with a very blonde name) who hunts vampires, demons & every other beastly thing…in a town called Sunnydale. Secondary to the core Girl Power message are her posse of nerdy (and mostly super-powered) sidekicks, and her doomed love affair with a soulfull vampire.

The same paradoxes exist in the Buffy theme song, composed and performed by the nerdtastically-named Nerf Herder. It starts off with an old school monster movie organ, then kicks into indie rock high gear, all driving guitars and manic drumming, ending with a cymbal crash into a heap of spooky, hormonal fun.

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THE REST OF THE LIST:

1-10      11-20      31-40   ★   41-50

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I’ve also set up a YouTube Playlist, where you can feel nostalgic, get super-charged, and curse my name for not including your faves.

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

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