||ROCK MUSIC IN SUPERHERO MOVIES
6th January 2017
Movie fans were recently treated to the first trailer for Logan, the new X-Men movie that's expected to be Hugh Jackman's final turn as Wolverine. The trailer is getting a lot of buzz, not only because it's offering a peek at a far more serious and emotional twist on a superhero movie, but also because of its incredible use of the Johnny Cash cover of 'Hurt' by Nine Inch Nails. Something about the song playing in the background just makes Logan feel unlike anything we've seen when it comes to superhero movies.
The truth is that well known rock songs have been frequently used in a genre most might assume limits itself primarily to original compositions. The difference is that 'Hurt' stands out with its slow pace, no-frills acoustic guitar, and emotional climax while the bulk of music used in superhero movies tends to embrace straight-up rock'n'roll.
It started, of course, with 2008s Iron Man and its 2010 sequel. As one site pointed out, these two Marvel movies alone contain a half dozen AC/DC songs, as well as music by Black Sabbath, Queen and The Clash. Most memorably, Iron Man opened up with 'Back In Black' in a scene where American war vehicles are ambushed by terrorists. Of course there's also the actual 'Iron Man' song by Black Sabbath that closes out the same film, but it's pretty wild to think that this whole wild ride that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe started off with a little AC/DC.
But the connection between superheroes and rock'n'roll began before Iron Man was ever released. Sometimes people forget the superhero movies that came out before Iron Man and the inception of the 'MCU', including the over-the-top absurd Ghost Rider starring Nic Cage. Rather than employing the likes of AC/DC and Black Sabbath for its soundtrack, this movie took the originality approach and put together a bunch of original, hard rock'n'roll that suited its action-packed sequences. They were doing something right, because sounds from the movie have survived to this day through a slot arcade based on the film and hosted among the array of casino games at this online platform. Built as one of the more dynamic licensed reels on the web, the Ghost Rider game involves an intro sequence and bonus games with heavy guitar riffs perfectly complement the flaming skulls and motorcycles of the comic.
Truthfully, this list could go on for quite some time. Not every superhero movie employs hard or classic rock, but different types of rock'n'roll have long been attached to superhero films. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues in the years to come, especially these films appear to be taking themselves more and more seriously but we like to think that there will always be a place for rock when it comes to comics.