The Seven Best Superhero Movie Themes

Senior Contributor
03.09.12 19 Comments

Film scores are, believe it or not, one of our key outlets of orchestral music. And there are some incredibly talented composers working for the movies.
We sat down, sifted through the various scores, especially over the last ten years or so, when superhero movies really took off, and picked out the ten best scores.
Unsurprisingly, at least two involve Batman.

Say what you will about the movie, Carlo Siliotto’s score was top-notch. Especially since he’s largely worked in Italian cinema and when he comes to the US to compose, it’s for movies about puppies and romantic comedies.

There’s a reason “Superman Returns” pretty much just had a few tweaks and rearrangements of John Williams’ score.

The movie may be love it or hate it, but film score nerds were shocked Danny Elfman handed in something so unlike him.

You know, like this.
And speaking of the late ’80s-early ’90s comic movie boom…

James Horner handed in a handful of incredibly influential scores (that he copied relentlessly: listen to “Aliens” and “Star Trek II” closely and you’ll realize they’re basically the same score). But this is fairly unique, and it soars.

Boy, Danny Elfman turns up on this list a lot.

What’s actually interesting about Hans Zimmer’s score is that the Joker and Batman are represented on the soundtrack not by a specific theme but by two notes apiece: Batman with two notes of brass, and the Joker with a violin note stretched beyond seeming human capacity.
Any you think we missed? Post ’em in the comments.

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