Steve from Gosh Comics Top Ten
This week we have a special TOP TEN!! We have got Steve from Gosh! Comics (who have an excellent shop just down the road from us if you don’t know!)
10 songs featuring superheroes (and villains!)
I Whupped Batman’s Ass – Wesley Willis
Plagued by psychotic episodes across his life, Wesley Willis found some solace in the ‘joy rides’ he performed onstage with his keyboard providing backing courtesy of it’s ‘auto accompaniment’ feature. His songs were frequently obscene and always odd, usually punctuated by Wesley yelling out a random corporate slogan (‘TIMEX – TAKES A LICKING AND KEEPS ON TICKING’) at the end of each track.
Protect Ya Neck – Wu Tang Clan
All of the Clan are big comic book fans, with Ghostface naming an album after ‘Iron Man’ and using the Armoured Avengers secret identity of Tony Stark as one of his own personas but it’s Inspectah Deck who references Spider-Man in his verse on their debut single. Savagely Attack – Czarface And in a later side-project with 7L & Esoteric we find Deck leaning fully into the world of superhero comics with a couple of albums that reference tons of characters from DC and Marvel.
In The Garage – Weezer
Pulling out a couple of big X-Men fan favourites (but not household names) with Nightcrawler and Kitty Pryde fits this hymn to obscure passions, with corresponding namechecks for Ace Frehly and Peter Cris from KISS over their more famous bandmates.
Challengers – The New Pornographers
Possibly the deepest cut of all here as The New Pornographers reference The Challengers Of The Unknown, a quartet of adventurers who first appeared in DC Comics in the 50’s courtesy of Jack Kirby, who would later go on to co-create a more famous quartet in the shape of The Fantastic Four with Marvel in the 1960’s.
Madvillain – All Caps
No lyrical references here but rather a nod to the persona of MF DOOM in general, with his name, actual metal mask and insistence of being thought of as a ‘supervillain’ all based around Dr Victor Von Doom, the arch-enemy of The Fantastic Four. This video is also a visual tribute to the work of Jack Kirby, creator of Dr Doom and dozens of other hugely important characters.
Ghost Rider – Suicide
Although in essence a song about America’s doomed youth there’s little doubt that the ‘motorcycle hero’ who ‘blazes away’ as he screams the truth is Marvel’s own Spirit Of Vengeance. They even mention his blue jumpsuit!
Nobody Loves The Hulk – The Traits
A lovely slice of 60’s garage punk that also tells the origin story of Marvel’s own Incredible Hulk before making some clumsy points about America’s racial divide at the time by referencing his green skin. Yikes.
How I Wrote Elastic Man – The Fall
Despite the title MES spends the whole song singing about Plastic Man, his way of attacking people who misunderstand his lyrics and showcasing the character created by Jack Cole in 1941. In a possibly inadvertent salute to the song, Phil Foglio’s 1987 Plastic Man reboot has the character given his codename by a reporter who mishears his wish to be called ‘Elastic Man’.
Magneto & Titanium Man – Wings
Not satisfied with doing a Bond theme, getting Rupert The Bear into the Top Ten AND being a Beatle, McCartney also found time to stick this on a B-Side in 1975. The bizarre lyrics feature an A-List Marvel villain in the form of Magneto but also include a couple of pretty obscure baddies in The Titanium Man and The Crimson Dynamo, all of whom seem to be conspiring to frame Paul’s girlfriend for a bank robbery(!)