Thursday, November 20, 2008

Superheroes and their music: Marvel (Part 2)

Today we turn to the musical tastes of selected members of the X-Men and the Avengers.

Cyclops: The man who started this whole train of thought. Honestly, looking at that picture I posted yesterday, that is a guy who is into ambient techno. Scott Summers is big into moody analog synthesizer, going back to Walter/Wendy Carlos. Outside of that, however, he loves the Flaming Lips, especially The Soft Bulletin; there’s a curious blend of sadness and optimism that speaks to him.

Jean Grey: Joni Mitchell and college radio. I know it seems like a tossed-off “she’s the girl, of course that’s what she likes” answer, but Jean always seemed to find herself in the thankless role of “the girl” in the X-Men (I suspect they keep going back to the Phoenix well with her because there’s not often much else to her character).

Angel: You will never meet anybody who knows as much about popular music as Warren Worthington III. If you discover a cool new band, Warren heard them six months ago and is already on to something else, but he’ll never lord it over you. He’s also a memorabilia guy — he’s bid on and won original handwritten John Lennon lyrics, pieces of guitars smashed by the Who, that sort of thing.

Iceman: Bobby Drake is into ‘90s alternative and maintains that anybody who doesn’t like “Breakfast and Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something is either lying or has no heart. He has seen Hootie and the Blowfish in concert at least four times and hooked up with a chick he met at one. Like me, Bobby owns every Semisonic album, including the Pleasure EP.

Beast: Elvis Costello and XTC. Quirky, clever, and funny — what else would Hank McCoy listen to? The only two people still fighting the Battle of Britpop are Hank (Blur) and Bobby (Oasis).

Banshee: Country music (he actually goes to see Grand Ole Opry in Giant Size X-Men #1). Incidentally, hates namesake Shaun Cassidy just like the Michael Bolton scene in Office Space.

Wolverine: In a recent issue of Uncanny X-Men, he’s listening to “Life’s Been Good” by Joe Cocker, so I guess he could be into the Eagles and maybe the Steve Miller Band, too. Logan’s a jukebox kinda guy (you’ve got to be if you spend as much time in bars as he does) and always starts off with some Johnny Cash just so you know we’re not messing around here.

Captain America: Cap likes Glenn Miller, of course, and I believe an affinity for Oklahoma! is canonical from a Stern/Byrne issue from the ‘80s. He’ll listen to a contemporary artist if you recommend one, but… well, it’s just not the same, is it?

Iron Man: My choices for Tony Stark are heavily influenced by the movie. Of course he would listen to AC/DC and Sabbath, and having him listening to “Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies really opens up the character. He probably used to play Dead Milkmen at fancy charity fundraisers just to irritate the older billionaires.

Hawkeye: Classic rock. As much as Clint Barton might make fun for Cap for being old-fashioned, he rarely wavers from the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, Creedence, Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen. He’s been to a couple Dark Star Orchestra shows. He likes straightforward Moody Blues songs like “Ride My See-Saw” and “Question,” but prog rock’s not for him.

Henry Pym: He’s the other side of the classic rock coin from Hawkeye. He’s a huge Beatles fan — the kind that still has old bootlegs of alternate takes and unreleased tracks. Loves Steely Dan, Queen, Yes, and Peter Gabriel-era Genesis.

She-Hulk: She’s the kind of person iPods were invented for. She likes to keep it fun and upbeat. She loves Scissor Sisters and Kylie Minogue, and she will beat you up if you say something bad about Shania Twain. In private moments, listens to a little bit of Billy Joel and Elton John, for some reason.

Luke Cage: I don't read New Avengers, so I don't know how his character's changed, but as originally conceived, nobody can deny this was a man who liked his funk and liked it loud.

Rick Jones: Journey, Starship, Foreigner, and Motley Crue. Tony Stark cannot frigging stand Rick Jones.

Leave a comment if you care to debate these picks. We can nerd it up together. I’d take requests too.

Coming soon: The DC Universe. Which popular ‘70s rock band does Tim Drake own every album by, and who turned him on to them? Find out next week.

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