Four Letter Nerd

Superheroes and Music: Who Does the DC Universe Listen To?

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Stephen and I came up with an idea for a new article in which he and I work together to figure out what music Marvel and DC Universe characters would listen too. At first I thought the idea was funny and nothing more than a clever gimmick. (After all, here at 4LN, if Stephen says something we take it with a grain of sand, because most of the time there are a couple derogatory words used followed by some foul language.) In today’s article I am going to look at five DC Universe characters and figure out who or what music they would listen too. And if you come back tomorrow, which I suggest you do, you’ll get some serious laughs at the musicians that Stephen has thrown together for our friendly superpowers over at Marvel.

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You don’t want to know what else he continued to say…

Now, I have spent a lot of time trying to come up with who would be my first superhero/villain for this article. Then it hit me… someone that most people have no clue exists. And that is one of Captain Marvel/Shazam’s corniest villains. Good ole Mr. Banjo. Yes, that’s right it’s a villain and he plays a banjo. Now, Banjo man has only appeared in two issues and I believe that’s three issues to many.  During World War II, Mr. Banjo would send the Japanese secret messages while playing the banjo, AND he would also battle Captain Marvel with nothing more than his Banjo, yeah… that sound’s like it ended well for him.

Mr Banjo

Now, I feel like Mr. Banjo would be a HUGE fan of bluegrass pioneer Earl Scruggs. Earl Scruggs was one of the pioneers for three-finger banjo pickin’ and played with Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys and later left Monroe’s band to start one with former band member Lester Flatt. I feel like Mr. Banjo might have been listing to The Grand Ole Opry on the radio one evening and he heard that eerie bluegrass banjo and it forever changed his life and he soon used his banjo for evil and to forever tarnish the bluegrass sound by becoming a traitor to the allied forces. Thanks a lot Mr. Banjo!

My second character for this would have to be my favorite Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner. Kyle was chosen to be a lantern by Ganthet and Kyle always believed he was chosen by chance. Its very rare for the Guardians to hand pick a lantern, most of the time, the ring selects a wearer who shows great will power, but that was not the case for Kyle. At one point, Kyle was even the leader of the Corps and he has now since evolved into being one of the most powerful lanterns. No, he is not a Green, Blue, Red or Indigo Lantern, but he is now The White Lantern who can harness all powers of the emotional spectrum and no longer just one emotion at a time.

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Now, Kyle has always had a short temper and been a little hot headed, and I think that is why I relate to him so much. I see myself in him a lot more than in any other DC characters. Based on his short temper and stubbornness, I feel like Kyle would be a major fan of Hardcore Punk. Not so much the early years of hardcore like Minor Threat, Black Flag, and The Germs. Kyle would be a fan of some of todays angrier more frustrated hardcore like Trash Talk or even Dead Swans. He’s a frustrated guy that can’t really control all of his emotions so he’s attracted to the raw pure energy that is offered by hardcore punk songs like “Explode” by Trash Talk. Just some raw relentless music that Kyle will jam as he moves from space sector to space sector.

Next up, we have one of DC’s darker characters and really one of the few anti-heroes that DC offers. His name is John Constantine, and he’s the pre-historic emo. John is a detective stationed in Liverpool and uses violence, an anti-social attitude, and he’s known for doing whatever it takes to get the job done. I can honestly say that Constantine is the hardest character on this list for me to come up with what kind of music he would listen to. I have a lot in mind that John would listen to. For example I think he would dig The Cure, Joy Division, Elliot Smith, My Bloody Valentine, or Nirvana. But, When I finally stopped to think about it, I began to realize that John would be driving around England in his beat up 1986 Toyota Corolla with a mixed tape that his high school sweet heart gave him (a few weeks before she broke his heart). On that mix tape would include the sadder songs by Joy Division (Love Will Tear Us Apart, She’s Lost Control and Shadow Play) followed by the angrier songs by Nirvana (Scentless Apprentice, In Bloom, and Dumb). But I feel like Constantine just listens to these bands in hopes that he can finally feel what his sweetheart was trying to get him to feel way back when.

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Doesn’t he look like a guy that would drive an ’89 Toyota and listen to sad music?

Following Constantine, my next selection of the DC Universe is the wonderful delight known as Swamp Thing. As a quick background Swamp Thing is an elemental creature that shares a connection to all of the plant life that shares a home with him hear on planet earth. He is a giant mass of plant matter and eventually absorbed the memories and personality of botanist Alec Holland. But that wasn’t the only thing he absorbed, not many know this but, The Dark Carnival festival takes place near the swamp in which Swamp Thing calls home. As sure as the night is dark, Swamp Thing soon became one of the biggest fans of Insane Clown Posse and has a few Juggalos carved into him. At each gathering you can be sure to find Swamp Thing with his face painted like a deranged Kiss fan and screaming along to “Boogie Woogie Wu” because Swamp Thing IS the Boogie Woogie Man!

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The final superhero on this list is one of DC’s biggest hitters, Arthur Curry, better known as Aquaman, King of Atlantis and one of the core members of The Justice League. Aquaman is the rightful heir to the Throne of Atlantis and struggles with his connection to Atlantians and to humans, often referred to as “surface dwellers” by those that call the sea their home. Aquaman has always struggled with who he relates to the most, is it the humans that don’t trust him and/or fear him, or does he relate to the people of Atlantis that don’t want him as a king and find him inferior for being part human. But, there is one thing Aquaman can always find comfort in and something to relate with. And, that my fiends, is the Jam rock band Phish. They are a band Aquaman and Mera can walk down the beach with it playing on their boom box, and its just some nice slow jams that Aquaman can play on repeat while he’s swimming from the Pacific to Indian Ocean to help those dolphins caught in some six pack beer plastic carriers. When you spend 98% of your time in the water, you have to be thankful for Spotify and that Life Proof iPhone Case.

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I jokingly sent Aquaman writer (at the time) Geoff Johns a tweet asking who Aquaman’s favorite band is, this was his answer.

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Bill Clark

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