DC Superheroes Playlist

Even though Batman has no Superpower…

The DC Universe is more than comics these days, it’s also a cinematic universe, a television universe, and it has remained a stalwart of the comics publishing industry. It’s also served as an inspiration to artists across all mediums, and one place that is sometimes overlooked is DC’s influence in popular music.

So here’s a playlist of songs fully inspired by the characters of DC Comics and a list of songs that name drop those heroes. Remember kids, name-dropping isn’t inspiration, so that’s why the name drop makes them worth a mention on this list, but only a mention.

Also, I culled the list from as much mainstream music as I could, because with Nerdcore being a real thing, it would be easy to just grab all those songs from bands you’ve never heard of. In fact, some of these bands you may not have heard of, to begin with, but I couldn’t list everything.

Aquaman Master of the OceansAquaman’s Lament by Mark Aaron James
So he might sell a few more comics
As soberly he saves the world
But I’ve had seven gin and tonics
And I want you to be my girl

I can take you to Atlantis
It makes that cave look like a hole
We’ll tie one on on the Titanic
Vicki Vale, my heart you stole

As superheroes go, Aquaman may have it harder than most, not in the canon, but in popular culture as the butt of many, many jokes. However, in this ballad, Mark Aaron Jones dives into Aquaman’s love for Vicki Vale, and his reasoning for her to pick him over Batman.

Batman’s Reply by Mark Aaron James
Yeah, I could take you to the Bat Cave It’s not Atlantis, but it’s dry
Whenever you are in a close shave would you rather swim or fly
And if you see it with objective Of the heroes that you’ve seen
Arthur’s lost perspective Orange doesn’t go with green?

Not to be outdone, years after recording Aquaman’s Lament, Mark Aaron James went back to the well with this, Batman’s Reply to Aquaman. It’s a brilliant, almost comical way for the Dark Knight to rebut Aquaman.

Superman's Pal Jimmy OlsenJimmy Olsen’s Blues by the Spin Doctors
“I got it so bad for little miss Lois Lane.”
“I’m competing with a man of steel.”
“I got a pocket full of kryptonite.”

In this Spin Doctor’s classic, from the album “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” Jimmy Olsen, similar to Aquaman in Aquaman’s Lament, has it hard for a woman in love with another person, who happens to be a superhero. Good Luck, Jimmy.

Superman’s Song by Crash Test Dummies
“Superman never made any money
For saving the world from Solomon Grundy”

This song isn’t anything more than a reiteration of the “boy scout” that Superman is. For example, imagine how much money he could make if he wasn’t a journalist in his Clark Kent hours? Journalists, even the great ones, don’t pull in much salary especially in an industry seemingly in it’s twilight as print media appears to be.

Superman (It’s Not Easy) by Five For Fighting
“I wish that I could cry
Fall upon my knees
Find a way to lie
‘Bout a home I’ll never see”

“Even heroes have the right to bleed”

Of course, it’s not easy being Superman, you might as well have him rewrite and sing “It’s Not Easy Being Green” replacing “green” with “me.” But as this song intonates, even Superman bleeds, in fact, he’s done quite a bit of bleeding. That doesn’t mean he’s not going to get the job done, but it does mean he still hurts, inside because of “a home I’ll never see” and outside because he bleeds.

Superman Action Comics 485Waitin’ for a Superman by The Flaming Lips
Tell everybody waiting for Superman
That they should try to hold on best they can
He hasn’t dropped them, forgot them, or anything
It’s just too heavy for Superman to lift

So Superman, while he may be super and all that stuff, it doesn’t mean he can just do everything. There could very well be something too heavy for Superman to lift, but the idea here is that just because he can’t do something doesn’t mean he’s forgetting about the victims. The point is that there’s a good chance he’ll find some other way to save you. That’s what superheroes (not just Superman) do!

Waiting for Superman by Daughtry
“Yeah, he’s still coming, just a little bit late.
He got stuck at the laundromat washing his cape.”

“Yeah, he’s still coming, just a little bit late.
He got stuck at the Five and Dime saving the day.”

There’s always that moment before the superhero arrives. That moment when the villain, or the crime, seems like it is going to succeed and you’re either going to be dead or hurt. In that moment, you’re just waiting, helpless. Now, imagine that you actually have a relationship with the hero, perhaps he’s off battling someone else at that moment? You just don’t know, do you? So you must have some faith in the hero, otherwise, you aren’t waiting for anyone.

The Daring New Adventures of SupergirlThat’s Really Super, Supergirl by XTC
That’s really super Supergirl
How you saved yourself in seconds flat
And your friends are going to say
That’s really super Supergirl
How you’re changing the world’s weather
But you couldn’t put us back together
Super Supergirl
How you stopped the universe from dying
But you’re never going to stop me crying
Super Supergirl
I’m here in your Fortress of Solitude
Don’t mean to be rude
But I don’t feel super

Let’s face it. Dating a superhero can’t be easy. And when you pack teenage hormones into the equation, well… Hang on for the ride, it won’t be easy. With the long track record of superheroes in bad relationships, it doesn’t seem to matter that they have powers. When you boil it all down, relationships are messy for us mortals, and are exponentially harder when one of you is a “Super.”

Barry Allen The FlashThe Ballad of Barry Allen by Jim’s Big Ego
“I’ve got time to think about my past
As I dodge between the bullets
How my life was so exciting before I got this way
And how long ago it was”

“How I wish I’d never gone into my lab
To experiment that night
Before lightning flashed around me
And time changed speed”

Perhaps, having all the time in the world isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Perhaps all that time, when you really can make minutes out of seconds could truly drive you insane. We’ve all spent time in our own minds, thankfully for us mortals, a minute may feel like an hour but it was actually a minute. We can’t speed things up or slow them down in reality, but Barry can. Poor, Barry.

Cinematic Inspirations

For the soundtracks of various Batman films, Prince, Method Man, Snoop Dogg, and R. Kelly have channeled what the hero does on screen into a song.

Batdance by Prince (Batman and Vicki Vale, it was written for a movie so…)

The Riddler by Method Man (Again, it was written for a film)

Batman & Robin by Snoop Dogg (Again…)

Gotham City by R. Kelly (Batman’s City)

And select name droppers (as there are many more):

  • Superman‘s Dead by Our Lady Peace
  • Superman by Eminem
  • Superman Tonight by Bon Jovi
  • Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down
  • (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman – by The Kinks
  • Superman by R.E.M.
  • Challengers by New Pornographers (Challengers of the Unknown)
  • Superlungs My Supergirl by Donovan
  • Superwoman by Karyn White
  • Wonder Woman by Larissa Lam


If I have missed a movie song or a “name-dropper” that’s alright, there are a lot of them, but if I have missed a legitimate comics inspired song, please let me know.