Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Superhero Theme Project: Scarlet Witch and Silver Surfer

My previous post indicated that the Little One’s interest in the Superhero Theme Project wound down earlier this year. To a degree that was true, but her interest in superheroes never really waned at all. In fact, all of the effort I put into acquainting her with Marvel characters paid off when she discovered The Superhero Squad Show on Netflix. This show is a kid-friendly microcosm of the Marvel Universe, with low-key violence and funny side jokes for the comic fan parent that is undoubtedly nearby. Although pretty bereft of any real educational value, it has familiarized her with a lot of my favorite characters and, eventually, granted her enough expertise in their backgrounds to come up with her own favorites. She had several characters that she particularly liked, and that gave me the leverage to pry the playlist back open.

During the last run on characters, I ran across the End Credits theme from The Black Hole. If you were a fan of this movie from back when it was released, it is best kept in your memory. It has not aged particularly well. The soundtrack, however, is still incredibly evocative. Revisiting this composition vividly brought back that swirling maw through the perception of my third grade eyes.

For the Superhero Theme Project, I really like to adopt themes like this – ones that time will probably forget. The likelihood that the Little One will ever see The Black Hole, much less become a fan, is pretty slim. This End Credit theme is a very compelling piece of music, though, that deserves to live on in some form.

Still, when it came to my attention, there seemed to be no characters that fit. It had potential as The Red Tornado’s theme, but it was too menacing and ponderous to make sense. I considered using it as a villain theme, but that still largely went against the mission statement of the project. The solution came when the Little One declared that one of her favorite heroes was The Scarlet Witch.

This character had a background as a villain (which is actually addressed in The Superhero Squad) who turned over a new leaf. Additionally, her probability-bending powers satisfyingly mapped to the theme’s kaleidoscopic texture. Its depth caused her to initially mistake it for the Hulk theme, but she quickly learned to distinguish one from the other.

For the second character, I had to make a concession. Over a year ago, I made a pact with myself not to use any Star Trek music, in the hopes that the Little One would one day become a Trek fan. With so much outstanding and memorable music in the franchise, however, it has been very difficult. I conceded by using material from the movies to represent on Iceman and Robin, but I resisted using any of the more familiar themes from the television series. When she told me that the Silver Surfer was one of her favorites, though, I could not use anything but the theme from Voyager.

Again, to be realistic, the probability that she will end up being a huge fan of this series is relatively slim. To be honest, even though I watched the series, I was not its hugest advocate. Its theme, however, is one of the best compositions in the entire franchise. It evokes majesty and power, and it is not at all a stretch to replace the images in my mind of Voyager gliding through space with the Silver Surfer, who is one of my personal all-time favorite characters. It seemed fitting to overlook my self-imposed stipulation in this case.

These two themes are now part of a four-track “sub-list” that was uploaded shortly after the last post, and she is very, very enthusiastic about these entries. I am too, for that matter. It helped to have some time and space to allow these themes to find their way to the right heroes. The other two tracks were a different story.

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