Before I begin, I want to say that I had a simply amazing time at Anime Mid-Atlantic this past weekend. The panels were wonderful, the audiences at my panels were enthusiastic and responsive, it was great seeing friends there, and was overall about as good a time as one can have at one of these things. When I imagine the damn-near perfect anime convention, I think of Anime Mid-Atlantic and this year especially.
Now, on to the blog.
Man of Steel came out on Friday. It’s the new reboot of the Superman franchise and the long-rumored kickoff point of the Justice League franchise, Warner Bros/DC’s answer to the Disney/Marvel’s Avengers Project. Now, I didn’t care for the movie on a number of levels, but one principle reason was the music.
Going into this movie, a lot of movie critics and speculators had talked about how John Williams’ Superman Theme from the 1978 film was and is one of the greatest, most heroic pieces of music ever written. And they’re right. Give it a listen:
That, right there, is quite simply one of the best pieces of music ever. Hands down. Bar none. Damn straight. And it has become so recognized as part of the Superman mythos that it was even used in the finale of Smallville.
And thus, going into this film – the Man of Steel – so many people had talked about how, to forge its own identity, this movie would have to leave behind the epic greatness that was John Williams’ music. And yet to do so would be insane because of how iconic it had become. No version of Superman could ever stand up to what William’s had done musically with the most famous superhero of all time.
Really? No one? No version existed that didn’t do a comparable job, worthy of being a successor musically to the masterpiece of Williams’ work?
That’s the theme to the Superman Animated Series by the magnificent Shirley Walker. And it is excellent. It is so much of what Williams’ original theme is, but with a unique feel all its own. It’s less epic but more adventurous. It’s the perfect theme for an animated series, perhaps even better for that particular brand of the tale than the Williams’ theme would have been.
So please don’t tell me ‘nobody could follow John Williams’. Because somebody already has, and excelled at it.