I love a really good superhero score. Some of my favorite pieces include John Williams’ Superman theme, Danny Elfman’s Batman introduction, Brian Tyler’s Iron Man 3 score, “Favela Escape” from Incredible Hulk, and of course the stellar, amazing, and unforgettable title to Condorman. What? I can’t be the only person who watched that as a kid.
So my expectations when it comes to superhero music is high: It has to be well-done, be highly memorable, and get me so pumped up that I can’t help but fantasize about gaining powers myself. Unfortuantely, I’ve found superhero MMO scores to be a much more mixed bag than their movie counterparts, with good tracks here and there but few consistently great OSTs. It took a MOBA, Infinite Crisis, to show the rest of the field how it should be done.
I’m deeply impressed with Infinite Crisis’ score through-and-through. It was composed by Turbine Audio Director Matthew Harwood and has an amazing amount of variety and personality, not to mention a few of those must-have pump-me-up pieces. I think it reflects well on the “anything goes” attitude of the game’s diverse roster, and it’s earned a spot in my superhero music library.
1. Class 5 Leviathan
I don’t play the game, so I have absolutely no idea what this track title is referring. I’ll take a wild guess from the context and the music that this is some sort of boss track because it’s got that deep industrial electronic sound with a non-stop ride of action. The horns do a good job making me think of the more heroic (and less brooding) era of comic book films, and I love how it actually takes the time to tell a story throughout the piece. It’s very cinematic and worthy of my respect.
2. Resolve (Green Lantern’s Theme)
The Infinite Crisis soundtrack is split in half between your standard tracks and themes for many of the game’s core characters. I found these character themes fascinating due to their creative variety that echo the spirit and personality of that hero or villain. For instance, dubstep with Green Lantern. It’s silly and over-the-top, but you know what? It’s kind of cool even so.
3. This Fight Is Mine
Another terrific cinematic-quality track, This Fight Is Mine reminds me a bit of the high-spirited Avengers score. It really gets good toward the end (around 3:25) when it drops some of the darker baggage and soars. My only regret is that we don’t hear more of that last part before the track abruptly ends.
4. Hope (Superman’s Theme)
It’s inevitable — and completely unfair — for any Superman theme to be compared with William’s score. But I tried to listen past that here, and it’s a good thing I did so because this is a wonderful approach in its own right.
Hope begins with a soft piano, which I imagine to represent the early days of Clark Kent before he took up the mantle of a superhero. Then it blasts off into a grand, epic movement that got the hairs on my arm to stand up. Finally, the two sides — Clark and Supes — come together for a mixture of the tones, a reconciliation of the duality of his character. There’s even a small touch of similar horns echoing the classic Superman theme (but just a touch).
5. Mischief (Harley Quinn’s Theme)
Harley Quinn is a cult favorite of the Batman franchise, and I think that her theme on this OST does her justice. It’s wild and manic, done circus-style, swirling faster and faster until everyone falls over exhausted — or dead. Pity it’s this short, but I don’t imagine it could have kept up the pace forever.
6. Justice (Batman’s Theme)
Can’t have this column without some Batman in it, am I right? For lack of a better term, this track does sound very “Batmanish,” although it fails to solidify in as memorable of a theme as his films or animated series. I actually really wanted to feature the Gaslight Batman theme (Promise), but alas, it is nowhere to be found online yet. Another track I would have gladly shared was Zatanna’s Theme, which also hasn’t made its way to YouTube.
I sincerely hope I tempted you to check the full Infinite Crisis soundtrack out because this is some rip-roaring stuff right here. I might even be listening to it it (small voice) when I’m in certain superhero MMOs.