Traditionally, when comic-book super-heroes are adapted for the screen, they are accompanied by big orchestras playing heroic themes. Think John Williams’ “Superman” theme or Danny Elfman’s “Spider-Man” music.
For its TV series, however, Marvel has thrown out the old rulebook. Like the Marvel Universe itself, not every hero is alike; some of them don’t even wear colorful costumes. No fewer than 13 series based on Marvel Comics are either on the air now or will be by this time next year, and their scores are as diverse as the characters themselves.
“I love what Marvel has done,” says Dawn Soler, senior vice-president for music for ABC Studios, which oversees most of the Marvel series. “They are not locking into a ‘Marvel sound.’ Super-heroes are becoming a different thing than they were way back when. They are worlds apart. Every score is different.”
The approaches vary widely, from the psychedelic colors of “Legion” to the noirish jazz of “Jessica Jones”; from the gritty textures of “Daredevil” to the urban sounds of “Luke Cage”; from the classic orchestral heroics of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” to the propulsive synths of “Iron Fist.”