The Ultimate Superhero Rock Band

Many are celebrating the release of Rock Band 2. Those of us who do, know intrinsically what it is to waste time. I mean to really dig in there, and fritter hours away with absolutely no benefit to anyone in any way. Yet, there are ways that I can think of to waste more time still, as I am master of that domain.

Say you’re setting up your own rock band, either virtual or actually instrumental, and you’ve got to populate that band with characters from the world of superheroes (universe not being a factor). Who would you go with? Because musical talent is one thing, but when it comes to rock, it’s all about personality. For the purpose of clarity, think of this like a big balls out rock band, not any indie, emo, intellectual bands that we all so love.

Lead Vocals:

This has to be someone with both leadership qualities and a rebellious streak. The greatest leader in the Marvel Universe is probably Captain America, but he’s a bit old fashioned to be fronting a band, so we’ll have to find someone else. I guess it also depends on the kind of band we’re talking about, because in a certain kind of weird, punk band, Deadpool would make a great frontman, as well as fill in the non-music bits pretty well, and provide that whole gross-out, no-face shock value thing. But if we’re straight up rocking, I think I’m going to go with Rogue. That’s right, she’s already got the rocker hair, and is both sexy, and untouchable. She’s proven she can be a leader, but you never know what to expect. Is there anything hotter than a southern chick fronting a rock band? She even looks eerily similar to Steven Tyler. However, watch out if she tries to crowd surf.

Rhythm Guitar:

This is crucial. A lot of people discount the rhythm guitarist, Slash owes Izzy Stradlin more than you or he would care to admit. This has to be a guy who’s a rock, steady and stalwart, but also with enough flair so that it’s not just a dude strumming chords back there, faceless, adding nothing. I think Wally West (before the whole damned family thing) is our man on the chords. He’s fast, for sure, and that helps with the speedier songs, but the Flash works great when he’s with a team like the Justice League or even the Titans. He’s got enough flair to be on his own, but he just works in a group. Obviously, he’ll need a big red guitar, something classic like a Les Paul, with a kicking flame top.


Bass players never catch a break. They get no recognition, and 9 times of 10, it’s just some replaceable tall, gangly dude with 2 first names. I can’t even think of what John Paul Jones looks like. I have two thoughts on the matter, which I will now share. On the one hand, I think J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter (still alive for the purposes of this exercise) would really hold down the low end. He’s tall, powerful, imposing, yet doesn’t seek the spotlight. He’s the steady guiding force that keeps things moving. On the other hand, your band couldn’t have any pyrotechnics, so the stage show would suffer.

But I couldn’t decide for sure, so the other way to go would be in the opposite direction, which would be Thor. He is the God of Thunder isn’t he? Gene Simmons wishes he was that rocking! Here’s a guy who can sound out a thundering beat, and is sexy enough to make sure the backstage overflowing with groupies. Plus, that guy can hold his mead, if you follow me. A lot of bands go for the guy who just holds the beat, and stays in the shadows, but if I’ve learned anything from the Who, it’s that John Entwistle won’t be denied, and neither will the Odinson. Plus, there’s some really apt “hammer of the gods” tagline to be given to his musical stylings out there to be had.


I already mentioned Thor right? Oh well. I guess we’ll have to go with Ben Grimm, the Thing. Are there, in fact, any other instruments that can be clobbered? Plus, as drums are all about timing, and Ben is all about “Clobbering Time,” it’s a perfect match. The word “bombastic” comes to mind. He’s also cranky and surly, so would surely make the eventual documentary about the band more interesting when he tells the producers too much in his one on one camera time. It’s just a shame that they’ve already used the title “Some Kind of Monster,” because it would work much better for a band featuring the Thing.

Lead Guitar:

This was a tough one for me. Who’s got it all? The charm, the looks, the personality, and the overall coolness to handle being the frontman in the most SUPERgroup of all time? Jack Knight, Starman is my answer. He’s got the tattoos, and the hunger to look different from the pack to start with. He’s a non-conformist rebel, but when the crowd calls for it, Jack can battle it out with the big guns. Plus, his cosmic rod isn’t all that far off from a vintage guitar is it? Plus, imagine the contacts Jack has for getting vintage gear! He’d probably have some ancient amp and vintage effects that sound amazing. Then, Jack appreciates the old stuff, the classics, so he wont’ be churning out meaningless pop. Finally, he’s already got an illegitimate kid, so he’s taking after many rockers out there!

Not necessary to the band, but still….

Background Vocals and/or Horn Section:

I just wanted to make a joke about Jamie Madrox here, because it always looks cool when your background guys wear matching outfits, and the Multiple Man could actually be matching people as well.

Now we only have to think of a band name. In the meantime, I’ll be playing Rock Band 2, and acing the virtual solos in “Alive,” even though, I can play it all note for note in real life, which makes zero sense.



  1. That Slayer video with Thor was awesome.

  2. The chip in my brain that allows me to withstand massive amounts of geekitude has finally exploded.  But not before admitting that, in a weird way, it all made sense.  I would maybe replace Rogue with Gambit for a little of that Cajun vibe, or better yet – co-lead vocalists?  Hysterical post, Mr. Flanagan…you have once again made my morning!

  3. Lack of Dazzler = FAIL

  4. Thanos and Death in a Captain & Tennille tribute band.  

    When I read Infinity Gauntlet I had "Love Will Keep Us Together" stuck in my head.   

  5. Pied Piper has to head up your horns section, surely? 

  6. Seriously man you must have put some thought into this as it could be the best line up for a super hero rock band I could think off. The Thing on Drums is genius and so is the placing of Madrox. Like others I’m not sure about your front man (or woman in this case) but overall what a band.

  7. Turok just because his name would make sense; don’t want to stereotype the Native American but put him on drums.

  8. Ooh! This was fun! I’m assuming that we’re still counting characters that may be dead (well, dead for now, at least)?

    Lead Vocals: Jenny Sparks. She’s cool, sexy, a strong leader, and you wouldn’t mess with her. Plus she smokes like a trooper, and having lived from 1900 to 2000 she probably bedded most great rock stars from Ozzy to Johnny Rotten. Bonus points: She can provide her own light show!

    Rhythm Guitar: Tim Drake. Always dependable, a great backbone for the group, but young and sexy enough to get his own groupies and not be overshadowed. Bonus points: He currently looks like he should be in Kings Of Leon anyway.

    Bass: This was tough, but I’m going with Dr Manhattan. You want strong and imposing? Look no further. There’s no way this guy wouldn’t get noticed but he’d never seek the limelight. Plus, he could change size at will for a great stage show, and his cosmic knowledge of everything means he wouldn’t even have to practise. Bonus points: The bass would cover his bits, thus making it clean for a younger audience.

    Drums: Agent 355. Think about it. Who would have better timing than a crack sniper and assassin? She’s hardly the most jovial of people which makes her fit the image nicely, and her position at the back of the stage is the perfect vantage point to keep an eye on the band and look for any troublemakers. Bonus points: She could double as the band’s security.

    Lead Guitar: My one and only choice is Cassidy. The only man cool enough to not get overshadowed by Jenny’s stage antics, be able to drink all night and still play it note perfect, and as proved in Preacher he’d have a charm and charisma that no one could resist. Like Jenny, he’s lived long enough he probably knew all the classic rock stars anyway, and his rider demands would be simple – Jack Daniels and cigarettes. Bonus points: He’d sleep all day anyway.

    For a band name, with Jenny and Cassidy possibly being the driving creative forces, and both with a wicked sense of humour they’d so for something like ‘Why So Syphilis?’

    Awesome article, Josh, this was fun! Can’t wait to read other ideas!

  9. Wow you’ve been thinking about this for awhile havent ya josh?

    Let’s see my ultimate band would have to be:

    Vocals: Tony Stark (only because his past history with excess partying/drinking would make him the best leader)

    Guitar: Reed Richards (He would find the perfect sound waves to make the perfect rock anthem!)

    Bass: Cloak (He dresses like a goth man, wears alot of black, and is always quite…perfect for a simple instrument!)

    Drums: Deadpool (There would be no drums when he is done, he’ll be so crazy you’ll wish you knew how to play like him.)

    Next week how about groupies josh? 🙂

  10. oh, another winning article!!  My turn:

    Lead Vocals: Black Canary.  Looks and a voice, can’t lose!

    Lead Guitar: Spiral.  Six arms, all of them made for shredding

    Rhythm Guitar: Luke Cage.  Great supporting character and someone who could back you up very well.  I would bring the one with the tiara, for the added flair

    Drums: Howard the Duck.  No idea why, I just need him in my band

    Bass: Swamp Thing.  Aside from the fact that I always pictured him having a deep voice, he is very methodical and brooding.  Although he  may seem slow and dimwitted because of the way he talks, he is all business.

  11. Wow. I love this site. I mean, my band is all Harry Potter themed…

    Bassits: Cyclops. He’s dull, boring and repetitive. And then shoots awesome eye beams.

    Vocals: Black Canary. I mean, sure it’s cliched but she’s got the looks and the voice. I’d also accept Emma Frost.

    Guitar: Awesome Andy. He deserves the recognition.

    Drums: Flash. Sure, we may lose some tempo but it happens!


  12. @TheNextChampion after your first few picks there I thought you were going for a super Devo style group 🙂 

  13. @convoy: Nah I was going for a Dave Matthews Band vibe 🙂

  14. Vocals: This is a risky choice, but the payoff could be so worth it: Black Canary. 

    Rhythm guitar: Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. He was emo before emo was cool. And he doesn’t want the spotlight, so he won’t upstage the rest of the band even though his comic sales did. 

    Bass: Wolverine. 4 strings, 3 claws. ‘Nuff said, bub. 

    Drums: A good drummer has a special kind of manic energy, and who in comicdom has that kind of energy to spare? The Joker.

    Lead guitar: Neil Gaiman’s Death. C’mon! You know you want to see these siblings jam. And Death has the personality for lead guitar that poor Dream doesn’t. 

    Background vocals and/or horn section:  The entirety of the Green Lantern Corps. Talk about an epic sound!

  15. How about Kyle Rayner as stage show manager, Strong Guy as head of security and Beast as lead roadie/technician?

    Loved the article. MMH on bass is a great touch. Not too sure about the Thing, it’d have to be one sturdy drum set but I love the idea and the line-up.

  16. Lead Vocals: hard not to go with Black Bolt here. He is the dark brooding type and he’s got the voice that just don’t quit. Obviously I wanted Black Canary, but she’s already taken. I’d consider doing some alternating vocals, kind of a Fleetwood Mac sorta thing with those two in the group. Honorable mention: Iron Man. He may lack the range, but his robotic tones would bring something unique to the group.

    Rhythm Guitar: Iceman. Well, aside from the fact that he’s ‘Cold as Ice’, he’s reliable and willing to follow anothers’ lead. I’m sure he’ll bring something new to the table from time to time, but atleast he won’t get upset when his ideas are rejected. He’s too cool for that.

    Bass: Plasticman. He’s got the look and the reach. Something about him, maybe the glasses, just screams funky mofo’.

    Drums: lotta good candidates for drum player out there but I’m trying to put together a certain image for this group. After much deliberation (about five minutes or so) I’ve decided to go with DC’s forgotten son, Kalibak. Hard to say if it’ll work out, cuz he’s a real pain in the ass, but I think he’ll fit nicely behind the drum kit.

    Lead Guitar: The Shredder. Yeah, I wish you’d have thought of it first, too, but you didn’t. Is this too obvious? You know Shredder can ‘Rock the Shells’ so why not?

    On a side note: it was a good weekend for rockers with the release of Rock Band 2 (wearing my shirt now:). I’d also like to say that, as a 20+ year fan of the band, it’s pleasing to see Metallica getting back to their roots with the release of "Death Magnetic". I am the guy who was upset with The Black Album and considered everything thereafter a waste of time and money. This new album proves that you can still go home from time to time. I know this isn’t the place for it, but I’ve waited 10+ years to say that.                

  17. Lead Vocals: Hal Jordan. I don’t why but he looks like a lead singer. With his history he would probably do some crazy stuff on stage and make it look cool.

    Rhythm Guitar: Captain America. Whatever he does he does it very well and without ego. With Cap, on rhythm on you don’t have to worry about him splitting off and doing a solo career.

    Bass: Black Bolt. Quiet and Badass.

    Drums: Savage Dragon. Just a big hulking guy with a fin on his head rocking out. 

    Lead Guitar: Wolverine. Crazy solo and "SNIKT!" the audiences goes wild as he tares it up, then he stops and the guitar falls apart into a million pieces.


    Yeah. Fun.

  18. Okay, I almost did a spit take reading the bass section.  I play bass.  I;m tall.  I’ve been replaced in bands before.  And my name?  Justin Daniel.

    Josh, you just blew my mind.

  19. I’d like to see John Constantine, Pete Wisdom, Cassidy, and a young Rupert Giles as a Sex Pistols cover band.

  20. Justin, I don’t want to make you feel like you’re not special, but you should probably take up guitar.


  21. My dream band would be a Death Metal outfit… those of you who are into it might recognize some of the players I’m referring to. I’m also into B, C, and D level characters, so I’ll limit my choices to those.

    Lead Vocals (or growls): Terrax (I imagine him sounding like Erik Rutan of Hate Eternal) 

    Rythym Guitar: Wrecker (also doing vocals like Karl Sanders of Nile)

    Lead Guitar: Hawkeye (sounding like Gary Holt of Exodus… I know, he’s thrash but I love his playing)

    Bass: Crossbones (with a dirty bass sound like 

    Drums: Flash (need a speedster to play those blast beats like Derek Roddy!)

  22. Dude, I hope you read Black Metal, because Chuck BB might be your soul mate.

  23. The Flash would be a perfect rhythm guitarist for a thrash metal band.  I think Thor would fit it perfectly with a Black Metal band from Norway, being that he is a Viking god.  And as a person who plays the bass, I can attest to the fact that we don’t get enough credit. 

  24. Ron, as usual, is right.

    Lead Vocals: Dazzler

    Rhythm Guitar & Backing Vocals: Jay Guthrie

    Bass: A pre-secondary mutation Beast (two words: opposable toes)

    Lead Guitar: Rick Jones (who the fuck else? honestly!)

    Drums: Nightcrawler (prehensile tail FTW!)


  25. Alright people. Dazzler?  Too literal.  I’m going for attitude here!  She sings, so she should be the singer?  That’s like the people who say Michael Phelps should play Namor cuz he can sing.

  26. Or swim.

  27. Damn multitasking! 

    Swim!  What he said. 

  28. Green Arrow – vocals – even if it’s a big rock a band i still want it to have politcal lyrics

    Red Tornado – Rhythm Guitar – he could do crazy townsend type arm swings

    Flash – Lead Guitar – he could play incredible solos

    Dead Pool – Bass – he could be like the dee dee ramone of the group

    Sgt Rock – Drums – for that machine gun double bass sound

    Plastic Man – Keyboards – for his finger range.

  29. I have two thoughts:

    A version of the Runaways (Not the comic group!)

    Vocals – Dazzler; Lead Guitar/Vocals – Lila Cheny; Rhythm Guitar – Liberty Belle/Jesse Quick; Bass – Grace (from Outsiders); Drums – Elsa Bloodstone (at least Nextwave her)

     And just a band…

    Vocals – Roy Harper; Lead Guitar – Nova/Richard Rider; Rhythm Guitar – Connor Hakwe; Bass – Warpath; Drums – Bart Allen


    Though I like that Sex Pistols cover band idea. Especially with Ripper! 

  30. Layla Miller as the band manager.  She would be able to make the right decisions and guide the band to stardom ’cause well… she knows stuff.

  31. I thought about this all night. Super-groups are always doomed to failure. Not every member of the group can grab attention. The greatest rock-and-roll outfits have a mixture of characters. The Who had a lead singer who was weak on the vox but great on the frontman stuff. The bassist was twice the guitarist as the guitarist. The drummer was the most obvious member of the group. The Stones did things differently – by ’66, Mick was obviously the best singer, frontman, and point of focus. The guitarists were strong and demanded attention. The (excellent) rhythm seciton was well into the background. None of these models seemed right for the superhero band.


    So, I decided to model my group on one of my favorite bands – the Velvet Underground. For those not in the know, the Velvets were a four-piece outfit, although their first album featured singing from a European chanteuse (their pretentious word, not mine), Nico. And the early champion of the group was the late 20th Century’s superstar artist, Andy Warhol. So: the superhero Velvet Underground.


    Lead singer/rhythm guitarist/primary songwriter: This is the Lou Reed role. This guy has to be cool, seem tough, but have a softer underbelly. He has to sing scary and disturbing words in a relatively lyrical style. He is dark, but not as dark as he thinks he is. I considered several options: Batman, Starman (from the Robinson books), Hawkeye, and Gambit. None was quite as good as my choice – Archangel. The mixture of bad and good, the cold, brooding look, and the libertine kid wanting to escape – I like Archangel here.

    Lead guitarist: Sterling Morrison was the lead guitarist of the Velvet Underground. He also pursued a Ph.D. in English while performing with the band. Clearly, the artsy intellectual of the group. Not a lot of options in the Marvel-verse: Beast is no rocker, and Dr. Strange is a bit hard to imagine as a stage performer. On the other hand, I don’t know the DC universe as well, but I suspect that the Atom would be a candidate (although he is a bit of a science geek). We need more artsy, and less nerd here. Ready or not – my choice is John Constantine.

    Bassist: The Velvet’s first bassist was the natural musician John Cale. Most bassists are steady rockers who avoid the limelight; I don’t think that’s the case with John. He was a rocker, and he liked to push the band. Slow and steady won’t work here; we need a firebrand. Johnny Storm is not cool enough, and Guy Gardner is too angry (though close). Cale was a professional. Having come from Wales in the U.K., I am throwing a curveball here – Pete Wisdom.

    Drums: Handled by the super-cool Maureen (Mo) Tucker, who popularized the use of kettle drums and other non-traditional sounds in rock music. So, we need a cool, non-traditional woman. How about Zatanna? Maybe. Kitty Pryde? Maybe not non-trad enough. Wasp? Please – the wrong side of 42nd St. No – here we need a real rock chick with a New York (Gotham) edge. Bat-Girl.

    Chanteuse: The Nico role. Does this deserve a comic book analogue? Sure. Won’t overthink this one. Nobody is more intoxicating than Emma Frost (imagine the White Queen singing Femme Fatale – it just works).

    Promoter/organizer: Who in comic-dom could be Andy Warhol? Who could organize a crazy party, orchestrate hundreds of people to do his work, associate with New York’s most eccentric wack-jobs, and still leave you feeling uneasy? Gotta be the Joker.

    So – the superhero Velvet Underground! Anyone want to create another superhero analogue of a real band? Talking Heads? Doors? Creedence? Seems like fun!


  32. OK. Im gonna take a left turn on this one.


    Mr Marvel

    Black Widow



    And the Huntress. God yes. The Huntress.

    I know the music would SUCK, but we could watch the videos on mute if we wanted.


    errr. umm… was was this too creepy? lol.


  33. @Unoob- I like your idea, but I would change one thing.  Replace Ms. Marvel with Black Canary because nothing says rock ‘n roll more than tight leather and fishnets.

  34. @Kory

    YES! I like it. But instead of replacing, lets just add her AND Zatanna! 

  35. @Unoob- sounds like a plan.

  36. I change my lead singer to Hulk.  Jeph Loeb green Hulk…because he has the voice of an angel

  37. i sounds like a good band…whens the first show

  38. Adam West – Vocals

    The Joker – Guitars

    Joker Girl – Bass

    Wally West – Drums

    Barbara Gordon – Keyboards

     wait a minute… This band does exist! go to


  39. Lead Vocals – Ghost Rider. C’mon, the guy drives a motorcycle and wears leather with spikes. Perfect front man.
    Guitar and Vocals – Moon Knight. He’s insane. He’ll creep you out.
    Bass and vocals – Lobo. He’s basically Lemmy Kilmister anyway.
    Drums – Venom. He’ll also provide the mandatory on-stage blood theatrics.

    Heavy Metal dude!