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It's Science: Earworms Make the Best Comic Book Trailers

By Alexander Joenks | Lists | February 27, 2014 |

By Alexander Joenks | Lists | February 27, 2014 |

Last week, Guardians of the Galaxy released the greatest trailer ever in the history of the universe. That’s a scientific designation, by the way, it’s not opinion. But as I delved deeper into study of the trailer, I realized that the true source of the power rested in the juxtaposition of pure comic book space opera with deliciously cheesy music, further enhanced by the fourth wall bending in which the music is present at times in the scenes themselves.

With this knowledge in hand, our real work can begin, pairing up seven of the best comic book series of the last twenty years with the cheesy earworm song that needs to be integrated into the trailer, when each of these series eventually gets an unlimited budget and green light from HBO. As an added bonus, I’ve indicated who should ideally play the lead. Again, this is a highly scientific process, and I don’t have the room in this space to show all of my equations.


1. Transmetropolitan: Warren Ellis has said that he’d envisioned Tim Roth for the role but I say Christopher Waltz would be the perfect Spider Jerusalem. And Spider should be introduced in the trailer, smoking, typing in a dark room, and then looking up with mad grin into the camera and giving some patented snark. All while Tom Jones sings Sex Bomb:


2. Hellblazer: There are reports that NBC is putting together a show, but I refuse to believe them because I hate them. So bear with me now, but David Tennant’s got the hair and the trenchcoat skill set, not to mention the madness tempered with glee and fury. Plus he’s British, you know, like the actual character and unlike Keanu Reeves. And with the sheer anarchism he embodies, the perfect song would be the Sex Pistols’ rendition of My Way, hands down. But that’s not an ear worm, so what would John Constantine play for you in a trailer composed solely of him standing in half darkness, the world on fire behind him, while his middle fingers raise at you, eyes gleaming above the omnipresent cigarette? There’s only one possibility.


3. Y: The Last Man: Say Shia LeBeouf in the comments and I will hard ban your IP address and send TK to burn your house down. When every man on earth dies at the same moment, leaving a single guy left on the planet, a kind of goofy guy with a heart of gold? That’s Andrew Garfield, not paying attention to the news of the apocalypse running on television in the background, the news anchor slumping as he himself dies. And Garfield is dancing with his monkey to Cyndi Lauper. That’s not a euphemism, non-comic readers.


4. Preacher: A preacher who has more in common with cowboys than priests, with a penchant for guns and whiskey, a particular blonde, and an Irish vampire for a best friend, Jessie Custer finds himself recipient of the divine power to order anyone to do anything. Including God himself. Don’t Stop Believing:


5. Lucifer Tom Hiddleston as the fallen first of the angels? Don’t think of him in Loki mode, think of him in his spectacular Henry V mode. Lucifer abandons hell, having lost faith in its purpose, and instead sets up a piano bar in Los Angeles. We see his mighty wings unfurled behind him in this trailer, as he sits alone, nursing a whiskey, in his club after closing. And a band of demons plays Margaritaville


6. The Boys The lead character was explicitly modeled after Simon Pegg, so it would be really quite nonsensical to not cast him, especially since he loves the comic. In a world filled with superheroes, who do as much collateral damage as good, a group of normal people does their best to keep them in line with an exceptional amount of violence. The trailer should be mostly composed of the opening scene of the comic, tweaked slightly so that Wee Hughie (Pegg) drops a coin in a jukebox, and dances with his girlfriend to Walking on Sunshine, not a care in the world. Up until the moment he finds himself holding only her disembodied arms. Yeah, it’s that kind of comic.


7. Sandman This one is easy. Benedict Cumberbatch is about the only man who could pull off Morpheus, Lord of Dreams, with that half alien look, explosion of black hair, and sonorous voice. And there’s only one song that should playing, over and over again on the radio crackling in the background as he sits in silence in an unbreakable prison in an English basement. Slowly zooming closer and closer, until the door of his prison cracks open and so do his blazing eyes.