John Barrowman is best known for playing Captain Jack Harkness on Doctor Who and Torchwood, as well as for occassional off-screen crime fighting. He’s also a pretty successful recording artist and theater star, though, touring and starring in shows across the UK on a fairly regular basis. His musical styles lean toward the Broadway or big band, so it must have come as a surprise to the audience at the Newcastle stop on his 2010 tour when they found themselves watching Spider-Man and Wonder Woman duke it out on-stage while Barrowman belted out their television theme songs. It’s his self-described “tribute to everything superhero – with a special JB twist!”
Barrowman sets up the number with a funny little discussion of how he’s always loved superheroes – including a great candid shot of him in full Spidey dress – and how there were two superheroes he always wanted to see together. It never came about, though, so he decided to do it himself. He launches into a medley of the classic Spiderman and Wonder Woman television theme songs, and is joined on stage by two of each character he is singing about at the time. The big band feel to the covers is fun and playful, giving into their cheesiness and adding an extra nostalgia layer. In classic Barrowman style, there’s a little humorous homoeroticism in the Spider-Man bits and a lot of camp in the Wonder Woman ones. The Spider-Men dance around like something out of the Broadway Show That Shall
Not Be Named (except that it’s intentionally funny here) and the Wonder Women pull American flags out of their bustiers. The number concludes with Barrowman all tangled up with a couple of the characters, although I won’t give away who wins the superhero showdown. The resolution makes perfect sense to me, though.