When I first heard of the NHL’s Guardian Project, my first reaction was, “Uh... what?” Then I was informed that the Guardian Project was a collaborative effort between the NHL and comic book legend Stan Lee, which would see the creation of 30 new superheroes that represented each NHL team. My reaction to this new information was an understandable, “Oh... really? Seriously? I mean... really?”
I was hoping that this was some sort of elaborate practical joke, or that the idea was just an example of the sort of ideas the NHL tossed around in the offseason out of boredom. I mean, NHL teams already have mascots, so surely giving each one a superhero would be silly, right?
Apparently not, and now we are starting to see the fruits of Stan Lee’s labour. The NHL has been slowly rolling out the superheroes one by one, giving us a glimpse of some of the 30 characters Lee created in a short six months or so.
The verdict: thumbs down.
The superheroes seem like the ones you would make up off the top of your head during recess when you were eight; you know, if you were too "husky" or "diabetesy" to play sports with the rest of the kids. It seems like each superhero was created in five minutes by looking at the team’s logo and name.
Take, for example, one of the recently revealed superheroes, The Wild, representing, you guessed it, The Minnesota Wild. The Wild’s superpowers include “General Mayhem” and, wait for it...“Tunnelling."
So basically, this superhero acts ridiculous, breaks things, and dives into the first hole it sees. Sounds like a lot of frat boys I’ve met, but certainly not a superhero created to... wait, what were these created for again?
Some people have said that this is a new and creative idea that will at the very least give the NHL some positive attention. I disagree. I think this will go down as one of the NHL’s (many) failed marketing efforts. The Guardian Project could be this generation’s glowing puck.
I can see people talking about it years from now:
“Hey, remember that time the NHL made up superheroes? Man that was lame! Definitely one of Gary Bettman’s worst ideas, may he rest in peace.”
I added that last part because I’m almost positive that some crazed Toronto fans will attack him when “The Leaf” is unveiled to be a part of a damn tree and has the unique power of “Blowing”.
That gets me wondering, what will be the powers of some of the other Guardians? Here are my predictions, based on the quality of what we’ve seen so far:
The Senator: The amazing ability to attract attention while, in reality, achieving nothing.
The Blue Jacket: Heightened fashion sense.
The Capital: AN INCREDIBLE BROKEN SHIFT BUTTON.
The Flame: The ability to blast enemies with an incredibly loud rendition of Queen’s “We Are the Champions.”
All in all, I’m pretty disappointed with the NHL on this one. The whole campaign seems like a lazy attention grab.
Anyone have any opinions on the campaign, or predictions of what the powers of future superheroes will be?