Friday, October 8, 2010

Stan Lee's NHL

Back when I was a kid, I thought it would be cool if there were sports themed superheros. I don't mean crap like NHL Superpro, I mean like a superhero who has the Red Sox logo for his symbol and battled the evil Yankee to preserve the forces of good. Eventually, of course, once I got a little older, I decided this was a really, really stupid idea.

Then again, I'm no Stan Lee.

Which brings us to the surprise announcement of the week: Stan lee is teaming with the NHL for the "Guardian Project," which will have him co-create a team of 30 hockey themed superheroes, one to represent each NHL franchise. I shit you not.

"This is unlike any project Stan has ever done," Guardian Project chief creative officer Adam Baratta said, using massive understatement. "We worked hand-in-hand with the NHL over the last 10 months to specifically design each character not only to look and feel like the moniker, but to be infused with the spirit that represents the fans of each hometown."

As a Bruins fan, of course, I'm curious to know what my new superhero icon is going to be like and the Boston Herald, for this one time only, has the answer. "The superpowers of the Boston superhero bear called “Bruin” include precognition, or the ability to sense trouble, and serve as the “early-warning system” for the rest of the Guardians. His powerful roar can freeze enemies in fear, and his olfactory power allows him to “smell” when someone is lying and be a strong interrogator."

In addition, the Herald claims that "Bruin will be gritty, hard-working and, since he’s Boston-educated, the most intellectual of the bunch. And, yes, he’ll have a Boston accent."

I'm not sure whether to laugh, cry or get out my checkbook.

According to the press release, which was issued in advance of today's big rollout event at the New York Comic Con, the Guardians -- who will be marshalled by a 15-year-old kid -- are set to star in a line of comics books as well as a novel, video games and NHL marketing campaigns. If that all happens and the Guardians catch on, of course, I will literally swallow my Terry O'Reilly jersey whole, but more power to 'em I guess. Good luck getting this to fly.

For the life of me I haven't been able to find any images yet of the various Guardians, but trust me, as soon as I find some, I will be posting them. In the meantime, though, it struck me that just about every NHL team already has an established superhero or supervillain that could easily represent the franchise. So with that in mind, here's my list of heroes and villains for NHL franchises:

Boston Bruins -- Ursa Major
Buffalo Sabres -- Sabre
Montreal Canadiens -- Satannish (okay, maybe that's just me)
Ottawa Senators -- Senator Harrington Byrd (I looked this one up)
Toronto Maple Leafs -- Major Mapleleaf (yes, this is a real character)

New Jersey Devils -- The Death-Defying Devil
New York Islanders -- Wonder Woman (think about it...)
New York Rangers -- Space Ranger
Philadelphia Flyers -- Night Flyer (I refuse to give them someone cooler)
Pittsburgh Penguins -- The Penguin, obviously

Atlanta Thrashers -- Night Thrasher
Carolina Hurricane -- Hurricane
Florida Panthers -- Black Panther
Tampa Bay Lightning -- Lightning Lad
Washington Capitols -- Estes Kefauver (meta commentary!)

Calgary Flames -- Human Torch
Colorado Avalanche -- Avalanche
Edmonton Oilers -- The Duke of Oil (maybe the dumbest villain ever?)
Minnesota Wild -- Wildfire
Vancouver Canucks -- Captain Canuck

Chicago Blackhawks -- Blackhawk
Columbus Blue Jackets -- Yellowjacket (only funny to me, maybe)
Detroit Red Wings -- Redwing
Nashville Predators -- Predator
St. Louis Blues -- Chat Noir (look it up, I'll wait)

Anaheim Ducks -- Howard the Duck
Dallas Stars -- Starman
Los Angeles Kings -- King of the Hoboes
Phoenix Coyotes -- Coyote
San Jose Sharks -- Tiger Shark

Come to think of it... maybe I am Stan Lee after all!

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