Sat Oct 09 10:41am EDT
The NHL announced on Thursday morning that it was collaborating with venerable comic book legend Stan Lee on "The Guardian Project," in which all 30 teams would be represented by a new superhero. The man who gave us Spider-Man, the X-Men, and other teenagers with extraordinary powers who had great responsibility will help create the new characters through his POW! Entertainment.
Last night at New York Comic Con, Lee presented "The Guardian Project" in a panel discussion. Puck Buddy Andrew S. snagged the image above that serves as a teaser, but that also reveals more than a few of the team-influenced heroes.
Coming up, details on what the hell this project is, and some glimpses of Stan Lee's NHL superheroes; a.k.a. You'll Believe That a Man Can Flyer.
The description of "The Guardian Project," which will no doubt inspire confidence about the chances for its massive success:
Mike Mason was the master of his imaginary world. A world he filled with the greatest of superheroes. Until the day that it all became real and they became what the world now needed them to be... Mike Mason's Guardians. An exclusive sneak peek at Stan Lee's groundbreaking new superhero franchise with the NHL that is 13 years in the making! The unprecedented partnership, deemed Guardian Media Entertainment (GME), takes a cutting-edge approach to animation as all content is being designed for multiplatform media applications.
Thirteen ... years? The plans for the project include "comic books, a novel, mobile applications, TV and film" according to USA Today ... as if there could ever be another cartoon that reaches the artistic grandeur of the Mighty Ducks cartoon:
Organizers are keeping a lid for now on the powers and likenesses of The Guardians, with plans to reveal them individually over time on the enterprise's website (guardianproject30.com) before presenting them together at January's NHL All-Star game. The teams had a role in designing heroes to reflect themselves. The Flyers are characterized by toughness, the Montreal Canadiens by speed and the Toronto Maple Leafs by size and strength.
The superheroes will work together and separately, although there will be friction between those representing traditional rivalries, such as that between the Flyers and the New York Rangers.
So the Leafs Man's superpower isn't the ability to massively disappoint for decades on end? Lost that bet ...
Here's a look at some of the NHL Guardians:
On the left is the Philadelphia Flyers superhero, and in a unique twist he can apparently fly. Also flying: The New Jersey Devils superhero, which we imagine was influenced by the actual Jersey Devil who made the Pine Barrens famous long before Paulie Walnuts and Christopher lost that Russian mobster.
Front and center is the Edmonton Oilers superhero (1) who has a Juggernaut vibe. To the right is the Pittsburgh Penguins (2) character, and it's good to see G.I. Joe agreed to loan out Snake-Eyes. Also, over Captain Oiler's right shoulder, the Minnesota Wild hero. Scary face!
We're thinking this is the Dallas Stars hero (1) in front of the Ottawa Senators hero (2), who carries a shield to protect Jason Spezza(notes) from criticism. Unconfirmed: The giant flying guy is for the Buffalo Sabres and the Boston Bruins bear is on the right.
Finally, Puck Buddy Andy believes that the Ghost Rider/Lobo type on the bike is the New York Rangers superhero. You can also clearly see the Calgary Flames character, who's been working out a bit. We imagine the guy with the spear on the right is Darcy Tucker(notes) in his first post-retirement gig.
"Excelsior!” true believers!