I've been trying to figure out who the illustrator is in the pictures that I've cribbed from the Guardians' Facebook page. I originally thought it might be Phil Jimenez, but it's not quite his style or level of detail, so next I thought Ethan Van Sciver, but it's not him either upon closer inspection. Devon brought up Neil Adams in his comment to my first post, and that's left me scratching my head. Is it Adams? If so you figure they might advertise that a little louder. Or is it some work-for-hire artist who doesn't really do comic work, or someone I just can't pick up on.
The Calgary Flame
Powers: pyrokinesis, flight, heat vision, fire resistance, flaming stampede
Holy, not only do I think this design is good, it's actually quite attractive. It's a simple luchador-style get up (given Calgary's history with wrestling - the home of Bret Hart amongst others - it's not a bad nod) but it... yeah, it looks good. Wow. And his powers make sense fully, with the exception of a "flaming stampede"? Really. You were doing so good there for a moment...
The Dallas Star
Powers: flight, hydrogen blasts, EMP ripple, space travel, solar storm
Two winners in a row. This guy looks like a Masters of the Universe figure. And not a reject figure but an honest to gosh popular one... a cool one even. And unlike other armored figures in this line, this one is really quite restrained both in design and colour use (not sure about the toes though). I like him, quite a bit, actually, and a great, logical, and not at all obtuse power set.
The Colorado Avalanche
Powers: chryosuit, oxygen control, traveling chrystasis, chryokinesis, chrystasis,
Holy poopies. A third winner. There's something about this guy I actually really like. But to me he looks like he should be an aquatic explorer rather than working the peaks of the Rockies. He's also the first (only?) non-caucasian character (or obvious non-caucasian) or animal-based character I've seen so far. Yes, hockey is a fairly whitewashed sport, but that's been slowly changing over the past decade. But I digress... I think there's maybe even a Kirby feel to this... love it.
The Phoenix Coyote
Powers: elemental manipulation, night vision, tracking, interdimensional summoning, venomous quills
Oooooooh, Guardian Project, no. No, no, no. And you were doing so well today. What would it look like if Wolverine, Gambit and Grifter were all mashed up into one monstrously ugly superhero? This would be it. Jesus Chrimbus, this is everything wrong with the 1990's swirled up in a shit stew. Sorry Phoenix. They should have really went with a hybrid Phoenix/Coyote thing... that would have been interesting... but likely just as ugly. And that power set... so messed up. "Venomous quills"? For a coyote? I think maybe this is even worse than the Oiler. Hard to say.
The Toronto Maple Leaf
Powers: molecular elasticity, mass manipulation, chlorokinetic communication (!), regeneration, sap bombs
The "Swamp Thing" character of the group, which is all well and good. I really don't have a problem with this character conceptually. In fact I was wondering how they were going to make anything bad-ass out of a Maple Leaf, and a living maple tree is about as good as you're going to get. But really, does a living maple tree need a mask (what identity is he really protecting), or a t-shirt and shorts? If they were smart, they would have just had the Leafs and NHL logo carved into him... as is he looks a little silly. I AM GROOT!
The Ottawa Senator
Powers: power negation, channeling, mind control, gladiator skill, super agility
Okay, LA King... take a look here. This is pretty much done right. It's a flippin' gladiator, no real flourishes beyond that. Straightforward, fairly kick-ass looking, and not a hint of spandex. Not bad. I think they were trying too hard with the power set though.
Wow... that's like 4 and a half quality characters in one day. All hope may not be lost for this project after all. I look forward to finding out more about the Flame, the Star, and the Avalanche. Really.
So it all ends tomorrow (or perhaps on the weekend, I may have timed this incorrectly). The final six are The Florida Panther, The New York Ranger, The New York Islander (who I'm hoping isn't a Captain Highliner look-a-like), The St. Louis Blue, The Atlanta Thrasher, and the one I'm most curious about... The Anaheim Duck. Maybe that last one can just be Emilio Estevez... or Joshua Jackson.