Welcome back to the Old People Be Hatin' blog, where we're looking at the genius/ridiculous/mad genius concept of the NHL Guardians Project, wherein each of the NHL's 30 teams has been re-invisioned as a super-hero. Each day in January a new Guardian has been unveiled, so today we present the final six. Also, I just noticed that there are extended descriptions of each hero on NHL.com, which I've retroactively linked to. Some are outright hilarious (the Blue Jacket was a particular high point with his time-stopping flag).
The Florida Panther
Powers: night vision; light refraction; carbide claws; super-agility; dark matter manipulation
Remember in "52" when Booster Gold was running around with corporate logos all over his costume like a spandex version of a NASCAR racer? Well, this is just the start of things for Black Panther, as this, seriously, looks exactly like the late-90's Christopher Priest-scribed Black Panther, only more blue tinged and of course sportin' the NHL belt bling and Florida Panther's emblem on his chest like Flava Flav might a clock.
The New York Ranger
Powers: narcoleptic confusion, titanium cable, shockwave bomb, hover horse
There's a definite Judge Dredd vibe going on, although "dread" is a little too strong a word... let's call him Judge Superpro. Weak. Anyway, with exception to the fact that he looks like a character out of Rollerball (James Caan 1970's version) there's nothing all that wrong here. There's definitely worse... much, much worse.
The Anaheim Duck
Powers: innate genius level IQ; water breathing; chi; hydro pulse jet propulsion; omniscientific weapon creation
Jeebus Chrimbus, they actually did something cool with the Duck. Either they've really done a phenomenal job or I'm delusional with extreme lowered expectations, but yeah, I think this is cool. I'm not certain about the boogie board, but this guy's like a black and gold version of GI Joe's Wetsuit, with a weird metal duck bill. But yeah. Impressed. I'm also hoping that's Patrick Swayze's Bodhi under that mask.
The St. Louis Blue
Powers: mind control; dissolution; teleportation arch
At first he seems pretty cool, with his cold blue Firestorm-esque hair and his bad-ass trenchcoat, then you find out that his mind control is a result of his trusty saxophone which he keeps by his side. Oh no, heading into "Shadowman"/"Night Man" territory here, an extremely well trod landscape.
The New York Islander
Powers: Super strength; altered composition; grappling hook; oceanic manipulation
And here I was afraid that the Islander would be wearing a banana-yellow slicker and sporting a white beard, instead they delivered a mammoth, armored, anchor-sized grappling hook-toting badass who actually looks pretty cool. Both the Islanders and the Oilers sport blue and orange here and both characters are tanks, but for some reason this really works for me and the Oiler is the lamest of the bunch. They went excessive with his powers (he doesn't need oceanic manipulation) but otherwise...groovy.
The Atlanta Thrasher
Powers: flight; aeronautical empathy; ionic hand cannons; supersonic flight; cruise missiles; stealth technology
Our last Guardian doesn't mean he's the worst. As has occurred throughout this process with many other Guardians the CGI maquette and the illustrated images offer two completely different perspectives on the Thrasher, and I think the illustration is right horrible but the maquette is pretty cool.. a human steath bomber? Hey, it actually works.
And that's 30.
Tomorrow, we'll examine the big 10 minute multimedia/Stan Lee-hyperbolic reveal from the All-Star Game and later this week some special Guardians coverage... from a different perspective.