Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Introducing the NEW New Guardians (part 3)

I was reading that the in-story origin of these new Guardians is that a hockey and comic obsessed 15-year-old is responsible for their creation/design, which, looking at most of these characters makes a lot of sense. I recall being fifteen, doing my own redesign of Batman and just loading his costume up with bat-symbols. Because, you know, having one on his chest, and one on his belt just isn't enough iconography. What is it about the teenage brain that just leads to such excess. Instead of one pouch, how about 30? Why small shoulder guards, and not obscenely huge metal ones with spikes, chains and whatnots? Instead of just a cape, what about a cape that has a 4 foot train that drags on the ground but looks sooper kewl when leaping from rooftop to rooftop?

Thing about these NHL Guardians, though, is they aren't actually designed by a 15-year-old... at least I don't think they are. They're designed by grown-ups, perhaps even professional comic book artist or graphic designers. (These are presumably the same type of grown ups that are responsible for the atrocity-to-superhero-mythology that is NBC's "The Cape"). But even if they did go with the idea of designing these through the eye of a 15-year-old, it still reads as if they're designed by me, when I was 15... in other words, the influences on these characters read early-mid 1990s and not 2010/2011. Superheroes these days seem to be designed either in the street clothes mold, or in the sleek tech mold of Batman Begins/Iron Man. Today's DC/Marvel spandex tights characters are getting tweaked to have piping and some kind of Project Runway influence put into them, giving them a more natural or textile look and feel, but these....

Today's Six:
The Boston Bruin

Powers: Precognition, brute strength, super smell, titanium claws, sonic petrification
Yes, a bruin is a bear. We got that. And your design couldn't have been more creative than making the dude a bear. The clever route would have been to make him a huge burly hairy mofo who wears the carcass of a bear as a cowl/cape. Yeah, it's grizzly but that's the point. He would be a real hero in certain segments of the gay community, and make the average Bostonian guy's guy very uncomfortable. Or not.

The Vancouver Canuck

Powers: Sonar blast, environmental empathy, echolocation, gliding, morphing, aquatic summoning
Did you ever lie awake at night wondering what Batman would have looked like if a whale crashed through Bruce Wayne's window instead of a bat?
Well... The Canuck answers that question anyway.
And, really, it's Batman-as-a-whale. Sure it's silly, but it is actually a decent interpretation of what that would look like, with the big hump fin on the back of the cowl/cape. And it's still miles (or kilometers?) better than Captain Canuck.

The Montreal Canadien

Powers:supersuit, power augmentation, power absorption, blasters, jet propulsion
Hey, an armored hero in this group that isn't a technological monstrosity. This is actually a pretty nice design. Replace the blue with gold and it would be a decent Iron Man armor circa 1998. It's more reminiscent of X-O Manowar or Hardware (or perhaps NFL Superpro?), but still this isn't all that bad..
or original...

The Washington Capital

Powers: flight, shapeshifting, satellite sight, atmospheric resistance, sonic scream
You know, just because the team has a symbol doesn't mean you have to use it. Okay, you do know, since the "Sabre" figure isn't a buffaslug (which would be a Wuzzle that was part buffalo, part slug). And the Chicago Blackhawk wasn't a Native American (although, really, I think that would be preferable to the monstrosity of techno armor that was created), but this eagle thing in the star spangled wrestling tights? Not doing it for me.

The Detroit Red Wing

Powers: mechanical technopathy (!), laser cannons, flight, all-terrain wheels
Okay, Red Wing... what's with the big tire boots. Do you transform into a Zamboni(R)? Because you're giving off that vibe. You're like part Gatchaman, part Rocket Red (circa 1987) and part Zamboni(R) ice rink maintenance machine. Technologically you look clunky as hell, and at least 20 years out of date, but you aren't all that terrible looking. You'd have made a fairly decent He-Man figure. But, aside from all terrain tires, how do you manage getting around... I mean, like, simple things, you know, like getting through a door way. Must be a pain. How do you side step with those huge tires strapped to your feet?
(Wow, I referenced Transformers, DC Comics, G-Force, and He-Man all in that one character).

The Columbus Blue Jacket

Powers: astral plasma cannons, banishment, titanium armor
Is that? No... Optimus Prime? Is it really you? My gods man, what happened to you? You're all hyper-military-industrial-complexized, but with a colonial feel. I have to be honest, it's not a good look for you. Seriously, someone went nuts with the crayons didn't they? And what's "banishment" all about. Do you banish people from Columbus? I'm sure they're grateful (sorry Columbus, cheap joke).

Still two more of these things to go... I don't know if I'm psyched or scared.
Stay tuned. Please.


Adj said...

You mentioned the Buffaslug. You made my day :)

David said...

Re: Bluejacket.

Who knew that Dr. Manhattan needed armor with ridiculous firearms strapped to it?