30 January 2011

NHL Guardians Project - The Duck

My Favorite Hockey Team Has the Worst Stan Lee Character EVER

NHL Stan Lee's The Guardians

Stan Lee's The Guardian Project debuted today at the NHL All Star Game. The NHL has been running ads for this all month trying to build hype like crazy.

The origin story of The Guardian Project is this: the NHL wants more 9 - 14-year-olds to watch hockey. Lee, in conjunction with other creators, transformed the various NHL mascots into superheros.  I love hockey and I love comic books, but this endeavor seems misguided.

Here's how it works:

Each mascot / hero has a special power related to the city they represent. For example: the Los Angeles King has the ability to cause seismic shifts. One would assume that his weakness is balancing a checkbook. A little CA state bankruptcy humor for ya there.

Some of the mascots naturally make good superheros. There's the Boston Bruin who is a scary-ass bear. The Nashville Predator is a saber-tooth tiger thing with titanium teeth. So far so good.

But what about more esoteric mascots like the St. Louis Blues and the Vancouver Canucks? More importantly, what about... The Anaheim Ducks?

It's worse than I could have imagined. Other cities will look at The Duck and say, "well, at least our guy isn't as bad as Anaheim's." But before I get to the big reveal, let me give you an example of some that are not very good before you get to see ours - which is truly awful.

Here's the Vancouver Canuck.

The Canuck NHL Stan Lee's The Guardians

The Vancouver Canuck is a human mixed with a killer whale. His cape allows him to shoot through the water at extreme speed and glide through the air. This, of course, makes me think of the David Hasselhoff bits from The Spongebob movie.

Also on the not-so-great list:

The Columbus Blue Jackets' Guardian has a codpiece with an NHL logo at the tip.

Other teams ended up with superheroes who look an awful lot like legacy comic book characters.  Puck Daddy points out how the Edmonton Oilers' Guardian looks like Juggernaut.

Personally, I think the Minnesota Wild's character looks like the Cookie Crisp Wolf on steroids.

Still... none of the Guardians is more embarrassing than the Anaheim Duck.

The Duck NHL Stan Lee's The Guardians

Rebel with a trust fund? Really? Really!??!?

If the tagline weren't bad enough, the full description of our superhero says The Duck can only fly short distances - oh but he's really smart. Great. Every comic book nerd knows the end game of being the smart guy around a bunch of meat heads. You know the other Guardians steal his tater tots at lunchtime and give him shit constantly:

"Learn to fly yet? How's that nerdmobile of yours coming along? Maybe you can ask daddy for some more money so you can pay someone else to build it."
The Aflac Duck
"Hey I sprained my ankle the other day, can you help me file a claim?"

I know what you're thinking: well, what can you do with a duck? It's not the greatest animal out there, I will give you that.

Then again, what do you do with the Montreal Canadiens? What's The Canadiens' ability? Giving out free health care? Muttering rude things in French under his breath? 

Guess what? The Canadien is a guy who can absorb and use the super powers of others. Not bad, eh?

The Duck NHL Stan Lee's The Guardians

It's like The Duck got all the money and intelligence of Iron Man - but as a trust fund kid gets none of the respect. I know I'm not the target demographic, but no matter what age you are I don't see how The Duck can be cool - I don't care how good he is at surfing.

The Green Hornet at least has an ass-kicking Asian buddy. Maybe it's not too late for The Duck to have a smokin' hot Asian girlfriend.

Afterall, he is from Orange County...

27 January 2011

Portland Versus Seattle

(this post refers to an earlier entry from 26 Jan 2011)

In no way am I trying to compare Seattle and Portland. Dear Lord, no. Portlanders have very little interest in Seattle - especially now that we have our own IKEA.

In fact, nothing irks me more than when someone says, "Oh, you're from Portland? I love Seattle!" GRRR! Just because both places are rainy and full of weirdos who like to read doesn't mean they're the same.

I mean, Boston and New York are almost the same distance apart as Portland and Seattle - and you wouldn't dream of telling someone from Boston how much you love NYC, right?

To further prove my point, I'm putting together a short list of a few ways these two cities are weird but in different ways.

Seattle: random troll sculpture
Portland: random bike sculpture

Seattle: Roller Derby
Portland: Hula Hooping

Seattle: Asian horror movies shown at midnight
Portland: so-bad-it's good movies shown at midnight

Seattle: Utilikilts
Portland: Stilts

Seattle: Too many cars, not enough road
Portland: Too many graphic designers, not enough jobs

Seattle: people who like starting businesses
Portland: people who like starting bands

Seattle: named after indian who's people believed it was wrong to speak the name of the dead.
Portland: name decided in a coin toss (it was almost named "Boston").

Seattle: home of Toys in Babeland - seller of obscenely wonderful bedroom devices

Portland: home of Voodoo Doughnuts - seller of obscene and wonderful doughnuts (available vegan, of course).

Seattle: Bumbershoot
Portland: Last Thursday

Now surely this post has your mind working - feel free to post your thoughts or angry rebuttal below. Here's one to get you started.

Seattle: Glitter Party
Portland: .....

26 January 2011

The Next Hipster Mecca

You know what my greatest fear is about the IFC show Portlandia?

I'm afraid it will make Portland look fun and interesting and then even more people will move there. Whoever quoth the line "Portland: where young people go to retire" was spot on.  We don't need any more people with a dual masters in art history and world religions. Dammit there are only so many barista jobs to go around!

Long time readers of this blog are familiar with my rants about how Portland used to be a lot scarier and (therefore) better. Why can't some other town become hipster mecca? Come on Austin, let's see what you've got!

Or maybe it's time we revisit Seattle....

Seriously, hipsters Portland is so 2004. Aren't you tired of composting your own manure and waiting in long lines for the food truck de jour? Why not pack it in? Take your bacon-print suspenders and head north. 

Sure it was grunge land, but now it's fertile ground for new wave hipsters to carve out an identity. They have microbrews, grouchy locals, Fred Meyers, and better roller derby!

Guys, find yourself a Utilikilt and ladies strap on those TEVA high heels. Seattle awaits!