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...


Unknown said...

Actually, I think the cod piece might be worse. But I have to give major props to the marketing person who had the balls to suggest "Rebel with a trust fund." Which is pretty awesome. Do keep in mind, they assuredly had massive amounts of marketing data -so the bigger problem might be that you abandoned hipster land for the world of trust funds and mediocre superpowers...

Anonymous said...

The duck is the sickest superhero ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... that's what I think of the Oregon Ducks. Of course, all I read was "Trust Fund." Phil Knight anyone?

Kyle G, of course...