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Off-Topic: The Guardian Project

Over the weekend, both the NHL and the NFL held their All-Star games.  Both were high-scoring affairs that really, really, really should have never happened.  At least until they put in crazy rules like trick shots or public drunkenness.  But I digress…

This post isn’t about either game.  This is about the newest project from the NHL called The Guardian Project.  Good idea, bad execution.  It’s basically 30 superheroes, with the designs and behaviors based off each of the NHL teams.

Let’s start snarking on them, reference the Simpsons more than one should, hope the humor hits the mark, and not turn into some awkward, sad affair.

First, let’s start with The Blue:

Cover: So here’s what The Blue looks like.  He looks like the broody, goth cousin of the Snow Miser.

Fitting because both of them are winter-related.

Page 1: That first panel reminds me of the opening for the Powerpuff Girls.  “THE CIT-TEE OF TOWNSVILLE!” Considering the crime rate in St. Louis, it sounds like they could use the little flying freaks with powers.

Oh, here’s our first look at the villain, Mr. Fingers.  He looks likes the spawn of Charlie Chaplin and The Joker.  Not the campy 70’s TV version, the Heath “O.D.” Ledger version.  And he has extra long fingers too.  He must be a hit with the ladies.

Charlie ‘Fingers’ Joker here appears to do his villainous deeds on the highways of St. Louis, by circling his finger claws to push cars all over the road.  I hate this bastard.  Some of those interstates leaving St. Louis to get back into Illinois are like a Hot Wheels track with the loopy-loops.

Page 2: THERE’S MADNESS AFOOT IN THE LOU!!!  Finger’s is destroying the bridge I take to get to Busch!  YOU BASTARD!!!  What gothy-creepy myst will help us now?!?  And will he have campy, idiotic lines like this?!?

‘Blue got another gig callin’ for me!’

‘…has jammed with this cat before.’

‘…shut his set down….’

THIS WILL SUFFICE!!!!

So now we get to meet The Blue for the first time in the comic, and his weapon of choice is revealed….a saxophone.  Gee…I wonder how he will fight Charlie ‘Fingers’ Joker, and if Bill Clinton will provide back-up.

Page 3: Yep, he’s fighting Fingers with smooth jazz.  This sounds like something I would expect out KJAZZ-FM in Springfield on Hans Moleman’s morning show.  No wonder KBBL does better with their mindless chatter.

The Blue starts playing his smooth crime-fighting tones to stop Charlie ‘Fingers’ Joker in his tracks (because he’s on a road!  GET IT?!?), and Fingers is put under the trance that approximately 15 other Americans submit to each year.  Outtasight!

But it’s not DJ Jazzy Jeff enough, as a train (probably Amtrak because they’re so awful) is off its tracks and hurtling towards danger and higher taxes in Illinois (probably).  WHAT’S TOOTSIE CHILDS BLUE GOING TO DO NOW?!?

Page 4: Finally, The Blue uses physical confrontation to battle Fingers and slams his lovesticks down on the pavement of the bridge that takes me to Busch Stadium.  But that is also enough as the train seems to be hurling towards certain dome under the Gateway Arch.  The Blue ditches Charlie ‘Fingers’ Joker and turns his attention towards the train, creating some kind of vortex in the Arch and vowing to save the day.  Since we’re about in the final third of the comic and The Blue is ahead, I fully expect him to stumble, let the train crash and kill everyone on board, while The Blue suffers an MCL sprain and is out for 6-8 weeks.

Page 5: What?!?  The Blue saved the day and didn’t choke at the end?!?  HUZZAH!!!  Wait….where did he send them? *looks up a page, then at the background*  He sent them to Egypt?  Well, it looks safe right now.  I mean, there can’t possibly be something going on at this moment in Egypt that would make this decision completely stupid and dangerous….

DAMNIT THE BLUE!!!  YOU FAIL IN THE FINAL MOMENTS AGAIN!!!

Now we all know that St. Louis is the murder capital of the Midwest, but I’m pretty damn sure those people are safer in the Lou right now than in Egypt.

So the comic ends with The Blue lamenting that no one appreciates his efforts (because you took them to an unstable country d*ckwad) and stating his desire to finish off Charlie ‘Fingers’ Joker.  Since the crime-fighting weapon of choice is the saxophone, he will probably force Fingers into a rundown coffeeshop and annoy the villain to death with smooth jazz.

But we’re not done yet my friends.  We have to touch base on the other team that’s primarily celebrated amongst league players…the Chicago Blackhawks.  Their version of a superhero is The Blackhawk.  Couldn’t they just come up with better names than ‘The Blue’ and ‘The Blackhawk’, or is Stan Lee just phoning it in at this point? *looks at list* Yep, phoning it in.

So now, here’s the Illinois Fantasy League breakdown of ‘The Blackhawk’:

Cover: It’s like they took a Transformer, and used a human head instead of a robot one.  This looks like one of Professor Frink’s experiments gone wrong.  And if it is a Transformer, does it transform into Patrick ’20-cent’ Kane’s limo of shirtless, drunk, fatty-banging fun?

Page 1: Oh look!  It’s the St. Patrick’s Day parade!  Let’s skip ahead to panel #2 and see what kind of people show up for a parade.

  • There’s the nerd that appears to have dressed in full leprechaun gear, hoping the girl on his right will accidently brush him, thus giving him long-sought after contact with a woman.
  • There’s the guy in the goatee in the ‘Irish’ t-shirt, that’s probably more of a fan of Notre Dame than actually Irish.
  • There’s the fat love-child of Peppermint Patty and Marcie, desperately using a holiday to play tonsil hockey (GET IT?!?) with anyone drunk enough to comply.  Or maybe leppy-nerd will help her out.
  • And then, the Unabomber.  Nothing needs to be said there.

Besides, isn’t Chicago more Polish anyway? (May be wrong)

Now, CUE THE PLOT DEVICE!!!

Page 2: Here we meet the villain of the story for the first time, Toxicon.  Toxicon is a giant rat, and appears to have taken to a life of crime after being scorned by his brother, Splinter, for not being able to train turtles in the ways of kung-fu.

‘Maybe I should have sent a Christmas Card to Toxicon this year….’

Now we get to meet Toxicon and his hencerats, apparently busy with mixing up a toxic liquid (because he’s Toxicon, get it?) to harm the citizens of Chicago. Hey, Gery Chico needs to get votes somehow and stop the Rahm Express from becoming mayor.

Toxicon claims that there’s more of these freak rat-human hybrids in Chicago than normal, healthy, Rahm Emanuel voting humans, and their toxic-liquid will help them climb out of the shadows.  I just want to know what kind of sick human would consider making love to a rat, that would create these hell heathens….

Oh, carry on then….

Page 3: Now we get to meet Transformer Blackhawk for the first time here, keeping a vigilant eye over the parade with his racist logo on his chest.  The comic says he’s enjoying the parade, but his face says different.  Suddenly, Blackhawk receives a message on his machine gun arm that toxins are in the air, and he flies down to investigate it.  Blackhawk believes the toxic materials are underground and heads in that direction.  Toxins are more dangerous in Chicago, because they can vote.

Then it’s CORNY AWFUL LINE AHOY! when Blackhawk smells a rat, and it actually IS a rat!  What are the odds?!?

Next page….

Page 4: It’s time for the boss battle between Blackhawk and Toxicon!  But first, Blackhawk has to bitch-slap away Toxicon’s rats.  The rats don’t put up much of a fight, partly because Grandma Peppermint Patty wants them back in time for dinner.  I heard they’re having roast beef.

There’s nothing much on this page.  All it is is back and forth tough talk, with Toxicon stating that his toxic goo will help claim the city back for the underground mutant rats.  What Toxicon doesn’t realize is that he has to fight Rahm Emanuel for control of Chicago, not Blackhawk.

Page 5: Toxicon’s goo vapors are now seeping up into the city, aided by the lake effect winds, another famous aspect of Chicago.  I think they’re an underwriter on America’s Test Kitchen

*voice-over announcer, public TV music in background*

Lake Effect Winds; creating crazy weather conditions….making Cubs games at Wrigley Field a crapshoot….releasing toxic goo vapors by mutant rats into Chicago….and more, for thousands of years.  Buy it at your local grocer.

Blackhawk’s not having any of Toxicon’s insanity, and uses his gun arms to shoot holes in the pipes, thus making the toxic goo vapors fill up the underground lair.  A little bit of goo vapors were tolerable, but when the levels increase, that’s when trouble begins.  Just like alcohol.

Finally, the rats are being hauled off to prison/zoo/Chinese butcher for their naughty deeds, and Blackhawk has saved the day (for now, keep an eye on Unabomber from page 1).  Of course, the city’s sewer department could have taken care of the mess a long time ago.  But it’s Chicago, and it’s unionized.  I think they underwrite Sesame Street….

*tough guy voice-over announcer, Sesame Street theme*

..and brought to you by the Brotherhood of Sewer Workers, Piano Tuners, and Ice Cream Truck Drivers.  YOU LITTLE F***ERS BETTER PAY YER DUES AND VOTE DEMOCRAT, OR VINNY’S GONNA TAKE YER PARENTS ON A “VACATION”.  CAT-FEESH?!?

The Blackhawk comes out to be the better looking hero when you compare the two rivals side-by-side.  But this is Chicago, where Blackhawk’s millions of fans will forget about him and his heroic deeds once the Bears start playing.

I hope you enjoyed this look at a couple samplings of The Guardian Project by the NHL and phoning it in Stan Lee.

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