A tell-tale sign that professional hockey is desperate to draw in new fans, The Guardian Project is a collaboration between (get this) the National Hockey League and Stan Lee. Lee has designed 30 superheroes (one for each NHL team). The Guardians were originally a fictional comic book story imagined up by Mike Mason who somehow became real during an explosion at the Dark Laboratories. Mason became the leader of the guardians, and together they battle the evil Deven Dark.
Dark was able to trap 29 of the Guardians at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Hurricane was able to escape the trap, and Mike Mason is currently in the process of freeing the others. So far, the Hurricane, the King, the Bruin, the Capital, the Lightning, the Shark, and the Flame have been freed. It's exactly as weird as it sounds.
The backstory and the plot so far can be found in the website, which was taken down but has been archived. A graphic novel has been released and a TV show is planned. Whether or not this will amount to anything, only time can tell, although there's been no activity for several years.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: The Guardians were this to the NHL teams.
- Badass Normal: The Anaheim Duck is the only Guardian with no superpowers whatsoever.
- Bears Are Bad News: The Boston Bruin, though the "worse" part is probably for the villains.
- The Beastmaster: The Shark and the Canuck who can communicate with sharks and whales respectively.
- Captain Ersatz: Y'know, the Panther looks an awful lot like the Black Panther from Marvel Comics...
- Chest Insignia: Each hero has their respective NHL teams' logos on their chest, plus the NHL symbol on their belts.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: The Flyer, who could manipulate minds to "calm" people down. He's from the City of Brotherly Love, you know.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The New York Ranger's shield, which is pretty much just the Rangers' logo.
- Playing with Fire: The Flame.
- Powered Armor: The Canadien wears this.
- Shout-Out: The villain in the Ranger's story made a reference to Jay-Z's "Empire State of The Mind", or maybe Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York":Buzzkill: If I can make it here, I can make it anywhen.
- Super Team: The Guardians are formed as this.
- Support Party Member: The Montreal Canadien's power is... magnifying the powers of the other Guardians.
- Threatening Shark: Averted with the Shark, who was one of the good guys and can summon sharks.
- When Trees Attack: You'll get the Toronto Maple Leaf, who is a giant tree creature that shoots out maple syrup.
- Winged Humanoid: The Flyer.