Sportress of Blogitude

NHL, Stan Lee Teaming Up To Convert Comic Book Nerds Into Hockey Fans

Comic Book Guy says: “Worst. Cross. Marketing. Idea. Ever.” But he’s always such a naysayer so forget about him.

Give heed, True Believers: the National Hockey League and SLG Entertainment LLC, led by Spider-Man, Iron Man and a multitude of other Marvel superheroes, have teamed up to form Guardian Media Entertainment LLC, a joint business venture which involves Lee creating 30 new superheroes called Guardians, each of whom represent one of the 30 NHL hockey franchises.

But wait. The Capitals already have their own unique superhero: Unfrozen Caveman Hockey Player. Look, he even has a mask which hides his true identity! What gives?

The project, aimed at 9 to 14-year-old boys, will have its own website (set to launch October 8th) and each superhero will have their own comic, set to debut next February.

Via Variety:

Throughout the season, the characters will appear on Jumbotrons during games and on game telecasts as animated action sequences (like Fox’s robot during NFL games), produced by House of Moves. A novel is also forthcoming, with an animated TV series and feature film in development. The NHL will promote the characters across its various platforms and through other media buys. It declined to disclose how much coin it was putting behind the effort.

The NHL will closely monitor online traffic and fan reaction to gauge whether to move forward with a TV show on a kids cabler and a film sometime within the next five years.

The new superheroes are not directly involved with their respective NHL teams and the story lines are not set in the world of hockey, but the new superhero world nevertheless “organically and authentically incorporates various NHL elements.” Am I the only one a bit confused by all of this? Can somebody explain how in the hell this is going to work?

What say you, Stan Lee? (via

“I’ve always believed that every great plan starts with a great story. In the creation of Guardian Media Entertainment and its unique and unprecedented relationship with the NHL, I truly believe we have the perfect combination from which to launch 30 new superheroes and excite young fans around the globe.”

Uh-huh. Uh-huh. But is this about hockey at all? Even a smidgen?

“This is not about hockey,” said Adam Baratta, who is guiding development of the Guardians as chief creative officer, along with Mark Terry, chief operating officer of GME. “While the characters are the spirit of a team, there will be very little mention of hockey in the storylines,” although longtime rivalries between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, for example, will be represented in characters bickering when around each other.

Okay. But I’m still mightily corn-fused about this entire venture. While it is quite intriguing in theory, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out. I just hope that in the new superhero universe, Gary Bettman is cast as an inept, bumbling supervillain. That would certainly be fitting.

NHL, Spider-Man creator Stan Lee join on new superheroes project []
Heroes in NHL rink [Variety]