Every time I write about yet another deal made by Stan Lee, the same thing happens. Fanboys groan that he’s selling out, or cashing suckers’ checks, or making egotistical moves. And he does it because he can. He is after all Stan Effin’ Lee whose Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, The Fantastic Four and Iron Man among other superheroes propelled Marvel Comics to superstardom. As a result, I can’t help but view this latest announcement from Stan today with even more cynicism. It’s actually inducing nausea in me.
He’s partnering with the National Hockey League and forming Guardian Media Entertainment to create the platform to launch:
Stan Lee’s vision for his latest superhero franchise, The Guardian Project, which will encompass the creation of 30 Guardians (one to represent each NHL team) as a new series of superheroes, with a creative concept that organically and authentically incorporates various NHL elements but is not set in the world of hockey. “I’ve always believed that every great plan starts with a great story,” says Mr. Lee. “In the creation of GME 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.”
Created and developed by Stan Lee and Tony Chargin, EVP of GME Creative Affairs, and Jake Shapiro, each Guardian has been derived from its corresponding hockey team, complete with special powers representative of each team and city. These 30 Guardians will be unveiled together in a special presentation during the 2011 NHL All-Star Game on January 30 in Raleigh, NC.
“To be in business with Stan Lee and to be able to bring his latest superheroes to our fans is incredibly exciting to all of us at the NHL,” explained Brian Jennings, EVP, Marketing for National Hockey League, L.P. “We are in constant pursuit of new ways to engage our fans and to introduce new fans to hockey, and the business of GME does exactly that.” With an initial plan to reach tween boys, GME hopes to bring a new audience to the NHL, while engaging the existing, established hockey fan base through a compelling tale of good vs. evil.
The most cutting-edge, motion-capture technology is being utilized to bring the project to life by Vicon House of Moves (IRONMAN 2). A special teaser package will be unveiled during the October 8, 2010 panel presentation of The Guardian Project at New York’s Comic Con (4:45-5:45 pm in room 1A08 of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center).
The near-term rollout plan for the Guardian Project will include an online presence, mobile applications, publishing, gaming, in-arena, broadcast, merchandise, promotional and sponsorship activities.