Friday, August 1, 2014

The Best Guardians

With Guardians of the Galaxy hitting theaters, I thought I would look back on several other groups who called themselves Guardians. Because really, is there any better name for a group of heroes than Guardians of [insert name here?] It's a perfectly fine name for a group of heroes as far as I'm concerned, which is why I think we should take a look at other groups who've used that moniker.
Guardians of Childhood
(from Rise of the Guardians)

If you're looking for heroes, who better than the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, The Sandman, Jack Frost, and of course, Santa Claus. These five legendary figures do more than deliver holiday presents, take teeth, and give you sweet dreams. They also protect children from the dark dangers of the world.

After all, Santa only works one night, what's he doing the rest of the year. Apparently, slaying monsters. While I like the idea of a tatted up Kris Kringle, I just hope he doesn't start experimenting with gauges. That would just look silly on that jolly old elf.

While the movie itself was a bit underwhelming, the book series is worth checking out. (And for a great alternate take on what these icons of childhood are really up to, I highly recommend The Discworld book Hogfather. Or the movie, which is utterly fantastic.)

Guardians of Ga'Hoole
(from Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole)

Apparently owls are the one bird you do not want to mess with. Not only were they spinning their heads around long before Linda Blair made it popular, they also have their own private armories. These Guardians protect the owls and other birds from the evil creatures who would enslave and exploit them. They are the Justice League of the avian world.

Now I understand why Hollis Mason chose the owl as his hero animal. Your bats and spiders and ants can be scary. But show up dressed as an owl, and bad guys know you mean business.

The movie was directed by 300 director Zach Snyder. So if you're looking for slow motion battles featuring owls, this is the film for you.

Guardians of the Net
(from ReBoot)

As long as there's been computers, there have been little people living inside those computers. At least, that's according to the 90's series ReBoot. The Guardians of the Net in this show protect the city of Mainframe and all connected computer systems from the threat of viruses and other digital monsters. They are digital Green Lanterns, if you will.

They also take on the role of the AI opponent wheneverthe computer "user" plays a video game. Games are serious business in the city of mainframe. If the player wins, the game destroys a chunk of the city and obliterates anyone caught inside. Which means the next time you feel a computer game is "cheating," know that they are only doing it to live.

The series, a cult classic, was one of the first series to be fully CGI. While not as pretty as Pixar, the show still boasted amazing, for its time, computer graphics. In addition, the series had plenty of humor for kids and adults alike, as well as plenty of in-jokes for computer users.

Guardians of the Galaxy
(from Guardians of the Galaxy)

Many teams of heroes are your typical rag-tag group facing impossible odds. However, only one team has a psychotic raccoon with a machine gun and the most dangerous shrubbery in all the universe. That would be the Guardians of the Galaxy. The "a-holes" in question are all that stands between our galaxy and total annihilation.

While these heroes have had many adventures in the comics, most people will know them from the 2014 movie, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is easily one of the best of the Marvel movies, and it's going to make a lot of people into lifelong fans of these ne'er-do-wells.

If you can't get enough of them, they've also made appearances in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series, Marvel's Avengers Assemble, and they will soon have an animated series to call their own.

If you haven't gotten enough of hero teams called 'Guardians,' feel free to check out (shameless plug alert!) Guardians of Suncast Dale, my first book which, coincidentally, is also about a team of do-gooders called The Guardians. 

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