“I wanted them to be diverse. The whole underlying principle of the X-Men was to try to be an anti-bigotry story to show there’s good in every person” – Stan Lee
This isn’t the first time you’ve seen X-men on the Geek-A-Long, but this year I wanted to really zero in on the franchise’s commitment to portraying highly educated kick-ass women: Jean Grey. I wouldn’t consider the X-men to be the best comics, but I do think they are some of the most important. Promoting women and minorities in positions of power and equality is incredibly important, particularly in today’s political climate. I majored in Psychology as an undergraduate, and that choice was partially inspired by the fabulous Jean Grey, who studied at Metro College and then completed her Masters at Columbia.
Jean Grey is a researcher in the area of Mutant Evolution, a leader at Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, and of course, crazy powerful. She has survived more death scenes than Buffy, and comes back more hardcore each time. Jean first debuted as Marvel Girl, the only female member of the X-Men team. As her story line evolved, her powers and even her name grew with her, eventually becoming Phoenix, whose iconic logo is featured on this week’s square.
Jean hasn’t been featured in the X-Men First Class movies, but will be in X-Men Apocalypse next summer, and I am super excited for that. In the comics, the character was fairly controversial because Phoenix goes majorly dark side for awhile. It’s tough to bring a character back from that. One of the things I love about comics is that when a story arc reaches it’s conclusion, or even just isn’t working anymore, the creators can retcon the franchise and overnight the characters are returned to a story line that works. I wish my favorite TV shows could do that just as easily after they jump the shark. ;)
Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Jean Grey pattern here. Instructions for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @Doctor_Llama or Jac @jac_attacking with the hashtag #geekalong!
If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.
For the ENTIRE time I was knitting this square “Phoenix” by Fall Out Boy played in my head, but I only know the one line. By the time I cast off everyone in my house was really tired of hearing “…and I’ll change you, like a remix, and I’ll raise you, like a phoenix!”.
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