Put on your unicorn slippers and snuggle up in your favorite cardigan, welcome to week six of the 2017 Geek-A-Long! If you’re a long time reader, no-time knitter or if you just stumbled upon the GAL, it’s okay. You can start any time. Even if you’re from the future times and it’s 2020, you can still knit/crochet this blanket. We’re not going to take away the patterns or start charging for them. Promise. This has been your Lattes & Llamas public announcement.
Alright, let’s talk superheroes. Specifically, the Captain Marvel conundrum.
The Captain Marvel title has a long and complicated history. It all begin in 1939 with Fawcett Comics. They launched the first superhero to carry the Captain Marvel mantel. Billy Batson was an orphan, who acquired the magical ability to turn into an adult with a slew of superpowers by shouting Shazam. He quickly became one of the most popular superheroes of the Golden Age and that upset the people over at Detective Comics (DC). In 1941, they sued Fawcett, claiming that Captain Marvel infringed on their Superman copyright. The case dragged on for years while Fawcett continued to publish their comics, and it wasn’t until 1952 that the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Captain Marvel was indeed a Superman rip-off. But they also ruled that DC hadn’t done their due diligence to uphold its Superman copyright. So, in the end, they couldn’t actually stop Fawcett from publishing Captain Marvel comics.
Fawcett Comics eventually took a nose dive and DC jumped on the opportunity to snatch up the rights to Captain Marvel. Around the same time, Timely Comics changed their name to Marvel Comics and started to gain traction with readers. They took the opportunity to trademark a bunch of names with “Marvel” in it, including Captain Marvel. To make future readers super confused forever, Marvel decided to publish a Captain Marvel comic when word got around that DC planned to bring back Billy Batson.
DC did bring back their Captain Marvel. They just couldn’t call the book Captain Marvel or advertise the name, which is why they titled it Shazam. So, now there are two very different Captain Marvel’s out in the world.
This has been your comic book history lesson for the week. ::tips hat::
I’ve never read DC’s Shazam comics. Everything I know about Billy Batson comes from Cartoon Network’s Young Justice. To be honest, most of what I know about the DC universe either comes form Young Justice or Batman the Animated Series, and I’m not even ashamed. Young Justice was a FANTASTIC show. If you haven’t watched it, go do it now. The first couple of episodes are slow, but once it gets going… Man, it’s such a great show! Which is why I’m so excited that Netflix is resurrecting it.
Anyway, back to Shazam. Basically, Billy Batson is too precious for this world. He’s just a little orphan boy, who wants to make a difference. If you’re okay with spoilers and are in the mood to have you’re heart strings pulled, read this comic strip where Shazam reveals his true identity to Superman. Not gonna lie, I might’ve cried when I read it. All I wanted to do was find this particular GIF and I head my soul punched instead.
Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Shazam pattern here. Instructions and charts for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to Instagram your squares at us @lattesandllamasyarn 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.
The real question is: Why didn’t Billy Batson become part of the Batman family? I mean, he’s an orphan with black hair and blue eyes. Plus, his last name is literally BAT-SON. Come on, people!
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