I’m super excited that Mabel the Merciless is growing up in a world with some variety for female hero role models. Squirrel Girl is some diamond crusted role-model-goodness. Kamala Khan is defying stereotypes. Lumberjanes tell it like it is. Options were much more limited when I was growing up. So I think it’s worth taking a moment to acknowledge the criticism of some of my favorite characters, like Saturn Girl, but also to give the writers at DC credit for being revolutionary at the time. Sure, the suggestion that Brainiac 5 could do chores horrified Supergirl and the male members of the Legion were all guilty of gaslighting the female members, but they also elected Saturn Girl to lead them and featured women and girls in roles of power.
I know that many of you may not have a ton of experience with Saturn Girl, she’s on the obscure side and one of my favorites. If you decide to dip your toes into the Silver Age of comics, the Legion of Superheroes is a perfect place to start.
Imra Ardeen is a powerful telepath that joined the Science Police* as a teen girl. She was busy saving a billionaire (like you do) with Lightning Lad and Cosmic Boy, who were all conveniently on the same flight, when she was prompted to take on the identity ‘Saturn Girl’. Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad, and Cosmic Boy went on to form the Legion of Superheros, which was arguably the Mean Girls of the Silver Age, but I always liked that they took it upon themselves to knock Superboy down a peg.
Adventure 247 is a classic. They were just messing with him, but I think that’s my favorite thing about the issue. Basically, they want him to know he’s not that big a deal. Saturn Girl’s powers are somewhat difficult to describe, in that they tended to be whatever the writer wanted them to be in that issue. She was always telepathic, but the telekinesis, psychic 3-way calls, and “mind bolts” showed up when convenient. She was fiercely devoted to the Legion, and was willing to die to save her friends. She actually tried to throw herself on the sword twice to save the other Legionaries, but both times one of them died in her place. Which understandably messed her up, and led to her agreeing to marry Lightning Lad even though she had been telling him no for over a decade. As a kid, I didn’t really understand some of the messages in the comics, but as an adult I really appreciate that the writers gave her depth and a fleshed out backstory.
Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the Saturn Girl pattern here, featuring the Legion logo. 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.
*Man do I wish we had Science Police looking out for us today.
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