On Wednesday, February 24th (8 pm eastern standard time and 7 pm central) more Black history will be made on whatever channel The CW comes on at your house.
Vixen will make her live action debut this week on Arrow aka #DemBows. After the network picked up a short online animated series for this character it was speculated, then confirmed, that they were integrating Vixen into the DC Comics live action television universe they’ve been growing since Arrow season 1. The same actress that voiced Vixen in the cartoon, Megalyn Echikunwoke, will reprise her role.
With additions like The Flash (#DatFlash) and most recently Legends of Tomorrow (#DemLegends), Vixen could easily be on the same track to a spin off, but for now you can catch her with the Green Arrow in Starling City. For the homies that want to check out tomorrow’s episode, but aren’t super familiar with this Black heroine, save your Google searches – I have your back.
Who is Vixen?
Mari Jiwe is from a fictional country in Africa named Zambesi. However, there is a river of the same name that flows through six different countries on the continent and into the Indian Ocean. Her power is rooted in her heritage, coming from a totem crafted by Anansi the Spider for a warrior named Tantu. The totem allows the user to access the powers of the animal kingdom, as long as their intention is to protect the innocent. After the murders of her parents, this object falls to Mari and she decides to use it, becoming a hero just as Tantu did. Ultimately, she moves to America, changes her name to Mari McCabe, and begins a cover career as a model, but her real job is suiting up as Vixen to protect those that need her help to defeat evil.
The animated series on CW Seed is an in depth look at Vixen in the early days.
— Arrow (@CW_Arrow) February 19, 2016
This character was created by Gerard Conway and Bob Oksner – a comic writer and artist pair from Brooklyn and New Jersey. She was one of the first Black women superheroes ever and only the second for DC Comics after Teen Titans member Bumblebee in 1976.
Vixen makes her first appearance in 1981’s Action Comics #521 where she gives the hands to America’s great white hope, Superman.
So, it’s pretty clear that Mari McCabe is completely badass. She was originally supposed to be the star of her own solo run but, for whatever reason, that idea was nixed. However, one issue of that story was published in the Cancelled Comic Cavalcade #2 three years before her run in with the man of steel. After that, she was written mostly as a member of the Justice League, the Suicide Squad, and Checkmate. This year’s Dwayne McDuffie for Diversity in Comics Award winner, G Willow Wilson wrote a limited series Vixen: Return of the Lion in 2008 about Mari going back to her village that’s worth reading when you have time.
Vixen is one of the most popular heroes in the Blerd community.
This character making the transition from the world of animated series into live action is a very big deal. Blerds that have been following Vixen for a long time get the pay off of seeing her make a jump further into the mainstream, but casual fans that are Black women will get to see a superhero who represents them on screen. This move means that the CW is beginning to take this character, and her story, more seriously and as long as the fans keep pushing for her presence and showing their support, I wouldn’t be surprised if a silver screen appearance isn’t too far off, especially with DC gearing up to start filming Justice League – Part 1 on April 11th.
Thanks for reading Strictly 4 My Blerds.
I do this because I love the culture and the community. Did you enjoy this post? Let me know on Twitter and share it with the homies on Facebook. If your interest is piqued and you want to support networks making casting choices in favor of representation for PoC, check out Arrow Wednesday night and live tweet the show with the Blerd community using the #DemBows hashtag. If you want to chat directly with me or ask storyline questions, make commentary, or share hilarious gifs add #S4MBlerds to your tweet.