Day 2 of 28 Days of Black Super Heroes, this time we’re talking about the DC Comics’ character Vixen.
WHO IS SHE?
Vixen (real name Mari McCabe) is a woman who possesses a magical totem that allows her to mimic the characteristics and abilities of any animal. The power seems kind of stupid at first but bear with me.
Vixen’s is also a supermodel when not doing the superhero thing. Her popularity has increased quite a bit because of her appearances on the Justice League Unlimited cartoon. Here’s a clip of some Vixen moments:
But back to the comic version. I first became aware of Vixen during the 80’s, when she was in the Justice League during their Detroit phase. Unfortunately, I didn’t care for this incarnation of the League and so I didn’t read much of it.
Most of the heavy-hitters (ie Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern) on the team were gone and replaced by pretty much 3rd tier characters (or at least I considered them as such at the time).
The Martian Manhunter was leading the team, and even though he’s a Superman level character, he’s just not a Marquee name to me, so I thought Vixen and the rest of the team were throw-away characters.
Turns out I was right, and during the Legends mini-series, the team was decimated, leaving only the Martian Manhunter to carry on.
THE NEXT PHASE
Obviously Vixen was not killed, but I really didn’t care. She was losing control of her powers, and because of that she bopped around with the Suicide Squad for awhile but that seemed like another lackluster DC comic to me back then so I didn’t pay much attention.
Not until she showed up in a issue of The Flash to save his ass one time.
This was when Wally West was still trying to find his way after the death of his mentor, Barry Allen (the second Flash -Golden Age WWII era Flash was first). He ended up going up against Gorilla Grodd by himself.
Grodd was always a Flash enemy, but the kind of enemy where you think “Damn I better call in the League on this one!”
Instead of the League, he got Vixen, and I’ll be damned if she didn’t kick Grodd’s monkey ass! Well, for the most part anyway. She was still having trouble with her powers, but if she hadn’t been there Flash would’ve been toast. The point is I was very impressed with the character. I finally saw what she could really do and I thought it was cool.
But after that Vixen kind of dropped off the map again, or at least my map anyway..
VIXEN IN THE PRESENT TIME
Traditionally I wasn’t that interested in DC Comics as opposed to Marvel stuff, so I’m sure I missed some worthwhile appearances in other comics.
I saw that after Infinite Crisis, Vixen ended up back in the Justice League with the heavy-hitters.
As you may have guessed by now, I don’t keep up too much with the Justice League unless there’s something really special going on, so mostly I was just aware she was in there from the covers.
The great thing about her is that she’s really gaining momentum as a hero. Even my sister knows who Vixen is from the cartoons, and she’s the kind of character that a black woman can identify with –at least that’s what I hear :).
I think there’s a lot more cool stuff to come from Vixen in the future. She could easily be adapted to live-action TV/Movies and such (if she hasn’t showed up already somewhere).
So here’s a look at the raw pencil art I drew of Vixen. Stay tuned for the next hero tomorrow!