Comic Book: Vixen

The She-Fox

"There are a million ways to help people, to make the world a better place... Ways that don't have anything to do with fists and guns and corpses!"

"I'm just saying. You think you've got a shot, take it. I'm not worried."

Vixen is a DC Comics character created by Gerry Conway. The character was created c. 1978, intended to become the protagonist of a new series (and consequently the first headlining black female in the DC lineup). However, the DC Implosion cancelled many ongoing titles of the time and ended the plans for new ones. What was intended as her debut story ended up published in "Cancelled Comic Cavalcade" #2 (Fall, 1978), an edition only available to DC employees. But the character was not forgotten. Her official introduction to the reading public was "Action Comics" #521 (July, 1981).

Mari Jiwe McCabe, while growing up in an African village, heard the legend of the “Tantu Totem” from her parents. She was the daughter of Reverend Richard Jiwe, the village priest, who was her sole caretaker, as poachers, lead by a man named Kwesi, killed her mother years ago. Reverend Jiwe himself was killed by his half-brother (Mari’s uncle) General Maksai. Makasai wanted the Tantu Totem, which had been in Reverend Jiwe’s possession.

Now orphaned, she fled to America. She set up an identity for herself as Mari McCabe and used her beauty to become a well-known fashion model in New York City. She used her newfound wealth to travel the world. On a trip back to Africa, she came across her uncle, and stole back the Tantu Totem, using its power to become the Vixen.

She's never really been a solo hero, appearing on many teams including the Suicide Squad, the Justice League of America, and the Birds of Prey.

She was a recurring character on Justice League Unlimited and, consequently, its comic book series. Additionally, she made appearances in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

As of August 25, 2015, she has her own animated series – set in the shared universe of Arrow and The Flash – on CW Seed. See the poster here, and first trailer here.

With the New 52 relaunch of the entire DC Universe in September 2011, Vixen was reintroduced as part of the Justice League International.

The tropes on this page refer much more heavily to the Comics, than the DCAU counterpart

Tropes associated with Vixen include:

  • '80s Hair: Though she mercifully got a haircut after her appearance on Justice League Unlimited.
  • Action Girl: Being of the more physical superheroines of DC.
  • Evil Uncle: Her uncle killed her father, his brother.
  • Flight: Mimicking a bird allows her to fly.
  • Healing Factor: When generating a couple different animals, though the most notable are earthworms and snakes.
  • Mega Manning: In addition to her Animal Mimicry, Mari was temporarily able to mimic the abilities and skills of other metahumans and superheroes, such as Superman, Black Lightning, and was even capable of generating her own Green Lantern power ring. This ability was later revoked by its source, Anansi the Spider, who had deliberately altered her powers to push her to be a better hero, so she could be worthy of her animal-based abilities.
  • Most Common Super Power: Most of the time.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Took a punch from a controlled, by extension, evil Superman and is still here to tell the tale.
  • The Nose Knows: Many animals have a sense of smell that trumps that of a human, so it would be relatively simple for her to copy the senses of (say) a dog.
  • Reality Warper: With the help of Animal Man, using the Morphogenetic Field, she created her own universe.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Averted, although she's quite wealthy, she has an ongoing career as a fashion model
  • Sassy Black Woman: Positive version. While she's generally a nice person, she has absolutely no qualms about speaking her mind, and is quite proficient in sarcasm.
  • Shock and Awe: When channeling the abilities of an electric eel.
  • Statuesque Stunner: In her more muscular portrayals and, of course, she's a model.
  • Sudden Name Change: Her name was originally given as "Marilyn MacCabe" in her 1978 mini-series, which had been scrapped and reprinted in an anthology titled "Cancelled Comic Cavalcade". After her official debut in Action Comics, her name was revised to "Mari Jiwe McCabe" and has stuck that way ever since.
  • Superpower Lottery: Originally she could only mimic a few animals at a time with the Tantu Totem. As of now, not only does she not need the totem for powers, she can mimic the characteristics of absolutely any animal at any time, without losing control. She was also temporarily able to mimic the abilities of other metahumans and superheroes, such as the Kryptonian abilities of Superman, Red Arrow's archery skills, Black Lightning's fulgurkinesis, and could even generate her own copy of Green Lantern's ring. This power was later removed and her original animal mimicry was restored.
  • Super Reflexes: When mimicking a fast animal such as a cheetah.
  • Super Senses: Most animals have senses that are superior to humans in one way or another.
  • Super Speed: When mimicking a fast animal such as a cheetah.
  • Super Strength: When mimicking a large strong animal, such as an elephant.
  • Upgrade Artifact: The Tantu Totem, originally. Now she actually doesn't need it
  • Wall Crawl: Mimicking spiders, insects, etc. allows her to walk on walls.