A Lesson in Black History and Comics
Article by Brandon the Hero Guy
Mari Jiwe McCabe, also known as Vixen, was originally intended to be the 1st African-American female Superhero to star in her own standalone series. But the issue of her series was canceled in the DC implosion in the 70s, never to be released. The story was subsequently in Canceled Comics Cavalcade. Since her debut in Action Comics, she has primarily appeared in in team books. Notably the Justice League, Suicide Squad, Ultramarine Corps, JL international, Checkmate, Justice Society etc. Vixen 1st appeared in Action Comics #521 she was created by Garry Conway and Bob Osker.
Origin of the Totem
In ancient Ghana a Warrior Tantu asked Anansi the Spider to create a Totum that would give the wearer all the powers of the entire Animal Kingdom only if they would use the power to protect the innocent, Tantu used the Totem to become Africa’s 1st Legendary hero the Totem was used by Tantu’s decendants until it came to the possession of Mari McCabe.
Growing up in a small fictional African nation of Zambesi, Mari Jiwe McCabe heard the legend of the “Tantu Totem” from her mother, sometime later Mari’s mother was killed by poachers and she was raised by her father Reverend Jiwe McCabe a village priest until he was killed by her uncle General Maksai who wanted the Totem for himself due to its mystical powers.
Mari ultimately moved to America where she adopted the identity Mari McCabe and got a job as fashion model in New York City she used her new found wealth to travel the world on a trip back to Africa she crossed paths with her uncle took back the Totem and used it to become the costumed hero Vixen. Vixen only made two appearances as a solo crime fighter, once fighting poachers in India, and once fighting a techno- psycho criminal Admiral Ceberus. She was a reluctant hero until the Justice League was reorganized by Aquaman. She applied for full time league membership and was accepted into the ranks. During her time with the JLA the Totem was taken from her by General Maksai who still sought its power. The Totem only granted its abilities to those who want to protect the innocent and it caused Maskai to turn into a raging beast. Maskai died in battle with Vixen.
Powers and Abilities
Due to her blood connection with the Spider god Anansi, Vixen has access to the Morphogenic field known as the “Red” which lets her use the abilities of any Animal species whenever she activates her Totem but she can only use their abilities one at a time, she’s known to use the abilities of both living animals and extinct ones such as a Triceratops or a Saber Tooth Tiger, she’s even known to master the Totem to the point where she can shape shift into animals on rare occasions.
Vixen has not only appeared in comics but in animations as well such as Justice League Unlimited where she voiced by Gina Torres and in Batman Brave and the Bold voiced by Cree Summer, as well as her live action debut in the Arrowverse portrayed by Megalyn Echikunwoke and Kimberly Brooks.
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