Vixen Rising: Review of CW Seed’s Vixen
Fly like an eagle. Run like a cheetah. Strike like a viper. Insert any other obligatory cliché to express how much of a stan I’ve become for CW and DC comics’ new superhero based web series Vixen. Allow me to proceed in listing off all the ways the Vixen web series has provided my spirit with elation.
We have a black super heroine as the protagonist, Vixen aka Mari McCabe. We have a complex plot centered on identity issues with an intriguing antagonist. We have the incorporation of West African mythos and magic in a well researched way. We have a story that takes place in the city of Detroit which is a staple city for African-American history and culture.
All of these elements just come together to give us a story that needs to be told and also needs to continue whether it be as a web series with longer episodes or a live action television show that joins its companions Arrow and The Flash.
DC and CW making the decision to create a series that centers on the character Vixen is a sign of comic book based media heading in the right direction. With Vixen being the only black super heroine to have her own series, that puts DC ahead of its main competition Marvel in terms of diversity.
The Pros & Cons
Set in the same universe as the shows, Arrow and The Flash, CW and DC gave us a carefully crafted and economic introduction to the character Vixen where we got six short episodes of solid animation, great voice acting, dope storytelling, and character development.
The first thing to admire about Mari as a character is her independence. She’s resourceful and a fighter which creates an excitement for her as a superhero, but she also has her moments of vulnerability which humanize her. She’s a character that has longevity because she struggles with a universal question: who am I?
Mari is adopted, and because of this situation, she’s not quite sure where she belongs or what she should do with her life. She has her desire to go into fashion design, but her designs are murky as is her future because her past lacks clarity.
As the series goes on, Mari discovers that her only key to her past is an amulet that she’s had since her childhood, the magical Tantu totem given by the trickster god Anansi. The totem comes with two things: the power to emulate the abilities of any animal and the ire of her sister Kuasa who was once deemed the guardian of the Tantu totem before their village was attacked when they were children.
Despite all of these complex developments, the writers managed to maintain a clear storyline for the audience to remain engaged while the psychology of the characters was well developed. Mari is searching for her identity. Kuasa is searching for a means to uphold her duties. Their motivations are specific yet realistic and make for a great conflict.
Even though the animation didn’t take center stage, it was good enough to keep us engaged with the story. The action sequences were still captivating which DC is known for doing well. The overall color scheme seemed to place the show nicely in between the grim tone that Arrow has while still embracing the vibrant quality of the comic book source material.
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