The vexing problem with CW’s ‘Vixen’ announcement



During their TCA (Television Critics Association) panel on Sunday, The CW made a surprise announcement. On top of renewing both “Arrow” and “The Flash,” Arrowverse producer Marc Guggenheim said DC heroine Vixen will be getting her own show in that universe. This is kind of a big deal.


In case you don”t know who she is, Vixen (Mari Jiwe McCabe) was the first African female superhero from DC Comics. Hailing from the fictional African nation of Zambesi, her powers come in the form of a totem granted to her by the spider spirit Anansi. Much as Green Lantern's rings allow the wearer to create anything from their will, Vixen”s totem lets her channel the abilities of one animal at a time, just by thinking about.

She had her own series that got lost in the shuffle of the great “DC Implosion” of 1978. From there, Mari was baked into both the Justice League and the Suicide Squad over the years. So getting her own CW show after all this time is huge; showing a willingness of showrunners to break from the formula of white dude with Daddy Issues™.

Except…there”s a caveat. As you can see, “Vixen” is going to be an animated show. And it will only be available on The CW”s online platform, CW Seed. Huh.


While at the TCA”s, Guggenheim said Vixen will be an animated six-part origin story that takes place within the Arrowverse. Characters from both “Arrow” and “The Flash” will show up in Vixen”s world. Does this mean she”ll make the jump to live-action if it”s successful? Guggenheim wouldn”t say.

That”s okay, because actions speak louder than words. The CW seems to understand diversity is a good thing and that straight, white dudes do not have the monopoly on compelling superhero stories. Yet everything about how “Vixen” is being handled screams skittishness. Come on executives, put on your adult pants and let the women onto an even playing field with the men.

So what do we think? On the one hand, yay for a lady superhero headlining her own show! But on the other hand, what the actual hell in relegating her to animation on a third-tier version of a major network!?

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