Today I want to talk about Vixen, a new CW/ DC character who will soon hit the small screen. She will be the latest hero to debut through the Arrow series, which has done a great job of introducing other characters, joining the ranks of the Flash, Huntress, Canary, Wildcat, etc.
The CW released a trailer for the episode. To be honest, I have yet to read a single comic book featuring Vixen. My knowledge of her is close to non-existent. CW seems to be aware of this, and fortunately they’ve produced an animated primer available on their “Seed” streaming service.
The miniseries’ six episodes were combined to make an hour-long feature. The voice actress, Megalyn Echikunwoke, is also portraying the live-action version of Vixen. She seemed to have a good handle on the character, and I am hopeful that this will continue to be the case for the vigilante’s televised interpretation.
I’ve never really been one for the “Boy Scout” archetype. Seeing that this latest heroine gravitates more toward an anti-hero persona, I am confident she will fit well within the gritty Arrow-verse and appeal to its fans.
Vixen is a strong female character, a trend that has swept through comics with varying degrees of success. We need more heroines, and I mean genuine characters instead of shallow interpretations that tend to relegate women to secondary roles. She’s dealing with questions of her heritage and culture, a process of self-discovery that should showcase her potential to grow as an individual.
Vixen’s abilities come from nature. I love the idea that Flash cannot catch her and that Arrow is unable to best her, because nature is faster and more able than anything manmade. It is something that is much needed in a superhero universe inundated with scientific or militaristic origin stories — I have long hoped for an Animal Man series, though this might do… for now.
But we have to be clear about something. In CW’s search for mass appeal they have often run the risk of destroying characters. This may very well be what occurs here. The animated series wasn’t meant for mass appeal; it was meant to tell a great story. All we can do is hope that her live-action portrayal is not diluted for network ratings.
The CW’s often-repeated formula of mixing romance with heroics is another slippery slope. They have to be very mindful of how they handle character interactions involving a strong female protagonist.
Given today’s tense political landscape, with environmental and racial issues being at the forefront of our socioeconomic climate, Arrow has an opportunity to introduce very relevant issues. Vixen is not just a crimefighter, she is a defender of nature. I hope she is able to give voice to problems that often go unexplored in mainstream fiction.