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Real Identity: Mari McCabe
Appearances : Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9, Episode 10, Episode 11, Episode 12, and The Movie
Powers/Skills: Animal Mimicry
Voiced By: Megalyn Echikunwoke and Kimberly Brooks (Young Mari)
Born in 1992 in Zambesi Village, M'Changa Province, Africa, an infant girl with no name was unknowingly witness to the destruction of her home by a local warlord's army. Her father tried to protect it but was shot dead. Esi, her mother, fled Zambesi with her and the Spirit Totem, leaving her older sister Kuasa behind. Somehow, the infant and a strange necklace was taken in by a foster agency in Detroit. She was placed with Chuck and Patty McCabe. They named her Mari. Chuck looked into the necklace and learned it was an Anansi Totem. Chuck and Patty decided to give it to Mari when she was old enough. They raised Mari unaware her biological mother and father were killed by local greed, corruption, and wanton violence. One day, when she was 10, Mari told Patty about several girls at school who said her mother was a junkie and that's why she was given up. Patty comforted her and told the story of when Mari came into their lives. She took a small chest from a kitchen cabinet and took out the totem. She told Mari it was her mother's. It was an "Anansi Totem" and it might help her find the answers to her many questions.
Years later, as an adult, McCabe left Michigan in search of answers about her family and heritage but found out nothing. She spent some time in Central City and quickly accepted crazy was the new normal. After being gone for four years, she returned to Detroit for a job interview in the fashion industry for a design position. On the night of December 11, 2013, McCabe had an iceberg shake at a Big Belly Burger and used her credit card. McCabe's would be employer thought her sketches lacked "identity" but still offered a job in exchange for a sexual favor. McCabe responded by stabbing him the hand with a pen. She was arrested. To her surprise, McCabe's bail was posted by one of her former foster fathers, Chuck. Chuck offered to buy her a meal. After McCabe explained what led to her arrest, Chuck admitted his late wife, Patty, probably would have been proud of her for standing up for herself. McCabe in turn didn't think it was the same without being chewed out by Patty. Both admitted to missing her. While walking, they were held up by three hoodlums who wanted the Spirit Totem around her neck. Instead of complying, she drew on the power of the totem and broke free with the power of a gorilla and tossed the hood. She kicked the second hood then pounced on the third. Kuasa, who hired the hoods, realized her presence activated the totem.
Chuck came to and saw only Mari McCabe was still standing. They relocated to his home. McCabe took a coffee while Chuck went to get some sleep. He offered her to stay. Her old bedroom was still how she left it. She went upstairs and saw her photo frames. McCabe remembered the day Patty gave her the totem. The next day, she went to a university and met with a Professor Macalester for his expertise on the totem. However, she knew most of what Macalester revealed then admitted she wanted to find out about her family. As she left, Macalester added the myth of the totem also said it granted its wearers the ability to tap into the life force of the animal kindgom and borrow their abilities. After she left, Macalester reported to one of his benefactors - who wanted the totem and hired the three hoodlums earlier. She agreed to fully fund his next expedition for the totem but wanted McCabe alive. Back at Chuck's home, McCabe tried to share her idea that the totem was magical but he didn't believe her. McCabe demonstrated the strength of an elephant and lifted the kitchen table with one hand then did some wall crawling outside. She summoned the eagle but didn't go through with jumping off the roof and using the power of flight.
The attempted mugging drew more attention than McCabe knew. Cisco Ramon's modified facial recognition algorithm flagged McCabe as a possible metahuman. Thinking a metahuman outside Central City could be something more, Flash recruited Arrow to come with him to Detroit. Three days after being arrested, McCabe was chased across building rooftops by Arrow and Flash. She utilized the Spirit Totem to dodge all their attempts to neutralize her. However, while she was trying to avoid a net arrow, McCabe slid off the edge of a building. She took on the power of flight and soared up into the sky. Arrow convinced her they only wanted to talk. McCabe denied being in Central City during the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion. Felicity Smoak verified her whereabouts in Detroit. McCabe noted her powers were derived from magic then insisted she wasn't any business of theirs. She turned down Flash's offer to help and warned them to stay away from her father's house or she would disembowel them with the power of a lion. McCabe flew away.
McCabe returned to Macalester's office and quickly explained two men were after her and she needed his help to answer her questions. She demonstrated camouflage to Macalester who apologized to her. Kuasa and two armed men forced their way into the office and demanded the totem. If McCabe refused, Kuasa would have one of the armed men kill her. McCabe was more than happy to give it over in exchange for learning where it came from. However, she learned it bonded to her. Kuasa declared it would be removed from her corpse but McCabe utilized camouflage and tried to sneak out the window. Kuasa sighted her. Her men shot McCabe in the arm as she tried to leap to another building. On Kuasa's orders, McCabe was taken with her to Zambesi. When McCabe came to, Kuasa revealed to her they were sisters and told her the history of Zambesi. Unwilling to die to give up the totem, McCabe tried to run but was recaptured. Kuasa brought out a spider, considered the true form of Anansi, and had it bite McCabe.
She summoned the power of a rhino and knocked Kuasa's men away. McCabe tried to run away but after nightfall, she collapsed from the effects of the spider bite. Kuasa removed the totem from her in triumph. Animal Spirits gathered around McCabe and woke her up. They declared it was not her time yet and she needed to stop "the pretender." They revealed that was the reason her mother left Zambesi - to create distance from Kuasa. The spirits implored McCabe to embrace her true calling and they would stand with her. Some took the forms of Patty, her biological parents, and biological grandmother. McCabe returned to the village and confronted Kuasa. Kuasa was undaunted when the spirits took down her followers. McCabe threw a stick at Kuasa and wounded her on the arm. Kuasa's elephant form struck McCabe and knocked her into a table. On the sly, she grabbed the spider from one of the pots tossed over. When Kuasa got in close and bit her shoulder, McCabe slapped the spider onto her arm wound.
The spider's poison spread faster being exposed directly to the bloodstream and Kuasa could no longer use the Totem. Kuasa stammered the totem was belonged to her. McCabe corrected her and stated the totem belonged to their family. Kuasa refused to admit it was over. McCabe decked her with an uppercut then removed the totem. She returned to Detroit and fashioned herself a costume to protect her adopted city from crime. McCabe explained her plans to Chuck which he summarized as 'fashion designer by day and taking out muggers by night.' McCabe stated she and the Totem would protect her 'village,' Detroit. She admitted to not saying a lot of things before then told Chuck she loved him. Chuck replied the same and they hugged. The totem glowed, warning McCabe of others outside. She took to the roof and addressed Arrow and Flash.
Arrow thought it was foolish of her to fight crime without proper training. She managed to convince them to give her a chance to figure things out on her own for awhile. Flash told her she could always call on them for help. McCabe thought she was getting a 'cool name' or something. Flash recalled Cisco called her "Vixen" then went on a tangent denying he was affiliated to anyone named Cisco. Arrow warned her 'the life' wasn't easy but she was confident she could handle it. McCabe declared she knew who she was. Arrow understood and took his leave. McCabe looked up to the sky and stated she was Vixen. Vixen broke up an attempted robbery in an alley and tried out her new "I'm Vixen" line but couldn't settle on the tone until after she kicked the criminal into some garbage cans using the monkey's ashe. Vixen tried to sneak back into the McCabe home but Chuck mistook her for a thief at first. Chuck heated up some water for tea but was still dismayed his daughter was a superhero. He thought the name was provocative but she thought it was good for throwing criminals off guard.
Chuck brought up that Detroit was full of desperate and dangerous men but she contended that's why she was needed out there to help protect the city. Chuck wondered if there was something stronger to drink. She tried to calm him down by saying she wouldn't operate on such a huge scale as the Arrow or the Flash. The next day, McCabe returned to the university prepared for a confrontation but learned Macalester had already gone to Africa on his expedition. His teaching assistant informed her Macalester would be gone for about a year. McCabe asked the assistant to inform Macalester she wanted a pointed conversation with him when he returned. Vixen intervened in a hold up of a couple after one of the two armed men confused alchemy for chivalry. Vixen had a difficult time controlling her powers and rammed into a stairwell. She struggled to switch between powers but luckily police arrived and arrested the men. Vixen still counted it was a win for her. She iced her left shoulder back at home. Chuck offered her frozen peas and recommended seeing Dr. Vargas, a behaviorist at the Detroit Zoo.
Upon inquiring how he knew her, Chuck admitted to going on a few dates with her. She teased him, asking if she could call Vargas her new stepmom. The next day, Mari McCabe went to the zoo and met with Dr. Vargas. McCabe stated she was doing research on animal behavior. Vargas was intrigued and asked if he was studying zoology as a post-graduate. McCabe replied it was more of an elective and asked for an overview. McCabe then tried to illustrate a scenario of being a gorilla but Vargas realized her time was being wasted. McCabe changed the subject and asked about the job opening. Vargas thought about it but stated it was up to "them." Vargas took McCabe to see the gorillas. Caesar, the dominant male, took notice and approved of her. He also noticed her Spirit Totem. McCabe started to have second thoughts about cleaning up after gorillas to learn how to be a better superhero. She noticed Caesar was interested in her totem. McCabe called on the gorilla's ashe but Caesar was startled and pounded his chest. McCabe recalled it and tried to calm him.
Dr. Vargas checked up on her and revealed Caesar was an orphan from the Congo due to poaching and deforestation. McCabe realized they had something in common. McCabe drew a gorilla and tried to show Caesar as a peace offering. They heard a noise coming from Vargas' office. McCabe checked on Vargas and knew she saw a shakedown in progress. Both Silk Tie and Vargas insisted everything was fine. After Silk left with his men, McCabe implored her to say what was happening. Vargas revealed Silk was a smuggler trying to use her contacts to sell endangered species on the black market. To complicate matters, Vargas had a history of bribing officials to make sure rescued animals made it to the zoo. McCabe understood she did what she had to do for the animals and offered her help. Vargas didn't undersand how she could. McCabe demonstrated the hawk's ashe and flew. Vargas was amazed but at a loss for words. McCabe offered the short story about her powers. Vargas understood why McCabe sought her out in the first place.
McCabe wanted to control the ashes in the heat of the moment. Vargas pointed out it wasn't about control, it was about embracing it and letting the animals' instincts take over. She understood and instructed Vargas to set up a meeting with Silk Tie. Silk Tie fell for it and gave Vargas the details on a container coming in on a cargo freighter that he wanted to be overlooked by officials. Vixen dropped down from the ceiling and rammed his men into the wall. Silk was intrigued. He pulled a gun and believed he could find a bidder to buy her. Vixen dodged his gunshots but they shattered the gorilla pen's glass enclosure. Caesar stepped out and quickly took down Silk's men. Vixen was excited to have a sidekick. Caesar grabbed the second henchman and swung him into the ground repeatedly. Vixen corrected herself and stated they were partners. Silk tried to run away but Vixen tapped into the cheetah's ashe and cut him off then punched him out. Silk's global smuggling operation was brought down with Dr. Vargas' testimony.
Since she was so crucial in the case, Vargas was given immunity. She reconnected with Chuck and they started dating again. McCabe found it weird to see him out on dates. Confident of herself again, McCabe was inspired to design a new costume. Caesar wasn't impressed and blew a raspberry. McCabe contended he didn't know fashion and ran around naked all day. One year later, Vixen broke up a bank robbery in progress. She noticed a news flash on the TV about Professor Macalester's return. A bank employee stood up and thanked her. Vixen asked him to turn up the volume on the TV. Macalester publicly unveiled the Fire Totem, one of the other Lost Totems of Zambesi, at the university. McCabe attended and confronted him afterwards. Macalester admitted he was blinded by the funding but tried to convince her to study the two totems with him. McCabe declined then suddenly received a text from Cisco Ramon. She joined the battle at Monument Point against Weather Wizard and took a bolt of lightning.
Two weeks later, McCabe awoke in a hospital bed with Chuck at her side. He assured her Monument Point and her "new friends" were safe thanks to her. They were interrupted by a news flash about a theft at the Detroit Museum late last night that involved the Fire Totem. She assured Chuck she had her own share of trouble to deal with in just Detroit. Vixen used a camouflage ability to sneak into the museum and eavesdropped on Macalester speaking with a police sergeant. Vixen pursued an informant named Drake through several alleys and demanded to know who robbed the museum. After she activated the bear, Drake swore he didn't know who did it but heard it was bankrolled by a foreigner from Africa. Vixen fought her way to a man named Eshu, who now had the Fire Totem. He noted she looked like her mother. Blinded by the comment, Vixen was blasted out of the building with flames. She summoned feline powers and landed on a nearby rooftop. Eshu followed and stated he scoured all of Africa from the totems and now had two in his sight in one night. Vixen demanded to know who he was and how he knew her mother. She was blasted out of the building.
Vixen was unable to navigate his flame blasts efficiently and jumped down to the next floor, crashing a restaurant. She yelled at everyone to leave. Eshu dropped down and continued firing at her. He claimed they could still part on peaceful terms if she surrendered her totem. Vixen didn't believe him and used the Boa Constrictor to squeeze him but he still almost got her again. Vixen was hit in the back and fell down a floor into a swimming pool. She used a fish to hold her breath and waited at the bottom of the pool until Eshu left. McCabe went to Macalester for answers that could help her stop Eshu. He admitted his limits but knew Kuasa would know about the totem's magic. They took a flight to Africa and found Kuasa in a Zambesi hospital, suffering the effects of the spider's poison. McCabe and Kuasa immediately got into an argument about their previous encounter. Macalester asked Kuasa if she recognized Eshu. She immediately knew him as the general who led the raid on their home village and tried to take the totem then.
Kuasa didn't know of a way to sever the link to the Fire Totem like she did against McCabe but proposed a direct approach and use the Water Totem. Macalester, however, had no idea where it was located. Kuasa claimed to know its location but wanted to join their fight. McCabe was apprehensive. She came up with a back up plan and invoked the city's heroes just in case. Vixen and Kuasa arrived in Star City and infiltrated an estate with Felicity Smoak coordinating from the Arrowcave. As she thought, Vixen was betrayed by Kuasa. Kuasa took the Water Totem and tried to flee into the city. Vixen ordered to Doberman guard dogs she befriended with her powers to distract the responding police officers while she chased after Kuasa. She navigated the waves of water Kuasa conjured but Atom and Black Canary arrived and stopped her. Vixen thanked them and complemented Canary's costume. Atom thought she was talking to him and revealed he made it himself. Vixen was dumbfounded.
Vixen once again asked her to hold up her end of the bargain and defeat Eshu, avenging their father and village. Smoak informed them Eshu was on the rampage in Detroit. Kuasa agreed to help. Eshu demanded the Spirit Totem or he would continue to rain pain, destruction, and fire on Detroit. Vixen received a call from Macalester about a song he found in the university archives. He told her about how each totem possessed an auri, like a soul, and if it were crushed, the totem would lose its power. Vixen didn't immediately realize how that would help her but Macalester reminded her what he said before that the totems were balanced with equal force but different elements. To Vixen's dismay, Chuck found them. She told him to get away and find a shelter. She couldn't fight knowing he was in imminent danger. Eshu landed near them and the battle began. Vixen was limited to running in with one attack then retreating alternatively with Black Canary and the Atom.
After they were defeated, Kuasa attempted to drown Eshu to death. He proved too powerful and unleashed his fire upon her. Vixen ordered her to run but Kuasa refused to run like their mother did years ago. She was overcome and apparently perished, reduced to a small crisp. Vixen was horrified. Eshu promised to break her spirit then kill her. The battle raged on in the streets. Eshu repeated she couldn't stop him because she was weak and pathetic, unfit to wear the Spirit Totem, and she knew it deep in her bones. Vixen continued on. Soon, the fight took to the skies. Vixen used a combination of a hawk and gorilla to tackle Eshu off the side of a building onto a pier. Vixen noticed the water reacting to Eshu and summoned a hippo spirit to sink them underwater then summoned an octopus spirit and took off the Fire Totem. She surfaced and gave the totem to Macalester but Eshu dragged her back under. Vixen got free with an electric eel shock then finished Eshu off with a crocodile spirit. She latched onto him, spun him around, then took him down with a roundhouse kick.
Macalester instructed Vixen to break the Fire Totem's soul with akbara or "great strength." Vixen used the elephant spirit but it did no damage. Macalester advised her to get more help. Vixen called upon many animal spirits at once and reduced the totem to pieces. They were placed back on display and a gala was held. McCabe and her father attended the party and noticed Ray Palmer and Dinah Lance while she looked at the totem shards. Chuck reiterated he thought she had a future in fashion design after she noted she made her own dress. She introduced Macalester to Chuck. She and Macalester looked at the totem shards next. McCabe thought they lost their sparkle but Macalester contended that the beauty would always remain in things that seemed rough and dark. She then got an emergency text from Cisco Ramon about an incident in Coast City. Vixen arrived last and met up with Green Arrow, Flash, Black Canary, and the Atom.
Arrow wasn't so sure she would leave Detroit to help out. Vixen stated it was her calling to help people in need whether it was in her "village" or someone else's. Suddenly, several citizens ran away down below in the streets as cars were launched in the air. Arrow asked Vixen if she was ready to prove what she said. She replied to call her Vixen. They descended on Coast City together. After some time had passed, Vixen was on patrol in Detroit and pursued three men working for Albert Cerico. They fled into a warehouse where she picked them off one by one. She told one of them to tell Cerico the streets didn't belong to him anymore. One of the others stood up and aimed his gun at her but Green Arrow fired an arrow into his hand. Vixen stated she had it under control and asked if there wasn't enough in Star City to keep him busy. Green Arrow stated he needed her help.