Thursday, July 2, 2015

VIXEN Animated Series Casts Megalyn Echikunwoke as Vixen

Vixen is about to get animated...and possibly more?

According to Vixen Varsity, the upcoming CW Seed animated series Vixen, originally announced in January, has cast Megalyn Echikunwoke as lead character Mari McCabe, better known to DC Comics fans as the superhero Vixen.

The six-episode animated web series is set in The CW's DC Comics universe will feature appearances from several actors from the CW live-action series Arrow and The Flash, including Grant Gustin as The Flash, Stephen Amell as The Arrow, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, and Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon.  The official synopsis of the series:

Originally from Africa, Mari McCabe’s parents were killed by local greed, corruption, and wanton violence. But the orphaned Mari refuses to succumb to the terrors surrounding her. Inheriting her family’s Tantu Totem, Mari can access the powers of animals-anything from the super-strength of a gorilla to the speed of a cheetah. As Vixen, she fights valiantly to protect the world from threats like those that claimed her family.

Echikunwoke, 32, is best known as Tara Price on CSI: Miami and Isabelle Tyler on The 4400.  She's also appeared in the movie A Good Day to Die Hard, and the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Following, House of Lies, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Supernatural, That '70s Show, and Veronica Mars.

Created in 1981 by Gerry Conway and Bob Oksner, Vixen first appeared in Action Comics (vol.1) #521 as Mari Jiwe McCabe, a young woman who grew up in a small African village in the fictional nation of Zambesi, M'Changa province.  Mari heard the legend of the "Tantu Totem" from her mother, but sometime later, Mari's mother was killed by poachers and she was raised by her father Reverend Richard Jiwe, the village priest.  Reverend Jiwe himself was killed by his half-brother (Mari's uncle) General Maksai.  Maksai wanted the Tantu Totem, which Jiwe had possessed.  Mari ultimately moved to America, where she established an identity as Mari McCabe and got a job as a model in New York City.  She used her newfound wealth to travel the world.  On a trip back to Africa, she came across her uncle and took back the Tantu Totem, using its power to become the costumed superhero Vixen.

Vixen later joined the Justice League of America, reorganized by Aquaman as a team based in Detroit, until team members Vibe and Steel were killed and the team was disbanded by the Martian Manhunter.  She eventually joined the Suicide Squad, entering into a romance with the Bronze Tiger until she walked away and left the team.

Echikunwoke will be the third actress to portray Vixen in animated projects, after Gina Torres in the series Justice League Unlimited, and Cree Summer in the series Batman: The Brave and the Bold.  However, if the web series does well enough, she could appear in live-action as well.

Vixen is expected to air online on CW Seed later this summer.

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