— Arrow (@CW_Arrow) February 24, 2016
Per the above tweet from the “Arrow” Twitter account, DC Comics character Vixen will make her first live-action on-screen appearance in tonight’s episode of the “Arrow” TV series, with Megalyn Echikunwoke playing the role – a very, very, VERY rare occurrence of a black woman superhero appearing in a TV show or feature film set in any superhero universe (Marvel and DC notably), I should note. Other than Storm, who else can you name, who’s had any real screen time, let alone their own animated series?
Vixen was the first black woman superhero for DC Comics. First announced last year, she’s been expected to make appearances on not only “Arrow,” but also on “The Flash,” in upcoming seasons.
Up until today, the actress has been voicing the character in CW Seed’s animated “Vixen” series, so I suppose this was a natural progression.
Vixen (alter-ego Mari Jiwe McCab) is a super-hero from the fictional African nation of Zambesi, whose superhero powers include using her Tantu Totem to channel the powers of animals in the animal kingdom, so she’s able to mimic the abilities of any animal that has ever lived on Earth.
Created by Gerry Conway and Bob Oksner, and first appearing in Action Comics #521, in 1981, Vixen has been a member of the Justice League, the Justice League International, Suicide Squad and other superhero collectives.
Prior to getting her own animated series, and tonight’s first live-action appearance, Vixen made appearances in other animated series, like the Justice League Unlimited animated series, in which she was voiced by Gina Torres.
I should note that the character’s storyline as written in the comics may not be what producers of “The Arrow” use. But tune in tonight if you’re curious. I most certainly am, and I will be watching. Who knows what this could lead to – maybe a Vixen live-action series, or even a Vixen movie…
In tonight’s episode of “Arrow,” Oliver (aka Arrow) enlists Vixen’s help to battle Darhk. “Arrow” airs on the CW at 8pm.
Watch a preview below: