- For other uses of Vixen, see Vixen (disambiguation).
- "You're right! But I don't need hope! I don't need faith! I don't need magic! I just need to beat you!"
- —Mari McCabe to Eshu[src]
Mari McCabe is an amateur fashion designer, and the possessor of the Anansi Totem, which she uses to fight crime as the vigilante Vixen, as nicknamed by Cisco Ramon. She is the granddaughter of the JSA Vixen, Amaya Jiwe, and the sister of Kuasa, as well as the adoptive daughter of Chuck and Patty McCabe.
Born in the Zambesi Village, located in the M'Changa Province of Zambesi; when she was still a baby a local warlord, Benatu Eshu, attacked it in his hunt for the totems of power. However her mother took her to safety, along with the Anansi totem, so she was eventually put into an orphanage in Detroit and adopted by Chuck and Patty McCabe, who raised her as their daughter giving her the name "Mari McCabe". At 10 years old, after she came home from school crying, having been bullied, her adoptive mother gave her a necklace from her parents.
As Mari grew up she became interested in fashion design but was always haunted by her lack of knowledge of her own past so, in 2011 she leaves Detroit and started searching around the world for any clues about who her real parents were.
Return to Detroit
After four years in search for her parents, Mari, finding nothing, returned to Detroit. Looking for work in fashion design, Mari went for a job interview, but the man claimed that her work lacked identity and instead offered her a job in return for giving him "a job" so, Mari stabbed him in the hand with a pen. Due to this, she was thrown in jail; hearing of this, her foster father Chuck posted her bail, before she collected her things and they went for a bite to eat. After that, they caught up while walking along a street and were quickly jumped by some thugs, the ringleader of whom wanted her necklace.
Out of nowhere, Mari touched her necklace, harnessing great strength. She was able to knock all of them out, before heading back to Chuck's house for coffee. Later that day, she went to inquire with a university professor, Dr. Macalester, who told her what she already knew about her necklace. Before she could leave, he further explained the belief system behind the Anansi Totem, that one could harness the life force of animals and use their power. Following this, she left.
Mari told Chuck that she believed that her necklace was magical. When Chuck told Mari the concept was crazy, Mari tapped into her totem and lifted the table with one hand. Later, Mari walked up on Chuck's house, though Chuck still refused to believe. As Mari was about to jump from Chuck's roof, she stopped at the last minute. Back in Chuck's house, Mari told Chuck of her belief that her necklace could be the key to learning who she was. Mari then had a visit from the Flash and the Arrow. Unsure what to do, Mari tapped into her necklace and ran off, with the two in pursuit.
Mari managed to evade The Arrow and The Flash. However, after The Arrow shot a net trick arrow at her, she fell off of a building, plummeting towards the ground, however, she managed to tap into her totem to gain the ability to fly. Mari flew off, telling the two she refused to go back to jail. Mari was told that they just needed to talk and Mari flew toward the two. The two vigilantes spoke of her as a meta-human, though she claimed she wasn't in Central City at the time of the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion. Oliver had Felicity check if she was lying and the latter told the former that Mari used a credit card at a Big Belly Burger in Detroit that night. Mari told the two that if they came to her step-father's house again, she would show them what it would be like to be disemboweled by a lion.
Mari went back to Dr. Macalester and asked to learn more about the totem. When Macalester asked her why she thought he could help, Mari tapped into the totem to camouflage, proving the totem is indeed magical. Macalester apologized as Kuasa arrived with two men, threatening Mari to handover the totem. Mari tried to hand the totem over, however, she was unable to due to the necklace being bound to her. Having no choice, Kuasa told her men to kill her and Mari tried to escape, but she was shot and fell unconscious.
Mari was brought to her home village where she learned Kuasa is her older sister. She learned about what happened while she was a baby. When Kuasa said it was still her obligation to protect the village, Mari told her there was nothing to protect. Mari was told by Kuasa the totem came to life because it sensed her, thought ended up being bound to the former. Mari tried to get away but was quickly stopped by Kuasa's guards. Mari was bit by Anansi in the form of a spider, though the totem activated and gave Mari the power of a rhino. Mari managed to knock Kuasa's guards away and ran off, before passing out. Kuasa then caught up to Mari and took the necklace.
Mari awoke with a herd of animals surrounding her. She was told by a lion that her mother left to keep the totem away from Kuasa. The animals then told Mari they would stand with her if she stood with them. Mari approached Kuasa and told her their mother made sure to keep the totem as far away from her as possible. Mari sent the animals to go after Kuasa's followers while she challenged Kuasa. Mari grazed Kuasa's arm with a stick then later used Anansi on Kuasa on her wound. Mari knocked Kuasa out before reclaiming the necklace.
Back in Detroit, Mari began vigilantism. She informed her step-father of the news, telling him she would take up being a hero at night. When she embraced with her step-father, her totem lit up. As she went outside, she reminded The Arrow and The Flash of her warning. They told her she just needed proper training if she is to take up being a vigilante, though Mari told them she'd prefer to figure things on her own. She later asked for a code-name, where Barry told Mari that Cisco had been calling her Vixen.
A few months into her crime fighting career Mari started having trouble controlling the powers of the animals she summoned. Chuck advised her to go to an animal behaviorist he knew named Lena Vargas at the Detroit Zoo. Getting a job at the zoo Mari was given the job of looking after an ape named Caesar who she began to bond with. One day Mari came upon Vargas being shaken down by smugglers once they left she revealed that they wanted to use her zoo to sell endangered species Vargas also revealed she could not go to the police as she herself had used dubious legal means to get animals like Caesar to safety in the states Mari told Vargas she could help and revealed to her her powers and told Vargas the trouble she was having with controlling the animals she summons. Vargas however told her that it was not about control but instead embracing the animals raw power and natural instincts and trust them to see her through. Mari then had Vargas set up a meeting where with the help of Caesar she was able to defeat the smugglers and have them arrested.
Becoming a hero
A year later after stopping a bank robbery Mari saw on the news that Macalester had returned from Africa. Mari confronted Professor Macalester who had just finished presenting the Fire Totem of Zambesi to the Detroit Museum of Natural History. Macalester apologized, claiming that Kuasa's money for his expedition blinded him to aid Kuasa's evil intentions. He then suggested that with Mari possessing the Spirit Totem, and the Fire Totem recently discovered, they could learn so much more. Mari refused, however, and was contacted by Cisco. He told her that Weather Wizard was trying to destroy Monument Point, and so they required everyone's assistance, including her own. Vixen soon arrived at Monument Point, along with The Flash and Firestorm, the latter having been incapacitated and separated. The Flash advised Mari to take on Weather Wizard while he saved Jax and Stein. Mari proceeded to attack Mardon but was incapacitated when he blasted her with a bolt of lightning and knocked her into the water.
Mari later awoke in the hospital with Chuck by her side, who told her that Firestorm and The Flash had successfully saved Monument Point. Watching the TV, Mari learned that the Fire Totem had been stolen from the Detroit Museum. After recovering, Mari tracked down a man named Drake to find out about the Museum heist. After interrogating Drake, he revealed that while he did not no who did the theft, he did know that ts was paid for by a rich man from Africa. Breaking into the office of the man who had just claimed the Fire Totem, Benatu Eshu, Mari was stunned when the man told Mari she looked like her mother. She was shocked for a second, before the two engaged in a battle that spilled outside the building. Despite her best efforts Mari was unable to overcome the power of Eshu's Fire Totem and was forced to flee.
Mari went to Macalester, who recommended that they needed the help of someone who understood the magic behind the totem. Traveling to Africa again, Mari and Macalester met with Kuasa, who had been hospitalized after her fight with Mari. When Mari asked for identification on Eshu, Kuasa revealed that he was the one who had attacked their village years ago and killed their father. Kuasa revealed that Eshu sought dominance over all things through the use of the Totems and the only way to stop him was to find a totem that counteracted his Fire Totem - namely, the Water Totem. Kuasa revealed that she knew where the Water Totem was, but would only do so if she could join their fight.
Obtaining the Water Totem and saving Detroit
With the help of Felicity Smoak, Mari and Kuasa managed to break into the home of the collector who possessed the Water Totem. However, upon finding it, Kuasa betrayed Mari and took the Totem for herself. Attempting to escape, Kuasa was subdued by The Atom and Black Canary. Mari proceeded to convince Kuasa to help them stop Eshu and avenge their village and family, to which Kuasa agreed.
Felicity notified them that Eshu was burning down Detroit in his wake. Arriving in Detroit, the group heard Eshu's broadcast that he would stop the destruction of Detroit once Mari turned over the Anansi Totem. The group was then confronted by Eshu who proceeded to subdue both Laurel and Ray. Kuasa, with the power of the Water Totem, initially had the upper hand, but Eshu's power overwhelmed her, killing her and destroying the Water Totem, much to Mari's horror.
As the battle continued, Eshu asserted his dominance over Mari, claiming that she was undeserving of the Totem and weak. Determined that she alone was enough to defeat him, Mari used all of her effort to crash Eshu into the river weakening him, managing to take the totem and hand it to Macalester. Eshu proceeded to attack, only for Mari to knock him back in to the water with a final powerful kick to the head. Mari proceeded to destroy the Fire Totem. Later, she met up with Oliver, Barry, Laurel, and Ray in Coast City who once again needed her help in stopping a criminal. The Green Arrow expressed his surprise at her appearance, to which Mari responded it was her responsibility to protect others, whether it was in her city or not.
Summoned to Star City
With William Clayton kidnapped by Damien Darhk, and John Constantine in Hell, Oliver Queen decided to call Mari for help. Using her powers, Mari managed to help track down William's location. Arriving at the location, Mari and Oliver fought Damien only for Damien to overpower the both of them and escape, with Mari also losing track of William's scent. Later at the Arrowcave, Mari pointed out that she obtained her powers from her totem, and that every mystical foe she'd faced had used a similar object from which they drew power, and so concluded that Darhk had to have one. Lance confirmed this and the group managed to locate the totem at Damien's residence. Mari broke in and attacked Damien. At first, Darhk won the battle. However, using her powers, Mari destroyed his source of magic, allowing Team Arrow to save William and defeat Dahrk. Later, before leaving for Detroit, Mari advised Oliver to keep his life away from William's for William's sake.
Caught on Video
Mari was captured on video by someone's cellphone when she fought against some criminals in 2017. Shortly after, she was covertly watched by her grandmother, Amaya Jiwe, as she saved five people in the span of one night.
Mari is a tough, independent, confident and headstrong woman who does not like to share her feelings with others but deep inside cares a lot for her loved ones; despite almost always calls them by their first name, she loved Chuck and Patty as if they were her real parents. Mari has suffered greatly throughout her life because of the lack of her roots and not knowing her biological family but, after she finally found out about her origins, she realizes to actually consider Detroit, where she grew up, as "her home".
Keeping up with her confidence and daring, Mari dresses in attires that are both functional and revealing while in her civilian guise, as seen when she visited Team Arrow's headquarters; she wore a plunging, v-neck shirt underneath her jacket exposing the curves and the great divide of her cleavage.
Usually, Mari maintains a cool temper, but she can also be very impulsive, especially when she thinks someone is being rude, disrespectful or sexist toward her or other people. She is somewhat stubborn and doesn't want any of the other heroes to help her deal with the criminals in her city, however she is always very willing to help them whenever they need her.
Powers and abilities
- Animal communication/Zoopathy: As a totem represents the tribesmen' connection to their ancestral animals, Mari is able to communicate with the animals that lived around Zambesi village even after being stripped of her necklace, asking the Savannah animals to help her in the fight against Kuasa.
- Anansi Totem: Most of Mari's powers come from her necklace, which allow her to harness the life force of animals, in essence harnessing their abilities. Since accessing its power, the necklaces has bonded with her, preventing it from being removed from her neck.
- Superhuman speed: Through the spirit of the cheetah, she becomes incredibly fast, so fast that even the Flash (moving at Mach 1) had a hard time catching her.
- Superhuman strength: Through the spirit of the elephant, gorilla, lion, or rhinoceros. she becomes incredibly strong. She was able to tip over whole water towers and crumble one of The Arrow's arrows in her hand. The strength she demonstrated proved great enough to challenge Damien Darhk's telekinetic power, as he struggled considerably to just barely repel her.
- Superhuman agility: Through the spirit of the tiger, she becomes incredibly agile, able to leap great distances, and preform incredible acrobatic feats.
- Camouflage: Through the spirit of the chameleon, she becomes essentially invisible, being able to blend herself in with her surroundings.
- Wall climbing: Mari can gain the wall crawling abilities of a spider, defying gravity.
- Flight: Mari can access the spirit of the eagle, gaining the ability to fly. Originally she was fearful to use this new ability due to a fear of heights, but she later overcame the fear after falling from a building and flying.
- Superhuman smelling: Through the spirit of the wolf, Mari can lock onto a target's scent, by first getting a sample of it. From this, she can determine if the target is within a wide area and likewise track the target down.
- Superhuman hearing: Through the spirit of the owl, Mari has very acute ears, able to hear quiet conversations from great distances.
- Underwater breathing and fast swimming: Through the spirits of the fish, the dolphin, the crocodile and the octopus, Mari is able to effectively fight and function underwater, the skills she used when fighting Benatu Eshu and the Weather Wizard.
- Hand-to-hand combatant: While unknown to what degree, Mari has shown noticeably well-coordinated kicks and punches while facing off against her older sister. Also, the fact that she was arrested for assault with a mere pen implies further proficiency in close-range combat.
- Artistic skill: As an aspiring fashion designer, Mari is a proficient sketch artist.
- Occult knowledge: Since acquiring her totem necklace, to better understand its power, Mari delved into the supernatural archives. Therefore, she has come to grasp the general nature of mysticism and how it works, being able to deduce the secrets of Damien Darhk's powers.
- Anansi Totem: Mari bond with this necklace to summon the ashe and use animal powers.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
- Chronologically, Mari is preceded by Amaya Jiwe in her identity as Vixen.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Mari McCabe/Vixen, is a female super-hero from Zambesi who adopts the abilities of animals by using her Tantu Totem.