- "Getting stuck on past mistakes only takes focus off the primary goal at hand."
- —Amaya Jiwe's advice to Ray Palmer[src]
Amaya Jiwe is a member of the Legends and a former member of the Justice Society of America known as Vixen. After witnessing the death of Rex Tyler, she decided to align herself with the Legends to get their assistance in her mission to hunt down the mysterious time traveler who killed Rex. She is also the grandmother of Mari McCabe, the Vixen of the present, and Kuasa. She was killed by Leonard Snart in the altered reality created by the Legion of Doom. However, due to the remaining Legends preventing this reality, she never died. During a mission to the Caribbean, she was known as the Dread Pirate Jiwe.
Amaya was born in Africa in the Zambesi Village. As a child Amaya wanted to be a police officer despite female law enforcement being generally unheard of. She also read about Chicago in the 1920s from several of her mother's magazines, and wished she could have seen it. In her adulthood, she was given the Anansi Totem, which gave her the ability to channel the power of any animal in existence. This item had been previously used by her mother and her grandmother.
World War II
In the the 1940s, during World War II, Amaya was recruited into the Justice Society of America, a secret organization dedicated to opposing the Nazis and to join the Soviet Union and the United States. While serving, Amaya would grow very homesick and often worry about the safety of her village without her there to protect it. Against the JSA's discouragement to fraternize however, Amaya and the teams' leader Rex Tyler/Hourman fell in love, and planned to leave the JSA once the war was over. While on stake outs Henry Heywood/Commander Steel would sing for the team and often tried to get Amaya to sing along, with no success. She also became close with Todd Rice/Obsidian who she, unlike most of civilization at the time, didn't look down upon for being homosexual.
In 1942 the JSA discovered several individuals, the Legends, posing as OSS agents and confronted them. They claimed they were trying to protect Albert Einstein but the JSA were unconvinced. They also claimed to know about Rex Tyler though he'd never mentioned him which they stated was due to time travel, but a fight broke out soon after. Vixen engaged Sara Lance/White Canary and swiftly overpowered her, while other JSA members took down the other individuals. In their headquarters Hourman observed the captives arguing over their predicament in custody, but he claimed to have never met them before. Vixen suggested imprisoning them in Leavenworth. Vixen and Steel visited the captives but Nate Heywood was able to confirm he was Steel's grandson, confirming their claim as time travelers. The team was brought to Hourman and told him how they met in 2016 but Hourman, as he hand't lived through these events yet, didn't believe them. Upon learning that Baron Krieger had been spotted in Paris, Vixen volunteered to fly ahead and record Krieger's movements. Amaya attended a club but was surprised when Ray Palmer/The Atom joined her in a dance and informed her that a timeline change would result in all the JSA members being killed, but Amaya suggested that it could've been caused by the the Legends instead. When Ray punched a Nazi officer Amaya joined in the counter attack until the JSA arrived.
Aboard the Waverider, Amaya then suggested to the rest of her team that having the Legends as backup might help, as well as keep them out of trouble. When Gideon provided a map of the Fontainebleau Forest, Amaya quickly recognized it, noting Krieger's men were studying it earlier. Vixen later told Ray that her cover was blown and she could never go undercover in Paris again, and expressed her opinion that he wasn't really a hero given that he wears a suit rather than have powers.
After tracking down Krieger the JSA and Legends attacked his convoy and stole the amulet he'd obtained. However, Krieger used a super serum and became stronger and the two were left unconscious, and apprehended by Nazis. While Ray offered to help Krieger make more serum in exchange for their safety. Shortly after the JSA and Legends attacked the compound and Ray used this chance to attack the captors, allowing himself and Vixen to free themselves. In the hallway Vixen and Ray ran into Mick Rory/Heat Wave and White Canary, who returned Vixen's amulet, and they escaped the compound. After retrieving the amulet the JSA parted ways with the Legends and returned to their headquarters. Later the night however Vixen found Hourman dying and he told her his final words "time traveler" and died in her arms, much to her heartache.
Following the Legends
Believing that Mick was responsible for killing Hourman, Vixen snuck on board the Waverider and incapacitated most of the Legends and attacked Mick. Before she could kill him, Nate, who had recently become a meta-human after Ray injected him with Krieger's serum to save his life, knocked her out. She was placed in the ship's jail chamber. After a discussion of her motives with Sara Lance, she decided to temporarily join the Legends on their travels, hoping to find the rogue time traveler that has been responsible for Rex's death, as well as multiple historical aberrations. On her first mission with the Legends, Amaya traveled to Feudal Japan, where she and Sara fought to protect the village of Yamashiro family from the devious Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu.
The Legends then tracked an aberration in 1863 caused by a time pirate's bioweapon. When Union spy Henry Scott was killed by a horde of Confederate zombie soldiers, Jax and Amaya snuck onto the Collins Plantation to complete his mission. Jax got caught so Amaya went in to rescue him and Collins' slaves. Although the slaves were skeptical of a break out, Mary recognized the Zambesi totem and put her trust in Amaya with the other slaves following suit. Amaya led the slaves to safety in the midst of an attacking zombie horde. When she regrouped with Jax, they looked onto the plantation burning down before leading the freed slaves to General Ulysses S. Grant's camp.Soon after their victory in 1863, the Legends tracked another aberration, this time in 1987. Intent on willing to see what had happened to the Justice Society, Amaya decided to take Nate along in order to familiarize her with the time period. Once they arrived, they found it to have been abandoned and desolate, only to be then attacked by a mysterious figure. He reveals himself as Todd Rice/Obsidian, Amaya's old teammate who reveals then revealed the fate of the organization. After the trio discovered a bomb in the White House, Rice went in pursuit of the man responsible, Damien Darhk. The former, however, is severely wounded after Amaya is targeted. Todd was healed and Amaya suggested that he come along with us but he told her that he had someone in his life now and told her to not be afraid to find a life outside her duties. After saying her goodbyes to him, she told Nate about his grandfather's singing voice.
Shortly after stopping the bomb, an aberration caused by the attacks of a man called Quentin Turnbull is tracked. It was revealed that he had in mind to stop the US Army by blowing up a train that was to bring them to the West as well as being in possession of dwarf star alloy. Along with Mick, Amaya was assigned to discovering any information about Turnbull before Jonah Hex then decided to personally take him in. After Nate was severely injured, Amaya and Mick fled to the mine and managed to stop it despite Turnbull's forces upon them. She then had a heart-to-heart talk with Mick over taming the animal within him.The team was later called to late 2016 caused by the arrival of alien life on Earth known as the Dominators. Amaya was left along with Nate to take care of the Waverider while the others were summoned upon helping out with the situation back on Earth. After Ray, Sara, Oliver Queen, John Diggle, and Thea Queen made their way out of the aliens' mothership, Nate and Amaya managed to save them from the army of ships that had been trailing behind them. Amaya was then deployed thereafter to Oregon in 1951 along with Mick, Nate, Cisco Ramon, and Felicity Smoak to interrogate one of the the Dominators on their intentions to invade Earth. However, before any kind of action were to be done, the trio from the Legends team were tranquilized by a group of men led by a mysterious figure. They were eventually saved by Cisco and Felicity, before everyone ultimately chose to save the Dominator in an intent to reveal that meta-humans were innocent of harm. Having been revealed to be both Cisco and Barry Allen's fault of the alien invasion, Amaya then joined the rest of the group in fighting off the Dominator army. After having won the battle, she was honored by the new U.S. President along with the other heroes for their courage and later united in celebration before returning to their normal lives.
The Spear of Destiny
Shortly after their triumph over the Dominators, the team tracked yet another aberration to 1927. After Prohibition agent Eliot Ness was found to have been a target of Al Capone's time-travelling allies, Amaya was deployed with the rest of the team (with the exception of Sara and Mick).
Having heard stories from her mother over the beauty of Chicago in the 1920s, she was able to enjoy the scenic view before being distracted by the news of Ness' capture. The team was then able to intercept Capone's men and Amaya then dove to rescue the almost dying Ness and found him to be breathing. Sara and Martin Stein were then captured later at Capone's club, worrying the rest of the team. Soon after Capone's location was tracked and both Stein and Sara were rescued, Rex's killer followed closely disguised as Stein himself into the Waverider. Amaya then told Mick how her motives for going after the speedster weren't for vengeance but justice; however, their conversation was short-lived after Mick saved Amaya from the speedster's path. With Amaya having taken an anti-speedster weapon and Rory tricking the speedster into grabbing the Askaran Amulet, Rex's killer then held her at his mercy before he was forced to flee the ship. With gratitude, Amaya later gave Mick a gift of liquor from Capone's warehouse and kissed him on the cheek as a symbol of their bond.
Nate was working late into the night trying to find more information about the medallion but his work had kept both Amaya and Ray from sleeping. He told them that he was trying to find out what their enemies were up to and dubbed them the Legion of Doom. Amaya looked at the diagrams of the medallions that he had and matched them up to see that they were one and the same. Nate then realized that the medallion was the key to locating the Spear of Destiny which had the power to re-shape reality. She went with the team when they detected an aberration in 1967 that was linked to Darhk and Merlyn. They ran into Rip Hunter on a film set but Darhk and Merlyn began to attack to try and take Rip but he was arrested. Sara, Mick and Stein managed to go and get Rip back though his mind seemed to have been reprogrammed.
In the Waverider's library, Amaya seemed to realize that Ray and Nate seemed to feel different and were losing touch with their scientific and historical expertise respectively. They then saw that Rip's movie producer was George Lucas and both of them knew the name but couldn't remember why. Amaya then learned that they had caused an aberration where George Lucas quit film school and didn't make the movies that inspired both Ray and Nate. She along with the two of them went to find Lucas and encourage him not to drop out of film school but Darhk and Merlyn arrived and took them prisoner. They learned that George Lucas had the spear fragment that Rip had but had thrown it in the trash. They were then taken to the city dump and were forced to look for it. They found the spear but knew they would be killed if they handed it over. Amaya then tried to help Lucas be inspiring him to go back and make movies and he shouted that what he wanted to do with his life was direct.
Amaya renewing Lucas' inspiration for film making fixed the aberration and when the rest of the team arrived, they were able to push the two former league assassins back and steal the medallion from them. However, the speedster arrived and turned the tide of the battle. Rip tried to distract the Legion by pretending to have his memory back, but the act was quickly seen through. They then watched as Rip was captured in the chaos. Amaya checked the timeline and saw that all of Lucas' films were back. Nate and Ray then invited her to have a movie night with them as they watched George Lucas' films.
Reuniting with an old friend
When the Legion of Doom rewrote reality Amaya and Sara were under the employ of Damien Dahrk as his hitmen, the pair of them having killed all of Star Cities vigilante's including The Green Arrow, Spartan, Black Canary, Artemis, Wild Dog, Ragman, Felicity Smoak and even The Flash.
The pair were eventually freed from their mind control and worked together with the rest of the Legends to undo the Legions nightmarish reality. During a battle between the Legends and the Legion Amaya came into possession of the Spear of Destiny and began to use it to rewrite reality to the way it was supposed to be however she was brutally frozen to death and shattered by Snart before she could finish the incantation.
After the Legion were defeated and returned to their own time periods with their memories wiped Amaya was reuinited with Nate and the rest of the Legends. She decided that whatever destiny had in store for her back in 1942 could wait as, due to having a time machine, she could return whenever she wanted without harming the timeline.
Return to 1942
Not long after defeating the Legion, because of the manner in which they had done so, the Legends discovered that they had accidentally broken time, with multiple anachronisms existing throughout Los Angeles and the timeline at large. They were nearly attacked by a displaced T-Rex when it was sent away through a time portal made by Rip Hunter. He explained that he had established a new organization called the Time Bureau and they were at work clearing out the anachronisms. He then relieved the Legends of their duties. Amaya went to Central City with Nate and lived with him for a while until his birthday. When Nate left to pick up some donuts for them, she had seen a news report of her granddaughter Mari being caught on camera in Detroit. She then left Central City without a word to Nate and traveled to Detroit to see her. She witnessed Mari save five people in the span of one night who was unaware that her grandmother was watching. Amaya then went to find Rip Hunter and learned that Mari still existed because time hadn't solidified but if she stayed too long in 2017 then she would vanish. Amaya then asked him to send her back to her village in 1942 to prevent that.
At some point during her acting as the guardian of her village it came under attack by a group of poaching soldiers. Using her apparently increased powers she conjured the spirits of several animals to savagely kill the attackers, smiling as she did so.
Return to time travel
Sara uses a jump ship to visit Amaya soughing her out since the anachronism in 1870, turned out to be a sabertooth tiger. Amaya was reluctant to return as she knew at times she lost control and let her totem overtake her at times however she eventually agreed. She's then reunited with Nate however things are salty between them . Declining to talk to her Nate ended up passing out in the cargo bay, where he was found by Sara, Mick and her. After finding Ray and Jax dressed as conjoined twins in the circus tent, her and Nate attempted to free them, but were in turn captured by Barnum's troupe. While in captivity, Nate expressed how mad he was at her for leaving him on his birthday to go back to Zambesi. Amaya revealed to Nate that she had gone to Detroit to see Mari first before going to Rip to send her back to 1942 to prevent Mari from disappearing.
When the crowd began to lose interest in the performance, Barnum coerced Nate into "steeling up" by first threatening him, then Amaya. Barnum then shot Nate multiple times despite Nate's protests, angering Amaya to the point where she attacked Barnum, driving him out of the tent. Before she could kill him however, Nate talked her out of it, reminding Amaya about her past with the JSA. They made their way back to the Waverider, where Amaya revealed to the Legends her lack of control over her powers. They told her that they would support her and help get back on track leaving Amaya to conclude that they're right opting to stay with the reformed team.
In 2042 Amaya meets another totem barer and protects her from a water witch. After talking with one of her ancestors Amaya is lead to believe she's meant to be Zari's mentor and convinced her to join the team, explaining how her amulet was, in fact, a totem, while offering herself to teach her how to control her powers.
Zari was in her room cleaning when she was approached by Amaya. Amaya wanted to talk with her about her totem but Zari was short with her about it. When Amaya pointed out that it was her brother's legacy, she angrily pointed out that she didn't want to talk about her brother especially when she and the others were telling her that she couldn't save him even though she now had a chance to. This ignited her totem that seemed to resonate with Amaya's and she explained that the reason she hadn't returned to Zambesi was that the two of them were connected. They then went to the bridge where she met Rip Hunter. Rip Hunter explained to them that he was on the hunt for an evil being by the name of Mallus and the vampire attacks were connected to him.
When Nate had been kidnapped by Sir Henry Stein, Zari went with the team to infiltrate the Order of the Shrouded Compass and rescue him, as well as find the rogue vampire. She infiltrated the club with the team and she was asked to sit for a seance with Nora Darhk. Zari's disbelief was evident to her and she told Zari that she too was a skeptic before she realized her power. Nora then went into a trance and Zari heard her speak out in her brother's voice. Zari then heard her younger brother say that it was her fault that he died as she didn't protect him and had run away. Zari tearfully tried to plead to her brother but Amaya broke the seance up. Back at the ship, Zari told Amaya that she did indeed run and left her brother to be killed by A.R.G.U.S. She also didn't want her totem anymore as it was a reminder that she should've died that day, not her brother. However Amaya told her that was chosen by the totem and maybe it was her mission to stop a dystopian future she lived in from ever happing.
When most of the heroes were on Earth-X, Amaya along with the rest of the Legends rescued the rest of the heroes who were trapped in the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator. She later joined Team Flash, Team Arrow, and the rest of the Legends and helped them repel the Earth-X Nazi forces.
At some point Amaya will return to 1942 for good where she'll have a daughter who will go on to have two daughters, Kuasa and Mari McCabe, the latter of whom also becomes a superhero known as "Vixen". She is said to been murdered in 1992 by warlords so she wouldn't stand in their way of taking Zambesi Village. Kuasa also noted to Amaya that she has fond memories of her personally as a grandmother.
Amaya is a brave and selfless person who is willing to do whatever it takes to protect people. However she can be aggressive and ruthless to her enemies and those she sees as threats to humanity in general, suggesting that they lock the Legends in the darkest hole in Leavenworth and throw away the key for impersonating OSS agents. She is, for the most part, very professional, to the point where she will let unfortunate incidents slide to focus on the mission. However, she can be reckless when someone she loves is hurt or dead, as evidenced by the fact that she stowed away on the Waverider and nearly killed Mick Rory due to incorrectly assuming that he had killed Rex Tyler, indicating a tendency to be impulsive and ruled by emotions like anger on occasion and even have no remorse to hit an elderly person like Martin Stein. After she has cooled down, she decided it would be better for her, as a hero, to arrest the man responsible instead of killing him, demonstrating that she is a self-aware person with good intentions. She is also perfectly willing to admit her faults when she knows she is wrong.
Like most of her team, she didn't think highly of the Legends at first due to perceiving them as being less professional than the JSA, and she even bluntly told them she wasn't impressed with their ship and that Ray wasn't a hero due to his reliance on a suit to defend innocents. However, later on, when Ray sacrificed his chance of having real powers to save Nate, she admitted that what Ray did was heroic, even if she maintained that he wasn't a "super" hero. Out of all the Legends, Amaya respected Sara for her combat skill and was the least impressed by Ray, whom she saw as relying on his suit for power, and Mick, whom she saw as a thief and a criminal; despite this initial impression, Amaya has since warmed up to both and have come to see them as allies. While in the Civil War, she showed great sympathy for the slaves and wanted to help them even if it didn't follow history, proving that she was capable of great compassion. Over time, Amaya seemingly has more friendly with Mick after several instances where he had demonstrated heroic actions and also for saving her from and nearly catching Rex's killer, presenting him with a gift of liquor stolen from Al Capone's warehouse and giving him a kiss on the cheek, winking at him and telling him he isn't a bad guy.
For a time while helping the Legends she was very secretive about her personal life seeing fraternizing as unprofessional given her experience with the JSA, something Nate Heywood picked up on. However after a talk with an older Obsidian in 1987 Amaya became more friendly and open about her past, even sharing stories of Nate's grandfather with him. After talking with Courtney in year 507, Amaya decided to live more than just for her mission, to which she has gained open feelings towards Nate.
After the Legends were temporarily disbanded and Amaya return to her proper timeline, with the knowledge of her homeland and people's future fate, Amaya adopted a more vicious nature to her. Determined to protect her home, she showed no mercy to anyone who would endanger Zambesi Village, taking a seemingly sadistic pleasure from killing the would-be attackers.
Powers and abilities
- Anansi Totem: All of Amaya's powers come from her necklace, which allow her to harness the life force of animals, in essence harnessing their abilities.
- Animal empathy/communication: By manifesting the spirit of the tyranosaurus-rex, Amaya can communicate with other t-rexes and understand their emotions and body language.
- Avatar projections: Amaya can manifest solid energy constructs of the various animals of nature that are able to physically intact with the world, acting as soldiers to aid her.
- Night vision: Through the spirit of a nighthawk, she can see in the dark. This has allowed her to be able to spot Obsidian even after he used his powers to block out the light.
- Shield projection: Amaya can manifest a solid shield through the power of her Totem.
- Superhuman agility: Through the spirit of the dolphin, Amaya becomes extremely fast and agile in water.
- Superhuman strength: Through the spirit of the gorilla, rhinoceros, elephant, and dinosaurs she becomes incredibly strong. While harnessing the spirit of the lion, she is shown able to unleash powerful clawing-strikes that can launch an armored foe far away. Harnessing the spirit of the elephant allowed her to plow through the Dominators relatively easily. However, Amaya's superhuman strength is inferior to Nate Heywood's, even when she channel the spirit of the gorilla; the latter overpowered her relatively easily.
- Thermal insulation: Through the spirit of the seal, Amaya is unfazed by freezing temperatures.
- Totem connection: The totem connects to other totems when in the presence of them.
- Underwater breathing: Though the spirit of the dolphin she can breath underwater (or at least hold her breath for an extended period, like a dolphin does).
- Wall crawling: By manifesting the spirit of the spider, Amaya can defy gravity and crawl along walls and ceilings.
- Expert knife-fighter/Knife-thrower: In her attempt to kill Mick, Amaya was able to strike with deadly accuracy using a cooking knife, during which time she also demonstrated an ability to seamlessly switch the knife between either hand; she would have successfully used these skills to disable the team had Nate Heywood not manifested his steel form and made himself impervious to her assault. She also demonstrated an ability to throw a shuriken with pinpoint accuracy as well after throwing one into Mick's sandwich to give him proof ninjas existed.
- Expert markswoman/Firearms: Presumably taught during her time with the JSA, Amaya is skilled in the use of firearms such as handguns, as shown in the reality created by the Legion of Doom.
- Expert swordswoman: In Feudal Japan, Amaya proved able to fend off a squadron of elite samurai with a katana alongside Sara.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Amaya is a fifth-degree black belt; this training has allowed her to defeat Nazis easily and hold her own against Sara Lance for a time, although she had to use the spirit of the gorilla to defeat her. She was also able to hold her own against Malcolm Merlyn and pickpocket him to get her amulet back before using the spirit of the gorilla to defeat him.
- Stealth: Amaya is shown to be very efficient in how she moves about while gathering intelligence on suspects. During her mission in Germany, she was able to work undercover while raising no suspicion until the Legends interfered. During her revenge-fueled attack on the Legends, she was able to silently sneak onto the Waverider, where she systematically subdued the entire team before engaging Mick.
- Anansi Totem: Unlike her granddaughter, Mari McCabe, the necklace has not bonded with Amaya, as it can be removed from her neck, rendering her powerless.
- Lack of control: After Rip took her back to 1942, Amaya returned to Zambesi, using her Totem to protect the village. However, as she later revealed to the rest of the Legends, when she tapped into the Totem's power, she felt as if the animal was in control rather than herself, causing her to turn unnecessarily violent. However, when she drank tea made from a special root from her village, she had a vision of one of her ancestors who explained why the Totem's power increasing; a threat more powerful than anything she'd previously encountered was coming, and that she should trust the totem rather than resist its increased power.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow