In 1992, the night that the ceremony for the Anansi Totem being passed down to Esi from her mother, Amaya Jiwe, was supposed to commence, Esi fled and didn't show up for it. She went to hide out in the plains close to her village, feeling underserving of inheriting her mother's legacy.
The following day, Esi's four-year-old daughter, Kuasa, was named the guardian of the Anansi Totem. Suddenly, the local warlord Benatu Eshu came to raid the Zambesi village, killing Esi's mother and husband. Esi secured her infant daughter Mari and whilst looking for Kuasa, she was confronted by Eshu, who demanded the totem. Esi fought back, knocking him out momentarily. However, forced to choose between fighting to the death or fleeing with her child, she fled, accidentally only taking Mari, believing Kuasa to be dead as well. She left the baby with the Anansi Totem, which was later given to her by her foster parents.
That fateful night as Esi was staring at the stars, she was visited by "a distant cousin" (in reality, the 1942 version of Amaya who time-traveled to 1992) who had come for the ceremony but Esi glumly told her that she was sorry to have disappointed her. Amaya asked Esi what was wrong and Esi confided that she didn't want to be a totem bearer as she felt that she wouldn't be able to live up to the legacy that her mother led. She told her that she doubted herself while her mother never doubted or wavered in her duty to protect the village. Amaya told her that wasn't true and every totem bearer started with doubt, even her mother. But, she told Esi that danger was coming for her village and her people would need her to stand up for them when it did. Esi heeded her words and went to receive the totem from her mother. The following day, Esi moved to defend her village from the warlords with the blessings of both her present and past version of her mother. She fought the warlords off but her victory was short-lived as Grodd arrived to destroy the village to keep the timeline intact. Esi moved to fight off Grodd but the gorilla managed to freeze her in his telepathic hold. Her mother moved to try to help her but was struck away by the gorilla. Esi and her mother were then saved by the arrival of Nate Heywood as he used the power of the Earth Totem to banish Grodd away and keep the village safe.
Because Esi defeated the warlords, the village was never destroyed, which led to her raising her two daughters, Kuasa and Mari, in Zambesi. They went on to share the mantle of Vixen as well as the Anansi Totem.
Powers and abilities
- Abilities via Anansi Totem: All of Esi's powers come from her necklace, which allow her to harness the life force of animals, in essence harnessing their abilities.
- Anansi Totem: Esi was in possession of the totem, utilizing it when the warlord Eshu came to raid her village, eventually passing it on to her daughters, Kuasa and Mari.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Mari's mother is named Jeanne-Mari Jiwe.