- For other uses of Vixen, see Vixen (disambiguation).
- "Whether it's in my village or someone else's, it's my calling to help people in need."
- —Mari McCabe to Oliver Queen[src]
Mari (born 1992), in the original timeline, was an amateur fashion designer and the possessor of the Anansi Totem, which she used to fight crime as the superheroine Vixen, nicknamed by Cisco Ramon. She was the granddaughter of the JSA Vixen, Amaya Jiwe, the younger sister of Kuasa, and, in the original timeline, the adoptive daughter of Chuck and Patty McCabe. In this timeline, she was known as Mari McCabe.
Mari was born to Esi and an unnamed man in 1992 in the Zambesi Village, located in the M'Changa Province of Zambesi. She had an older sister, Kuasa. When Mari was still a baby, a local warlord, Benatu Eshu, attacked her village in his hunt for the totems of power. However, Esi took Mari to safety, along with the Anansi Totem.
When Mari was 10 years old, she came home from school crying, having been bullied. Mari confided in her adoptive mother that some mean girls claimed her biological mother was a "junkie" and abandoned her. Patty promised her it wasn't true but couldn't offer up much information on Mari's birth family. In hopes that Mari could gain some answers, Patty gave her a necklace which belonged to her mother.
As Mari grew up, she became interested in fashion design but was always haunted by her lack of knowledge of her own past. In 2011, she left Detroit and started searching around the world for any clues about who her real parents were, using the background of her necklace as an aid.
Return to Detroit
After four years in search of her origins, Mari, finding nothing, returned to Detroit. Looking for work in fashion design, Mari went for a job interview, but the potential employer claimed that her work "lacks identity" and instead offered her a job in return for giving him "a job". Angered, Mari stabbed the man in the hand with a pen and was subsequently thrown in jail.
Shortly afterwards, Mari was released after her bail was posted. As she collected her possessions, one of the guards complimented Mari's necklace and offered to buy it from her as a birthday present for his wife but she refused, citing that it was a family heirloom. Afterwards, Mari met with her foster father, Chuck, and realized he posted her bail. The two went out for dinner as they caught up. While walking home, the duo were quickly jumped by some thugs, who knocked out Chuck and held Mari at gunpoint, with the ringleader demanding her necklace. Terrified, Mari touched her necklace and suddenly harnessed incredible strength. She quickly took out all the thugs, much to her shock. Back home, Mari looked through her childhood photos as she pondered the truth about her necklace.
Sometime later, Mari went to inquire with Dr. Adam Macalester, a professor at Detroit University. Macalester believed her necklace could be the fabled Anansi Totem and told Mari of its origin, which she already knew. Mari explained some strange phenomenons have been happening to her and she hoped the totem could give clues as to why. Macalester further explained the legend behind the Anansi Totem in which one could harness the "ashe" - spirit - of the animal kingdom and use their powers.
That night, Mari told Chuck that she believed her necklace was magical, proving it by using the spirit of an elephant to lift a table. Outside, Mari used the spirit of a spider to walk on the walls of house to the roof, where she nearly jumped off, but stopped at the last minute. Back inside, Mari shared her belief that the Anansi Totem could be the key to learning about her past. Just then, the Flash and the Arrow showed up, wanting to talk to Mari. Thrown off, Mari panicked and tapped into her necklace before running off, with the two in pursuit.
The Flash and Arrow chased Mari throughout the city. The Flash tried to talk to her, but Mari believed he intended to arrest her and used super strength to push the speedster back. Eventually, the Arrow shot a net trick arrow at Mari, causing her to fall off a building and plummet towards the ground. However, Mari managed to tap into her totem to gain the ability to fly from an eagle. As she flew off, the Arrow reiterated they just wanted to talk to her and Mari flew down towards the two. The two vigilantes spoke of her as a meta-human, though Mari claimed she wasn't in Central City at the time of the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion. The Arrow had Felicity Smoak check her alibi and the latter confirmed Mari was in Detroit that night from a credit card payment at Big Belly Burger. Mari explained her powers came from magic and requested the two heroes to stay out of her business. The Arrow and Flash offered to help Mari, but she refused and warned the two that if they came to Chuck's house again, they would "get a really good idea of what it's like to be disemboweled by a lion". She then flew away.
Mari went back to visit Macalester, wanting to know more about her connection to the Anansi Totem. When Macalester asked her why she thought he could help, Mari tapped into the totem to camouflage, proving its magical powers. Macalester then apologized, much to Mari's confusion. Suddenly, a woman named Kuasa burst in with two armed men, ordering Mari to hand over the totem. Stressed and confused, Mari quickly agreed if Kuasa told her where it came from. However, she was unable to take the Anansi Totem off her neck, as it had bound itself to her. Kuasa then ordered her men to kill Mari. Mari attempted to run away, but was shot in the shoulder as she leapt off a building and fell unconscious.
Unexpected reunion and battle
Whan Mari woke up, she met Kuasa again, whom she learned is in fact her older sister. Kuasa revealed to Mari they were in the ruins of the Zambesi Village, their home. Kuasa explained the Anansi Totem was created by Anansi to protect Zambesi and had been handed down from generations. Kuasa was to be the totem's next guardian, but a local warlord razed the village and massacred its inhabitants, including their father. Mari was taken to safety by their mother with the Anansi Totem. Kuasa claimed it was still her obligation to protect the village, but a heartbroken Mari pointed out there was nothing left to protect. Mari learned the Anansi Totem came to life and bonded to her because it sensed Kuasa, which prevented the latter from claiming the totem. Mari tried to escape but was restrained by Kuasa's men. Kuasa had a spider, Anansi's true form, bite Mari to sever the connection between her and the totem. The Anansi Totem then activated and Mari used the spirit of a rhino to knock Kuasa's guards away and flee. Not long after though, she passed out from the spider venom. Kuasa then caught up to Mari and took the necklace.
Mari awoke with a herd of animals surrounding her. A lion spirit told Mari that her mother left to keep the totem away from Kuasa due to the darkness inside her. The animals then told Mari they would stand with her if she stood with them, encouraging her to embrace her powers. The spirits of Mari's birth family and adoptive mother appeared to her.
Strengthened, Mari confronted Kuasa with help from animal spirits. Mari sent the animals to go after Kuasa's followers while she challenged Kuasa. As Kuasa tried to attack her, Mari threw a spear at Kuasa's arm, drawing blood. She then had Anansi bite Kuasa on her wound, as the effects of the spider venom were stronger when directly exposed to the bloodstream. Mari stated the Anansi Totem belonged to both of them and their family, before knocking Kuasa out and reclaiming the totem.
Once returning to Detroit, Mari began superheroism. She informed Chuck of her desire to protect the city, which was her "village". The two embraced, with Mari finally telling Chuck, "I love you, Dad".
Outside, Mari encountered the Flash and the Arrow once again, to whom she reiterated her previous warning. The Flash assured Mari they weren't going to hurt her while the Arrow pointed out she needed proper training if she is to take up being a superhero. Mari asked for a chance to figure things on her own first. The two heroes agreed and wished Mari luck. Mari asked for a codename, where the Flash revealed that Cisco Ramon had been calling her "Vixen".
Becoming a hero
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 a gang. Once they left, Vargas revealed they were smugglers who wanted to use her zoo to sell endangered species on the black market. 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 United States. Mari assured Vargas she could help, revealing her powers. Mari confided in Vargas the trouble she was having with controlling the animal spirits she summons. However, Vargas explained that it wasn't about controlling, 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.
Sometime later after stopping a bank robbery, Mari saw on the news that Macalester had returned from a year-long archeological expedition in Africa. Mari confronted Macalester after he finished his presentation 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 Martin Stein and Jefferson Jackson. Mari proceeded to attack Mardon, but was incapacitated when he blasted her with a bolt of lightning and knocked into the water.
Mari later awoke in the hospital with Chuck by her side, who assured her that Firestorm and The Flash had successfully saved Monument Point. Watching the television, Mari learned that the Fire Totem had been stolen from the Detroit Museum. After recovering, Mari tracked down a street thug named Drake to find out about the Museum heist. After interrogating Drake, he revealed that while he did not know who did the theft, he did know that it was bankrolled by a rich foreigner 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 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 into 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 combating a threat. Oliver expressed slight 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 decided to call Mari for help to rescue his son. Mari traveled to Star City with Oliver. In the Arrowcave, she warmly greeted Laurel and was introduced to Thea Queen, John Diggle, Felicity (in person), and Samantha Clayton, William's mother. Briefly explaining her powers to Samantha, Mari sniffed William's action figure of the Flash to track down his scent in the city. Team Arrow attacked the hideout, with Oliver and Mari facing Darhk. However, Darhk revealed he had William moved just minutes prior to their arrival. Despite Mari resisting his telekinetic powers, Darhk overpowered the both of them and escaped, with Mari also losing track of William's scent.
Back at the Arrowcave, she apologized to Oliver but he assured Mari it wasn't her fault, as they don't know the source of Darhk's powers. Mari then remembered that similar to how she obtains her powers from the Anansi Totem, every mystical foe she'd faced used a similar object from which they drew power, concluding that Darhk had to have one. Quentin Lance confirmed seeing an idol in Darhk's possession and drew a sketch, which Mari emailed to Macalester.
The next day, Mari learned from Macalester that Darhk's powers came from the Khushu Idol and explained to Team Arrow how it requires connection to Earth's Ley lines. As the team worked to track Darhk based on this new info, Mari comforted Oliver as he expressed his fear over William's safety. Having earlier heard from the owl spirit Oliver's desire to keep his son close, she suggested that he instead let William go. Mari explained that she grew up in a foster home and never knew her birth parents, but it was ultimately for the best since she had "a real childhood"; Mari realized she wasn't ready to learn the truth about her powers and heritage back then, and believes William shouldn't know about his father's world right now. Oliver was unsure, but Mari meaningfully pointed out how sacrifice is an important aspect of parenthood.
After Darhk was located at Sky Woods, Mari broke into his compound while Team Arrow took out the Ghosts. She attacked Darhk, managing to use the spirit of a cheetah to steal the Khushu Idol and flee. However, separating the idol from Darhk didn't nullify his powers. Mari then harnessed the combined spirits of the strongest animals to eventually smash the Khushu Idol into pieces, destroying Darhk's source of magic and negating his powers, allowing Oliver to defeat him.
After William was rescued, Oliver thanked Mari for her help. Mari urged Oliver to think about what she said regarding his presence in William's life, expressing how grateful she is for her parents giving her the freedom of wondering about and choosing when to know her origins. Before returning to Detroit, Mari assured Oliver that she is "just a phone call away" if he ever needs her help again. The two shook hands and parted ways.
Caught on Video
In summer 2017, Mari was captured on video by someone's cell phone when she fought against some criminals. Shortly after, Mari was covertly watched by her grandmother, Amaya Jiwe, as she saved five people in the span of one night.
At some point, Mari began dating Macalester.
When Amaya lost the Anansi Totem to Nora Darhk, a ripple was sent through time to create a version of history where Mari never received her totem. Thus, she became a hero who set out to try and keep the streets of Detroit safe without any powers. In 2018, Mari went into a burning building to rescue some people trapped inside. In the process though, she was critically injured and sent to the hospital.
Because of the Legends' intervention in Zambesi in 1992, Mari never became an orphan and was raised by her birth parents in her home. She developed a strong sisterly bond with Kuasa and the two went on to share the mantle of "Vixen" as guardians of Zambesi.
Mari was a tough, independent, confident, and headstrong woman. While not overtly sentimental, she greatly cared for her loved ones. Despite making it clear they were her foster family, Mari deeply loved Chuck and Patty, accepting them as her parents. Nonetheless, Mari had suffered greatly throughout her life from the lack of knowledge of her roots and biological family. She was determined, at times obsessive, to learn about her identity and where she came from.Mari was shown to be cautious and distrustful towards strangers; as she was initially wary upon first meeting Barry Allen/The Flash and Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, even threatening them should they unexpectedly show up at her door.
- "My whole life, I thought if I knew where I came from, I'd learn where I was going. What my purpose in life is. Turns out... I was right."
- —Mari McCabe to Chuck McCabe[src]
After finally finding out about her origins from Kuasa and reclaiming the Anansi Totem with help from its animal spirits, Mari was able gain closure on her past with the knowledge that her biological family loved her. She learned to fully consider Detroit, where she grew up, her "village". Mari also finally referred to Chuck and Patty as "Dad" and "Mom", embracing her identity and destiny.
Usually, Mari maintained a cool, level-headed temper, but she could also be very rash and impulsive, especially when she thinks someone is being rude, disrespectful, or sexist toward her or other people. Mari is somewhat stubborn and usually didn't want any of the other heroes to help her deal with the problems in her city. However, she was always very willing to help them whenever they need her.Since becoming a superhero, Mari had warmed up to and become close with Team Arrow and Team Flash, to the point of being entrusted with their secret identities. She even willingly traveled to Star City and fought against Damien Darhk alongside Oliver to help the latter rescue his son. Mari also provided some sage advice to Oliver about parenthood, drawing from her own experiences as a foster child, showing a kind and empathetic nature when she lets her guard down.
Powers and abilities
- Animal communication/Zoopathy: As a totem represents the tribesmen' connection to their ancestral animals, Mari was able to communicate with the animals that lived around Zambesi Village even after being stripped of the totem, asking the savannah animals to help her in the fight against Kuasa.
- Abilities via Anansi Totem: Most of Mari's powers came from her necklace, which allowed her to harness the ashe, or spirit, of animals; in essence harnessing their abilities. Since accessing its power, the Anansi Totem bonded with Mari, preventing it from easily being removed from her neck.
- Camouflage: Through the spirit of the chameleon, Mari could become essentially invisible, allowing her to blend herself in with her surroundings.
- Flight: Mari could access the spirit of the eagle, gaining the ability to fly. She was initially wary of this new ability due to a fear of heights, but later overcame it after falling from a building while fleeing from the Flash and Arrow and flying.
- Superhuman agility: Through the spirit of the tiger, Mari was very agile, able to leap great distances and perform incredible acrobatic feats.
- Superhuman hearing: Through the spirit of the owl, Mari had very acute ears, able to hear quiet noise from great distances.
- Superhuman smelling: Through the spirit of the wolf, Mari could lock onto a target's scent by first getting a sample of it. From this, she was able to determine if a target is within a wide area and likewise track them down.
- Superhuman speed: Through the spirit of the cheetah, Mari could run incredibly fast, so much so that even the Flash (moving at Mach 1 at the time) had a hard time catching her.
- Superhuman strength: Through the spirit of the elephant, gorilla, lion, or rhinoceros, Mari could gain the power of super-strength. She was able to tip over entire water towers and crumble one of Oliver's arrows in her hand. The strength Mari possessed proved great enough to challenge Damien Darhk's telekinetic power, as he struggled considerably to just barely repel her. Mari was even able to destroy the Khushu Idol with the combined strength of these animal spirits.
- Underwater breathing and fast swimming: Through the spirits of the fish, dolphin, crocodile, and octopus, Mari was able to effectively fight and function underwater, as seen when battling Weather Wizard and Benatu Eshu.
- Wall climbing: Mari could gain the wall-crawling abilities of a spider, defying gravity.
- Artistic skill: An aspiring fashion designer, Mari was a proficient sketch artist.
- Peak of human physical condition: As a superhero, Mari was in remarkable physical form.
- Skilled hand-to-hand combatant: While unknown to what degree, Mari demonstrated noticeably well-coordinated kicks and punches while facing off against an Anansi Totem-bearing Kuasa, evading the latter's attacks long enough to get a spider to bite her sister. Also, the fact that Mari was arrested for assault with a mere pen implies further proficiency in close-range combat.
- Occult knowledge: Since acquiring her the Anansi Totem, Mari delved into the supernatural archives to better understand its power. Therefore, she had come to grasp the general nature of mysticism and how it works, being able to deduce the secrets of Damien Darhk's powers.
- Spider bite: Because a spider is the natural form of Anansi, it's bite could sever Mari's bond with the Totem, allowing it to be removed from her neck, preventing her from using most of her powers. However, even when she wasn't wearing the totem, Mari could still communicate with animals.
- Anansi Totem: Mari bonded with this necklace to summon the ashe of animals to use their powers.
- Vixen suit: In the original timeline, Mari designed a suit to use in her superhero identity, Vixen. In the current timeline, she wore one as protector of Zambesi, alongside Kuasa, who wore an identical one.
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
Freedom Fighters: The Ray
The Chronicles of Cisco
Freedom Fighters: The Ray
- Due to the Legends' intervention in Zambesi in 1992, the events of the series are no longer part of the current timeline. Thus, it is unknown if Mari still met Cisco Ramon, Barry Allen, Oliver Queen, Jefferson Jackson, Martin Stein, Felicity Smoak, Ray Palmer, Laurel Lance, Adam Macalester, Samantha Clayton, Thea Queen, John Diggle and Quentin Lance in the current timeline.
- Mari enjoyed the iceberg shakes at Big Belly Burger.
Behind the scenes
- In the DC comics, Mari McCabe/Vixen is a female superhero from Zambesi who adopts the abilities of animals by using her Tantu Totem.
- Megalyn Echikunwoke went on to reprise her role in Injustice 2 and LEGO DC Super-Villains.
- Kimberly Brooks, who voiced Mari's younger counterpart, also voiced her in the DC Super Hero Girls franchise.