In 2015, The CW took a baby step towards introducing a new hero to the fledgling Arrowverse. ‘The Flash’ was still in its first season, but was an immediate hit after Grant Gustin made his debut as Barry Allen in Season Two of ‘Arrow’, a series that had, until that point, been very grounded in reality. But after ‘The Flash’ arrived, the doors were thrown wide open to the idea of metahumans existing in this reality. Even so, things were just beginning, so to test the waters, The CW created a series of animated shorts available online at The CW Seed featuring DC character Vixen, voiced by Megalyn Echikunwoke, with an eye on her to portray the character in live action, should the opportunity arise. (It did.)
Thus far, there have been two seasons of ‘Vixen’ and The CW will air these shorts, spliced together as a two hour movie event to celebrate the kick off of the third. The special will be hosted by DC All Access’ Tiffany Smith, and promises to offer teases and tidbits about the new seasons of the live action lineup which doesn’t return until October. The existing ‘Vixen’ minisodes combined only make up a little more than an hour’s worth of footage, so even with commercials, that still leaves plenty of time for behind the scenes features.
‘Vixen’ focuses on Mari McCabe, possessor of the Tantu Toten, a mystic relic that has been passed down through her family from one generation to the next and allows her to duplicate the powers of any animal, such as the strength of a gorilla and limited flight of a bird. Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen/Green Arrow), Grant Gustin (Barry Allen/The Flash), Carlos Valdes (Cisco Ramon), Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak), Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance/Black Canary), Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer/The Atom), Franz Drameh (Jefferson Jackson/half of Firestorm) and Victor Garber (Professor Martin Stein/the other half of Firestorm) have all lent their voices to the animated series.
Echikunwoke did get to portray Mari/Vixen in live action in the 2016 ‘Arrow’ episode “Taken.” However, she then landed the lead role as Simone Baptiste on the series ‘Damien’ as well as parts in the films ‘Step Sisters’ (unreleased) and ‘CHIPS’.
In order to allow, Echikunwoke the option of returning at a later time, rather than recast her exact role, for Season Two of ‘Legends of Tomorrow’, the writers created another Vixen, Mari’s grandmother Amaya Jiwe, portrayed by Maisie Richardson-Sellers. Amaya operated as Vixen during the 1940s as a member of the Justice Society of America but joined up with the Legends in order to find the murderer of her teammate/lover Rex Tyler/Hourman (Patrick J. Adams). At the end of the season, she decides that rather than return to 1942, to stay on board the Waverider with the Legends or more specifically, Nate Heywood/Steel (Nick Zano). Presumably, this means that Richardson-Sellers will be back as a series regular in the upcoming Season Three.
Before then, however, The ‘Vixen’ two-hour special premieres on Wednesday, August 30 on The CW.
Here is a promo to give you a taste of what to expect:
Source: Screen Rant