After two successful seasons of her animated webseries, Mari McCabe, aka Vixen, has become an important part of The CW’s Arrowverse. While her grandmother continues to travel time as part of the Legends in live-action, Mari has embarked on a different journey. So far we’ve seen her discover her powers, fight her long-lost sister, and destroy the bloodthirsty warlord who killed her family in Africa. So where does Mari go from here? Let’s look at a few possibilities.
A Black Lightning Crossover?
This is the one suggestion that would not happen on Vixen. Rather, this would be similar to Mari’s appearance on Arrow, where voice actress Megalyn Echikunwoke reprised her role in live-action. It remains unclear as to whether or not Black Lightning will exist in the Arrowverse, despite airing on the CW and being produced by Greg Berlanti. At this point, it appears possible that it will begin as a separate entity before being retroactively added to the universe’s canon, much in the same way that Supergirl was.
In any case, it appears that Berlanti and showrunners Salim and Mara Brock Akil want to develop Black Lightning without the constraints of fitting it into the shared universe or worrying about crossovers. If they decide they want the marketable appeal that comes with the Arrowverse brand but still want to keep Jefferson Pierce out of the network’s pseudo-Justice League, a Vixen appearance is the perfect compromise.
Regular crossovers are difficult for the network to pull off due to the availability of actors — this is why Kara Danvers had reduced screen time in the Supergirl episode before last year’s “Invasion!” event. There are also creative constraints, as crossovers tend to interrupt arcs on both shows — this is why, rather than staying to help Team Arrow prevent a biological attack on Starling City, Barry Allen simply releases them from a dungeon and runs home to confront the Reverse-Flash.
Since Vixen doesn’t headline a regular live-action show, her appearance doesn’t have to get bogged down in the same logistical and creative constraints that typify other crossovers. Additionally, with the story of Black Lightning apparently focusing on Pierce’s attempts to stop his daughters from following in his footsteps, Mari could add to the plot by providing them with living proof of their ability to be heroes.
More African Heroes?
Part of what makes Mari and her grandmother Amaya so unique in the Arrowverse is that they are not from the United States. Mari may patrol the streets of Detroit, and Amaya may have been a member of the Justice Society of America, but both originally hail from the (fictional) African nation of Zambesi, and their powers are directly tied to mysticism from that culture. Together they bring needed diversity to an otherwise overwhelmingly white and American superhero world.
DC Comics is full of secondary heroes from Africa who would fit right in alongside other Arrowverse characters, and since Mari has already visited Africa twice in her own series, she could easily be the one to discover and team up with some of them.
Some heroes have origins tied to real events and modern problems, like Dominic Mndawe who became South Africa’s Freedom Beast against the backdrop of the oppressive apartheid regime. This offers a chance for more of the important social commentary that is sometimes woven into stories on Arrow or Supergirl. Others, like the Congorilla, are just naturally suited to animation due to their appearance and abilities and could make for a visually spectacular team-up.
Exploring the Red
Thus far, both Vixen and Legends of Tomorrow have been vague about the magic unleashed by Mari’s totem. In the comics, however, Vixen’s abilities come from The Red, a mystical force connecting all animal life. Much in the same way that The Flash‘s exploration of the Speed Force has opened the door for numerous plots, twists, and new characters in that part of the universe, The Red represents some thrilling possibilities. Other heroes who draw their power from the force, such as Animal Man or Beast Boy, could join Mari in her adventures.
If The Red exists in the Arrowverse, then it is possible that The Green, the plant-based force which gives Swamp Thing his powers, exists as well, paving the way for an appearance from Alec Holland. In the comics, The Red and The Green are engaged in an eternal war with The Black, the natural force of death. Uniting Mari with avatars of The Red and The Green to battle The Black’s Parliament of Decay could make for a thrilling and compelling story.
Thanks to his appearance on Arrow, Matt Ryan’s John Constantine, and his short-lived eponymous NBC show are part of the Arrowverse’s canon. Ever since he showed up to help resurrect Sara Lance fans have been clamoring for him to return, and they will finally get their wish (kind of) when he returns in his own CW Seed webseries. Since John will be headlining his own animated show alongside Mari, and since he remains the Arrowverse’s most powerful and popular mystic, it would only be natural for him to join her in Detroit for a while. Whether it’s to resolve
Since John will be headlining his own animated show alongside Mari, and since he remains the Arrowverse’s most powerful and popular mystic, it would only be natural for him to join her in Detroit for a while. Whether it’s to resolve Constantine‘s lingering “Rising Darkness” plot or a new adventure entirely, a team-up between the two seems like a perfect fit. And if CW Seed can give us two of DC’s best magical heroes, perhaps a proper Justice League Dark show could one day take shape.
Whatever is next for Mari McCabe, her previous adventures have set a high bar. The next installment of Vixen, and her next appearances in live-action shows cannot come fast enough. Hopefully, we’ll see sooner, rather than later, what the future has in store for her.