Legends of Tomorrow took a trip back to the 1800s and the circus of P T Barnum this week, as the team attempted a simple mission (to put a saber tooth tiger back where it belongs) – and of course, everything goes haywire. In the chaos, Captain Sara (Caity Lotz) decides that there is someone else whose help the Legends need: Amaya Jiwe, aka Vixen (Maisie Richardson-Sellers).
Vixen didn’t rejoin the team in the season premiere, and it was explained that she had returned to her own time, and to her home, Zambesi. It seemed like this would be the last we saw of her, and it wouldn’t be the first time that a Waverider crew member said goodbye to the show. However, this week’s ‘Freakshow’ brought Amaya back to the Arrowverse – alongside her modern-day counterpart, Mari McCabe (Megalyn Echikunwoke), and another character from the Vixen animated series. We take a look at how this complicated legacy character exists in the wonderful world of the CW’s Arrowverse.
The First Vixen: Mari McCabe
The character of Vixen first appeared in the live action Arrowverse in Arrow Season 4. Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Barry (Grant Gustin) had already met Mari when they were hunting for other metahumans, although this wasn’t shown in the live-action universe. When Oliver was going up against Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), he turned to his friend from Detroit for help with his magical foe. In ‘Taken’, some of Mari’s backstory was explained, as she helped Oliver to learn how to defeat Darhk by finding his totem. However, she then left the show to return to her own city, and this version of the character was only mentioned in future episodes, but never actually returned.
Many assumed that the totem-wielding superhero would be back when it was announced that Vixen was going to be part of the Legends of Tomorrow, but were surprised with the news that she was re-cast. Fans quickly learned, however, that there are actually two versions of Vixen within the Arrowverse, from different points in history.
Amaya And The Legends
The second Vixen, Amaya Jiwe, is actually the grandmother of Mari McCabe, and met the Legends when they went back in time to the 1940s to work with the Justice Society of America. Amaya joined the Legends to try and hunt down Rex Tyler’s (Patrick J Adams) killer, but soon became an invaluable member of the team.
Amaya was raised in the Zambesi village, but was recruited to the Justice Society of America during the Second World War. After joining the Legends, she fell in love with Nate Heywood (Nick Zano), and for a while she stayed with him in 2017. However, she was told from the start that she would have to return to her own time; if she didn’t, her descendants would not be born, and the other Vixen, Mari McCabe, would never come into being and save the people that she saved. Knowing this, after the Legends were disbanded by Rip (Arthur Darvill) and the Time Bureau, she still stayed with Nate… until the day that she saw Mari on the news. Watching her, Amaya realized that she couldn’t risk staying in 2017 any longer. She packed up and abandoned Nate to return to her own time, and to her village – and to raise a daughter so that she would be able to have her own daughters, and the Vixen totem would be passed down the line.
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