Spinning out of the CW’s live action DC shows is an animated one by the name of Vixen. This series takes place in its own corner of the called ‘Arrowverse’, offering a take on a different kind of hero, as well as using animation to do the things too expensive for live action. This venture is mostly successful but not without its faults.
The biggest thing the series has against it is the fact that it’s so short. Despite being 6 episodes long, the entirety of season 1 adds up to a total of around 30 minutes. As a result of this, we get a story that, while being good and entertaining, feels rushed at times. The villains suffer the most from this treatment, not being given enough motivation as well as having their defeat and aftermath largely glossed over.
Still, there’s plenty to like here. We see the story of Mari McCabe who’s trying to work out the secret of her past. The fact that she’s a black woman helps to bring more diversity to the set of mainstream superheroes. The show details her evolution from confused fashion designer to someone embracing her roots and becoming the hero she’s destined to be. It’s a fairly simple, tried and tested formula but one which nonetheless makes for an engaging and entertaining story.
The tone of the show is just right, making it feel like its own thing while not being bogged down by the limitations of its sister shows. The animation is top notch and the action sequences are well-done. They successfully portray the power of having the abilities of any animal you can choose, which would be tricky, if not expensive, to continuously render in live action. It makes one hope that the CW would try this experiment again in the long run, and hopefully introduce more heroes with more bizarre powers.
The Flash and Arrow also show up, though in a way which makes one wonder if there’s any point to their appearances. They don’t really serve the story in any way and are more or less glorified cameos, reminding us that these are the heroes who share the same universe as Vixen. It’s more frustrating given the fact that with fewer time on these heroes, we could have had more time expanding on and developing Mari’s story. The voice acting on the guest stars also feels a little stiff, in stark contrast to Mari and her supporting characters
Still, Vixen has more ups than downs and is a welcome addition to the slew of comic-book adaptations. With season one only being around half an hour long, this is a series that can be easily watched and might provide some welcome relief from all the revision.
Vixen is available on CW Stream