Vixen is a character that I didn’t know much about coming in to this series, but since it was being put out via the CW network, on their online affiliate CW Seed, I figured it would be worth checking out. Not to mention that all of the content on CW Seed is available online, for free, without any subscription or pay wall restrictions. The first episode served as a decent introduction into this world, and the second issue was hoping to build on that foundation.
The story opens immediately following the end of the first episode (so you can binge the first two episodes together, and feel like you’re watching an entire episode of a 15-minute program (makes it easy to catch up on a show, when each episode only takes up six minutes of your time). The visuals for the fight sequence were nice in this episode, less effective than the previous episodes fighting, but I think that is attributed to the fact that Mari has progressed (however much someone CAN progress in just a couple days) in her control and manipulation of her powers.
I liked seeing the backstory of Mari, of when she was a young girl and how her foster parents gave her the necklace (or totem) that would be the source of her power. It was a bit awkward, just because there seemed to be no real answers given to young Mari, except that she was found with some random necklace, and that was supposed to mollify her need to know more about who her mother was.
Again, the episode has a shot of unnecessarily sexualized animated characters- when Mari, now in the current time, goes to the professor to ask about her necklace/totem. The “this is usually the point where I say ‘my eyes are up here’…” moment was quite forced, and a bit more unnecessary than the shot from the first episode, but I understand what the show is trying to get across with it. But for something that is available to everyone, and that feels like it is geared toward a younger audience, the sexual nature of these moments just feels… awkward, to say the least.
The end of the episode features an unnamed “ominous” character (I say ominous, because anyone with a gold cellphone who is only showing their mouth in their opening scene is OBVIOUSLY a bad guy…) and the voice actress, who I assume is Jada Pinkett-Smith has made her mark on the DC universe as a fairly competent villain with her run on Gotham.
This episode also features, in the closing credits, a long list of voice actors who are NOT featured in this episode whatsoever. I don’t know if the credits are just meant to cover ALL of the series, but if so, why isn’t Jada’s name listed? It seems odd that this is something that they would do for this series- not anything that actually detracts from the storytelling aspect of the series, but just makes me as a consumer WONDER just how much oversight there is regarding this series. If there are little things like this while the show is just starting out, how will it handle bigger slip-ups and mistakes in the future? I understand that this is a show made for the internet, on a platform that doesn’t seem to have “big money” put into it, but I hope that this is just something that is symptomatic of the show being new and fresh and not yet proven in an atmosphere of super hero stories that require bigger budgets and more “traditional” platforms, rather than it meaning that this show is just not very well cared for.
I have enjoyed this series so far, and I think that after two episodes, we are building up a separate corner of the DCU that hasn’t been touched on by Arrow or The Flash yet, and is something that could help bring a new audience, or at least try to draw in new people with a show that is available for anyone and everyone to watch. Though, an idea like that was what launched Paul Fieg’s “Other Space” series, and even though I LOVED that show, I don’t know how well it was received, or if it will ever get out of renewal limbo and picked up for a second season. So, go watch Vixen, and Other Space, and help spread the word that free, online TV programs are a viable format, and that we should get more fun, unique shows like these.