So far, things have been a little more hit-and-miss with this series, but after four episodes, and getting some good action and backstory for this episode, I think that the series has found it’s footing, and barring any more slips like they had in those first few issues (mostly just bad writing, and not really seeing that something like this deserves a bit more “all-ages” vibe to it…) it could really be a solid program.
This episode opens where we left off in episode three (and also in episode one) with Flash, Arrow and Vixen engaged in quite the fast-paced chase. I really enjoyed the visuals for this sequence, getting a bit more in-depth with Vixen’s powers and showing the viewer that every moment she has this medallion she is increasing her abilities.
Again, I felt like the voice work from Grant Gustin and Stephen Amell were very wooden and difficult to enjoy, but that just means that they obviously ARENT voice-actors, and are much more suited to their real-world counterparts (or professional wrestling alter egos). I thought that incorporating Felicity in this episode was nice (again, I keep saying- I don’t know why these actors are getting credits in every episode if they don’t speak until FOUR episodes in…)- And I did enjoy seeing a bit more of the rapport between Arrow and Flash.
To touch more on the visuals of Mari’s powers- I think that the animated series is the perfect place to showcase her animal totem powers, because she can have her patronus-like ghost of the animal pop up whenever she calls upon them for power; like the sequence where she drew upon the strength of an elephant to swat The Flash away like a fly. I also really enjoyed that moment from the first episode with Vixen falling helplessly off of the top of a skyscraper; I thought that it was handled well, and that her moment of fear and helplessness was punctuated well with her “heroic” side taking over, and allowing her to access her flying animal abilities and just take off.
I was unsure if we were going to get to actually see/hear from the mysterious “bad guy” from the previous episode- I thought that it would make more sense to give the story a moment to breathe and then come back in episode five for the big moment when the villain comes in, guns out and threatens Vixen for her necklace. It wasn’t BAD that this happened in this episode, and it even seemed to punctuate the story well. I like that these first four episodes almost fit together as one complete twenty-two minute episode of “traditional” television. I think that if you were to go back and watch them all together, that you would get that traditional network television feel to the pace and flow of the program.
I think that after just four episodes, that Vixen has become something more than just a place to showcase the CW’s other network programming- I think that Vixen is actually something that could stand on it’s own, and could even be the kind of program that paves the way for other networks (Fox, Hulu, Netflix, Yahoo! Screen) to make their own animated short series as well. I think that there is definitely a market out there for these kinds of shows- and with the prevalent opinion of television being that everyone wants to cut the cord, and get their programming WHEN they want, and HOW they want it- that something like CW Seed could be a great step in the right direction for making television programming free (minus advertising) and accessible to anyone with an internet connection (so, basically EVERYONE).
If you are still on the fence about this show- give yourself a half hour, and binge the whole show up to this point. I don’t think that anyone would be disappointed with how this show has gone so far- except for the fact that the characters that would draw in new viewers, Arrow and Flash, are the least interesting and dynamic characters in the entire program.
I think that everyone should be giving this show a try, at least once- because it is free, and who knows, those few extra minutes you spend watching this show could mean big changes down the line, so that maybe we get a Cyborg animated series, or a villains show with Solomon Grundy, or Scarecrow or even Two-Face. I think that this program (if it continues to be watchable) will be a great catalyst for programming on the Internet.