Mari McCabe: 1981 - 1996 Edit
In Africa, there is a legend of an ancient warrior named Tantu who asked Anansi the Spider to create a magical relic which would bestow the entire strength of the animal kingdom upon Tantu. It is said Anansi contained this great magic within a small totem medallion worn in a necklace and with its power, Tantu became the first legendary hero of Africa. With Tantu’s death, the totem became an heirloom of the Jiwe tribe, being passed down from parent to child, who in return swore to use its power to protect the peaceful tribe of the Jiwe.
Mari Jiwe grew up in a small village in the Dagombi Plains of Zambesi, the daughter of Richard Jiwe, the village priest. Mari had no interest in the old legends, being more concerned with keeping herself and her father alive in the harsh environment they lived in. Mari’s father had raised her alone after poachers, led by a man named Kwesi, killed her mother when Mari was but a young child for trying to protect the sacred herd of animals that lived near the village. Mari used to think her mother was brave, but foolish, for dying in such a manner.
When Mari was fifteen, Mari’s uncle, Maksai, who had once been exiled from the village for his violent behavior, returned to their village as a self-made warlord at the head of an army of child soldiers. Maksai demanded that Richard hand over the Tantu Totem, which Mari learned Richard had in his possession for several years. Instead of handing the totem to Maksai, the priest gave the necklace to his daughter, telling young Mari that it had once belonged to her mother, and now belonged to her. Richard then urged Mari to run away so as to keep the magic of the totem out of Maksai’s hands. As Mari did so, she found herself running faster than she ever had before, perhaps even faster than the cheetah of the plains. Maksai or his boys could not catch her, but Mari could not outrun the sound of Maksai’s gun firing from reaching her ears. Knowing her father had given his life to protect this totem, Mari decided to honor her father’s wishes and kept running until she put Zambesi in her past. Unfortunately, Zambesi would not remain there for long.
Vixen: 1996 - Present Edit
Orphaned and alone, Marie befriended an American reverend and his wife, the McCabes, who were in Africa on an outreach program. At the conclusion of their year-long stay, the McCabes surprised Mari by revealing they had begun the necessary paperwork to adopt Mari. Mari gladly accepted their invitation to join them in America, knowing the Atlantic Ocean would be a good buffer from her bloodthirsty uncle. Living in Midway City with her new family, Mari found life much more relaxed and comfortable, yet she began to suspect that Maksai was around every corner. Believing that the Totem was the source of these emotions, Mari buried it in the McCabe’s backyard and did her best to forget the relic even existed… and for a time, it worked.
Mari went to school and found she made friends quite easily thanks to her natural beauty and confidence (and unknown to her at the time, magical energy the Totem had given her the power of “animal magnetism”, making her instinctual appealing on a primal level). Armed with such talents, Mari found success as a model after high school and within just a few short years of leaving Zambesi, Mari had nearly forgotten the tragedies of her early life… but they had not forgotten her.
When Mari was twenty-nine, she returned home to visit her adoptive parents in Midway City to find their house ransacked and the McCabes being held hostage by Maksai and several of his followers. Knowing they were there to find the Totem, Mari sneaked to the backyard and quickly dug the Totem up, intend to hand it over in exchange for the lives of the McCabes. While she prepared to make her presence known, she made eye contact with Reverend McCabe through the window and saw the man quietly tell Mari to run; reminding her of the promises she had made her first father. In that moment, Mari decided she was done running away and it was time she accepted her destiny. Mari donned the Totem and with the ferocity of the lioness, speed of falcon, and strength of the rhino, Mari put an end to her uncle’s reign of terror. Now, calling herself by the apt name of Vixen, Mari is a member of the Justice League… Rawr!