When Vixen’s powers were altered by the android Amazo, she borrowed abilities from the League itself and nearly shattered the JLA in the process.
The League of Justice is made up of some of DC’s most powerful superheroes, and when their powers began to malfunction in ways no one had ever seen, Fox took the powers of his teammates to become a one-woman league. Mari McCabe never wielded such immense power, but that changed when her Tantu totem was stolen. Passed down through his family for generations, the Totem is an artifact that allows him to channel the abilities of any creature in the animal kingdom.
Like Vixen, Mari was a hero for years as a member of the Detroit Justice League, as well as Amanda Waller’s Suicide Squad. He even helped reform the Justice League after the events of Infinite Crisis. But when the Totem was manipulated, Mari’s abilities weren’t the only thing that changed, reality changed along with them.
On Justice League of America # 2 by Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes, Mari’s totem was stolen and used in the recreation of the android Amazo, acting as a siphon through which the android concentrates the powers of the League. Vixen recovers it, but soon discovers that the damage to the Totem is difficult to undo after realizing that it is no longer channeling the powers of the animal kingdom, but rather channeling the powers of the Justice League. Mari keeps the discovery to herself, and only Red Arrow and Superman discover the truth. Finally, Vixen tells the entire League the truth and is fired from the team’s active roster until they can get their powers under control. Zatanna is called in to inspect the Totem, but finds no answers other than a vision of Vixen and the hero Animal Man trapped by a giant spider.
Vixen and Animal Man later discover that they have been sucked into the Totem by the god of history Kwaku Anansi, who reveals that he has been manipulating their lives. Initially he claims to have done it simply for fun. But after he alters reality and leaves Mari in a world with a new altered Justice League, only for her to return to him with these new heroes in tow, he returns everything, including his powers, to normal. Although his normal abilities were restored, this lapse in communication nearly cost the Justice League its life. Not only was he putting them at risk by deflecting powers without their knowledge, but they ended up in the crosshairs of a reality warping god. When Anansi turned the altered JLA against her new ally, Vixen, her true teammates were forced to fight an alternate version of the Justice League. Becoming a pawn in Anansi’s game wasn’t his fault, but keeping his teammates in the dark was.
Poor teamwork aside, this alteration could open up a lot of potential for the story if it ever reappears. While his abilities would leave others vulnerable, it could have been a huge tactical advantage for the Justice League if he had revealed the changes early on. It works for the X-Men with Synch in their new lineup, and it could have done wonders for the Justice League. With this story that establishes Mari as the champion of a pantheon of deities, it places Vixen on the side of characters like Shazam or even Wonder Woman in terms of mystical and mythological potential.
Mari may have become a one-woman League, but no one can carry that kind of responsibility forever. And even though her secrecy put her team in jeopardy, Mari still got it right, even in a world without the heroes she knew. Fans haven’t seen much more of his mythological potential exploited since this story, but this adventure more than justified the inclusion of Fox in the League of Justice – even without borrowing the powers of his companions.
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