Justice League Of America: Vixen Rebirth #1 Review


Follow Mari McCabe’s path to becoming the heroic Vixen in this crucial special!

Justice League of America: Vixen Rebirth #1

Writers: Steve Orlando, Jody Houser

Artist: Jamal Campbell

Cover by: Jamal Campbell

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The first big event in the Rebirth era of DC Comics was Suicide Squad vs. The Justice League. This comic book saga has been one of the best events in recent memory in DC’s comic book history. Not only did it close one chapter in the DC universe, it created new stories with multiple possibilities. One of the results of Suicide Squad vs. The Justice League is the formation of the new Justice League of America team.

On this new line-up of American defenders are Killer Frost (Caitlyn Snow), Lobo, Batman, The Atom (Ryan Choi), and Vixen. In Justice League of America: Vixen Rebirth #1, readers are re-introduced to the animal spirit wielding powerhouse Mari McCabe.

Thd issue starts with an introduction to Mari McCabe. McCabe was a bombshell fashion model who turned her love of the runway into multiple avenues, including a reality show, community programs, and animal activism.

McCabe was a guest on the television show The Impossible… but true with Angela Chen. Chen was talking McCabe up as the superstar activist/model she was. She even brought out one of the many students from McCabe’s after-school enrichment programs. That is when things went south.

Image Courtesy of DC Comics

The student from the program was a young teenager named Charlotte Frank. At first, Frank was very shy until she let her true feelings known about McCabe. Her speech about McCabe (in regards to not being there for her) brought the supermodel to tears.

Houser and Orlando have a way with words. In just a few short pages, readers already feel the charismatic pull that Mari McCabe has—from the runway to changing the world through activism. Her presence in the world is felt, until, just like McCabe, readers are hit with the reality that McCabe can sign a check and sometimes money isn’t enough.

Campbell does an excellent job with the pencils. Campbell captured it all to a tee: the beautiful details of Mari’s face, the runway, her adventures across the world. The artwork is simply magnificent.

The second part of the issue starts with Mari in a self-induced depressive state due to the events that happened during the show. Mari is trying to focus and she simply tells her manager that she is going to make things right. She knows that there is no use of an after-school enrichment program if some people are still going to fall by the wayside.

Mari opens up a box with the Tantu Totem and readers get taken to a flashback. Next, the reader and Mari travel back to one of her memories in her hometown of Zambesi, Africa, where they see a young Mari and her father. Mari and her father are discussing the sacrifices Mari’s late mother made for her, and how she should feel appreciative of what she left her, the Tantu Totem.

Image Courtesy of DC Comics

After the flashback, the issue picks right back up in Manhattan. Mari finally embraced the totem and decides to wear it. Once she puts it on, she immediately starts to feel a spiritual connection to every animal that has lived on the planet. Soon she is on the trail to find Charlotte’s mother, despite the criticisms and warnings of her manager and her social media liaison.

Another flashback happens in Zambesi. Mari’s father is protecting her from her uncle. Mari’s uncle gets so angered with her father for not giving him the totem that he murders him a few feet away from where Mari hides.

Image courtesy of DC Comics

Wow. As the pages turn, the story and the illustrations seem to get better. Orlando and Houser are flexing their creative skills by not only adding depth to the character of Mari. They also give readers a reason why they need to care about her and Charlotte as well. The authors also give readers a good reason why Charlotte motivated Mari to help her.

Orlando and Houser did an excellent job connecting the past to the present and it all makes complete sense.

While Campbell follows the excellent story with amazing artwork, the visual transition from the big city to a small village in Africa seemed effortless. The broad strokes and details are truly amazing.

Readers pick back up in the present day. Mari is led to a small cave in the outskirts of town, where she meets the villain Stan Ray, a.k.a Spyderbite. Spyderbite claims that he kidnapped these people (including Charlotte’s mother) because they took his life away through the judicial system. However, Mari reminds him that they’re not to blame, he’s the problem.

The two battle and Mari uses Spyderbite’s advantage against him, rescueing the kidnapped including Charlotte’s mother.

Image courtesy of DC Comics

Mari makes another appearance on The impossible… but true with Angela Chen. She declares that she is stepping back from the day-to-day of her multiple companies and stepping into the heroine role of Vixen.

What a great way to end the issue.

The Bottom Line: Justice League of America: Vixen Rebirth should have readers anxiously ready for Justice League of America. Not only did readers witness the transformation of Mari from superficial socialite to a heroine, readers learn the reason why she wanted to pursue a journey in protecting those less fortunate than her.

Steve Orlando will stay on as head writer of Justice League of America: Rebirth, but the creative team of Orlando, Houser, and Campbell proved that they have excellent chemistry. A later issue or annual with the same creative team would not be a bad idea.

Justice League of America: Rebirth #1 goes on sale February 8, 2017. You can purchase it at your local comic book shop or at Comixology.