Diversity Aboveground: Vixen Visits Arrow

Feb 22, 2016

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After 38 years of existence, Vixen is making her live action debut this Wednesday on Arrow. The superhero, played by Megalyn Echikunwoke, wears the Tantu Totem that allows her to have animal abilities. She can do anything from flying to invisibility to super strength and healing.

Vixen was created to be DC Comics first female Black superhero. Marvel had debuted Misty Knight in 1972 and Storm joined the X-Men in 1975. Neither had their own solo series so DC would have been first. However, DC had been suffering from slumping sales since increasing their available titles to 57 different series and increasing the prices by over 40%. In June 1978, they completely restructured the company. Massive layoffs were felt from editors on down and most of their new titles were canceled, including Vixen’s debut. What had been finished by that point was published in the Cancelled Comic Cavalcade in September 1978. Aside from a five issue miniseries by G. Willow Wilson in 2008, Vixen has never had a solo series.

However, in 2015, Vixen was chosen to be part of CW Seed; an online channel with shorter episodes than the regular network. She was depicted in animated form within the same universe as Arrow and The Flash. Actors from both series voiced their roles in various episodes and Echikunwoke played the title character. The series was a hit with critics and audiences. Season two will premiere later this year.

Will her television success lead to her own live action series or her own solo comic book series?

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New ABC President

Last week, ABC replaced its current president with Channing Dungey. Formerly ABC’s Executive Vice President of Drama, Dungey has 25 years of experience with ABC, Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox. She’s also the first African-American to be a broadcast network television president.

Dungey joined ABC in 2004 and was instrumental in the development of hits like Scandal, Once Upon a Time and How to Get Away with Murder. It’s hoped that she will bring this same success to comedies and other content. In the past three months, ABC has been beaten repeatedly by CW in ratings for the 18-49 year old demographics.

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William Mulder

The season finale of The X-Files is on tonight at 8 PM EST/PST. An episode that aired last month focused on William; the son of Dana Scully and Fox Mulder. William was given away as a baby to keep him safe and the episode had both parents imagining what life would have been like if they had been able to raise him like a normal family. William was played by Hannah, Aiden and Rowan Longworth.

It’s common practice for infants or toddlers to be played by girls regardless of which gender the character is. It’s more unusual for older boy characters to be played by a girl. Hannah played William as a six year old. Kudos to Fox and Ten Thirteen for gender blind casting there.

With a confirmation for more episodes expected any second, perhaps she and her brothers will be needed to play William again.

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Did you know that Dungey’s sister, Merrin Dungey, portrays Ursula on Once Upon a Time?

Next column will review the new book, Cannon in the Clouds, and more!

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