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Legends of Tomorrow has been casting up a storm for Season 2 of the hit CW superhero show, and now we finally know who will play their version of the magic-powered hero Vixen. Maisie Richardson-Sellers has officially joined the cast to play a different version of Vixen than we've seen on The CW before.
The report came from Entertainment Weekly today that Maisie Richardson-Sellers will be filling the role of Vixen for Legends of Tomorrow when Season 2 comes around during the 2016-2017 TV season, and she'll be a series regular. Megalyn Echikunwoke, who voiced the modern incarnation of Vixen, Mari McCabe, in the character's eponymous CW Seed show in 2015 and later played the character in live action on Arrow, was unable to reprise her role due to a scheduling conflict. The solution for Legends of Tomorrow was to cast someone as a past version of the superhero, meaning the production could hire an entirely different actress to portray Vixen without taking away Echikunwoke's chances to come back to the part on Arrow or The Flash at some later date.
Maisie Richardson-Sellers will be playing a recent ancestor of the modern incarnation of Vixen that appeared on Arrow. Thanks to the time travel-heavy action on Legends of Tomorrow, Richardson-Sellers is actually portraying Mari McCabe's grandmother, Amaya Jiwe, who, like her granddaughter, gets her powers from the mystical Tantu Totem. The totem allows her to access the abilities of many different animals, and, as such, she has a wide variety of superpowers at her disposal. Richardson-Sellers got her start on camera in the short film Our First World in 2012, and went on to appear in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the recent biblical show Of Kings and Prophets, but she's best known for her part as Eva Sinclair in The Originals.
Vixen first appeared in DC comics in "Action Comics #521" in 1981 as Mari Jiwe McCabe. She, and the totem, originate in Africa. Her uncle killed her father to gain access to the totem, and when Mari grew up and returned home after a stint traveling the world as a model, she came across her uncle and took the totem back. She then uses it to become the hero Vixen. The character only made two appearances as a solo crime fighter, and worked largely with the Justice League of America, but was also a member of the Suicide Squad.
The totem is so strong that Vixen can use the abilities of extinct, wild and domesticated animals, and can even capture the powers of mythical beasts. Vixen is also able to use the abilities of multiple animals at one time. The hero can also communicate with animals and override their natural predator/prey instinct, but one drawback to her power is that the longer she uses animal abilities, the more animal she becomes.