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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Rebirthing Vixen Raises Questions

The unfortunately named Justice League of America: Vixen Rebirth #1 was released last week. Telling the story of how celebrity supermodel Mari McCabe returned to her superheroic persona, Vixen, it's a solid book with some great art by Jamal Campbell.

However, it's not clear how this Vixen relates to the New 52 version, Booster Gold's teammate who was nearly killed in Justice League International #6.

The New 52 incarnation of the Justice League International appears to have existed in the Rebirth Universe, at least according to Green Lanterns #9. Yet Justice League of America: Vixen Rebirth gives the impression that Vixen is a new superhero on the scene. How can both of those stories be true in a shared universe?

In an interview with Matt Santori at Comicosity.com, Vixen Rebirth co-writer Steve Orlando said that so far as he's concerned, "All of [Vixen's] appearances happened." That's a great thing to say to the press to ease Vixen's worried fans, but unless you make it explicit in the comic itself, it doesn't matter. For example, an artist could claim that he thinks Booster Gold is a Canadian citizen, but until he commits that idea to continuity, Booster's published history as an American citizen must still take precedence. (Once again: no comic DC has ever published indicates that Booster Gold is any nationality other than American.)

I appreciate that from a marketing and story-telling position, it can be an advantage to ignore what came before — especially when what came before is a confusing mess after years of unending and unexplained continuity revisions. The down side of any reboot is that it damages existing fans' relationship with a character they thought they knew.

"Continuity" is really just another word for "character development." Without it, we might as well be reading about different characters with similar tastes in fashion.

Comments (6) | Add a Comment | Tags: justice league international rant vixen


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