When she isn’t channeling animal powers to fight crime with the Justice League, Vixen — aka Mari Jiwe McCabe — rolls as an international fashion model. So why does her costume look like one of Tina Knowles’ rejected sketches from the 1999 Destiny’s Child Tour?
Of course, there’s no shortage of fashion crimes against female comic book characters (Star Sapphire’s stripper-inspired getup comes to mind), but there’s something especially jacked up about Vixen’s situation. The woman is a runway model, and she’s in a mustard-colored bodysuit with a butterfly collar and an animal tooth belt? For real? Liya Kedebe or Gisele wouldn’t be caught dead in that madness.
Maybe this seems like a quibble, but a superhero or villain’s costume is, for better or worse, his or her calling card. Vixen is by far the most prominent black female superhero on DC’s roster, but her spectacularly unimaginative yet tacky costume suggests that she’s nothing special — just another random chick in Spandex. As Manhunter and Catwoman’s costumes demonstrate, even a simple bodysuit can make a powerful (and sexy) design statement.
Some enterprising person at DC ought to get Lifetime on the phone and pitch a Vixen costume redesign challenge for the next “Project Runway” season. While they’re at it, they might want to offer up Star Sapphire, too, because that fuchsia shit is just crazy.