Friday, October 10, 2008

Vixen #1: The MacGuffin

So, I enjoyed Vixen #1, but the thing that stuck out for me was the horrifically bad insertion of the McGuffin in the beginning of the issue.

Now, as any fan of Alfred Hitchcock knows, the MacGuffin is the reason that the characters are doing what they are doing, but while it is central to the plot, its exact nature is actually unimportant. You want to have a story where adventurers travel to a distant, exotic land and have harrowing adventures? Sure you do. But why are they going? Did they find an old treasure map hidden in an old box? Was their best friend kidnapped, with a ransom note postmarked from overseas? For 90% of the story, it doesn't actually matter what the MacGuffin is -- you might as well just call it the MacGuffin.

But for a few short frames of Vixen #1, we have to actually identify the MacGuffin, and here's what happens -- Superman, Batman, Black Canary, and Vixen are raiding an Intergang arms depot. Enough weapons to start a war! Who is getting these weapons?

Why, according to a book Batman finds in the weapons cache, it is going to the dictator of Zambesi, Vixen's homeland. The book also mentions that this particular dictator is responsible for murdering Vixen's parents years ago, contrary to Vixen's belief that her parents were killed by poachers.

Why was this fact in an Intergang book? Who knows. It is completely ridiculous.

But its the MacGuffin. Once Vixen is off the Zambesi, it doesn't matter. But still, it would be nice if the premise made a little more sense.