If all the comicbook-based tv shows we have right now weren’t enough, new ones are coming for the next season, and the first trailer is for the most intriguing one: Powerless, a workplace comedy which follows the misadventures of an insurance company covering the damage caused by superheroes and supervillains. In the trailer, we see the protagonist Emily Locke becoming an everyday heroine by quarreling with an actual superhero who, catching a train in midair and putting it in the middle of the street, causes everybody on it to arrive late at work. The superhero in question is Crimson Fox, portrayed by Atlin Mitchell, and it’s still unclear if she’ll be a recurring presence or a one-time-appearance. Anyway, Fox already shows many differences from her original version, starting from her powers (she wouldn’t be able to lift a train); moreover, in the comics she’s one of the very few cases of a shared super identity, as two people don her mantle at the same time… but it’s unlikely the show will tap into that, so we’ll take a look together at how this works in the comics.
The identical twins Vivian and Constance D’Aramis were born in Paris, France, where they lived a normal life with their parents. When they were still little more than teenagers, the twins’ mother got cancer, and she died soon after; if this wasn’t a tragedy enough, it turned out that the cancer had been caused by the perfumes the woman was using, since the producing company, one of the richest in Europe, had neglected the safety controls on a number of products. The girl’s father wanted to launch a lawsuit against the company, wanting to expose their illegal (and dangerous) activities, but the company’s CEO, the unscrupulous and powerful Maurice Puanteur, had the man killed, and managed to buy the silence of all the other involved victims. Being just girls, Puanteur didn’t pay much attention to Vivian and Constance, and that was his gravest mistake: the twins, now orphans, swore that they would have obtained revenge over the man who had killed both their parents and who was getting away with it, and they consecrated their entire lives into destroying both Puanteur and the empire he had built. The D’Aramis twins used all their resources and their inheritance to found their own perfume company, Revson, created with the sole purpose of creating a relentless competition with Puanteur’s company, and to legally expose the many irregularities of the rival company. This, however, wasn’t enough to bring down a colossus like Puanteur, and the D’Aramis knew it… but they had yet another powerful asset to display. Apparently, the exposure to the chemicals of both Puanteur’s perfumes when they were little, and Revson’s ones now that they were adults, had modified their very DNA, giving them both identical superhuman powers, which mainly consisted in pheromones manipulation. Vivian and Constance decided to become superheroes, in order to fight evil even outside the bonds of legality… but it would have been suspicious if the CEO of a company had to disappear everytime Paris was in trouble. Even for this, however, the smart sisters had devised a plan, so that their crusade could go on on parallel tracks: one of them should have died.
Of course, the death in question was a simulated one: the two sisters pulled straws, and Constance lost, meaning she had to fake her death and to convince the world that Vivian was the only D’Aramis left. After that, the two sisters could act in complete freedom: they made turns, and while one acted as the company’s CEO the other patrolled the city as a superhero, and vice versa. The two tailored a costume each, obviously identical one to the other, and created the shared identity of Le Renard Rousee, the Crimson Fox. In this double, shared life the French twins made themselves quite known in Paris, and they become extremely popular, albeit obviously nobody even suspected that two different people were hiding under the same mask. The most challenging deed was to conciliate the necessity of changing roles with Vivian’s private life, as the twins were physically identical, but had quite a different personality, and the girl’s friends and coworkers had many difficulties in understanding “Vivian” when she approached people and matters in completely different ways from a day to another. Vivian even got married with a man named Rene, and this obviously made it all more difficult. The Crimson Fox further changed her (their) life when Vivian, as the CEO of Revson, decided to host a fundraiser along with the World Food Organization, inviting many VIPs to collect money for the orphans; among the hosts there was also American billionaire Bruce Wayne, and the Crimson Fox would have been present as a security guard. Despite the heroine was there, a bunch of criminals broke in and took away the money gathered so far, and made their escape on a helicopter: Crimson Fox went on the pursuit, and managed to make the helicopter crash on a nearby building… which happened to be Justice League Europe‘s embassy, precisely on Captain Atom‘s bedroom. Helped by Elongated Man and Power Girl the heroine arrested the thieves, but Captain Atom scorned her for destroying his bed… only to be scorned in turn by Batman, who appeared on the scene and told Atom that he should have thanked Fox and invited her to join JLE. The heroine spat on the Captain’s face and walked away… but after speaking with her sister, they both decided to accept the offer, and the morning after Fox presented herself to the JLE with a new bed for Captain Atom: it was time for the Crimson Fox to make her first step in a wider world.
Vivian and Constance D’Aramis are physically identical, but despite sharing a past and an entire life they’re very different one from the other: Vivian is friendly and outgoing, very carefree, while Constance is more serious and introverted. Albeit usually Vivian takes care of the company while Constance acts as a superhero, they often change roles, and they both attend to both matters. As the Crimson Fox, they have superhuman powers of unspecified origin: they can manipulate hormones, both their own and other people’s, with a variety of effects, such as increasing their own strength, speed and agility, or cause feelings of strong fear or (mostly) desire in others, manipulating their emotions to a great extent; both proficient hand-to-hand fighters, they are equipped with steel-clawed gloves that greatly increase their offensive abilities. Used to share everything in their life since they were born, Vivian and Constance now share their life itself, two avenging angels so devoted to their cause that they gave up everything for it.