The diva becomes a streetwise crimefighter...

MARY J BLIGE is the latest pop star to join the cartoon world already inhabited by Cleopatra, Jackson Five and STEREOPHONICS.

According to [url=]www.billboard.com, the R&B diva will launch a series of animated “webisodes” on the net this autumn featuring her as a streetwise crimefighter.

Director Stan Lee, who previously turned Backstreet Boys into superheroes, said: “Mary‘s super-heroine alter ego, a cross between Cleopatra Jones and Barbarella, is an inspirational character and self-described ‘Protector Of The Hood’.”

Lee‘s company, Stan Lee Media, created an animated short that Blige currently uses to open her concerts that features a super-heroine fighting a trio of villains – a drug dealer in a playground, a terrorist in a bank and a pervert. Once the cartoon is finished, Blige walks onstage in her super-heroine costume. Eminem has already been a cartoon and there are plans to make a regular animation for his website, while Stereophonics were promoting their national rugby team.