Freedom Beast by Chas Truog
|First appearance||Animal Man #13
|Created by||Grant Morrison|
|Full name||Dominic Mndawe|
|Team affiliations||Global Guardians|
|Abilities||Mind control, super strength, healing factor, and the ability to fuse any two animals to make a powerful chimera.|
Fictional character biography
A South African by birth, Freedom Beast was born Dominic Mndawe. His first appearance was in Animal Man #13. That issue takes place during the rule of apartheid in South Africa; Dominic was under arrest for taking pictures of racially motivated acts of violence being committed by white Afrikaner policemen. In a cell, Dominic was about to be killed by his captors when he is rescued by Animal Man and B'wana Beast (Mike Maxwell), Mndawe's predecessor and future mentor.
After the rescue, Maxwell gives Mndawe the elixir and helmet that confer powers on their owner. The two briefly had a disagreement as Mndawe was adamant to continue his political resistance to the South African government and its policy of apartheid with while Maxwell was insistent that the calling is apolitical. However, they eventually reconciled on this point and Mndawe continued pursuing his political objectives which he justified with the personal maxim, "Tomorrow's mythology is Today's politics.".
His powers include mind control and the ability to fuse two or more animals into one hybrid beast under the control of Freedom Beast.
Animal Man and Freedom Beast then prevent the massacre of a group of peaceful demonstrators by Afrikaner police. Animal Man returns to the USA, while Maxwell and Freedom Beast stayed in South Africa.
Mike Maxwell returns in Animal Man #47 (May 1992). He had been taken over by an evil force called the Antagon and transformed into the Shining Man. He perishes in the ensuing battle.
Animal Man and Dominic team up once again during the Day of Judgement incident, protecting African wildlife from the murderous intentions of demon invaders.
Freedom Beast's most recent appearances were in the Day of Vengeance Infinite Crisis Special, where he is possessed by Rage, one of the Seven Deadly Sins. He is also seen at the gathering of mystics at Stonehenge in Infinite Crisis #6.
Freedom Beast reappears as South Africa's representative in the reformed Global Guardians in Green Lantern v4 #11 and 14–17. However, he and his teammates are brainwashed by the Faceless Hunter and used as weapons against Green Lantern (Hal Jordan). The Global Guardians are eventually freed, and Freedom Beast returns with them in Checkmate v2 #24 and 29–31.
In Final Crisis #4, Freedom Beast is seen fighting off a controlled Gorilla Grodd on Watchtower 4 in Gorilla City
In issue #1 of Justice League: Cry for Justice, Freedom Beast is killed by minions of Prometheus. Dominic's partner Congorilla discovers his dying friend and vows to find justice for his murder. Prometheus is subsequently killed by Green Arrow in issue #7 of the same series.
In Justice League of America #60, Congorilla mentions that he still has Dominic's helmet and elixir in his possession. Seeking to honor the memory of his old friend, Congorilla ultimately resigns from the Justice League and sets out to find a worthy candidate to become the new Freedom Beast. In Justice League International #1 a character alongside Congorilla appears wearing the mask, referencing Congorilla has found a successor. The identity of this character is currently unknown.
In the rebooted New 52 continuity, Freedom Beast is once again alive. He makes his debut in the new continuity when he comes to America to take down a hunting club that has created a synthetic version of his elixir. He teams up with Midnighter to free the captured animals and bring down the hunters.
- Beatty, Scott (2008), "Freedom Beast", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 130, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- Greenberger, Robert (2008), "Global Guardians", in Dougall, Alastair, The DC Comics Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, p. 138, ISBN 0-7566-4119-5, OCLC 213309017
- Midnighter #8