Dominic Mndawe was born in South Africa and raised during the apartheid. He was placed under arrest for taking pictures of violent acts commited by white Afrikaner policeman, with racial motivations. Dominic was rescued from certain death in his cell by Animal Man and the former B'Wana Beast, who would go on to become Dominic's mentor.
B'Wana Beast, who was looking to retire, gave Dominic the elixir and helmet that had given him his powers, including the ability to control the minds and merge animals. Together with Animal Man, Dominic managed to prevent the massacre of a peaceful demonstration by the same Afrikaner police that had tried to kill him. The former B'Wana Beast stayed in Africa after this to train Dominic in the use of his powers.
Freedom Beast was created by Grant Morrison, Chas Truog and Doug Hazlewood during their critically acclaimed run on the Animal Man series.
Major Story Arcs
For further details: Infinite Crisis and Day of Vengeance
Dominic was very active during the Infinite Crisis, moving from event to event to try and stem the power released by Alex Luthor. He was seen during the Day of Vengeance, in the early hours of the Crisis talking to the other magic users, discussing his connection to the Red, and the fluctuations in his powers, and then again later with other magic users, gathering at Stone Henge. Shortly after that, he was seen taking part in the final battle against the O.M.A.C.'s, holding his own against the adaptive cyborgs. Whilst the Crisis was in full swing, Dominic, along with many other magical heroes, went to Gotham to try and sort the mess of the Rock of Eternity's collapse. During this time he was possessed by the Sin known as Rage, and fought against Ragman until he was contained in a mystical bottle, supplied by the Phantom Stranger.
One Year Later
For further details: One Year Later
During the year after the Crisis, Dominic joined up with the Global Guardian's as their representative of South Africa. It appeared he took part in a more militant version of the Guardian's, forcing the French hero Crimson Fox after defeating the dangerous twin Double Dare for her, to join their ranks and track down Hal Jordan. The Guardians battled Jordan, Dominic delivering a particularly powerful kick to Jordan before they were ultimately beaten. It later transpired that the Guardian's had been manipulated into becoming a more militant operation by the Faceless Hunters, who had planted telepathic suggestions in their minds. Fortunately, the Martian Manhunter was able to remove the suggestion from their minds, and allow them to aid in the clean up effort of Russia.
For further details: Final Crisis
During the Final Crisis, Dominic was seen fighting a Justifier possessed Gorilla Grodd, at the site of the Global Guardian's headquarters, the Dome. He was fighting alongside other Guardian's like Impala, and Bushmaster. Their base was one of the few strong holds in the entire Crisis, known as Watchtower 4.
Cry for Justice
After the Crisis was resolved, Freedom Beast is seen often working with Congorilla. Once during Mon-Els tour of the World, and again when Congorilla's family troop is Massacred. Unfortunately, Freedom Beast is one of the many killed during the massacre of Congorilla's troop, and his murderer is as yet unknown.
Justice League of America
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. who this character is currently unknown.
Powers and Abilities
Drinking rain water, that had been filtered through a cavern's mineral encrusted wall, Dominic is in the possession of Strength, Stamina, Speed and endurance beyond that of a normal man. The Helmet he wears allows him to not only to control and communicate with minds of animals, but allows him the ability to splice two creatures together, to create a Hybrid form of the two, for example, a Zebra and a Vulture, into a creature that had the traits of both.