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After the trauma of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the original solitary Monitor withdrew from reality to lick its wounds, only to discover that one of its wounds had left a scab in the shape of a giant superman made of divine metals. Believing that it was no longer possible for it to watch over its own, immeasurably large body, the Monitor began to subdivide itself. And the first of these subdivided Monitors was Dax Novu.

Others followed, and soon, an entire civilization had begun to take shape. Dax took a lover, Zillo Valla, and even sired a son, Nix Uotan. Meanwhile, Dax Novu himself led expeditions through the Multiverse to try and comprehend it in better detail.

But what Novu found was a horrifying truth - the Monitors were parasites feeding on the Multiverse, and they were destroying it in the process. When he tried to explain this to the other Monitors, few were willing to listen, like Zillo and Rox Ogama, but most of them were horrified, and shunned him. Eventually, Dax acquired the name Mandrakk the Dark Monitor and was locked away (though the legends spread that Mandrakk was another creature entirely, and that Dax Novu had given his life to chain the monster into the abyss.)

Superman Beyond

Following the heavenly war between the New Gods and the resurrection of Darkseid, Dax Novu prepared to feed on the multiverse again. Conspiring with Rox Ogama, he had Nix Uotan banished to New Earth, as he knew Nix would be a major threat to his plans to drain the Multiverse. Hoping to stop him, Zillo recruited five "Supermen" from across the Multiverse. The minds of Superman of New Earth and Ultraman of the Antimatter Universe were placed into a thought robot designed to defeat Mandrakk upon his return. A furious battle between Superman and Mandrakk occurred, during which Mandrakk killed Zillo without recognizing her, and blamed Superman for his mistake. Eventually, Superman was able to knock Mandrakk into the Overvoid, where eventually even the thought of Dax Novu faded, ending his threat. Unfortunately, Rox Ogama, who was similarly exiled for his treason, simply assumed the powers and mantle of Mandrakk himself.

The Unexpected

Following Barbatos's failed invasion of the multiverse, a group of individuals known as the The Unexpected, led by Neon the Unknown, began investigating what they believed to be an Nth Metal Isotope. The isotope was also sought by Alden Quench, the Bad Samaritan, who worshipped Mandrakk and wanted to find and restore him as the Monitor's counterpart in the Dark Multiverse. The Unexpected, following the isotope's lead, eventually found themselves on Nil, which remained ruined and abandoned from the Final Crisis. Shortly after arrival they discovered the gravestone Superman had carved and were confronted by a Fuginaut, who revealed that the isotope they carried was in fact a concentrated fragment of Bleed. Before the Fuginaut could escort them off the planet, he was ambushed and killed by Mandrakk himself.

Mandrakk revealed that he had never in fact perished during his conflict with Superman. Instead, his fall through the Overvoid ended in the Dark Multiverse. Determined to return to the proper multiverse and nourish himself on the Bleed, he began giving off a signal which individuals such as Quench foolishly believed was an invitation. In fact, it was bait, and he fed upon those who came to find him in order to crawl back out of the abyss, eventually arriving at Nil.

The Unexpected, now the only thing standing between the Dark Monitor and the multiverse, began a desperate struggle to stop him from returning. The three of them proved incapable of besting him, barely able to keep up and stay alive. The Bad Samaritan arrived shortly thereafter and joined the Unexpected in their attack on the Anti-God upon learning his true nature. However, Mandrakk easily overpowered Quench, draining him and killing him, before goading the Unexpected to try and continue their futile assault on him. Casting aside Firebrand and Hawkman, Mandrakk rushed Neon the Unknown and devoured him.

However, this was part of Neon's gambit, as it allowed him to travel to the World Forge and retrieve Quench, who quickly returned them both to Nil. Recognizing that overpowering the Dark Monitor was beyond them, Neon instead used his ability to alter Mandrakk's physiology, allowing him to feed on Dark Matter, while at the same time nullifying his capability to feed on the Bleed. The Unexpected then cast him back into the Dark Multiverse, now his new dominion to rule.

Powers

  • Dark Monitor Physiology: As the oldest of the Monitors, Mandrakk is the most powerful Monitor. Having been corrupted and transformed into a Dark Monitor, Mandrakk was able to feed directly on the Bleed, drawing energy from it which he used to fly and shoot energy from his hands and eyes. Mandrakk is also described as the ultimate threat to the Multiverse, capable of shattering entire universes with ease. Following his confrontation with the Unexpected, his physiology was altered further, allowing him to feed on Dark Matter instead of the Bleed.
  • Dax Novu's name has vocal similarity to that of Nabu, Mesopotamian God of Writing. The name Mandrakk is spelt similarly to Mandrake, the legendary root vegetable said to scream upon being torn from the ground, which echoes Mandrakk's own self-loathing and desperation for solitude. Mandrake was also the name of one of the earliest-published comic heroes of America, Mandrake the Magician, and also recalls Dracula (Man/Dracula), referencing Novu's transformation from the first humanoid Monitor to the first Vampiric.[1]

Related

Footnotes


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