Real Name: Col. Gabby Dixon
Group Affiliation: WWFJ
First Appearance: FLEA-BITTEN YARNS OF ADVENTURE #4
Quote: “By the Great Troop! I’ve got to stop that thing!”
Personality: Natural born leader; stoic; reliable; self-sacrificing
Powers & Tactics: As long as there’s the potential for a peaceful solution to any conflict, Astromandrill will always explore that possibility, and he is always careful to pull his punches and avoid collateral damage. When the chips are down, however, his speed, strength and raw power are awesome to behold.
Colonel Gabby Dixon was the world’s most famous and beloved astronaut, with a celebrated career of ‘firsts’ that lasted for two decades. During what was to be his final “send-off” for the Space Agency he was made mission commander of the two-person X-Probe spacecraft which was sent in high orbit primarily to gather new data on various space particles. During the mission the craft was subjected to a mysterious space storm that ruined the instrumentation and sent the two astronauts plummeting back to Earth, somewhere in the vicinity of the north pole. After weeks of searching, the craft and both hands were presumed lost. A period of mourning was observed around the world and many memorial parades and ceremonies were organized to commemorate the loss of the heroes.
Amazingly, three weeks later Dixon stumbled into a small town, confused but otherwise in extraordinary health. Reclaimed by the Space Agency, the astronaut was observed to have been saturated by strange radiations which bestowed incredible powers upon him.
Dixon was offered membership into the team of superheroes known as The Simian Squad but declined on the basis that he wasn’t ready to become a part of the superhero community.
Instead, Dixon announced his candidacy for presidency but subsequently suspended it when his wife took ill. Mrs Anna Dixon died several months later and Dixon decided to use his public identity and political powers to champion the cause of disease research. Backed by Dixon’s support and funding the scientific community made leaps and bounds towards curing the disease, enough that Dixon eventually felt justified in resuming his political campaign.
At this time the super-powered entity known as Death Wattle made a siege on New Metro City, calling for a showdown with Dixon, to everyone’s shock and awe. The World Wildlife Federation of Justice engaged Death Wattle but was unable to overcome him, and in the battle many civilians were killed by the villain. Finally Dixon answered the villain’s call and it was revealed that Death Wattle was none other than Lt Colonel Mel Snood, Dixon’s co-pilot on the X-Probe mission. Snood, now a twisted and spiteful monster, shared a similar fate to Dixon, though Snood’s body and face were disfigured during the event, and the powers he developed were more destructive and wicked in nature. Snood blamed Dixon for the malfunction that crashed the probe and for leaving Snood for dead at the north pole.
Dixon’s lack of training and experience with his powers precluded the chance of defeating Death Wattle, and the villain was on the verge of exacting his fatal revenge on Dixon when the rest of the WWFJ got their second wind, and with Dixon’s help Death Wattle was ultimately defeated.
Dixon’s experience with the WWFJ made him realize that indeed there was a greater calling than politics and under the name Astromandrill he joined the world’s premiere super-powered defence team. In short order the current head of the team, Powerhorse, went on hiatus, bestowing upon Astromandrill the WWFJ’s mantle of leadership, a task to which the ape was eminently suited. He remains the public face for the WWFJ to this day and continues as the spokesperson for disease research and other animaltarian causes he has since taken up.