Real Name: Peter St John
Identity/Class: Mutant human
Occupation: Government minister
Affiliations: former member of Taskforce U.K. / Cloud Nine; member of the Conservative Party; ally of Zenith and Robot Archie
Enemies: The Lloigor; Masterman; Lux; Spook
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: None known
Base of Operations: The House of Commons; later 10 Downing Street.
First Appearance: 2000 A.D.. #540 (Fleetway, 19 September 1987)
Powers/Abilities: Telepathic, superstrong, able to fly. Mandala's main power is his telepathy. He can manipulate other people's brains, making them see what he wants to see, planting suggestions or outright controlling them, communicate telepathically or block same. However even this is not his strongest ability - Mandala is very smart and extremely devious, and that is his greatest strength.
History: Peter St John appears totally self-serving and ruthless. But he's one of the good guys - in fact he is the true hero of the Zenith strip. Like the rest of Taskforce UK / Cloud Nine, he was bred to be a superhuman soldier - the exact mix of powers in his case being strength, flight and wide-ranging mental abilities - telekinesis, telepathy, warping senses to cause illusions, etc. Smarter than most anyone else, he disagreed with the members of Cloud Nine who left this dimension to go and develop themselves into gods, and instead faked losing his powers. In 1987, by which time St John was a government minister and secretly controlling the PM, the Nazi villain (and Lloigor) Masterman returned. He confronted St John in his offices and threatened to kill him if he got in the way of his plans; St John appeared to acquiesce in the face of this threat. A few days later however, during Zenith's battle with Masterman outside the Houses of Commons, Mandala came to the youngster's aid at a crucial moment.
Ruby Fox (Voltage) and Siadwel Rhys (Red Dragon) had already fallen in battle, the latter dead at the villain's hands, and Zenith was about to join him. Mandala intervened and distracted the Nazi at a crucial moment, giving the pop star time to recover and deliver a fatal blow. This only destroyed the host body however, and it was down to St. John to finish the job. It turned out that when Masterman had visited him in his offices, Mandala had planted a fatal post-hypnotic suggestion in the creature's brain, allowing him to inflict a catastrophic epileptic seizure upon it when he uttered the trigger phrase: "Tyger, tyger."
At Siadwel's funeral Ruby thanked Peter for his assistance, only to be rebuffed as St John insisted that he had only helped in order to win votes in the forthcoming General Election. His wistful glance at an old photo as the ballot results were being announced, taken in the days when he and she were a couple, puts the lie to this. Mandala seemed to be an idealistic man who was too intelligent for his own good; since he knew he was smarter than anyone else, he felt the need to manipulate things for the greater good. It's easier to control people and situations when they don't realise they're being controlled.
Much later, when the rest of Cloud Nine returned and evolved into Lloigor themselves, intent on turning Earth into a charnel house as their plaything, St John tricked them into trapping themselves inside Chimera, one of their own who had taken the form of a pocket universe, where, believing they had achieved their goal, they would never try to escape and thus never threaten humanity. St John continues to run Britain through a number of mind-controlled puppet Prime Ministers.
Comments: Created by Grant Morrison.
In spite of the strip being called Zenith, it is Mandala who is the real hero of the story - he finishes off Masterman at the end of the first Phase, he is the one preparing to catch the missiles that threaten London at the end of Phase Two, he confronts Maxi-Man and tries to stop the Lloigors' plans during Phase Three of the story, and he is the one who stops his former team mates from destroying humanity at the end of phase four. This, despite the fact he is a mind-controlling manipulator who has taken over the U.K. by his last appearance!
During their days in Cloud Nine, Mandala and Voltage were a couple. St John was the fourth child born to the "Tyger" project to create superhumans, after Ruby Fox (Voltage), Jenny Ridgeway (White Heat) and a still born "abomination".
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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