Hello guys! Today, here's my thirtieth-two PE proposal, and it's about Rastapopoulos, the main antagonist of The Adventures of Tintin comic book series. One of my favorite villains in comic books, I had really asked myself why Rastapopoulos hasn't been listed as PE, and thus here are my reasons for which this obscure villain should be listed as PE.
WHO IS HE? / WHAT HAS HE DONE?
Roberto Rastapopoulos is first seen as a neutral guest to the party Tintin attends for taking down the mafia. Rastapopoulos first meets Tintin formally when they interact with Doctor Sophocles Sarcophagus aboard a cruise liner. After Tintin defends Dr. Sarcophagus from Rastapopoulos just for accidentally stepping on his feet, Rastapopoulos hides drug on his quarters and sends the detectives Thomson and Thompson to arrest him. When Tintin alongside his dog Milu escape and join Dr. Sarcophagus on his search for the tomb of Kih-Oskh, they are nearly disposed by Allan Thompson, but the coastal guard forces Allan to drop them inside boxes to the sea.
Time later, Tintin interrupts the shooting of a Cosmos Pictures film being produced by Rastapopoulos, who "makes amends" with Tintin and wishes him luck on his search for uncovering the drug trafficking ring which hides opium on Kih-Oskh's tomb. To not be discovered, the ring poisons people with Rajaijah Juice, which renders them insane. While unknown to Tintin, Rastapopoulos later emerges as the secret leader of the ring once Tintin ties up all members of the organization and kidnaps the son of the Maharaja of Gaipajama to lure Tintin to the roadside on a mountain. Once there, Rastapopoulos tries to crush Tintin and the young prince with a rock, but fails and ends up falling to his apparent death.
Sometime later, when Tintin continues his research on Shanghai while Mitsuhirato and Dawson try to stop him from discovering where Professor Fang Hsi-ying is being held, Rastapopoulos comes again and offers Tintin his help. Much later, however, Rastapopoulos reveals himself as the mastermind behind all that time and that he's in league with Mitsuhirato to stop the Sons of the Dragon, an organization which fights against drug trafficking. Wanting to get rid of Tintin and the Sons of the Dragon head Wang Chen-Yee, Rastapopoulos and Mitsuhirato attempt to have Wang's Rajaijah-drugged son execute them with a sword. Fortunately, Chang Chong-Chen, Tintin's newest friend, comes to the scene with reinforcements and Rastatapopoulos and Mitsuhirato are taken into custody as Professor Hsi-ying develops a cure for the Rajaijah.
Some years later, Rastapopoulos resurfaces now as the Marquis di Gorgonzola. Having lost his previous fortune as film producer, Rastapopoulos has adopted a new identity and now dedicates himself to trick Muslisms so he can sell them off as slaves in the Meeca while patronizing Dawson's criminal operations, which involves selling military aircraft to the best bidder, allowing Sheik Bab El Ehr to overthrow Emir Mohammed ben Kalish Ezab and become dictator of the Khemed. When Tintin and Captain Haddock realize Rastapopoulos' plans, Rastapopoulos asks Dawson to have them killed with a bomb in a plane, later asks Allan to set his boat on fire with Tintin and Haddock inside and later tries to have the boat blown into smithereens with a bomb and a torpedo. Upon realizing that he can't escape easily, Rastapopoulos fakes his death by making it look that his boat sunk while he escapes in a minisubmarine on the Red Sea.
Later on, Rastapopoulos decides to recover his lost fortune by stealing the Swiss fortune of the corrupt millonaire Lazlo Carreidas. To do so, Rastapopoulos contacts Mr. Spalding, Paolo Colombani and Hans Boehm to kidnap Carreidas alongside Tintin and his friends and bring them to the Pulau-Pulau Bomba island on Sondonesia. With Carreidas captive, Rastapopoulos asks Dr. Krollspell to inject Carreidas with a truth serum to steal his fortune from the Swiss bank, but fails to obtain it. Krollspell then accidentally injects the serum on his boss and he unwittingly reveals his intentions to get most of his henchmen killed once he claims the fortune. Tintin and Haddock then capture him, but Rastapopulos escapes while Krollspell switches sides. Desiring to get rid of Tintin's party before the authorities notice Carreidas' absence, Rastapopoulos tries to blow up the cave in which they are hiding. Fortunately, Tintin and his friends are rescued by a UFO and are deposited into the raft in which Rastapopoulos and his henchmen were escaping, taking an hypnotized Rastapopoulos and his party to an unknown fate.
WHAT'S THE WORK?
The Adventures of Tintin is a French-Belgian comic book series published by Casterman between 1929 and 1976. It was written by the late Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Taking place in the 20th century, the series features the adventures of the intrepid journalist Tintin and his dog Milu, often finding criminals whose shady dealings are stopped by the brave journalist. During his adventures, Tintin meets several friends like Captain Haddock, Bianca Castafiore, Professor Calculus, etc.
MORAL EVENT HORIZON
While most antagonists in The Adventures of Tintin comic book series are criminals who are depicted threateningly yet sometimes comically, Rastapopoulos is mostly shown as complete evil in all his appearances. A drug trafficker, smuggler and slave trader who poses as a renowned film producer, Rastapopoulos lets his greed take over his actions and enjoys committing crimes as long they generate profits for him, not caring on who he will have to kill or kidnap to do so. Granted, Rastapopoulos has some comical moments in the series, like when he cries as a little kid due being drugged with truth serum or when his associate Allan Thompson makes fun of his nose, but these moments are very few in comparison to other antagonists like Dr. Müller or the Bird Brothers. Every PE villain must have crossed the Moral Event Horizon to be PE, and Rastapopoulos definitely crosses it when he tries to have the Wang family killed by their own drugged son if not when he started to render people insane with Rajaijah Juice so they will not uncover his drug trafficking operations.
HEINOUS STANDARDS/MITIGATING FACTORS?
To begin with, being the archenemy of the protagonist involves being evil, and Rastapopoulos is no exception. And like most evil villains in fiction, Rastapopoulos' evil lacks the limits necessary to classify it as standard. A drug trafficker, smuggler and slave trader, Roberto Rastapopoulos cares for nothing more than his money, being one of the greediest characters in comic book history. He just sees money as the most important thing and is willing to do whatever he needs to keep or gain it. Before we expand on the worst aspects of his personality, we have to admit that Rastapopoulos was always an aggressive person: he is willing to beat up a man if he accidentally steps on his feet by accident. An expert manipulator, Rastapopoulos makes almost everyone believe that he is a kind and benign film producers who likes to aid his friends, but in reality, Rastapopoulos is anything but good. Long before the series' beginning, it's known that Rastapopoulos somehow left his parents jobless and then ruined his three brothers and two sisters, showing that he doesn't care for his own family.
But as the story progresses, we realize that Rastapopoulos is a greedy, wicked and arrogant drug trafficker who runs a drug trafficking ring over Cairo and India. As previously mentioned, Rastapopoulos has a terrible temperament and lacks any respect for others. An example of this can be found by seeing Rastapopoulos' decision of establishing a tomb of archaeological interest as a warehouse for his drugs. To avoid any enemies, interlopers and disloyal minions to reveal his plans, Rastapopoulos poisons them with the Rajaijah Juice, which renders them completely insane to the point they can harm people, demonstrating Rastapopoulos' cruelty. But Rastapopoulos' murderous intentions become clear by the climax of the story when he kidnaps the Prince of Gaipajama upon his failure to render insane the Maharaja and then tries to crush Tintin and the young prince with a rock to get rid of them just because the former thwarted his drug trafficking dealings. By the time he finally reveals his true colors to Tintin, Rastapopoulos tries to have Tintin executed alongside Wang Chen-Yee and his wife, and instead of doing it himself, he takes advantage that Wang's son has been drugged with Rajaijah to have him kill his parents and Tintin with a sword, yet another noteworthy example of his extreme cruelty.
Years later, when he resurfaces under the Marquis di Gorgonzola identity, it's shown that Rastapopoulos is rich once again, but his fortune comes from tricking Muslim men into go to the Meeca to sell them off as slaves without caring for their families. Evidently, Rastapopoulos doesn't mind to get involved in the slave trade if it profits him. He even treats the men whom he enslaves as things and doesn't treat them as people. Additionally, Rastapopoulos patronizes the selling of military aircraft to the highest bidder as long he makes money for it, not caring for why the planes are going to be used, allowing Sheik Bab El Ehr to overthrow Emir Mohammed ben Kalish Ezab and force the Emir into hiding while taking over the Khemed. Once alerted that Tintin is going to dismantle his operations, Rastapopoulos goes from sending a bomb on a plane to ask Allan Thompson to blow up his ship with Tintin and Captain Haddock inside it. When this fails and Haddock convinces the Muslim passengers to cooperate with them to escape, Rastapopoulos sends one of his men to plant a bomb on the boat (which he fails to do) and then tries to have the boat blown up with torpedoes. Rastapopoulos' cowardly side is seen when he refuses to admit defeat and fakes his death to escape from the authorities.
But Rastapopoulos's cruelty greatly expands by the time of his last appearance, where he tries to steal the fortune of Lazlo Carreidas, a rich man who isn't better than him to be honest. Aside revealing his past actions against his family with gleefulness, Rastapopoulos demostrates how traitorous he can be when he unwittingly reveals while drugged by truth serum what he planned to do once a drugged Carreidas gave him the number of his illegal bank account on a Swiss bank: he intends to have killed Dr. Krollspell, the man who offered his services to him in exchange of some of the money (in the TV show, he says that he is going to shoot him), plans to dispose or Mr. Spalding, Hans Boehm and Paolo Colombani despite that it was thanks to them that Carreidas was brought the island where he is hiding just to not share the money with them, and has tricked the Sondonesians to believe that he's fighting for the independence of Sondonesia, secretly planting bombs on their junks so they will be blown up and never return to their homes. To not say that according to Allan Thompson, Rastapopoulos intended to have Carreidas, Tintin, Haddock and the others sealed inside the plane in which they were brought and then dragged to the sea so they could all drown and erase any kind of evidence. While the story also features some comical elements of Rastapopoulos like his inability to kill a spider on the beach, Rastapopoulos himself even brags that he is far worse than even the Devil couldn't be worse than him. Thus, we can conclude that Rastapopoulos is a deranged and psychotic man who is willing to kill whoever gets on his way as long he becomes rich. Fueled by his insatiable greed, Rastapopoulos definitely is "evil incarnate" like he says.
Taking all of this into account, I would say yes about considering Rastapopoulos be approved as PE.