Roberto Rastapopoulos (Greek: Ροβέρτος Ρασταπόπουλος) is a recurring character in The Adventures of Tintin series of comic books drawn and written by Hergé. He is Tintin's archenemy, and plays the role of the antagonist in much of the Tintin series. Rastapopoulos is an Italian-Greek-American who unlike some other characters, can speak three languages. He is a background film industry tycoon also known under the fake name Marquis di Gorgonzola who first appeared anonymously in Tintin in America at a banquet in Chicago. Rastapopoulos is the owner of Cosmos Pictures (Production inq some titles), a studio house, and a front for many of his illegal activities and a good excuse for moving to various locations.
Tintin in America
Rastapopoulos is seen attending a banquet hosted in Tintin's honor; however, he is not mentioned by name.
Cigars of the Pharaoh and The Blue Lotus
His first major appearance is in Cigars of the Pharaoh (serialized in Le Petit Vingtième from December 8, 1932, to February 8, 1934), initially as a seemingly sympathetic film producer. There are, however, hints within the story to his villainous identity. When the poet Zloty is poisoned he stammers that the leader of the criminal organisation has some connection with film. At the end of the book, a newspaper page displays a photo of Thompson and Thomson falling over a staircase. To the left of the photo an article can be glimpsed revealing that Rastapopoulos is missing-. However, it is not until the dénouement of The Blue Lotus, the follow-up to Cigars of the Pharaoh, that Rastapopoulos is openly revealed to be the head of the sinister opium cartel against which Tintin has been pitting his wits during the course of two books. After a failed attempt to kill Tintin, he is arrested.
The Red Sea Sharks
Rastapopoulos subsequently resurfaces in the guise of the Marquis di Gorgonzola, a slave trader in The Red Sea Sharks, having been forced to assume a new identity after he was arrested for his previous crimes. At the end of the book, Tintin finds out that he is a slave trader and informs the police. His yacht is surrounded by US navy warships which order him to come aboard to be arrested, but Rastapopoulos escapes in by faking his death as his private launch seems to sink but in secret it contains a hidden submarine Rastapopulos escapes in.
The Castafiore Emerald
He is mentioned by Madame Castafiore.
Flight 714 to Sydney
Sometime after The Red Sea Sharks, Rastapopulos became bankrupt. Rather than spend the effort to amass yet another fortune under a new name, he decided to kidnap the millionaire Laszlo Carriedas, Tintin and his companions in Flight 714 to gain the password to Carriedas's multi-million Swiss Bank account, concluding that it is easier to steal Carreidas's money than make his own fortune all over again. However he and his gang ran into a UFO during the plot, and he was hypnotized by Mik Kanrokitoff and captured by aliens when he unwittingly uses an island that is regularly used by the aliens as a location to make contact with various terrestrial agents as his base. His ultimate fate is unknown, however, many believe him to be Endaddine Akass. Some of Herge's notes that were found after his death reveal that Rastapopolous was intended to have woken up on a desert island after forgetting the entire plan to capture Cerriedas.
- In Rodier's Tintin and Alph-Art, he had changed his name to Endaddine Akass and got plastic surgery. He starts off by murdering a famous artist. He is dealing in forged art and is getting Nash to sell it. He owns a villa in Italy to which Tintin and Captain Haddock visit. He tries to turn Tintin into a Cesar, leaving Tintin's fate unknown. He then reveals himself to be Rastapopoulos. It is unknown how he escaped from the aliens some time after Flight 714, as the original story was incomplete. However, this is only a concept, and it is unknown if this is true or not. In the Yves Rodier version, Nash got Rastapopoulos' hand stuck in the rope he was going to use to hang Tintin and Haddock. He then falls off the tree into the canyon and plummets to his death.
- Rastapopoulos originally appeared in an anonymous cameo in Tintin in America at a banquet in Chicago. This would later be repeated by another of Tintin's foes Colonel Sponsz, who likewise appeared anonymously in a frame in King Ottokar's Sceptre before being named in The Calculus Affair.
- Rastapopoulos also appears in Tintin and the Lake of Sharks, an animated feature which was adapted into a similarly-titled book in which Hergé had no creative input. In this story, Rastapopoulos is depicted as a villain similar to those of the James Bond-world (chiefly Ernst Stavro Blofeld), directing operations from a secret underwater base. It is not considered by many to be part of the Tintin canon.
- Rastapopoulos's nose is compared with a proboscis monkey in Flight 714 by his stooge Allan Thompson. It is also depicted as larger than usual in Tintin and the Lake of Sharks.
- Despite that a page featuring Endaddine Akass revealing to be Rastapopoulos was released in 2004 for the new Tintin and Alph-Art edition, Harry Thompson stated in 1980 that Rastapopoulos was dropped from the main story, possibly meaning that this page was part of a rough draft of an early idea, suggesting that Hergé could have considered to use another villain from the Adventures series to reveal that he was Akass (although it could be also possible that Akass was an original character), like Doctor J.W. Müller, Max Bird, Omar Ben Salaad, etc.
- Rastapopoulos appears in the pastiche Destination World by Didier Savard, a disguised Rastapopoulos is shot with a gun by unknown assailants in a car passing in front of the building Le Monde. This pastiche is authorized by the Hergé Foundation to celebrate Tintin's 70th birthday and the Comics Festival in Angoulême.