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Louis-Ferdinand Chapoutier

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Louis-Ferdinand Chapoutier is a villain in the 1974 comic Le Demon des Glaces ("The Demon of the Ices") by Jacques Tardi. Chapoutier is a mad scientist who once worked for the good of humanity, but who now seeks it's destruction.


History

In his youth, Chapoutier was an eccentric, but well-meaning scientist who worked together with his colleague Carlo Gelati in order to make a better world. Despite this, Chapoutier was looked down upon by his relatives as a nutjob. The only one who sympathised with and admired Chapoutier was his nephew, Jerome Plumier. As he became older, Chapoutier became increasingly bitter over the fact that his work at the service of mankind never got the recognition he felt it deserved. One day, he was visited by his friend Gelati, who shared these sentiments. The two scientists than began to work on their project; to make humanity pay for it's ungratitude. In order to reach that goal, Chapoutier and Gelati constructed a luxurious under-water base, located in the Arctic Sea. The base was camouflaged by an artifical ice-berg created by Chapoutier. In order to fund their project, Chapoutier and Gelati began to use the base's arsenal to sink ships and then having their divers take care of the loot. They also set up a network of spies and agents around The World, which would help them keep tabs on their enemies.

In 1889, Chapoutier and Gelati were joined by the aforementioned Jerome Plumier; who had set out to discover the mystery of why ships kept sinking in the Arctic Sea. At this time, it seemed that the mad scientists would succeed in their plot to destroy humanity by using deadly bacteria, cultivated by Gelati. However, their plot was thwarted by Simone Pouffiot, an old enemy of Chapoutier and Gelati's. Their base was destroyed and the two scientists as well as Plumier, were forced to flee.


Chapoutier makes a brief re-appearance in "Mummies On Parade", the fourth album in Tardi's comic, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adéle Blanc-Sec, which takes place 23 years after the events in "Le Demon des Glaces". Confined to a weelchair, due to his great age, Chapoutier is now a member of a cult dedicated to worshipping the Babylonian demon, Pazuzu. Inside the pyramid that serves as the cult's temple, the aging scientist is killed by his old enemy, Pouffiot, finally putting an end to a sinister career.


Personality

While he was once a good person, by the time of "Le Demon des Glaces", Chapoutier is a very bitter and ruthless man, willing to go to any lengths to achieve his goals. He is also blood-thirsty, sinking ships long after it's no longer necessary, simply because he likes doing it.

Chapoutier's ruthlessness is highlighted in "Mummies On Parade", where we learn that he, Gelati and Plumier managed to rebuild their underwater-base and, in the comic's continuity were responsible for the sinking of the Titanic.

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