The Rogues Rembrandt

Albrecht Raines


While there are at least a dozen other signatures he’ll use to pump up the cash value or ‘cultural significance’ (for which read ‘media attention’) his work commands, when you get down to brass tacks Albrecht Raines loves being known as ‘the Rogues Rembrandt’ best of all because, quite frankly, it massages his ample and frequently-abused sense of professional pride to be compared to an Old Master whose work he has so often ‘paid homage’ to (by which I mean “counterfeited for fun and profit”); Also because it plays to the perverse streak of romance and the florid imagination so crucial to the preservation of his self-image as the world’s first fully-functioning criminal artist* like a burlesque dancer to a shipload of sailors on shore leave.

To cut a long story short, ‘The Rogues Rembrandt’ has come a long way since he was a full-time forger and part-time street artist, putting together cheap copies of old masters for others to buy at excruciating expense under the name of Albrecht Raines (you’d be amazed at how many zeroes a trustworthy pseudo-Teutonic moniker can add to a price) and spending his free time using the sobriquet Ozone, as well as a heck of a lot of spray-paint broadcasting satire about the Authorities who kept on failing to catch up to him (artistic, local and federal).

Since the satires were both exquisitely cruel and actually pretty funny, as well as directed against The Man, they proved remarkably popular with the public and even more popular with the Star City underworld, to a degree which persuaded Raines to take a risk; having already made his fortune, he now determined to make a name for himself (admittedly an assumed name, since Albrecht is flamboyant and not reckless) by helping the brand-new underworld sell itself to the World, then rob the World deaf.

He would never leave his appreciative public BLIND, of course, but he WILL help leave them a heck of a lot poorer if he hooks up with the right villain; you see while The Rogue’s Rembrandt is an independent operator, he’s also an inveterate hanger-on who makes his living acting as chief of propaganda for any supervillain who catches his attention (and bosses a crew big enough to form a nice, cozy protective barrier between ‘Rembrandt’ and any longbow man in long johns who may care to show up) and makes his profits by employing his skill with forgery to mutual profit.

This tends to result in Raines spending a lot of time working with various villain organizations, which coupled with his rather amazing passion for details and incredible ability to schmooze with whomsoever happens to be his current alibi/employer/muse means that very few individuals know the key players in the Star City Underworld better than Albrecht and even fewer command quite the degree of popularity he does.

If it weren’t for the fact that he’d rather do deals than do time when the shadow of impending justice falls over him, they might even respect him – although admittedly it takes a knack to get the Hammer of Justice in that position, because The Rogues Rembrandt is a slippery, sneaky customer and an even more devious salesman, so thus far only Ollie has thus far been consistently able to manage it with the end result being that ‘Ozone’ has become his favourite stool pigeon and second favourite canary (DISTANT second and for a very, very different reason).

He’ll still spill EVERYTHING if the questions you send his way are pointed enough, after all, even if that means you get more mistaken assumptions, piecemeal facts and blatant lies along with the good stuff; he might even throw in a portrait and if you’re lucky you won’t wind up paying him for it!

*The first and only one who prefers to paint you rather than brutalize you, anyway.

The Rogues Rembrandt

Earth-82 Beleriphon