|He's better than you. If he's not, he's going to be.
|Federal Republic of Germany (legally deceased)
|Professional Hero, freelance interdisciplinary scientist
|Place of Birth:
|Lengerich, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
|Base of Operations:
|Friedhold Grutmann (father), Waltraud Grutmann (née Simoneit; mother, deceased), Klaudia Grutmann (sister), Natalie Böhler (former wife) (all estranged)
|Control over plant life
|Expertise in various sciences
|Cold-based attack gloves
|No additional information available.
An ambitious researcher who has become one with the flora, he enjoys posing as a hero while actually being an outlaw himself.
Heribert Grutmann was born in northern Westphalia to farmers Friedhold and Waltraud Grutmann.
Like perhaps most Germans, his parents were fans of crime shows, and thus young Heribert was exposed to them a lot, even though they weren't actually meant to be watched by children. Perhaps they influenced his mindset, perhaps they didn't. Fact is, where other people saw antisocials being brought to justice, the kid saw people who challenged society and failed. He was going to succeed.
His ambition made Heribert a "Streber" and geek. He grew interested in the natural sciences, or more generally, sciences that looked like they could lead to advances and inventions. He found himself attending Osnabrück University, where he impressed his science professor, Emanuel Gerver. At his final exams before graduation, however, Heribert made a major blunder. He cheated – not because he needed to, just to prove that he could get away with it. But he didn't get away with it, he got caught and was expelled. Socially naïve Prof. Gerver was enraged – he was convinced that young Hr. Grutmann must have been framed or something.
Work and Family
Unable to save the young man's tertiary education, Gerver arranged employment for him at a company that only cared about a person's skills, regardless of their degree or other such formalities. Heribert immediately realized that it didn't care about the law, either, but accepted the job anyway. When the company was shut down by the authorities a year later, he successfully presented himself as not having been knowingly involved in their criminal activities, but had nonetheless made connections enabling him to find freelance work in the underworld.
Until now, Heribert's interest in girls had been limited. But people founded families after becoming adults, so Heribert needed to do so, too, in order not to feel like a loser. Natalie Böhler, another student of Prof. Gerver, appeared attractive and a bit naïve, so he began romancing her. The couple eventually married and had twins.
The marriage lasted until the children were five. Happening upon Heribert's computer files, Natalie discovered that her husband was obviously involved in criminal activities. Pondering whether to file charges against him but fearing the evidence she was able to find was too vague for that, she dug deeper and found that to Heribert, she might have been just a status symbol – and a guinea pig, as a vitamin cocktail he had concocted for her when she had become pregnant had been supposed to increase the likelihood of beneficial mutations. Enraged, she left her husband, taking the children with her. Heribert's ego was able to accept this, given how common divorces had become. He wasn't as heartless as his wife assumed, however – at least to some extent, he did care for his family. But he accepted his loss, so he made himself stop caring. He would never show interest in a serious relationship again.
Having lost his family, Heribert could now focus more than ever on his interdisciplinary research and inventions, freelancing for the kind of businessmen who had priorities other than complying to laws and ethics. Among his earliest inventions were gloves that utilized cold and ice in order to harm people. They proved useful to fend off employers who attempted to alter their business arrangements without his consent, along with people who did not agree with him working for their competitors, and Heribert remained fond of them and would infrequently create new and improved versions. Gaining more and more experience and expertise, he would also attempt to empower people by altering their bodies, with varying degrees of success.
It should come as no surprise that Grutmann was repeatedly arrested during this time. However, he was generally careful not to leave any hard evidence behind, and on the rare occasions he did receive a sentence, it was always a mild one. He occasionally relocated to a different city for one reason or another, mostly leaving behind any police investigators and prosecutors who remained suspicious of him along with potential trouble he might eventually have faced within the local underworld.
An Unusual Farmer
Heribert came up with his biggest hypothesis when he was in his forties, and it would change his life, although ultimately in a way very different from what he imagined. His idea would require a lot of testing and refinement, but an opportunity arose when his mother died of cancer. Until now, Waltraud and Friedhold had managed to run the farm with relatively little assistance, but now the latter was alone and growing weaker and weaker himself. Klaudia Grutmann, Heribert's younger sister, was a reasonably successful businesswoman, and Friedhold asked him to help convince her to rejoin him at the farm. Instead, he persuaded his father to move to a retirement home and let him have the farm, which he expected to be a near-ideal testing ground.
Heribert proceeded to shut down almost all existing parts of his family's business and instead focused on experimenting with the idea that might change the world: controlling and accelerating the growth of plants. It had the possibility to eliminate starvation throughout the world – probably not completely, but it would certainly make him famous and filthy rich, as he filed every corresponding patent that made sense. In order to make his extensive experiments easier, he eventually made himself able to control plants directly with his mind. He wouldn't realize the extent of this power until later.
After working on this project for several years, the scientist ended up attracting attention of the unwelcome kind. In order to finance his research, he had been growing and selling cannabis. Now a group of policemen came to pay him a visit. The unusually looking plants and gadgets certainly didn't make the laymen any less suspicious, and security devices being set off by them only increased their trigger-happiness. Heribert had been prepared for criminals possibly attacking his farm, but he hadn't expected the law, and panicked. The cops quickly found themselves being attacked by Grutmann's plants, but he had no combat experience to speak of, and the battle ended with him being shot dead. Thus ended the story of the outlaw researcher. Or so it appeared to everybody.
Growing a New Life
Heribert's body was dead, but his mind did not move on to whatever afterlife failed ambitionists go – he was now stuck in a plant. It took him months (fortunately, nobody bothered to take over the place during this time), but eventually, he managed to not only become fully conscious again. He managed to make the plant grow, and not only that, he succeeded in connecting with other plants and, eventually, grow a plant that could walk. A new, humanoid plant body for himself. And finally, with enough practice, a body that looked human.
The new and improved Heribert wanted to continue with his old life, but he knew the law wouldn't let him. Whether he was going to restart his big project or not, he needed to begin anew, and he figured he might as well do that in a different country with new opportunities. He ended up doing a bit of work for the 5th Column, and in exchange, they would smuggle him to the Rogue Isles by ship.
While crossing the Atlantic, the fascists received new orders. A metahuman such as their passenger was too interesting to let go, so they were to take him to a secret research facility in Paragon City instead. The paramilitaries were certainly capable of subduing him when he realized they were altering the deal, but they failed to take him seriously. His increasing control over his body and plants in general took them by surprise, as did the fact that he had taken his pair of ice gloves with him. Heribert ended up seriously injuring or outright killing a lot of the Columnists aboard, and the coastguardsmen, who apparently had no sympathy for foreign extremists operating in their territory, praised him for his bravery, suspecting he was actually a Hero who had infiltrated the Column and, in case he wasn't, encouraged him to register as one.
Heribert had never ever thought of becoming a Hero, but now that somebody had made him do so, he found himself unable to shake that thought off. He had become more than a human, and he could take jobs from Hero Corps and make money with his powers, possibly a lot. He could also associate himself with Freedom Corps and apply for funding, which would make him far less money, yet felt particularly intriguing. He would secretly continue his unethical research and freelance for the criminal underworld, while publicly present himself as a heroic upholder of the law. Yes, that might just be the ultimate, satisfying triumph over civilization. Plus, the fact that Heroes usually registered pseudonymously would finally allow him to style himself a doctor in a semi-formal context without actually having been awarded such a degree.
Thus, the corrupt Hero who calls himself Dr. Rebellisch was born. Before long, fellow carefree science Hero the Killer Fairy even invited him to join a Super Group, the Schwesternschaft nordamerikanischer Piratenengel. How long he will be able to get away with exploiting both sides remains to be seen.
Personality and Motivation
Dr. Rebellisch's main interest is scientific research – not any specific discipline, but rather anything that feels to him like it might lead to advances and inventions. This does not include history and archaeology, but would certainly include magic if he was capable of actually performing it himself. His IQ score is significantly above average but falls short of the threshold for giftedness. Heribert makes up for this by working hard and likes to present himself as a "self-made" or "self-taught" genius.
Ambition is Heribert's other defining trait, although he is more about proving things to himself, less about gaining recognition from and power over others. Rules are for breaking as far as Rebellisch is concerned, so he enjoys, in addition to scientific breakthroughs and technological inventions, successfully defying the laws of society (hence his nom de guerre).
Powers and Abilities
Dr. Rebellisch possesses vast scientific and technical expertise, and has been taught some Latin and Ancient Greek as part of his education.
As part of his research, he once gave himself the power to grow and control plants with his mind, which even allowed him to overcome death. He now resides in what is a plant-based copy of his original human body and nearly indistinguishable from it without looking inside (one way to tell is that he made himself taller and somewhat more athletic than he used to be). Given enough time, he is able to grow himself spare bodies and possible alternate identities, although so far he prefers to stick to traditional methods of stealth and deception. In combat, he uses his control over plants primarily to hinder his opponents' movements.
To cause actual damage, Dr. Rebellisch uses special gloves that he invented early in his career and has since upgraded several times. They allow him to attack his enemies with cold and ice at various distances.
More recently, he has created a simple yet effective stealth device.