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The first Trapster is one of the first supervillains who became active during the "Silver Age" of Marvel Comics. He makes his first appearance as Paste-Pot Pete in Strange Tales #104 (January 1963), and as the Trapster in Fantastic Four #38.
Fictional character biography
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|First appearance||As Peter Petruski:
Strange Tales #104 (January 1963)
As the Trapster:
Fantastic Four #38
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Alter ego||Peter Petruski|
|Team affiliations||Frightful Four
|Notable aliases||Paste-Pot Pete, Willie|
Talented disguise artist
Genius level intellect
Adhesive or lubricant projection
Various trap-based weapons
Peter Petruski was born in Gary, Indiana. Originally calling himself Paste-Pot Pete, the villain and professional criminal clashed with the Human Torch during his efforts to sell a new American missile to the Soviets. However he escaped by using his paste to catch the wing of a plane, then diving into the sea.
Following a failed solo effort against Human Torch, Paste-Pot Pete broke out of jail and teamed with the Wizard in efforts to trump his youthful foe. However Paste-Pot Pete was angered over Wizard acting as the team's leader. Wizard framed Human Torch for a robbery. They got Human Torch to Wizard's house and used compressed air to force him into a chamber of steel mirrors, planning to fill the place with a gas that would cut off the oxygen supply of the Torch. However, Human Torch melted through the paste that held him to the floor, created a flaming duplicate to fool the two, then increased his flame enabling him to burn through the mirrors. The villains only realized this deception when the fake Human Torch faded away due to the gas, by which time Human Torch had regained his flame and captured the two in a flaming ring. Pete later provided the Avengers with a solvent to dissolve Baron Zemo's Adhesive-X, and was paroled from prison. He adopted a new costume and weaponry, and battled Human Torch and the Thing using new paste types. He captured Thing, then Human Torch, but was still defeated. Wizard and Pete would eventually team with the criminal Sandman and the Inhuman Medusa as the Frightful Four to battle the Fantastic Four. It was shortly after the formation of the Frightful Four that Pete abandoned his old alias and assumed the more intimidating Trapster (the "Spider-Man/Human Torch" miniseries depicts the catalyst of the name change to be Spider-Man being unable to stop laughing when Paste-Pot Pete introduced himself).[volume & issue needed] The Frightful Four would clash time and again with the Fantastic Four, often enjoying some measure of success in their efforts. Over the years, the membership of the Frightful Four would vary, but the man once known as Paste-Pot Pete would serve in virtually every incarnation in which Wizard served as well, loyal to his longtime boss.
He changed his nom de crime to Trapster and appeared with new weaponry in Fantastic Four #38, with the second appearance of the Frightful Four, in an attempt to make himself sound more formidable. In this encounter, the Frightful Four was able to defeat the Fantastic Four. Over the years, a running gag in Marvel comics involved heroes and villains alike reminding Trapster of his earlier name of "Paste-Pot Pete" — which would inevitably send him flying into a rage.[volume & issue needed] A chance encounter with Balder once prevented the Frightful Four's takeover of Fantastic Four headquarters. With the Frightful Four, he soon battled the Fantastic Four again, and then battled Daredevil. He was hired by the Red Skull to acquire information from Sharon Carter, and battled Captain America. Alongside Wizard and Sandman, he later battled Medusa. Together with Wizard, Sandman, and Medusa as the Frightful Four again, they once again battled the Fantastic Four.
Trapster has often sought independent recognition, battling virtually every "street-level" hero in the Marvel Universe either by design or by opposition to some criminal scheme. Trapster once even defeated Daredevil in single combat.[volume & issue needed] The victory proved short-lived, as Doctor Doom interrupted his fight in a campaign of his own against Daredevil, and shortly thereafter the hero would avenge his defeat.[volume & issue needed] Trapster also attempted to raid the Baxter Building (just before it was destroyed by the second Doctor Doom) while the Fantastic Four were away participating in the Secret Wars, but embarrassingly fell victim to the security systems and the robot receptionist, thus becoming the first villain to be defeated by an empty building.[volume & issue needed] However, he had a moment appreciated by the heroes when he was convinced to free Captain America who was snared by Baron Heinrich Zemo's powerful Adhesive X, by inventing the first ever means to neutralize the previously uncounterable chemical.[volume & issue needed]
Saddened by constant defeats, Trapster would seek out the Tinkerer's aid in redesigning his arsenal. Adding wrist-pumps for his glue weaponry and a bandolier of various explosives and gimmicks, Trapster joined forces with the mutant villain Whirlwind in a bid to defeat Captain America. Despite his improved arsenal, both villains were defeated.[volume & issue needed]
The Trapster found his moment of victory over Spider-Man when he teamed up with the Shocker but before the duo could finish Spider-Man off, their employers said their payment would be doubled if they left Spider-Man alone and they complied. He would later defeat Spider-Man in one-on-one combat after being enlisted to battle the wall-crawler as part of the Acts of Vengeance conspiracy; it was only through merest quirk of fate that Spider-Man even survived the battle. However, when the Trapster learned of Spider-Man's survival and returned to finish the job, he would find the web-slinger now in possession of cosmic powers (eventually revealed to be a manifestation Uni-Power) with which Pete was easily defeated.
Later on, during the Identity Crisis story, Trapster would be hired by Norman Osborn to kill a man and make it seem like Spider-Man did it, and in order to cover this up Osborn put a price on Trapster's head, attracting assassins like the Hand and his previous ally Shocker. Trapster unknowingly teamed up with Spider-Man - now using the Dusk alias, reasoning that the currently-lone Trapster would need an ally and someone to talk to in his currently vulnerable state - in an attempt to get back at Osborn, and would eventually confess his murder to the police in order to remove Osborn's reason for wanting him dead (although he kept the identity of his employer secret in case he needed it later).
During his tenure with a later Frightful Four incarnation (including Hydro-Man and the mysterious Salamandra), Wizard, tired of Trapster's failures and his general sniveling, callously sealed the villain in a repeating time-loop, a trap from which he can "never escape." However, Petruski did indeed escape.[volume & issue needed]
During the Secret War storyline, Trapster was enlisted by Lucia von Bardas, the former prime minister of Latveria and placed in her secret army of technology-based villains. She sent the army against Wolverine, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Captain America, the five heroes Nick Fury had sent to Latveria to stop Lucia’s secret criminal funding. When the battle started to turn in favor of the heroes, Lucia turned all the armor of her technology army into a bomb. Nick’s unknown agent Daisy defeated her and the armor army’s lives were saved. Pete escaped the heroes in the resulting battle between Fury and Wolverine.[volume & issue needed]
During the Civil War storyline, Trapster was seen as a member of the Sinister Six. He was later among an army of supervillains organized by Hammerhead that was captured by Iron Man and S.H.I.E.L.D.
After MODOK Superior had revived the other Intelligencia members following the fight with the Sinister Six, he makes room for Trapster to join up with them. Their meeting was interrupted by Deadpool (who tried to sink the ship where they were) only for Trapster to defeat Deadpool.
When Peter Parker (in Doctor Octopus' dying body) sends a message to various supervillains to capture Otto Octavius (as Spider-Man) alive in order bring to the Raft, Trapster is among the supervillains that receives the message. Trapster places who he believes to be Doctor Octopus in a portable life-support system that he had put together. Trapster teleports Peter, Hydro-Man, and Scorpion to one of Doctor Octopus' hideouts and then asks for the pay. But Peter reminds them that they have to capture Spider-Man alive and bring before "Doctor Octopus" (in order to find a way to switch Peter's and Otto's bodies back). Trapster was later found webbed up at the hideout by the police with a note stating "Courtesy of your friendly neighborhood Doc Ock".
At a supervillain nightclub as part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel, Trapster encounters his sometime-teammate in the Frightful Four Titania who addresses him as "Paste-Pot Pete". He ambushes her in an alley outside attempting to rob her, but she easily defeats him.
During the Avengers: Standoff! storyline, Trapster was among the inmates of the gated community of Pleasant Hill which serves as the most unlikeliest of prisons. Using the Kobik project, S.H.I.E.L.D. transformed Trapster into a mild-mannered Pleasant Hill groundskeeper named Willie. Baron Zemo and Fixer restored his memory and he helped to assault a S.H.I.E.L.D. outpost that was used as the Pleasant Hill City Hall.
Lawrence "Larry" Curtiss is a different version of Trapster that appeared in Iron Man Annual #12. Known as "Trapster", he was the assistant head of security for the Roxxon Oil Company and stole the costume and weapons of Petruski. He also had heat-seeking mini-missiles equipped with concussion charges and glue missiles (fired from paste-shooters). He used the Trapster's equipment to steal the inventions programs from Iron Man and desired to replace his boss as the head of security at Roxxon. However, he was discovered by his boss and defeated by Iron Man.
Powers and abilities
The Trapster does not possess any superhuman powers, but relies on a variety of technological devices. He designed a costume of synthetic stretch fabric equipped with storage canisters for paste and lubricant, and adhesive-rigged boots and gloves to enable walking up walls. His primary weapon has always been projectile glue, initially delivered by a pistol connected by an armored tubing to a container on his person,[volume & issue needed] then wrist paste-shooter cannons,[volume & issue needed] and eventually shot straight from the tips of his gloves.[volume & issue needed] He can shoot out a stream of liquid glue that immediately gels into a springy rope, allowing him to duplicate Spider-Man's web-shooters (to the point where he is the only person Spider-Man knows who can even create an approximate duplicate of his webbing).[volume & issue needed] He was able to create a fire-proof paste.[volume & issue needed] Pete also has designed boots that allow him to walk up walls by sequentially releasing a powerful glue and then a solvent.[volume & issue needed] Petruski has also created lubricants that can render a surface frictionless, and discovered a way to dissolve the extremely powerful "Adhesive X" created by Baron Heinrich Zemo.[volume & issue needed] Pete has also created a dust capable of rendering Mister Fantastic's unstable molecules inert.[volume & issue needed] Trapster is an expert chemist, a skilled marksman, and a talented disguise artist. He has used other devices such as anti-gravity discs, explosive caps, ultrasound transmitters, an anti-gravity platform, and various mechanical traps used to restrain or entangle opponents.
In other media
- Trapster (Peter Petruski) appeared in the 1978 Fantastic Four, voiced by Gene Moss. In the episode "The Frightful Four", he was recruited by the Wizard to join the Frightful Four. This version does not use super adhesives in his crimes but instead uses complex traps.
- Trapster (Peter Petruski) appeared in the 1994 Fantastic Four animated series, voiced by Beau Weaver. In the episode "And the Wind Cries Medusa", he is seen as a member of the Wizard's Frightful Four.
- Trapster (Peter Petruski) appears in Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, voiced by Samuel Vincent. In the episode "Frightful", he is seen as a member of Wizard's Frightful Four and is also referred to as Paste-Pot Pete, a name which he seems to heavily despise now.
- The Paste Pot Pete version of Trapster appears in The Super Hero Squad Show, voiced by Dave Boat. In the episode "If This Be My Thanos", he accompanies MODOK and Abomination in a raid upon the Baxter Building to obtain a specific artifact for Thanos. As in other editions, he is endlessly mocked for his 'Pete' name and even tries to change it to 'Trapster' at one point. He also plays an important role in the episode "The Ice Melt Commeth" where he is seen as a member of Team Toxic alongside Pyro and Zzzax.
- The Peter Petruski version of Trapster appears in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, voiced by Steven Weber. First appearing in the pilot "Great Power", he is seen as a member of the Frightful Four. Although Spider-Man defeated him in battle, Trapster secretly placed a tracer on Spider-Man so that the other Frightful Four members can track down Spider-Man. In the episode "Beetle Mania", Spider-Man and the S.H.I.E.L.D. Trainees fight Trapster in Time Square. Spider-Man and the team (Power Man, Iron Fist, Nova and White Tiger) use a tactic that involves damaging Trapster's gear and trapping him in a metal sewer pipe. In the episode "I Am Spider-Man", Trapster fights Spider-Man at school and grabs Mary Jane Watson. When Mary Jane breaks free, Trapster continues to fight Spider-Man. One week earlier, Trapster mistakes Flash Thompson as Spider-Man during a museum robbery. Trapster manages to use his gun to trap Peter Parker under a museum statue while trying to get Flash out of the way. But Peter gets out of sight to secretly help Flash fend off Trapster who ends up retreating. Trapster later attacks Flash on opening night, causing Peter to don a duplicate Spider-Man costume to fight Trapster. This fight is brought to the stage in the midst of the Spider-Man play to which Phil Coulson had to play along to keep the audience from going into a panic. Once it soon get to the part where this episode comes in where Trapster grabs Mary Jane, MJ breaks free as Trapster continues the fight with Peter. Peter flings Trapster through the wall and traps Trapster with his own gun. When Flash starts singing, Trapster begs to be taken to jail so that he wouldn't put up with Flash's singing. In the episode "Not a Toy", Trapster was shown in the midst of a bank robbery when Captain America's shield hits his glue pack which causes his own glue to cover Trapster enough to be apprehended by the police. In the episode "Revealed", Trapster is with the Frightful Four when they 'invade' an Oscorp warehouse and end up fighting Spider-Man's team. However, the Frightful Four had actually set a trap where they escape while Spider-Man's team are attacked by Doctor Octopus's Octobots. In the episode "Second Chance Hero", Trapster is with the Frightful Four when they fight Iron Patriot and Spider-Man to which the Frightful Four are defeated.
- One of Pete's battles with Captain America is partially reprinted in the 'The Penguin Book of Comics'.
- Strange Tales vol. 1 #104
- Strange Tales vol. 1 #110
- Avengers #6
- Strange Tales vol. 1 #124
- Fantastic Four #36
- Fantastic Four #38
- Journey into Mystery #116
- Fantastic Four #41-43
- Daredevil #35-36
- Captain America #108
- Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 2, #15
- Fantastic Four #94
- Spectacular Spider-Man #158
- Spider-Man #91
- Spider-Man #92
- Civil War #2
- Civil War: War Crimes #1
- Fantastic Four #546
- Dark Reign: Zodiac #1-3
- Hulk vol. 2, #19
- Deadpool vol. 2, #55
- Amazing Spider-Man #699
- Amazing Spider-Man #700
- Illuminati #2 (2015)
- Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Alpha #1
- Marvel 1602: Fantastick Four #1-5
- Perry, George (1971). The Penguin Book of Comics. Penguin Group. p. 178. ISBN 0-14-002802-1.
- Trapster at Marvel.com