- —The Trapster[src]
- 1 History
- 1.1 Origin
- 1.2 Paste-Pot Pete
- 1.3 Frightful Four
- 1.4 Daredevil
- 1.5 Hired By Red Skull
- 1.6 Return to the Frightful Four
- 1.7 New Recruits
- 1.8 Thundra
- 1.9 Ghost Rider
- 1.10 Seeking More New Recruits
- 1.11 Failed Solo Career
- 1.12 Rebuilding His Name
- 1.13 Frightful Four Mainstay
- 1.14 Going Solo, Again
- 1.15 Civil War
- 1.16 Post Civil War
- 1.17 Bets
- 1.18 Dark Reign
- 1.19 Fall of the Hulks
- 1.20 Hired Mercenary
- 1.21 Deadpool Team-Ups
- 1.22 Pleasant Hill
- 1.23 Universal Exile
- 2 Powers and Abilities
- 3 Paraphernalia
- 4 See Also
- 5 Links and References
- 6 References
- 7 Annotations
Not much is known about the early life of Peter Petruski. Born in Gary, Indiana, as an adult he worked as a research scientist in New York City for a major corporation. While working there he patented a multi-polymer adhesive that made him very wealthy and made him the top of his profession. However instead of continuing his successful career Petruski decided to turn his skills toward a life of crime, a move he believed would be more lucrative.
Adopting a ridiculous costume and creating a "paste-gun", Petruski made his debut as a criminal using the "Paste-Pot Pete" as his moniker. Despite the ridiculous attire, nom du plume, and weapon he not only succeeded in robbing the Glennville bank, but also managed to evade the novice hero known as the Human Torch of the famous Fantastic Four. Deciding to raise the stakes, Paste-Pot Pete attempted to steal a Delta Cosmic Missile from the military in the hopes of selling it to the highest bidder, unconcerned if it was sold back to the United States military or a foreign power. He was chased by the Torch who managed to recover the missile, Pete then fled the scene by using his paste gun to grab hold of a passing commercial airliner and dropping into international waters where a hired boat waited for him. With his first mission a humiliating defeat, Pete fled the country in the hopes of evading the authorities.
Smuggling himself back into the country, Pete sought to get revenge against the Human Torch. Learning that the Torch had recently apprehended the criminal genius known as the Wizard, Pete broke him out of prison. Although the pair formed a rocky alliance, they succeeded in framing the Torch for various petty crimes as well as acts of treason. But, they fell for a trap set by the Torch when the young hero disguised himself as a wealthy British actor. The Wizard and Pete succeeded in luring the Torch into a series of traps, but the youth's flame powers proved too much for the two criminals and they were quickly apprehended and incarcerated. When Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil terrorized New York City with Zemo's Adhesive X, the Avengers sought out Paste-Pot Pete's expertise with adhesives to combat Zemo's powerful solvents. With the help of a counter agent created by Pete, the Avengers were able to defeat the Masters of Evil.  Pete was released from prison as the authorities believed he had reformed. Pete had no intentions of going straight and instead focused on getting revenge against the Torch once more. Developing a new costume and weapons he attacked the Torch's teammate the Thing and took him prisoner. When the Torch came to rescue his friend he was also briefly captured, but the Thing managed to break free. Outmatched by the two heroes powers, Paste-Pot Pete surrendered to them and was arrested once again.
The genesis of the Frightful Four began with three villains who commonly battled the Fantastic Four's youngest member the Human Torch. The Wizard, the Sandman and Paste-Pot Pete were all defeated at the hands of the Torch.[note 1] During his last clash with the Human Torch, the Wizard was sent floating uncontrollably into the upper atmosphere when one of his anti-gravity disks failed to work. This coincided with a break out by the Sandman and Paste-Pot Pete who had hijacked a plane to escape. While flying through the air, they spotted the Wizard during his ascent and rescued him suffocation in the upper atmosphere. Realizing that they all had unique powers and a mutual hatred of the Fantastic Four, the Wizard suggested that they form a group that would be the evil counterparts to the Fantastic Four.
Needing a fourth member to their group, the Wizard had heard of a strange woman hiding out on a remote island on the Mediterranean who had complete control of her hair. Travelling there, the Wizard convinced Madame Medusa to join their ranks. Her past a mystery, Medusa agreed to join them and the Frightful Four was born. In order to keep Medusa under their control, the Wizard implanted a device that kept her lost memories from resurfacing. Their formation came just after the Fantastic Four's Mister Fantastic and Invisible Girl had announced that they were engaged to be married. After an engagement party, the Frightful Four attacked the Fantastic Four's Baxter Building headquarters. Although they incapacitated the Thing, Mister Fantastic, and the Invisible Girl they were too late to stop the Thing's girlfriend Alicia Masters from sending out a signal flare to the Human Torch who was away from the building at the time. Although the Frightful Four used anti-gravity disks to end the Fantastic Four in the same way the Wizard almost perished, the Torch came to their rescue. Outclassed by the veteran heroes, the Frightful Four decided to retreat in the ensuing battle, setting their anti-gravity craft to self-destruct providing cover for the group to escape.
Going solo again, Paste-Pot Pete made another attempt to get revenge against the Human Torch. This scheme was interrupted by another novice hero, the amazing Spider-Man, who upon hearing the name "Paste-Pot Pete" burst into hysterics until he realized the Torch had passed through the area and left a thoroughly embarrassed Pete behind.
The Frightful Four were later pulled forward in time by Aron the Rogue Watcher to battle the future Fantastic Four and their allies Fantastic Force. When Aron's plot to destroy the universe to recreate his own reality was stopped, all were returned to their appropriate time and place with no memory of what happened. Regrouping after their first defeat, the Wizard quickly organized a new plan to destroy their mutual enemies. During this period Paste-Pot Pete reinvented himself with a new name, the Trapster, in an attempt to sound more menacing. But he would never live down his original choice of name for the rest of his career. They captured the Invisible Girl and kept her prisoner on deserted military outpost in the South Pacific. When the Fantastic Four came to rescue their teammate they fell into the evil FF's trap. While the heroes rescued Sue, the Wizard activated his q-bomb while his team fled the scene. While the Fantastic Four survived thanks to one of the Invisible Girl's invisible force-fields, the radiation from the blast stripped them of their powers.  The Frightful Four then returned to the Baxter Building to confirm if the Fantastic Four were dead or not. However they fled the scene when they confused the arrival of the Asgardian warrior Balder the Brave on Earth to be the Human Torch.[note 2] The Fantastic Four survived the assault, and eventually restored their powers.[note 3]
However following the restoration of their powers, the Fantastic Four's Thing was angered that he once again lost his humanity and quit the team. Slipping out of town on the back of a truck, the Thing fell asleep as the vehicle crossed over into New Jersey and a bumpy road threw him from the flat bed. The sleeping Thing was discovered by the Frightful Four who quickly kidnapped their sleeping enemy. By this time the Wizard had developed an ID machine and used it to change the Thing's personality so that he was evil. Although the Frightful Four bickered and fought among themselves, the group were able to defeat the remaining members of the Fantastic Four came to rescue their friend, they were easily captured with the aid of the Thing. The Wizard then reminded the Thing that Mister Fantastic was responsible for his transformation, sending the Thing into a frenzy. When the Fantastic Four attempted to break free another fight broke out. While Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl managed to escape, the Human Torch was captured and apparently enthralled by the ID machine as well.  In reality the ID machine was damaged by the Invisible Girl and the Torch was only pretending to be under the Wizard's thrall, allowing his teammates to capture the Thing and escape. Mister Fantastic then created a device to restore the Thing back to normal. When the Frightful Four finally saw through the Torch's trick and attacked the Baxter Building, the Thing had full recovered and turned the tide of battle. While the male members of the group were apprehended, Medusa managed to escape in their anti-gravity ship.
The Frightful Four then began the first of many searches for a new member. They selected the Beetle to join their group. However, the Beetle's membership proved to be short lived when the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man delivered a group a quick defeat when the Invisible Girl used her powers to turn the Wizard, Trapster and Beetle's pants transparent to embarrass them. The Wizard, Trapster and Sandman found themselves imprisoned at State Penitentiary and instantly began plotting a breakout.
Breaking out of prison, the Trapster sought to make a name for himself by attacking the costumed hero known as Daredevil. Knowing that there was a connection between Daredevil and the Nelson and Murdock law office, the Trapster confronted lawyers Matt Murdock (secretly Daredevil himself) and his partner Foggy Nelson and issued his challenge to Daredevil to them. Sure enough, when Murdock changed into his alter-ego, the Trapster was waiting to attack. Attaching some of the Wizard's anti-gravity discs onto Daredevil, the Trapster then disguised himself as the hero to gain access to the Baxter Building. There he got the drop on the Invisible Girl, the only member of the Fantastic Four there at the time and planted a bomb he hoped would destroy his foes. The real Daredevil arrived in the nick of time and managed to toss the bomb out of the building where it exploded harmlessly. When the Trapster returned to the scene of the crime, Daredevil got the drop on him. The pair fought it out on the Trapster's anti-gravity platform, but Pete surrendered when Daredevil's acrobatics threatened to make them crash.
Hired By Red Skull
The Trapster was later freed from prison and was hired by the Red Skull to kidnap SHIELD agent Sharon Carter to learn the secret to Project Fireball. However, SHIELD was aware of this plot and Carter used a Life-Model Decoy to take her place. In turn when Captain America came to Sharon's "rescue", he easily bested the Trapster, and forced him to reveal the name of his employer.
Return to the Frightful Four
When all the members of the Frightful Four were free from prison they regrouped and began plotting against the Fantastic Four again. Rejoining them was Medusa who, unknown to the Wizard and the others, had since recovered her memory and was now an ally of the Fantastic Four. By this point Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl had a son, named Franklin, and were seeking a babysitter to care for the boy whenever they were on a mission. When they agreed to visit the witch known as Agatha Harkness at her home in Whisper Hill, the Fantastic Four were attacked by their evil counterparts. It was during this battle that Medusa revealed her true allegiances and turned on the Wizard and his allies. The Frightful Four proved no match for Harkness, who was a powerful mystic, and easily trounced the remaining members of the Frightful Four, securing her job as Franklin's caretaker.[note 4] This Frightful Four made an attempt to force Medusa to rejoin their ranks upon learning that her lover -- Black Bolt, ruler of the Inhumans -- was incapable of speech without destroying anything in his path. The Wizard at this point had converted his ID machine into a ray gun in the hopes of making it a more practical weapon. The evil FF convinced Medusa that Quadranium-99 could cure Black Bolt. In exchange for the material, Medusa promised to rejoin their ranks. This plan ultimately failed when Medusa figured out that the Wizard was fooling her and that the Quadranium was going to be used to power his new ID ray. Medusa then fled from their ship with the Quadranium and returned it to the United Nations facility in France where it had been stolen from.
Without Medusa, the Frightful Four once again attempted to recruit a fourth member into their group. At the recommendation of the Sandman they attacked the Baxter Building to access their portal to the Negative Zone to free his onetime ally Blastaar. While the other members of the Fantastic Four were already in the Negative Zone trying to stop Doctor Doom from acquiring the Cosmic Control Rod belonging to Negative Zone leader Annihilus, the Frightful Four attacked. They easily incapacitated the Invisible Girl and pulled Blastaar from the Negative Zone. They did not anticipate that the young boy named Rick Jones was present and were unprepared when he clashed his Nega-Bands together summoning his ally Captain Marvel to Earth. Despite this surprise attack the Frightful Four succeeded in defeating Captain Marvel.[note 5] However the addition of Blastaar proved to be short lived as an insult towards the Negative Zone angered Blastaar sufficiently that he attacked his comrades. During the ensuing battle, the rest of the Fantastic Four returned home and defended it from the invaders. While Blastaar was knocked back into the Negative Zone, the rest of the Frightful Four were easily defeated and turned over to the authorities.
The Frightful Four reunited once again and attempted to manipulate the Negative Zone once again. To this end they captured Spider-Man and hypnotized him into joining their ranks. They used Spider-Man to infiltrate the Baxter Building when only the Human Torch was home. The Torch was easily subdued allowing the Wizard to gain access to the Negative Zone portal. This plan backfired when Annihilus attempted to use this intrusion to free himself from the Zone and onto Earth. Ultimately the Torch freed Spider-Man from the Frightful Four's control and the pair subdued their foes. Spider-Man then used his scientific know-how to deactivate the Negative Zone portal before leaving the Frightful Four with the Torch to turn over to the authorities. While in prison, Pete met failed musicians Johnny Logan and Jack Dulouz who were arrested for robbery. Petruski convinced the pair to take up costumed identities to seek out more high profile criminal activities.
The Frightful Four soon obtained their first new recurring member, Thundra, a Femazon of the alternate future of Earth-715 before its merger into Earth-8009. The Wizard had promised her the opportunity to battle the most powerful man on Earth in exchange for helping them destroy the Fantastic Four. The quartet attack the Thing at a construction site. Although their attack was interrupted by Medusa, who had come to the Thing's aid, Thundra provided them with the upper hand and both the Thing and Medusa were subdued. Thundra's membership was not without its own troubles as she did not wish to allow the Frightful Four to eliminate the Thing as she viewed men as inferiors. While the evil FF conceded on that point for now, they attacked the Baxter Building, subduing both the Thing and Mister Fantastic. When they discovered the Invisible Girl with her son Franklin, Thundra refused to allow any harm come to the child and fought back against her opponents. Ultimately the Fantastic Four broke free and fought their evil counterparts into retreat once again. In the aftermath of the battle the Invisible Girl left the group over differences with Mister Fantastic, taking their child with her, Medusa then took her place on the team.
However Thundra was not finished with the Thing, seeking to utterly crush him once and for all she challenged him to a one-on-one fight to the finish. In order to force the Thing to agree to the battle, Thundra captured his girlfriend Alicia Masters and left her in the hands of the Frightful Four through the duration of the battle. While the battle took place at nearby stadium, the Thing was briefly transformed back into human form by Mister Fantastic so that Thundra would forfeit the battle and flee. Meanwhile, the Human Torch rescued Alicia, forcing the Frightful Four to once again flee the scene.[note 6] The Frightful Four later broke into the Baxter Building waiting to ambush the Fantastic Four after they seemingly lost the Invisible Girl to their sometimes foe the Sub-Mariner. Although the Frightful Four had the upper hand, Thundra's continued differences with the group -- particularly their constant sexism toward her -- prompted her to turn on them. Thundra then helped free the Fantastic Four and defeat her former comrades. The Wizard, Trapster and Sandman were then contained at the Baxter Building before the Fantastic Four went on to battle the Sub-Mariner who appeared to be calling for another invasion of the surface world. As it turned out these was merely a mock battle that was staged so that Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl could reconcile their marriage after a lengthy separation.
Breaking out of prison and going solo again, the Trapster traveled to Los Angeles where he attacked the set of the Stuntmaster television show. He attempted to kidnap actress Karen Page and hold her for ransom. However his attack on the studio coincided with the arrival of Johnny Blaze, who went after the Trapster in his alter-ego, the demonic Ghost Rider. During the battle, Ghost Rider rescued Page and the Trapster ran afoul of one of the Wizard's anti-gravity discs that sent him floating up high into the sky. Floating helplessly, the Trapster crossed paths with Stilt-Man who was en route to New York to assassinate the Falcon. Stilt-Man stole the Trapsters weapons and dumped him to the ground. However the Stilt-Man was later defeated by the Falcon and Captain America.
Seeking More New Recruits
After escaping captivity again, the three founding members of the Frightful Four reformed, and during an extended absence of their foes put out a classified ad seeking a new fourth member, telling all applicants to meet at the Baxter Building. The Fantastic Four and their ally the Impossible Man soon learned of this and rushed to their headquarters to confront the Frightful Four. While the Impossible Man was distracted by a television, the Fantastic Four were quickly defeated and incapacitated. The Frightful Four then began screening potential members. They rejected the powerless Osprey, and the heroic Texas Twister before Thundra came crashing in on them. Thundra warned her former teammates that the Fantastic Four were off limits, but she was quickly subdued and made a prisoner alongside her new allies. The Wizard and the others then rejected the pyrophobic Captain Ultra, before they were attacked by Tigra who briefly freed the Fantastic Four. This escape attempt was then quashed by the most promising recruit to potentially join up with the Frightful Four: the Brute, Reed Richards' double on the distant world of Counter-Earth. The Brute helped defeat the Fantastic Four and their allies, securing himself as a member of the group. The Frightful Four then attempted to hold their heroic counterparts hostage for a massive ransom. When the governments of the United States refused to pay the ransom the Wizard decided that it was time to finally kill his hated foes. However, before he could activate his device the broadcast day had ended cutting off the television transmission that kept the Impossible Man preoccupied through out the entire battle. Seeking to boost the signal, the Impossible Man attempted to boost the signal causing a power surge powerful enough to temporarily cut the power in the Baxter Building to allow the Fantastic Four and their allies to break free. The Frightful Four were easily trounced by the good FF, Thundra, and Tigra. The Wizard, Trapster and Sandman were captured once again, while the Brute was seemingly lost in the Negative Zone.[note 7]
After breaking out of prison yet again, the Trapster caught a newspaper story about how the Stuntmaster television show was filming in New York and sought to get revenge against the Ghost Rider for his previous defeat. His attack at the shooting location of the Stuntmaster show brought out the Ghost Rider, but also attracted the attention of Spider-Man. When the Trapster attempted to flee aboard a Navy vessel, the Ghost Rider cornered him and seared the villain with his soul-fire. The agony to his soul caused the Trapster to collapse in fear, his screams deeply disturbing Spider-Man who told Ghost Rider to leave while to turned the Trapster over to the authorities. Returning to the Frightful Four, the Trapster and his teammates then began seeking out yet another member. They selected Spider-Man's longtime foe Electro. After succeeding in a test run of his powers, they admitted Electro into their group. Seeking to get revenge against both Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, the new Frightful Four went to the Statue of Liberty. Electro then used one of the Wizard's devices that imitated the Human Torch's powers in order to trick Spider-Man into meeting them there. Expecting the Human Torch, Spider-Man was instead ambushed and overpowered by the Frightful Four who easily defeated the wall-crawler.[note 8] The Tapster then disguised himself as Spider-Man in order to infiltrate the Baxter Building where he easily subdued the Human Torch and the Thing before disabling the security systems. The Frightful Four then made an attack on Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Girl, but the real Spider-Man managed to break free and join the fray. With the regrouped Fantastic Four, the evil Frightful Four were easily defeated and once again turned over to the authorities.
The Wizard was later broken out of Ryker's Island prison by the Sub-Mariner's foe Llyra. Llyra required the Wizard to defeat her old foe and he agreed to assist her provided that she help him destroy his old foe Spider-Man. Llyra posed as a new tenant that Peter Parker would find attractive. Tracking the wall-crawler with a special device to his civilian home Llyra and the Wizard attempted to trap him by setting the apartment building ablaze. Spider-Man managed to save his fellow tenants, foiling the Wizard's plans. Llyra had the Wizard break out his fellow Frightful Four members, Sandman and the Trapster to help in her plot to get revenge against the Sub-Mariner. Llyra's activities got the attention of her prey who came to New York. The Sub-Mariner detected Llyra's presence and attacked the hotel where Peter Parker and his fellow tenants were put up for the night. This led to a battle between Sub-Mariner, Spider-Man and the Frightful Four. The villains then blasted the two heroes with a weapon provided by Llyra. The device succeeded in transferring Spider-Man's spider-sense to the Sub-Mariner. Despite this handicap, the two heroes defeated the Frightful Four. While the Wizard and his cohorts were turned over to the authorities, Namor took Llyra into his possession to answer for her crimes in Atlantis.
Failed Solo Career
The Trapster then spent a period of time trying to establish himself as a solo criminal. During this period later developed weapons for Diamondback of the Serpent Society. Later when the Fantastic Four opened their headquarters, the Baxter Building, the Trapster attempted to break in only to be incapacitated by the security systems and turned over to the authorities. The Trapster and an army of super-villains were later drawn to Earth-1219 by Clyde Wyncham, a mentally deficient mutant and that world's only superhuman, where the daily lives of those native to the Trapster's home reality Earth-616 where chronicled in comic books and considered works of fiction. Wyncham was upset that his old comic book collection was being sold after his family home was put up for sale, so he used his vast powers to bring the villains to his reality and attack the town's people. While most of villains attacked Wyncham's hometown, the Trapster was one of the villains who stayed behind at the old Wyncham home to guard the portal back to his native reality. The property was later trespassed upon by Toby Goodman, an avid comic book reader, managed to slip past the Trapster and breach the portal. The Trapster followed Toby back to his reality, but his sudden appearance in a busy New York City street proved to be his mistake as the Trapster was accidentally run over shortly after his arrival and Toby managed to get away. Eventually, Toby managed to get the heroes from the Trapster's native reality to stop the villains in his own and end the crisis there.
While getting weapons upgrades from the Tinkerer, the Trapster changed some of his weapons and began using slippery substances as well as glues and solvents. During this upgrade the Trapster met the mutant known as Whirlwind. The pair agreed to work together and make a name for themselves by attacking Captain America. Despite having the element of surprise, the two villains failed to defeat Captain America who left both the Trapster and Whirlwind trapped in a massive puddle of paste for the authorities. During the so-called Acts of Vengeance conspiracy, wherein a cabal of super-villains were sending their colleagues after heroes they had not previously battled, the Wizard contacted the Trapster and sent him against Spider-Man. With a new set of weapons, the Trapster easily humiliated Spider-Man, but later when the hero gained the power of the Enigma Force and became the vessel for Captain Universe, he came back and quickly trounced the Trapster and turned him over to the authorities.[note 9] The Trapster was being shipped off to the Vault prison along with Titania, and the Brothers Grimm who were also defeated by Spider-Man during the conspiracy. They were freed by Graviton, yet another villain defeated by the cosmically powered Spider-Man. They were taken to a vessel owned by the Chameleon. Joined with the Goliath, the Chameleon offered all gathered one hundred thousand dollars to destroy Spider-Man, whom the Chameleon revealed had just recently lost his cosmic powers. The villains attacked the Daily Bugle Building in an attempt to lure Spider-Man out of hiding. The hero responded to the attack and was holding his own until Graviton used his powers to negate the wall-crawler's gravity and sent him spiraling out into the atmosphere.[note 10] Thinking Spider-Man dead, the villains went to collect their money from the Chameleon only to find that he had abandoned his hideout. With a purposely placed note, the villains were led to believe that the Chameleon was working alongside the Kingpin and went to him for their money. However, Spider-Man survived the attack and was forced to come to the Kingpin's aid to stop the villains. This time around, Spider-Man defeated the gathered villains, leaving the Trapster strung up on a lamppost for the authorities.
Not long after this, the Wizard and the Trapster reunited and sought to bring the Sandman back into the fold and form yet another Frightful Four.
When they found the Sandman they offered him to rejoin them, but the Sandman was making an effort to reform at the time. When he refused the Wizard threatened to inform the authorities of his location, as the Sandman was still wanted at the time, but the Sandman warned the Wizard that the biggest mistake he could make was being in the same prison as him if that happened. The Wizard then conceded, allowing the Sandman to go his own way. The Wizard and the Trapster later recruited Dreadknight and the Man-Bull. This new incarnation smuggled themselves into Canada in order to kidnap Nobel Prize winning physicist Dr. Cargill during his appearance at the Calgary Stampede. This kidnapping attempt was foiled by Spider-Man (who was there in his civilian identity Peter Parker, then a photographer for the Daily Bugle), the visiting Rangers and the novice hero Turbine. By this point the Trapster began frequenting one of the many so-called Bar with No Name, drinking establishments that were frequented by super-villains. When a bar brawl was instigated by the Impossible Man over a poker game, the Trapster hid from the fight alongside Stilt-Man until the fight was over. The Trapster was later present during an auction for the bodies of the mutants Auric and Silver being put on by the Brass Bishop and his Chess Set. The auction was later crashed by Spider-Man and the Canadian heroes known as Alpha Flight who had come to recover the bodies. The Trapster fled in the ensuing battle. The Trapster was later a plaintiff in a class action lawsuit against the Tinkerer over faulty equipment. The resulting court case exploded into a brawl when the Tinkerer insulted his legal opponents. The fight was quashed by the She-Hulk who was in the courthouse representing another case in her capacity of a lawyer. The Trapster and the other villains were then apprehended by the authorities.
By this time Peter had fallen on hard times and racked up significant gambling debts with a local mob. Learning that his old friend the Sandman had gone straight and joined Silver Sable's Wild Pack, the Trapster came to his old friend for help under the false pretense that he was attempting to reform. Believing that his old friend was seeking to go straight the Sandman invited him to stay at the Symkarian Embassy. The Trapster used this trust to secretly rebuild his Trapster suit and weapons and rob jewelry stores in order to pay off his gambling debts. When the Sandman realized that the Trapster betrayed his trust, the two battled it out, and the Trapster was eventually defeated and turned over to the authorities once again. The Trapster later attended the wedding of the Absorbing Man and Titania. The nuptials were briefly interrupted by the Avengers who sheepishly retreated when they realized why the villains were gathered.
Rebuilding His Name
After all the defeats the Trapster had become a laughing stock of the super-villain community, and so he became more determined than ever to re-establish his credibility. The Trapster then went after the mobsters that held his debts and began threatening them. When his paste was mistaken for Spider-Man's webbing in the Daily Bugle, the Trapster grew furious that he wall-crawler was getting "credit" for his attacks and attacked Spider-Man directly. The two battled it out at a construction site, where the Trapster caught Spider-Man in a deathtrap. Although Peter left the wall-crawler to die, Spider-Man managed to break free from the trap and escape. When Empire State University student Paul Stacy ran afoul of the Friends of Humanity they hired the Shocker and Trapster to eliminate Stacy. They tracked him down to the George Washington Bridge leading to an altercation with Spider-Man. During the course of the battle the Trapster glued Spider-Man and Paul together. The pair followed Spider-Man and Stacy across the city until Friends of Humanity leader Donovan Zane called off the hit at the behest of Spider-Man's foe Norman Osborn. With their job terminated, the Trapster and Shocker abruptly left Spider-Man and Stacy mid-battle.
Osborn later hired the Trapster to murder the mobster known as Joey Z and framed Spider-Man for the crime. This led to Spider-Man becoming wanted for murder with a bounty on his head placed by Norman Osborn, forcing the wall-crawler to set up a series of alternate identities to continue crime fighting and clearing his name.[note 11] Seeking to cover up his involvement, Osborn sent assassins to slay the Trapster. When he was attacked by the Shocker, Pete was rescued by the mysterious Dusk, who unknown to him at the time was secretly Spider-Man in disguise. Spider-Man had learned that the Trapster had really murdered Joey Z and was seeking proof to clear his name, and sought to use his Dusk identity to befriend the Trapster and get that proof. Dusk helped protect the Trapster from Norman Osborn's assassins, gaining the villains trust. When the pair went after Osborn, Dusk was wired with a microphone in the hopes of recording a confession. During their confrontation with Osborn, the Trapster attempted to kill their mutual enemy. Dusk would not allow it and fought off the Trapster, allowing Osborn to escape. Adding insult to injury the recorder that Dusk was using was also crushed destroying the evidence he had gathered. However, Dusk managed to convince the Trapster to surrender to the authorities and confess to the murder of Joey Z. Although the Trapster complied, he did not mention Osborn's involvement, but his confession cleared Spider-Man's name.
The Trapster later achieved a small victory when he was hired by Genosha's Press Gang to kidnap Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Attacking Reed Richards when he was alone, the Trapster succeeded in defeating Richards and turning him over to the Press Gang, who then teleported him to Genosha. Eventually, Richards' teammates rescued him from Genosha.
Frightful Four Mainstay
The Trapster eventually was drawn back into the Frightful Four, his loyalty to the Wizard stronger than ever and for a period of time he worked consistently with the group. Around this time the Wizard kidnapped the Sandman and exposed him to his newly rebuilt ID machine. This restored the Sandman's previous persona, and although he did not rejoin the Wizard at this point, this would cause the Sandman to eventually return to his criminal ways. The Wizard, Trapster and Sandman then got involved in what a staged attempt on the life of Senator Stewart Ward. This attempt was to boost Ward's popularity, an orchestrated event that was made successful with the interference of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. However the attempt ruined the Sandman's precarious cover, ruining any further pretensions that he had reformed for good. The Wizard and Trapster's part on Senator Ward's scheme were later foiled by Spider-Man. The Wizard and Trapster then formed a new version of the Frightful Four which included She-Thing and the Punisher robot. They took over the Keewazi reservation in Silver Rock Springs, Oklahoma, seeking to find the location of lost gold and jewels of the Manidoog god Tomazooma. This plot was foiled by the Fantastic Four when they were summoned by their ally Wyatt Wingfoot and they were apprehended.
Still wishing to make a name for himself, the Trapster took employment from the Gideon Trust who was planning to mine resources from the Negative Zone using technology they procured from the Fantastic Four.[note 12] After some virtual simulations, the Trapster led soldiers hired by the Gideon Trust into the Negative Zone to search for a powerful energy source they detected there. The Trapster and his troops then attacked a village, wiping out the entire town in order to secure a temple and the technological marvels inside. They eventually tracked down the source of the power, leading them to the Negative Zone's ruler Annihilus and his Cosmic Control Rod. They succeeded in subduing Annihilus and capturing the Control Rod for the Gideon Trust. Their attempts to bring the Cosmic Control Rod back to Earth were thwarted when the Fantastic Four arrived with their allies Hellscout and Gornkai. While the Cosmic Control Rod was recovered and Annihilus was seemingly slain, the Trapster and his troops fled into the Negative Zone.[note 13] Somehow the Trapster managed to return to Earth.
The Wizard later formed yet another incarnation of the Frightful Four along with the Trapster. This group also included the Wizard's estranged ex-wife Salamandra. To this end, the Wizard wanted to exploit his daughter Cole to lure the Fantastic Four into a trap. The Wizard also re-recruited Hydro-Man onto the team after he was defeated in a battle against Spider-Man and the Human Torch. The Wizard then boosted Hydro-Man's powers but made him dependent on the Wizard to live. The Wizard's next part of his scheme was to secure Cole's loyalty by manipulating her into a romance with the Human Torch. The end result of this hook-up was that Cole would help the Frightful Four infiltrate the Baxter Building and then the Wizard plotted for her to get injured making it appear that the Fantastic Four were responsible. Cole held up her end of the mission, having succeeded in arranging a meeting with the Torch after romancing him on an online chatroom. Once admitted into the Baxter Building, she used her special transporter ring to get the Frightful Four past the Baxter Building's security systems.[note 14] Ultimately the rest of the Frightful Four were defeated, when Cole seemingly sacrificed her life to stop her father.
Going Solo, Again
The Trapster was later recruited and outfitted with new armor by former Latverian prime minister Lucia von Bardas to get revenge against SHIELD director Nick Fury, and various heroes he used to stage a coup against her rule the year prior. Petruski joined an army of other villains in the attack against the heroes. When the combined efforts of the Fantastic Four and Avengers arrived at the scene, Von Bardas unleashed her revenge: all the villains armors combined to form a massive bomb that threatened to destroy all of New York City. However the heroes managed to disarm the weapon and the villains were all defeated. Later, the Trapster was among group of super-villains who were gathered by the Puppet Master and the Mad Thinker who were attempting to gather an army of villains to battle the Fantastic Four. This was a failed endeavor as none of the gathered villains wished to participate and left, unknowingly leaving the DNA samples that the two organizers of this plan really sought. These DNA sampled ended up in the hands of the Fantastic Four who came to believe that they would die within two year unless they permanently incarcerated their foes. The Trapster was one of the many villains captured by the Fantastic Four and placed in a new Vault prison constructed in the Negative Zone.
The Trapster was later became part of the Owl's gang of super-human operatives. When the mobster known as Mister Pain put a hit on the crook known as Jackie Dio, the Trapster was among the throng of villains sent to apprehend him. However none were aware that Dio was given biological and technological enhancements by the Mechanic. The Trapster and the others were caught in an explosion when Dio -- now calling himself Underworld -- shot some gas tanks with his new guns. The Trapster later was one of the many super-villains trying to recover a data chip stolen from business woman turned super-villain Celia Ricadonna, clashing with his one time partner Whirlwind. The Trapster did not succeed on this quest for wealth as the chip was recovered by the Daughters of the Dragon. When the Thing attempted to build a youth center in his home neighborhood of Yancy Street, the Maggia crime family was furious that he did not pay them the proper grafts to do the job. In response they hired the Trapster and Sandman to destroy the construction site. They managed to trap the Thing and planted explosives that would go off in 10 minutes. Although the rest of the Fantastic Four were busy, the Thing was assisted by Spider-Man who helped defeat the Trapster and Sandman and disarm the bombs. The villains were then turned over to the authorities.
When the United States enacted the Superhuman Registration Act, a Civil War broke out between heroes who were for or against registering their identities to the government. During this conflict, the Trapster was attacked by Captain America and his anti-registration Secret Avengers and left for SHIELD operatives along with the Vulture and the Grim Reaper. Apparently escaping captivity, the Trapster and Slyde met with the mobster known as Hammerhead who was trying to form a coalition of super-villains to deal with the crisis. When Slyde refused to join with Hammerhead, the Trapster watched in horror was Hammerhead shot him point-blank in the face. The Trapster was among the villains who later met with Hammerhead. They were ambushed by Iron Man and SHIELD operatives who were led to the location by Hammerhead's chief rival, the Kingpin.
Post Civil War
Sometime late the Wizard regrouped the Frightful Four along with the Trapster, Hydroman and Titania and once again sought to eliminate the Fantastic Four. It was during this period that Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman were on their second honeymoon on the moon of Titan while their spots in the Fantastic Four were filled by the Black Panther and his wife Storm. While Reed was away getting assistance on Earth to decipher a strange meteor he discovered the Wizard planted a bomb on his shuttle before going to Titan with his team and taking the Invisible Woman hostage. He then issued a challenge to the Fantastic Four to face him.[note 15] Suspecting a trap the Black Panther had the group remotely access Reed's ship causing the bomb to go off and the group went to Titan in another vessel. When the Fantastic Four arrived, the Wizard and his allies were not prepared to face the Black Panther and Storm fighting alongside Mister Fantastic, the Thing, and the Human Torch. However, the Wizard had a surprise of his own: a fifth member he had hidden, Klaw. The Frightful Four' secret weapon was defeated by the Thing thanks to some Vibranium earplugs that made him immune to Klaw's powers. The rest of the group were easily trounced. A vengeful Invisible Woman then threatened to end the Wizard's life by using her powers to cause him a heart attack, and the fear of her doing so caused the Wizard to faint in fear. The Fantastic Four then left Titan to attend to other matters.
The Trapster returned to Earth and began hanging around the Bar With No Name in New York City. There he regularly participated in bets being made by the Bookie, such as bets on when the Freak would break out of his cocoon;  and the Bookie's fixed bout between Spider-Man and the Basher. When Spider-Man learned that it was a setup with his foe Screwball posing as him, he learned of the Bookie's involvement and was led to the Bar With No Name. The Trapster and the other foes briefly fought Spider-Man until the Deke the bartender forced them to stop due to the fact that Spider-Man was a wanted for murder at the time and the bar was a safe haven for villains.[note 16] The Trapster clashed with Spider-Man shortly thereafter, although the wall-crawler defeated him once again, the Trapster managed to glue Spider-Man's mask to his head, causing complications in his personal life for a brief period.
Shortly after the Skrull failed invasion of Earth, Norman Osborn became a hero and made director of SHIELD, renaming the organization to HAMMER. During this period, the Trapster then briefly worked with the anarchist known as Zodiac. After the Zodiac beat the Human Torch near death, the Trapster and the Clown rigged the hospital where the Torch was admitted with explosives. Although the hospital was destroyed, the Torch was saved by heroes that were visiting him there. The Trapster later assisted Zodiac to hack into HAMMER's database and ran a simulation that made it appear that Galactus was attacking the Earth. While Earth's heroes were busy fighting off a hacked Red Ronin robot, the Trapster and Clown robbed a bank. Ultimately the Zodiac gained what he sought after the whole time, the powerful Zodiac Key. The Trapster ended his association with the criminal and his group shortly thereafter. Back at the Bar With No Name, the Trapster was present when Spider-Man and Daredevil rushed the place following a raid by the NYPD, however he managed to flee the scene and avoid arrest.
Fall of the Hulks
For years the Wizard had been part of a group of super-criminal geniuses known as the Intelligencia which included the Leader, M.O.D.O.K., the Red Ghost, and the Mad Thinker. The end result of their scheme was to use a combination of gamma radiation and cosmic energy to create an army of super-powerful beings like the Hulk to conquer the world.[note 17] One of their pawns in this scheme was the mysterious Red Hulk, who ultimately betrayed the Intelligencia to work with Bruce Banner, the Hulk's alter ego.
During the initial planning phase of this plan the Wizard sought to reform his Frightful Four after learning that Thundra was back in his native time, he planned on using her in this latest incarnation. The Wizard then gathered Klaw and the Trapster and approached Thundra asking her to rejoin their group. By this point she had allied herself with the Red Hulk and summoned him. The three villains were no match for the Hulk and Thundra and fled. Soon the Intelligencia learned that Thundra had a daughter, with DNA taken from the Hulk, in the future of Earth-8009. This daughter, Lyra, had come to the modern age after being shunned in her own era. When it appeared that Lyra held animosity toward her mother the Wizard seemingly convinced her to join his Frightful Four after sending the savage Red She-Hulk upon her to illustrate that the world feared Hulks. Lyra joined the group, but the Wizard and his cohorts were unaware that this was only a means to find her missing friend, the original She-Hulk, Jennifer Walters.[note 18]
Part of the Intelligencia's plot was to kidnap the 10 greatest minds in the world. The Frightful Four were then sent to capture Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four. Although their attack on the Baxter Building was complicated with interference from the Red Hulk, the Frightful Four were successful in their mission. Lyra soon betrayed the Frightful Four after finding the She-Hulk imprisoned aboard the Intelligencia's helicarrier, and freeing her. Ultimately, the Intelligencia's plans began falling apart thanks to the interference of the Red Hulk and Bruce Banner.[note 19] This ended with a final battle between the true Hulk and his red counterpart. During the ensuing clash the Wizard, Trapster, Klaw, the Red Ghost, and Mad Thinker all attempted to rob the US Treasury, but their attempt was interrupted by the two warring behemoths. The members of the Frightful Four went their own ways only to be hunted down by the She-Hulk and Lyra and imprisoned at the old Gamma Base in Death Valley, Nevada. The Trapster was captured in Las Vegas, the Wizard in Monte Carlo, the Red Ghost in St. Petersburg, and the Mad Thinker and Klaw in Switzerland.
The Trapster broke out of prison and got into a conflict with the heroine known as Hellcat. Escaping, he later followed her to the hair salon owned by Molly Fitzgerald -- formally the hero known as Shamrock. His arrival coincided with appointments by the Black Cat, and the Invisible Woman. The four women easily trounced the Trapster. Oddly enough, the Trapster was interviewed to be a babysitter for Danielle Cage, the daughter of the New Avengers' Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Upon learning that his foe Spider-Man was one of the members of the group, he refused to take the job.
The Trapster was later hired by Angela Golden along with the armored merc named Chance to eliminate a number of test subjects who were unknowingly experimented on so that their children would have the benefits of the Super-Soldier process that created Captain America.  When he tracked down the women, this brought him into a conflict with the Avenger known as Hawkeye who had also stumbled upon the plot and sought to save the women. Hawkeye defeated the Trapster in battle, and forced him to reveal the location of the women so he could rescue them. When the women were later captured by Golden's forces, Hawkeye clashed with the Trapster a second time, besting him in combat once again. Eventually, Hawkeye foiled Golden's plot.
The Trapster rejoined Intelligencia when then regrouped aboard a ship in the North Sea where they decided that with the constant infighting between superheroes and the continued fracturing mutant community their best chance was to lay low. Their location was discovered by Deadpool who tried to sink their vessel, but all aboard survived and the Trapster seemingly slew Deadpool as the mercenary tried to escape. Two weeks later the Wizard grew tired of the Trapster's boasts that he had killed Deadpool and showed his ally evidence to the contrary, sending the Trapster on a failed attempt to destroy Deadpool once and for all. Attacking Deadpool at a SHIELD storage facility that the merc with a mouth was trying to rob along side the Taskmaster. Although the Trapster got the drop on Deadpool, the SHIELD defense robots were too powerful and he was forced to flee the scene before eliminating his foe. Later Doctor Octopus, his body failing from terminal illness while incarcerated at the Raft prison, successfully swapped bodies with his mortal foe Spider-Man. Trapped in the dying body of Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man managed to send out an alert, summoning the Trapster, Hydroman, and the Scorpion to break into the prison and free him. [note 20] The Trapster worked to keep "Octavius" alive while they hunted for Spider-Man. Ultimately, this led to a final battle in Columbus Square where "Doctor Octopus" seemingly died, leaving the real Doctor's mind alive and well inside the mind of his greatest foe.[note 21]
The Trapster later attended on of Arcade's birthday parties, where he and his fellow super-villains mocked Arcade, someone who had suffered defeats more humiliating than the Trapster had experience himself. When Deadpool was later hired to eliminate those who sought to cheat their deals with the demon known as Vetis, one of his targets was millionaire Daniel Gump. In order to protect himself, Gump hired the Trapster along with Chance, Taskmaster, Batroc the Leaper, and Lady Stilt-Man. With the aid of the new "Superior" Spider-Man, Deadpool defeated the crooks and slew Gump. The Trapster and his cohorts were then left webbed up for the authorities.
A short time later S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Agent Gorman put a bounty on Deadpool's head, the Trapster was one of the many mercenaries who agreed to take the job. The Trapster attacked Deadpool along with Paladin and Batroc. The trio were soundly defeated and Deadpool warned the Trapster and Batroc that he would kill them next time he saw them. The Trapster later laid low on the Masters of Evil's super-villain paradise on the island of Bagalia. The Trapster later accepted a job from the Roxxon Corporation in the middle eastern country of Al Waziribad. He was riding the subway with Batroc when he crossed paths with Deadpool. Fearing for their lives, both the Trapster and Batroc were relieved when Deadpool was not his normal self thanks to the fallout from the World War Hate. The Trapster sheepishly offered this new "Zen-Pool" to contact him if he was interested in the job.[note 22]
Restored to normal but having a crisis of faith, Deadpool took the job with Trapster in order to rediscover himself. After seeing the resistance fighters in Al Waziribad, Deadpool convinced the Trapster to help him turn against Roxxon and defend the small village. Roxxon then sent a new operative, Omega Red to eliminate Deadpool and the Trapster in order to complete the coup. Trapster glued Omega Red, saving Deadpool, after which they decided to take the civilians to a refugee camp. However, Omega Red managed to catch them on the way, and they were taken to a Roxxon base here the Trapster was beaten. However, Deadpool saved Trapster and the civilians and they escaped on a helicopter. Deadpool later dropped off to investigate what Roxxon was digging for. The Trapster delivered the civilians to the camp and was later seen selling the helicopter.
Petruski later returned to his original alias of Paste-Pot Pete, realizing he could use the underestimation of his reputation to his advantage, successfully neutralizing the police officers he came across. While making his escape after stealing a van full of cash in Brooklyn, Paste-Pot Pete encountered Vincent Doonan and Gwenpool. Pete defeated Doonan by sticking his legs to the ground, but failed to restrain Gwenpool, who used her fourth-wall-breaking powers to exile him to Gutter Space. Shortly afterwards, Gwen discovered that Petruski had returned to the real world, with no recollection of their encounter and using his alias of the Trapster again. She suspected a "higher force" opposed her defeating him.
Powers and Abilities
Peter Petruski is a genius-level chemist and inventor, combining the two into his specialty: chemical adhesives. He is skilled at using his paste-gun in a fight.
The Trapster is a normal human whose strength is comparable to those with the same height, weight, and build as he who engages in normal regular exercise.
Name Calling: Calling him 'Paste Pot Pete' is a sure fire way to enrage Trapster by some heroes.
- Paste-Gun Petruski’s special “paste-gun” fires a stream of glue (originally supplied by a canister worn at his hip). The adhesive dries instantly, can adhere to nearly any surface, and is virtually unbreakable, flameproof, and vulnerable only to ultraviolet light. He is so accomplished with the use of his gun that he can trap an opponent’s limb, jam machinery, build restraining walls, and form paste “lassos.” He could even retract the stream of glue, a technique which helped him to form a swing-line much like Spider-Man.
As the Trapster, Petruski continued the use of his paste-gun and expanded his repertoire with special traps (some developed in collaboration with the Wizard.) He changes the variety of traps according to his mission, but past examples include scatter-shot balls and discs (that can rebound and snap on his opponents limbs) and a “memory wire” (that can assume pre-planned shapes such as a cage or a weapon). The Trapster’s boots and gloves have also been outfitted with adhesive systems so that he can walk up certain vertical or upside-down surfaces. Much later, he would incorporate the paste-gun into wrist-mounted shooters with the adhesive supply on tank strapped to the back of his costume. From the wrist shooters, he could also fire spring-loaded spheres containing traps of his own design or fire a specially-designed solvent. The solvent can instantly dissolve his unique glue as well as be used as a grease gun to lubricate surfaces and reduce traction.
- 152 appearance(s) of Peter Petruski (Earth-616)
- 19 minor appearance(s) of Peter Petruski (Earth-616)
- 28 mention(s) of Peter Petruski (Earth-616)
- 83 image(s) of Peter Petruski (Earth-616)
- 5 quotation(s) by or about Peter Petruski (Earth-616)
- 2 item(s) used/owned by Peter Petruski (Earth-616)