Thursday, June 20, 2013

Stick-Um Up!

Whatever this guy calls himself, he's usually on the receiving end, isn't he?

Say what you will about the Trapster, the man can take a hit. Thank goodness he'd changed his name by this time--"Target: Paste-Pot Pete!" probably wouldn't have had the same impact.

The Trapster to me has always been given the short shrift in his appearances. Other characters with his skill set have gone on to have better reps in comics--the Spymaster, Arcade, the Black Panther (who was pretty good at setting traps himself, back in the day)--yet the Trapster, who maintains something of a high profile, often doesn't present much of a credible threat in the eyes of either his foes or his writers. He might have had better luck calling himself something like "Arsenal," which would have given him more of an aggressive posture and put the emphasis of his threat more on offense than defense. The "Trapster," instead, gives the impression of someone waiting for the right opportunity to deploy a weapon or to spring, well, a trap. In the Frightful Four, that made sense--but on his own, it makes him depend too much on stealth.

As well as that dopey paste gun.

Yes, "dopey." I honestly couldn't think of a better word for it.

Though the Trapster puts a lot of stock in his paste gun, like it's this supreme weapon or something:

Did you ever hear an all-powerful weapon go "zut"? I'm betting you haven't.

You have to give the man credit for persistence--and for having the nerve to begin his criminal career under the name "Paste-Pot Pete." We already know just by taking one look at the original Baron Zemo that adhesive could be an effective weapon, but Pete took the idea one step further and developed his own adhesive to fire in the form of "paste" in order to get away with all sorts of heists, mostly because of the element of surprise. To be honest, I'd be a little surprised myself to see a criminal burst in looking like this:

Carrying around a pot of paste in one hand, a paste dispenser in the other. How does he expect to make off with any stolen loot? Look at that cash spilling out of the bag.  Go ahead, Pete--try and run from the law.

The "Trapster," though, was a whole new ball game. Just look at how his level of confidence and self-image spiked:

The Trapster went up against Daredevil in order to give that confidence (and his rep) a boost--though mostly using the Wizard's weapons and equipment against him, instead of anything he devised on his own. And we know from his time with the Frightful Four that he became quite the weapons specialist, as well as a quick thinker:

So when he went up against Captain America, he gave a better accounting of himself, and kept his nerve and arrogance thoughout:

By the way, here's a trivia question for you--since Pete used that paste gun so much, was there ever a special "comic book" name given to it? Hopefully something more catchy than "billy club"? Well, it started out pretty basic when he first became "the Trapster":

And then we caught him nicknaming his paste:

So what the Wizard called it gets my vote:

Anyway, I'm afraid the image we now have of the Trapster is going to be pretty hard to shake, at this point:

Though who better to find himself in a sticky situation?
(Oh, come on, you would have said it.)


Anonymous said...

Welp, there's not much to add here. I think we need guys like Pete to show us the world still needs dreamers. At least he wasn't wearing a rooster costume.

karl said...

I love the Trapster....a much underated villain. He should hire himself out as a villain for hire ot various groups, like he did to the Janus organization during vol3 of the FF run.

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