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Trapster of the Frightful 4 (Marvel Comics) during the 1980s

Trapster


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

The Trapster is a very minor, but well-established, Marvel bad guy. He appeared all the way back in 1965 and primarily fought the Fantastic Four. But over so many decades, he clashed with a hefty list of heroes. He is something of a jobber … but not entirely. Being overconfident against the Trapster could lead to nasty surprises.

These are notes based on about half of his appearances, not a full profile. We’ll revise when feasible, but he has a lot of stories to research.


Background

  • Real Name: Peter Petruski
  • Other Aliases: Paste-Pot Pete
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: None
  • Group Affiliation: Formerly Frightful Four, N-Explorers
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile
  • Height: 5’10” Weight: 160 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown


Powers and Abilities

Petruski is a genius chemist, specializing in adhesives, and a skilled gadgeteer .

His costume contains canisters with a number of substances, which may be projected via wrist shooters. His primary weapon is his original quick drying adhesive, which can adhere to most surfaces, and is strong enough to even hold the Thing.

They can also shoot his Lubricant Z, a solvent which can dissolve his adhesive, and which can also be used as a grease to reduce traction. He has also developed an acid paste which he can fire at targets.

He is highly accomplished at firing these substances at targets, and he is even capable of lassoing targets.

His costume is covered in a greasy substance which makes him hard to grab. It has adhesive systems on his gloves and boots, which make use of his adhesives and solvents to allow him to walk on walls and ceilings. The boots also contain jets which allow him to fly.


History

Peter Petruski was working as a research chemist in New York City when he invented an extremely adhesive “multi-polymer” liquid. Motivated by greed, he decided to embark on a life of crime with his discovery, creating a paste-gun to spray his paste and adopting the identity Paste-Pot Pete.

He embarked on a series of thefts, including an attempt to steal a top secret U.S. Army missile. However he was thwarted and defeated by the Human Torch on a few occasions, including one where he teamed up with the Wizard.

Jailed, he acquired an early parole by assisting the Avengers to produce a solvent to free the city from Baron Heinrich Zemo’s Adhesive X. He soon returned to crime, however, developing stronger and more versatile pastes, but was soon defeated by the Human Torch and the Thing.

Frightful

Escaping from prison with the Sandman, they managed to hijack a small jet-plane, and, during their escape came across the Wizard, heading upwards after his equipment malfunctioned during his most recent crime. They rescued him, and he convinced them to join him in forming a Frightful Four to oppose the Fantastic Four, intending to find a powerful female to be their fourth member.

When he recruited Medusa, the four of them launched their first attack on the Four.

They ambushed Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl and the Thing, affixing some of the Wizard’s anti-grav discs to them, sending them floating up into the air. The Human Torch soon arrived, however, and forced the Wizard to help him rescue them. The Fantastic Four then gained the upper hand in the battle, until a distraction allowed the Frightful Four to escape.

The Trapster as Paste Pot Pete

Developing new equipment in preparation for their next clash, Peter also decided to rename himself the Trapster. The Frightful Four then kidnapped the Invisible Girl. They used her to lure her team mates to a Pacific atoll where they rigged an experimental “Q-bomb” to detonate, but the Fantastic Four narrowly escaped the explosion.

They later captured the Thing, and the Wizard used his ID Machine to brainwash him. The Fantastic Four freed their team mates and defeated the Frightful Four, who were handed over to the authorities, apart from Medusa, who escaped.

Sticky situations

Breaking out of prison, the Trapster returned to a solo criminal career, but he unwisely chose to continue attempting to get revenge on the Fantastic Four, continually failing to do so.

He once managed to defeat Daredevil in single combat. The victory was short-lived, as Doctor Doom interrupted his fight in a campaign of his own against Daredevil. Shortly thereafter, Daredevil avenged his defeat.

Rejoining the Wizard and Sandman in France, they tried to steal a new fissionable material called Quadranium from NATO, but were unsuccessful.

The Trapster continued to operate with the Frightful Four for the next few years. They attempted to catch the Fantastic Four unaware by attacking them at the home of Agatha Harkness, but were repelled by her witchcraft.

Enlisting Thundra to fill their open fourth place, the Frightful Four launched three attacks against the FF in quick succession, but were ultimately betrayed by Thundra, and ended up in police custody.

Escaping, they again tried to defeat the FF, breaching the Baxter Building and taking the FF captive, they took on a new fourth member, the Brute, a counterpart of Reed Richards from the artificial Counter-Earth. The Brute’s strength was not enough to prevent another defeat, though.

Frightfuller still

They later took on Electro as their fourth member, and broke into the Baxter Building again, this time by Trapster being disguised as Spider-Man. Following another defeat, the Frightful Four disbanded.

Petruski redeveloped his weaponry, with the Tinkerer’s help. He integrated his shooters into the sleeves of his costume rather than using a gun, and developed new substances. Trapster then teamed up with Whirlwind, who had been sent to ambush Captain America. They tracked Cap down to the Mid-West, and the Trapster set up some adhesive traps on a section of little used road, which Whirlwind led Cap into.

While Captain America had his boots trapped by the paste, he still managed to get the better of Whirlwind. Cap managed to jump out of his boots far enough to avoid the paste, and then took out the Trapster, handing the pair over to the police. The pair soon escaped, however, and went their separate ways.

When the super-villains were organised by the Acts of Vengeance conspiracy, Trapster was sent against Spider-Man. In his initial attack he covered Spider-Man in paste and dropped him into the river. Returning to look for the body, to prove himself to his colleagues, he again encountered Spider-Man, who had escaped and had been infused with the power of Captain Universe, and who easily defeated Trapster.

Facts of vengeance

Transported to prison along with Titania and the Brothers Grimm, who had also been beaten by the Cosmic Spidey, they were released by Graviton, who had been similarly bested. They were recruited to join in an attack on Spider-Man to gain a bounty offered by the Chameleon. Despite their power, Spider-Man survived the attack, and eventually managed to beat them.

The Trapster in a violet costume over a white background

The Trapster found his moment of victory over Spider-Man when he teamed up with the Shocker, and they had Spidey at their mercy. Before they could finish him off, their employers said their payment would be doubled if they left Spider-Man alone, so they complied.

He was later hired by Norman Osborn to kill someone and frame Spider-Man for the murder. In order to cover up his complicity, Osborn then put out a contract on the Trapster’s life. The Trapster teamed up with Dusk (actually Spider-Man in disguise), to get back at Osborn. Petruski eventually confessed his part in the murder to the police, removing Osborn’s reason for wanting him dead.

Hired by Enclave, the Trapster helped the Genoshan Magistrates in an attempt to capture Mister Fantastic. Using equipment specially developed for the encounter, the Trapster managed to successfully capture Richards by neutralizing his costumes ability to stretch with him, with a similarly worked hood over his head.

A gang of four

He was later recruited to another iteration of the Frightful Four by the Wizard, alongside the She-Thing and the Punisher robot. They tried to uncover a hidden vault at the Silver Rock Springs reservation, but were opposed by the FF and their new member Doctor Doom (actually Richards trapped in the armour). The villains eventually gave up rather than offend Doom.

When the Gideon Trust gained access to the Negative Zone, they hired the Trapster as one of their N-Explorers. He was to lead their expedition to take advantage of the untapped resources there. Their incursion, causing damage to the wall between the dimensions, was discovered by the Fantastic Four, whom they ambushed and left shipwrecked in the Zone.

Tracking a powerful energy source they came into conflict with Annihilus, managing to capture him. They were then attacked by the combined forces of the Fantastic Four, Maximus, and the natives of the Zone, and were beaten and captured. Using a momentary distraction the Trapster and some of the other agents managed to escape, but were still trapped in the Zone.

Three of the Trapster's costumes

He somehow managed to escape, and rejoined the Frightful Four alongside the Wizard, Hydro-Man, and Salamandra, the Wizard’s ex-wife and mother of his daughter, Cole. Using Cole to infiltrate the Baxter Building, they attacked the FF.

The Wizard had secretly ordered the Trapster to arrange for Cole to accidentally die in the midst of the battle. However, when the Trapster was poised to strike, the Wizard betrayed him. He trapped Petruski in a self-contained time-loop, so that he’d relive his final moments forever.

Rubber and glue

Via his connection with the Tinkerer, the Trapster was enlisted into the secret army of technological villains serving Lucia Von Bardas, former Prime Minister of Latveria, in return for upgrades to the technology. In Trapster’s case included jets in his boots which allow him to fly.

She sent them after the group of heroes Nick Fury had previously sent to destroy her operations in Latveria (Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-Man, Luke Cage and Daredevil).

When the heroes appeared to be winning, Lucia activated devices hidden in the technological upgrades her agents had received, turning them all into one big bomb. Their lives were saved by SHIELD agent Daisy Miller, and Peter may have escaped in the confusion following the conflict.

When the government enacted the Superpower Registration Act, Trapster joined Hammerhead’s super-villain army, but was captured by Iron Man.


Personality

Trapster goes through periods of alternating confidence, sometimes being a self-assured professional, and other times doubting his abilities, and needing the respect and acceptance of his peers, trying his best to impress them.

He had a strong trust of his team mates, especially the Wizard, although this has probably been destroyed by his betrayal. He dislikes being reminded of his Paste-Pot Pete identity.


Quotes

“Imagine us beating the invincible Fantastic Four ! I can’t get over it ! We did what nobody else could ever do ! Not the Sub-Mariner ! Not Doctor Doom, or the Hulk ! Nobody — except the Frightful Four !”

“I’m through being called Paste-Pot Pete !.. It sounded too much like a comic title ! So from now on, I’ll be known as… the Trapster ! That’s a name with dignity… with drama to it !”

“I did it ! I really did it ! Me an’ Mister Fantastic went at it, one-on-one, toe-to-toe — an’ I beat him ! Heya, Mister Fantastic — who’s laughing now ?! Listen up, Paste-Pot Pete — this one’s for you !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Trapster

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 06 Wil: 05 Min: 04 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 006
Init: 015 HP: 045

Skills:
Gadgetry: 09, Scientist: 07, Vehicles (Air, Land): 05, Weaponry (Exotic): 08

Advantages:
Scholar (Chemistry), Stroke of Genius (Adhesives)

Connections:
Frightful Four (Low), Super-villain Community (Low), Tinkerer (High)

Drawbacks:
None

Equipment:

  • COSTUME [/BODY/ 05, Acid: 08, Cling: 06, Flight: 04, Friction Control (Decrease Only): 12, Glue: 15, Grappling Immunity: 04, Neutralize (Glue only): 15, Snare: 08, Bonuses & Limitations: Acid, Friction Control, Glue and Neutralize all have a range of 6 APs (-0), Note: Grappling immunity adds to RV against Grappling, Snare, Glue and so on]
  • 8AP C Omni-Gadgets (x3)
  • Bag of Traps:
    • Asbestos Tape. An attack which launches a fire-proof tape that engulfs its target, wrapping them up like a mummy : [BODY 06, Flame Immunity: 09, Snare: 08]
    • Energy Sphere. A fist sized globe which explodes on impact with a target, attacking them with an unidentified type of energy : BODY 04, Energy Blast: 08, Grenade Drawback]
    • Paralysis-Paste. A globe of paste which explode upon contact with its target, encasing them in a substance which holds them immobile for ten minutes : Paralysis: 11, Grenade Drawback]
    • Razor Drones (x6). A set of razor sharp discs which he can control. They can fly and emit a strong adhesive : DEX 06, BODY 06, Claws: 04, Glue (No Range): 08]
    • Sonic Sound Dart. A small dart which sticks to its target and emits a sonic attack that stuns the target : [BODY 03, Cling: 04, Flash (Audial, Range of Touch): 06]
    • Unstable Molecule Neutralizer. He has a polymer dust which can neutralize unstable molecules’ ability to stretch as its wearers body distorts, which allowed him to capture Mister Fantastic : [Neutralize (Stretching only, only works on character wearing costume of unstable molecules): 09]
    • Van-launched Trapper Missile. This was a fair sized missile that he remotely launched from a modified van, which locked on to its target’s unique body temperature signature : [DEX 10, BODY 08, Flight: 10, Bomb: 10, Detect (Body Temperature Signature): 06, Grenade Drawback]
    • Vibro-Shock Pulsator. A device he throws at a nearby target, which adheres to them and delivers an electric shock : [BODY 04, Cling: 04, Lightning (Touch): 08]

Previous Stats

As Paste-Pot Pete he initially had a bucket of his paste, with a tube leading out of it to his special gun : Paste Gun [BODY 05, Glue: 12]

He later changed this to the paste being stored in a container held on the back of his costume, with a tube leading to the gun, and an infrared sniper scope : Paste Gun [BODY 05, Glue: 12, Thermal Vision: 06].


Don’t call me Paste-Pot Pete

The Trapster has gone through periods of seriously fluctuating confidence. The above stats cover him in his confident phases. When suffering from self-doubt his Spirit is 03 APs, and his HPs drop to 35.

He first suffered a serious drop to his confidence during his time in the Frightful Four, after Medusa left the group, and he only had brief periods of true self-confidence during the following years.

Following his capture of Mr. Fantastic on behalf of the Enclave, he again regained his confidence, and retained it through his time working for the Gideon Trust. After escaping the Negative Zone, his confidence was again shattered.


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Trapster — Averaged PL 9

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
01 02 02 04 03 05 02 01

Devices

Costume ● 33 points (Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology, Chemistry
– Protection 2
– Slippery — Enhanced Strength 2, Limited 2 (only to escape grabs, snares, and bonds); Enhanced Advantage (Second Chance [resist grab/snare])
– Sticky Hands — Enhanced Strength 4, Limited (only for grabbing or adhering); Movement (Wall-crawling)
– Booster Jets — Flight 3
– Chemical Jets — Array

  • Glue — Ranged Affliction 14 (Dodge to avoid, Strength/Damage effect to recover; hindered and vulnerable, immobilized and defenseless), Alternate Resistance, Extra Condition, Limited to two degrees, Limited (contact with ground), Diminished Range
  • Snare — Snare 8, Diminished Range
  • Slick — Ranged Affliction 11 (resisted by Dodge or Acrobatics; hindered and vulnerable, prone and stunned), Alternate Resistance, Extra Condition, Limited to two degrees, Limited (contact with ground), Diminished Range
  • Acid Jet — Ranged Damage 7, Diminished Range
  • Nullify Adhesives 14, Diminished Range

Bag of traps Array ● 30 points (Removable) ● Descriptor: Technology

  • Asbestos Tape — Snare 8, Feature (fire damage is halved against tape), Diminished Range
  • Energy Sphere — Ranged Damage 8, Quirk (Str-based Range)
  • Paralysis-Paste Globe — Ranged Affliction 11 (hindered and vulnerable, immobilized and defenseless, paralyzed), Alternate Resistance (Dodge to avoid, Damage/Sleight of Hand to recover), Extra Condition, Quirk (Str-based Range)
  • Sonic Sound Dart — Dazzle (Auditory) 5, Quirk (Str-based Range)
  • Unstable Molecule Neutralizer — Weaken Elongation 9 (resisted by Dodge), Limited 2 (only on target wearing unstable molecules), Accurate, Alternate Resistance, Diminished Range 3
  • Vibro-shock Pulsator — Damage 8, Str-based Range, Secondary Effect, Quirk (secondary effect can be avoided by destroying the pulsator or nullifying its adhesive)
  • Razor Drones — Summon 4, Active, Controlled, Horde, Multiple Minions 3
    Razor Drones (x6)
    STR -2, STA -, AGI 0, DEX 0, INT -, AWE -5, PRE -; Affliction 8 (Dodge to avoid, Damage/Sleight of Hand to escape; hindered and vulnerable, defenseless and immobilized; Accurate 5, Extra Condition, Limited to one degree; AE: Damage 3, Accuracy 5), Immunity 30 (Fortitude), Protection 8, Shrinking 10 (Innate, Permanent); Offense: Init +0, Slice +10 Close (Damage 3), Glue +10 Close (Affliction 8 ); Defense: Dodge 10, Parry 10, Fort -, Will -, Tou 8. 18 points.

Combat Advantages

Defensive Roll 2, Power Attack, Ranged Attack 4

Other Advantages

Equipment 6, Inventor

Skills

Athletics 3 (+4), Close Combat: Unarmed 4 (+7), Deception 1 (+2), Expertise: Criminal 3 (+8), Expertise: Science 8 (+13), Expertise: Science 4 (+17, Limited to chemistry), Insight 4 (+6), Perception 5 (+7), Persuasion 1 (+2), Ranged Combat: Chemical sprays 4 (+12), Ranged Combat: Thrown weapons 4 (+12), Technology 11 (+16), Vehicles 4 (+8, Limited to land and air vehicles)

Equipment

Van-launched trapper missile — Size M, STR 0, Flight 8, DEF 10, TOU 10; Remote Controls; Area (burst) Damage 10 ( Limited 2 [blows up missile]), Senses (Ranged Detect Heat Signature) ● 29 points

Offense

Initiative +2
Unarmed +7, Close, Damage 1
Various devices +12, Ranged, see above

Defense

Dodge 9 Fortitude 7
Parry 7 Toughness 6/4*/2**
Will 4

* Without Defensive Roll
** Without Defensive Roll or costume

Complications

  • Greed Trapster is easily lured by the attraction of wealth.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack/Effect PL 13, Dodge/Toughness PL 8, Parry/Toughness PL 7, Fort/Will PL 6
  • Point total 160 Abilities 40, Defences 18, Skills 26, Powers 0, Devices 63, Advantages 13. Equiv. PL 11.

Early Pete

As Paste-Pot Pete he initially had a bucket of his paste, with a tube leading out of it to his special gun.
– Paste Gun — Ranged Affliction 12 (Dodge to avoid, Strength/Damage effect to recover; hindered and vulnerable, immobilized and defenseless), Alternate Resistance, Extra Condition, Limited to two degrees, Limited (contact with ground), Diminished Range ● Easily Removable

He later changed this to the paste being stored in a container held on the back of his costume, with a tube leading to the gun, and an infrared sniper scope :
– Paste Gun — Ranged Affliction 12 (Dodge to avoid, Strength/Damage effect to recover; hindered and vulnerable, immobilized and defenseless), Alternate Resistance, Extra Condition, Limited to two degrees, Limited (contact with ground), Diminished Range; Senses (Infrared Vision) ● Easily Removable

Don’t Call Me Paste-Pot Pete

The Trapster has gone through periods of seriously fluctuating confidence. The above stats cover him in his confident phases. When suffering from self-doubt, his Will is only 3, his Dodge is only 7, and he loses one rank of Defensive Roll.

He first suffered a serious drop to his confidence during his time in the Frightful Four, after Medusa left the group, and he only had brief periods of true self-confidence during the following years. Following his capture of Mr. Fantastic on behalf of the Enclave, he again regained his confidence, and retained it through his time working for the Gideon Trust. After escaping the Negative Zone, his confidence was again shattered.

By Gareth Lewis

Source of Character: Marvel Comics

Helper(s): Marvel.com , Gamers Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Sébastien Andrivet (for the Grappling Immunity from the King Cobra write-up), Peter S Piispanen. Two illustrations from rapsheet.co.uk . M&M game stats by Pawsplay.

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