Tag Archives: Paste-Pot Pete

The Fantastic Four #36, Mar. 1965

The Fantastic Four #36, Mar. 1965

Proudly produced by Smilin’ Stan Lee and Jolly Jack Kirby
Inked by: Chic Stone
Lettered by: Artie Simek

All right, the Frightful Four! They took two shitty villains that the Human Torch had fought on his own (Paste-Pot Pete and the Wizard), added in a classic Spidey baddie (Sandman), and created a lady who can control her hair in crazy ways (Madam Medusa). Because they had to have a girl. You know, to match the Fantastic Four. They’re very dedicated to their theme.

The Sandman breaks himself and Paste-Pot Pete out of jail, and they rescue the Wizard before his own antigravity device flies him into orbit (as seen in Strange Tales #118). The three of them decide to tackle the Fantastic Four (even though they’ve all been beaten by just Johnny Storm by himself in the past), but they need a girl partner. The Wizard finds a lady who lives in a cave and who has prehensile hair to fill in as their fourth member, and they dub themselves the Frightful Four!

Meanwhile, Reed Richards and Sue Storm finally announce their engagement! How exciting! After the big party (attended by the X-Men and the Avengers, where Thor gives an actually touching line about envying Mr. Fantastic. Also Spider-Man steals a piece of cake because he wasn’t invited. Aww), The Frightful Four sneak in and handily dispatch all but the Torch, who is out playing with cars. Alicia, the Thing’s blind girlfriend, manages to let off a warning shot, and Johnny comes back to save everyone. Dammit.

I hate it when the Human Torch saves the day. I really do. Especially in a case like this, where all these villains are basically Torch B-listers (except the Sandman, who I still say should be basically invincible). Having Paste-Pot Pete and a lady with crazy hair completely immobilize the Thing… That’s just not cool, man.


Strange Tales #124, Sept. 1964

Strange Tales #124, Sept. 1964

Written by: Smilin’ Stan Lee
Illustrated by: Darlin’ Dick Ayers
Inked by: Peerless P. Reinman
Lettered by: Adorable Art Simek

Written inside a haunted house by: Stan Lee
Illustrated inside a gypsy’s tent by: Steve Ditko
Inked inside a hidden cave by: Geo. Bell
Lettered inside… because it was raining outside, by: S. Rosen

It’s the return of the stupidest named character in comics, Paste-Pot Pete! That poor bastard tries so hard to not be terrible, doing so many costume changes and name changes (later he goes by “Trapster”, thinking that his dumb name is the reason nobody takes him seriously), but no matter what he does, he’s still a glue-based villain with an inferiority complex. In a way, I like ol’ Pete. It’s nice to know that some awful villains actually realize how bad they are, and you sure can’t blame the guy for trying.

Thanks to him helping the Avengers beat Dr. Zemo, Paste-Pot Pete is out of jail. He hasn’t reformed, of course, and has made a new outfit for himself that he thinks is less ridiculous. He’s only technically right. His plan involves capturing the Thing so that his old enemy the Human Torch will come to save him, which is a solid plan except for the fact that now you’re fighting two of the Fantastic Four instead of just one, and glue just ain’t gonna cut it.

Dr. Strange finds some mysterious woman while out on an ethereal walk and brings her back to his place. She’s surrounded by some sort of weird magic shit, but luckily that’s Strange’s field of expertise. He realizes that she’s from the past, so he goes back in time to save her. He finds an evil magician named Zota and easily defeats him, then gets back to the present in the nick of time. The enemy defeated, Dr. Strange frees the mysterious woman… Cleopatra! BUM BUM BUMMM!

I never realized how much superhero involvement Cleopatra had. First Iron Man saves her kingdom, and now Dr. Strange saves her from some time-travelling magic spell. Really the biggest difference is that Dr. Strange didn’t try to feel her up when he saved her, unlike that horndog Tony Stark. That’s right, historical ladies, if you want to be saved but you don’t want to be creepily leered at, choose the mystical sorcerer who lives in a library by himself instead of the playboy millionaire. Keep that in mind.

Strange Tales #110, July 1963

Strange Tales #110, July 1963

Plot: Stan Lee
Script: H.E. Huntley
Art: Dick Ayers/Steve Ditko
Letterer: John Duffy/Terry Sczenics

This is the first appearance of Dr. Strange, the sorcerer supreme! He skips a couple issues before he becomes recurring, but once he does, it by and far surpasses the solo Human Torch adventures it shares a mag with. Actually, of all these 60’s heroes, Dr. Strange ended up being one of my favorites. Definitely a big portion of it is from the crazy Steve Ditko stoner art.

The Torch spends a while remembering the last time he fought the Wizard and Paste-Pot Pete, then by complete coincidence, they team up against him! Their plan basically involves putting him in a room full of mirrors and… hoping that incapacitates him. Paste-Pot Pete tries to use his glue, but the Torch burns through it like, two panels later. In the end, the two shitty villains were no match for the one shitty superhero.

Dr. Strange is a master of the mystic arts, and some guy who’s being haunted by horrible dreams comes to him for a cure. Dr. Strange waits until the guy sleeps, then projects his spirit body into the guy’s dream. It turns out it’s caused by his internal guilt about stealing from business partners, but Dr. Strange is almost killed when Nightmare (a guy who is a nightmare, I assume) traps him while the guy shoots at Dr. Strange. Luckily, he has a magic amulet that does anything he needs to happen, and both gets out of the dream and forces the guy to confess.

This is a pretty shitty, and very short, Dr. Strange adventure, but I swear, they get better! Way better! In fact, when it comes time to replace one of the two recurring features, it’s the shitty solo Human Torch ones that get knocked aside in exchange for Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD. Once this mag becomes Dr. Strange and Nick Fury, it becomes pretty much the greatest thing ever.

Strange Tales #104, Jan. 1963

Strange Tales #104, Jan. 1963

Plot: Stan Lee
Script: Larry Lieber
Art: Jack Kirby
Inking: Dick Ayers
Lettering: A. Simek

This issue introduces Paste-Pot Pete, who would later change his name to the Trapster, because “Paste-Pot Pete” is so goddamn ridiculous that even other characters in the comic books were making fun of it. Seriously, can you imagine a guy trying to rob you after announcing that his name is Paste-Pot Pete? It wouldn’t work.

The issue starts with Johnny “The Human Torch” Storm walking into a bank and “almost signing the deposit slip ‘Human Torch’!” You see why he’s an idiot? Anyway, another idiot in a beret with a gun that shoots glue robs the store and Johnny gives chase. There’s an epic struggle between the two base elements of fire and paste, but in the end, fire wins out. Pete actually escapes at the end of the adventure, however, which is pretty unusual for this time period.

We’ve also got Markham’s Magic Crayon!¬†which is about a jerk who owns a crayon factory who fires and old man who makes a “magic” crayon instead of mass-producing them. He picks up the crayon and starts drawing a masterpiece, but he can’t put the crayon down! Oh no, I guess! Then there’s The Frog-Man!, where an evil king gets turned into a frog, so he decides to sleep for a thousand years and wake up when mankind has developed an antidote for magical frogism. When he awakes, he sees a giant frog! People have evolved into frogs! The evil king kills himself, even though it was just a guy in a frog suit for a costume party. HOW IRONIC.

I just really don’t get Paste-Pot Pete. He’s such a stupid character with such a dumb name, and yet they keep bringing him back over and over again. Hell, he becomes one of the Frightful Four, the anti-Fantastic Four as the Trapster. Which is STILL STUPID. How the hell would a glue gun like that work, anyway?