SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the “Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man” story in Marvel’s “Secret Empire” Free Comic Book Day release.
Readers got an early taste of Marvel’s upcoming new volume of “Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man” this past Saturday with a 10-page story from series writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Paolo Siqueira, part of the publisher’s “Secret Empire” Free Comic Book Day release.
The first glimpse of Zdarsky’s take on a solo Spider-Man story was, unsurprisingly from the “Sex Criminals” and “Howard the Duck” veteran, fun and funny — including Spider-Man conflating the pop culture website Vulture with his old villain Adrian Toomes, and Vulture contemplating using the name “The Falcon” if Sam Wilson isn’t using it — and Siqueira’s art made for a playful, expressive match. The short story also included a quick debut from a new villain using an old name: The Trapster.
The Trapster, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, dates back to the early days of Marvel’s Silver Age and is best known to comics fans for originally using one of the most-mocked names in Marvel history — Paste Pot Pete — and for the unconventional signature tactic of using glue-based weaponry. The new Trapster appears to be a completely new character (and unlike the original Trapster, is a woman). She shows up casually dressed in hip sunglasses, leather jacket and scarf, eschewing usual supervillain attire, and immediately offended Spider-Man by calling him and Vulture “a couple of old guys.” (Spidey doesn’t help his cause by asking if she spells it “Trapstr.”)
“You’ve been running around in your tights since I was a kid,” the new Trapster tells Spidey. “I bet that mask is to hide your wrinkles.” To further rub it in, Vulture tells Spider-Man, “She reminds me of you when we first met.” It’s notable that during a time when the live-action Spider-Man is younger than ever — 20-year-old Tom Holland — a new villain is reminding the comic book Spidey that he’s definitely not a high-schooler anymore.
Not much else is revealed about the new Trapster in the story — she’s on-panel for one page total — so questions as to her identity and motives (other than robbing other bad guys, as she does to the Vulture) remain to be revealed, presumably in the pages of “Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man” when it debuts in June. Also unrevealed: what the original Trapster, who was recently seen as part of last year’s “Avengers: Standoff” story, makes of this.
The FCBD story opened with a sit-down lunch with Peter Parker and Mary Jane, in some of the more substantial quality time the two once-married characters (in one continuity or another) have shared in recent years.
“Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man” #1, from Chip Zdarsky and Adam Kubert, is scheduled for release on June 21.