Quote1 Don't go away Toy-- I need you! Friends don't leave each other! If you go away , I'll be all alone... I don't want to be alone... I don't want to be alone... Quote2
-- The Tinkerer src

Early Life

Phineas Mason was a brilliant scientist and engineer skilled in invention.[2] When he was middle-aged, he had a repair shop named Phineas' Fix-It. One evening while closing his business, he came across a confused fleeing Doombot. Phineas took pity in the robot and adopted him. After using the Doombot as an assistant for years, Mason grafted an artificial membrane with the appearance of human skin onto the robot's surface to help it blend in society, with the Doombot later adopting the name of Vincent Doonan.

With the emergence of superheroes some years later, Mason began to loathe these beings he considered used their abilities recklessly. He eventually became obsessed with superhumans so much that he decided to become a supervillain himself, taking up the alias of the "Terrible Tinkerer" and targeting Spider-Man to get rid of him. This development prompted Vincent to leave Mason's side.[3]

Criminal Career

Tinkerer's first known job was when he was hired by Quentin Beck. As part of an elaborate scheme, the Tinkerer hired actors to masquerade as an alien invasion force. From his workshop, he would repair people's radios and place cameras and other spying equipment inside them in order to steal government secrets. Peter Parker picked one up for his teacher and eventually discovered the device and returned dressed as Spider-Man. Discovering the "aliens" plan, he was eventually captured but later freed himself and in the ensuing struggle as the base caught fire. While everyone fled the Tinkerer dropped a fake mask of his face, which Spider-Man picked up and became convinced they were all real aliens.[2]

He reappeared years later, reconstructing the Spider-Mobile at the orders of the Kingpin and attacking Spider-Man with it.[4]

Rocket Racer hired the Tinkerer to redesign his skateboard after his first defeat by Spider-Man. Rocket Racer was then hired by Jackson Weele to steal evidence that might incriminate him. Farrell used the evidence to blackmail Weele. He attempted suicide but Farrell stopped him but still mocked Weele calling him Big Weele. Weele, annoyed by Farrell, hired the Tinkerer himself to construct the Big Wheel.[5]


After being sent to prison by The Judge and losing his son Rick to criminals the Judge himself had set free, The Tinkerer tried to set him up. However, in the process, he accidentally killed the judge's wife and seriously injured the Judge. Feeling guilty for his actions he attempted to revive him, he succeeded but through unknown means, the Judge gained supernatural powers. This left him with no memory of the Tinkerer's actions.[6]

Using his new powers, dubbed "The Jury", the pair tracked and killed several criminals before journalist Katherine Farrell began investigating. She eventually uncovered the truth and told the Judge about the Tinkerer accidentally killing his wife. In his anger, the Judge unleashed the Jury, who did not slay Mason because they deemed him repenting for what he had done and the Judge left Mason.[7]

Secret War

After capturing Killer Shrike following his skirmish with the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents convinced him to work with them to capture the Tinkerer. Killer Shrike led them right to the Tinkerer's hideout, but the inventor suspected that Shrike had been compromised, electrocuting him before escaping through a series of underground tunnels. After raiding his hideout, S.H.I.E.L.D. found costumes and weaponry prepared for such villains as the Vulture, the Grim Reaper and the Grizzly, among others.[8]

Shortly afterward, the Black Widow contacted S.H.I.E.L.D. from Latveria where she witnessed the Tinkerer getting into a government-licensed vehicle. S.H.I.E.L.D. soon discovered that the Tinkerer was being subsidized to create the armor and weaponry worn by so many costumed criminals by Latveria's president, Lucia von Bardas. Nick Fury took this information to the President of the United States, believing these actions on von Bardas' part to constitute an act of terrorism.[8] The President, however, told Fury to stand-down on the matter, prompting him to commence his unsanctioned Secret War against von Bardas using a number of superheroes.[9]

Civil War

Ironically and unfortunately, while out buying ice cream for his grandchildren, the Tinkerer was arrested for not registering under the Superhuman Registration Act despite being retired and no longer active. He was not given a fair trial and was sentenced to prison in the Negative Zone during the Civil War.[citation needed]

He apparently escaped, but was apprehended by Spider-Man and Iron Man and charged for having black market connections by selling illegal superhero equipment.[10]

Secret Invasion

When Lyja transported the Baxter Building into the Negative Zone as the Secret Invasion began, the Human Torch and The Thing sought out the Tinkerer's aid to rebuild Reed Richards' portal generator so that they could return to Earth and fight the Skrulls. However, the former villain refused, stating that he lost his family when he was arrested and saw nothing to gain from aiding the heroes. Franklin pleaded with the man, saying that his father would not have supported the arrest of the Tinkerer because he was a good man and begged for help. The Tinkerer was moved to tears by the young boy's plea and agreed to aid them. He, along with Grimm, Storm, Valeria Richards, and Franklin returned to Earth in the war-torn New York City.[11]

Tinkerer later repaired Hypno-Hustler's costume while in jail.[12]

Superior Spider-Man

The Hobgoblin later visited Tinkerer to have his gear upgraded so that he could evade Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Peter Parker's body). It was revealed that Tinkerer had taken in Tiberius Stone as a secret apprentice as Tiberius got revenge on Hobgoblin by making it so that Hobgoblin's tech failed him.[13]


Scientific Genius: The Tinkerer possesses extensive knowledge in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, as well as a high degree of expertise in designing and manufacturing innovative weapons and devices, even by using parts from pre-existing devices as unsophisticated as a color television set or an automatic gun.

Strength level

Normal human male with minimal regular exercise.


Paraplegic: After being tracked down by the Punisher, he was spared an untimely death because he technically did not commit any crime and was merely guilty of working for criminals. So the Punisher let him off "light" by severing his spinal cord with a screwdriver; the Punisher version of "a warning". He later regained the use of his legs under unknown circumstances.


Various items he has invented.


Various weapons he has invented.

  • With the introduction of Phineas' brother Hophni, the Tinkerer appears to have been named after the biblical character Phineas (or Phinehas), son of Eli, whose brother was also named Hophni.

Discover and Discuss


  1. Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #299
  2. 2.0 2.1 Amazing Spider-Man #2
  3. Unbelievable Gwenpool #9
  4. Amazing Spider-Man #159-160
  5. Amazing Spider-Man #182-183
  6. Deadline #3
  7. Deadline #4
  8. 8.0 8.1 Secret War #1
  9. Secret War #2
  10. Invincible Iron Man #7
  11. Secret Invasion: Fantastic Four #3
  12. Avenging Spider-Man #13
  13. Superior Spider-Man #15
  14. All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #11
  15. Avengers Vol 3 #21
  16. Amazing Spider-Man 183
  17. Amazing Spider-Man #182
  18. Web of Spider-Man #58
  19. 19.0 19.1 Amazing Spider-Man #159
  20. Captain America #324
  21. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #58
  22. Punisher War Journal Vol 2 #1
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Sensational She-Hulk #59
  24. Civil War II: Amazing Spider-Man #2
  25. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #12[verification needed]
  26. Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #12

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