Character » Tinkerer appears in 253 issues.

    The Tinkerer is a Marvel character with an almost superhuman gift of genius in engineering, able to invent incredible gadgets from spare parts left lying around. His genius is comparable to the Fixer.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Tinkerer last edited by SlamAdams on 07/10/21 06:40AM View full history


    Phineas Mason is an insanely brilliant inventor who works for super villains designing their weaponry and gadgets, though he has been known to undertake criminal enterprises of his own. As his alias, the Tinkerer, he runs an underground military-style engineering bay disguised as a simple radio repair shop. Several times, customers have confronted Mason by entering his shop and presenting a radio to assist in his guise, often letting out a witty quip such as, "I've got a radio here that just can't carry a tune." The original scheme of the Tinkerer involved the employment of several thugs and placing bugs in repaired radios to gain secret information on people and blackmailing them. During an escape from Spider-Man he left behind a mask resembling his own face, and took off in a very UFO-like hovercraft. Thus it was believed for a short time that the Tinkerer's genius came from an alien culture and that Tinkerer himself was an alien.


    The Tinkerer (Phineas Mason), is a Marvel comic book character, created by writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko. The character first appears in Amazing Spider-Man #2 released in 1963. The character is also known as the Terrible Tinkerer.

    Character Evolution

    Although introduced as a villain in his original stories, the character of Tinkerer quickly developed into a supporting character and a reliable character for assisting and aiding many other super villains with their gadgets and technology. The character has many associations and known acquaintances among the villain community, interacting and building technology for characters like Kingpin, Diamondback, Scorpion, Black Cat, Grizzly, Goldbug, Jester, Hobgoblin (Phil Urich), Hypno Hustler, Grim Reaper, Eddie Brock, Vulture, Constrictor, Beetle, Jack O Lantern, Hammerhead, Stilt-Man and Big Wheel.

    Major Story Arcs

    Fighting Spider-Man

    The second time he encountered Spider-Man, he deployed the Toy. The Toy was a high-tech robot Tinkerer used as a lieutenant of sorts; it assisted around the shop and acted as a lackey.

    Tinkerer for the Underworld

    The Tinkerer can be linked to several mainstream villains. He created the illusion-suit for Mysterio, as well as Rocket Racer's gear and rocket-board. He has fixed Grizzly's power-suit and worked for Black Cat on several occasions. The Tinkerer, regardless of all his criminal endeavors, has never been caught or brought to justice. Because of his loner style, apart from the Toy, Tinkerer takes numerous precautions in his arming of criminals. For instance, Killer Shrike commissioned the Tinkerer to improve his power gauntlets. When it came time for the product to be delivered, Shrike decided to use the gauntlets to avoid payment. Tinkerer activated a fail-safe protocol and the gauntlets backfired, severely wounding Killer Shrike. Tinkerer's son, Rick Mason, is known as the Agent. The Agent is a world-class spy for the American government, and despite their obvious moral disagreements the two have remained on good terms and meet often.

    Secret War

    The Tinkerer often aided his son; however, Rick was killed in action, and though his action greatly hurt the Tinkerer it motivated him to mend his ways and begin working with law enforcement agencies. He maintained his connection to super villains; however, this was only done to give information to SHIELD discreetly. Nick Fury discovered a link between the weaponry of most known technology-based villains and the kingdom of Latveria. The Tinkerer wass revealed to have received nearly all his funding and presumably his resources and technology from investments made by Dr. Doom. SHIELD agents made a raid on the Tinkerer's workshop by using Killer Shrike as a mole. When the agents finally converged on the workshop, Tinkerer fled to Latveria to avoid justice. Several agents and Killer Shrike were struck down by Tinkerer's security systems.

    Civil War

    In the beginning of the Civil War series Phineas is seen as a broken and defeated man. After losing his son in action, he loses his grandson in the Stamford, Connecticut explosion. He becomes drastically suicidal, but continues work hoping that super heroes and villains will simply wipe each other out. Because of his actions and exchanges with super villains Frank Castle stabs Tinkerer in the back. Phineas begs for death, but the Punisher simply leaves him paralyzed. Phineas, for the rest of the Civil War series, is seen bound to a wheelchair.

    Secret Invasion

    During the Secret invasion it is revealed that the Tinkerer was taken into custody during the Civil War and transferred to the prison in the Negative Zone where he is being held without trial. When Lyja causes the top of the Baxter Building (with the Human Torch, the Thing and Franklin and Valeria Richards inside) to be transferred to the Negative Zone, the Thing breaks into Reed Richard's prison to enlist the help of the Tinkerer in returning them all to the Positive Zone. The Tinkerer initially refuses to help the Thing, but is swayed by Franklin Richard's heartfelt defense of his father.

    Powers and Abilities

    The Tinkerer is incredibly intelligent, and uses his intelligence to construct a multitude of high tech devices and tools. His brilliant knowledge and understanding of basic components, tools, mechanical objects coupled with his bast knowledge in a multitude of scientific disciplines allows him to construct and engineer all manner of incredible gadgets and items. Tinkerer is renown for being able to use basic and humble everyday house hold items and convert them into much more sophisticated items.

    Physical Characteristics

    Height: 5' 8"

    Weight: 170 lbs

    Eyes: Grey

    Hair: White

    Alternate Versions


    Ultimate Tinkerer
    Ultimate Tinkerer

    The Ultimate Universe Tinkerer is a man by the name of Elijah Stern. He is also noticeably younger than his mainstream Marvel Universe counterpart.

    Stern is a former employee of Roxxon Corp. who has hired Killer Shrike Omega Red, and Vulture to torment his former boss. All of this transpired after Stern had discovered a way to use vibranium as an endless power supply, but this plan was discovered by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Stern was offered the choice to work with SHIELD or be killed. Tinkerer, almost always avoiding conflict, now works for SHIELD.

    Stern is later betrayed and killed by Aaron Davis, one of his former clients. Davis then steals Stern's technology, and uses it to battle the new Spider-Man.

    Other Media


    The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008)

    The Tinkerer in the animated series
    The Tinkerer in the animated series

    The Tinkerer appears in the 2008 animated television series The Spectacular Spider-Man. This interpretation of Phineas Mason depicts the character as much younger. Much like his mainstream comic identity he creates and upgrades devices for many super villains. Tinkerer is voiced by Thom Adcox.


    Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

    Michael Chernus (right) as the Tinkerer
    Michael Chernus (right) as the Tinkerer

    Tinkerer appears as one of the main villains in the film, portrayed by Michael Chernus. Like the Ultimate Tinkerer, this version of the character is a much younger man.

    He is an employee at Adrian Toomes' salvage company, but after the company is run out of business by Tony Stark's new Damage Control business, he and his coworkers turn to a life of crime. The Tinkerer begins making supervillain weaponry out of technology salvaged from the Chitauri (as seen in The Avengers), the Dark Elves (as seen in Thor: The Dark World) and other battles from past movies.

    Video Games

    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009)

    Tinkerer in Ultimate Alliance 2
    Tinkerer in Ultimate Alliance 2

    Tinkerer is depicted as the primary antagonist, but not the final boss. During the Secret Wars introductory stages of the game, it is quickly revealed he has been supplying an array of villains, including Lucia Von Bardas, with technology. The first battle takes place near a reactor core, against his Tank-bot, which is subsequently destroyed while the Tinkerer seizes an opportunity to escape. After some of Iron Man's nanite injected villains defect from his control, Tinkerer appears in Nick Fury's base, giving hint of his knowledge concerning whom might be "pulling the strings." During infiltration of the Negative Zone holding facility, dubbed Prison 42, Tinkerer absconds from Fury's base. Soon after he is shown to be the creator of the nanite-inflicted villain's hive mind, coming to be known as the Fold. Next seen in Reykjavík, Iceland with two Fold subordinates, where he and the heroes do battle once more, the latter victorious in this instance again. Coming to his senses, he decides to explain himself and his research into the nanites at Nick Fury's base of operations, stating the Fold has evolved to become unresponsive to all signals. After obtaining a pure sample of the nanites he once again vanishes, only to reappear on the tower in Iceland, where he is finally defeated indefinately when his robot toys (replicating certain villain powers) explode in his face.Tinkerer is voiced by Philip Proctor.

    Spider-Man: Miles Morales

    No Caption Provided

    In the Miles Morales spinoff of PS4's Spider-Man, Phin Mason is a black female friend of Miles. They grew up together, and their interest in science developed together. They created an energy converter that won them a science award when they were younger, but they grew apart when Miles moved and started attending a new school. After her brother, Rick, was taken advantage of by Roxxon, she used programmable matter to create the Tinkerer identity and led The Underground against Roxxon's new Harlem based power station and their unstable new energy, NuForm.


    This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

    Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

    Comment and Save

    Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.