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When I was arrested for not being registered, I was committing the unforgivable crime of taking my grandchildren out for ice cream. When I tried telling the gestapo that I had retired from tinkering after that so-called 'Secret War,' they accused me of rabble-rousing and dragged me to this hellhole without due process. I've been in this jail your friend and leader designed ever since. A prisoner of the super hero community you'd like me to assist.
~ The Tinkerer
Phineas Mason, also known as the Tinkerer, is an evil genius and inventor who most frequently opposes Spider-Man, but also makes gadgets, weapons, and upgrades for many various Marvel super-villains. In his first appearance, Mason, (as the Terrible Tinkerer) composed a conspiracy with Quentin Beck (later Mysterio) in which they pretended to be aliens infiltrating the worlds technology systems. After he was defeated, however, Tinkerer became a weapons dealer for many villains, using his scientific genius to build amazing creations.
Phineas started off as an engineer who owned a repair shop called "Phineas' Fix-It". He came across a Doombot one day, and adopted him, turning him into what is know known as Vincent Doonan. When superheroes began to rise, Mason resented their power, thinking them to be destructive and corrupt. He ended up taking the "Terrible Tinkerer" alias, and going first after Spider-Man.
He was first hired by Mysterio to help stage an alien invasion. He was able to construct spy equipment that would steal government secrets. When Spider-Man came to stop him, he ended up fleeing. He reappears when Kingpin needed him to rebuilt the Spider-Mobile to use against Spider-Man. He was also hired by Rocket Racer to help fight Spider-Man by upgrading his skateboard, and is hired again by Jackson Weele to help in creating a wheel-themed automobile. His working for supervillains continued for years to come.
He was eventually sent to prison by The Judge, and his son was taken by other villains that the Judge had set free. During an attempt to set up the Judge, he killed the Judge's wife and seriously injured the Judge. The Tinkerer revived them, giving them supernatural powers, and leaving the Judge without knowledge of that the Tinkerer had done. After becoming a superhero, he eventually found out about the Tinkerer's actions, but was set free.
The Avengers eventually captured and hired Killer Shrike to go after the Tinkerer. He led them to his lair, but he was electrocuted by a fail-safe. They raided the Tinkerer's lair and took villains that he supported into custody. The Tinkerer escaped, but he was spotted by Black Widow. They learned that the Tinkerer was being funded to make armor for other supervillains by Lucia von Bardas. This ended up infighting a "Secret War".
The Tinkerer eventually became suicidal, and helped Stilt-Man in hoped that he would get him killed. He ended up being found out by the Punisher and tied up. He later was arrested while buying ice-cream for his grandchildren for not filing underneath the Superhuman Registration Act. He later escaped but was again caught by Spider-Man and Iron-Man.
He reappeared after he was sought out by Human Torch and The Thing to help rebuild a device to help them get back to Earth. The Tinkerer refused at first because they were superheroes, but he eventually did after being moved by a speech.
The Vedomi Invasion
After a decade had passed, Phineas came across a robot built by an alien race from far away. He rebuilt it and befriended it, convincing it not to invade. It was eventually lost to a fire along with the notes that Phineas had taught it. At this point, the Tinkerer was very broken hearted, and decided to create a "tipping-point" for the Vedomi race if they ever returned to Earth. He did so by creating untraceable phones for supervillains. He received the help of Kingpin to distribute these. He also fabricated a persona so that the Superheroes would trust him, already having supervillain access. He dubbed this persona Hophni Mason. He used this to gather weaknesses and other information.
He was eventually taken into custody for domestic terrorism charges. He ended up working with Gray Blade, a rouge S.H.I.E.L.D. operative to help take down both superheroes and villains through what was called "Project Twilight". He hired the Vulture to try and take down a base after stealing it's valuable information, but Spider-Man and Teresa Parker ended up stopping this. The data from the sight was injected into Teresa's bloodstream. The Tinkerer has several supervillains go after Spider-Man, during this time he used his alias to lead Teresa to his lair to extract the information. He was captured after Gray Blade raided the lab. Spider-Man interrogated the Tinkerer just as The Vedomi headed to Earth, prompting Peter go to back in time to find the Tinkerer's notes that had burned.
Peter ceased Nanobots that he could use to trick The Vedomi into thinking that the Earth was baron. During this time, the Tinkerer escaped and got onto a Vedomi mothership where he suited up in a suit made out of their tech. He found Spider-Man and overpowered him, so Spider-Man tried to use the nanobots to get into his mind. They ended up seeing each others suffering, and came to an agreement. The Tinkerer ended up staying with The Vedomi so that he could help try to direct them away from killing.
Powers and Abilities
Phineas is a genius-level inventor and engineer. He was able to turn a stray Doombot into a human-like cyborg without knowing anything of the technology before. His expertise allows him to develop advanced weapons, robots, and other tech for both him and his allies. Many tech-themed supervillains come to him for upgrades and other advanced technology to help fight against the local superheroes.
A much younger version of the Tinkerer appeared in Spider-Man Homecoming, as the person who creates Vulture's suit, played by Michael Chernus.
The Tinkerer appeared in an episode where he obtained an artifact that would help Scorpion to enhance his powers.
Spectacular Spider-Man animated series
In this series, the Tinkerer worked with Mysterio to help design his weapons to try and defeat Spider-Man. He also worked with the Master Planner and oversaw the Sinister Six. He is last seen in the series when he was hired under Tombstone.
Marvel Super Hero Adventures
The Tinkerer appears in Marvel Super Hero Adventures. Spider-Man and Captain America team up to defeat him.
The Tinkerer is the main antagonist of the Marvel's Spider Man game. In this iteration, they are no longer an elderly caucasian man but rather a young African-American woman. Their name is Phin Mason, and they have a completely different backstory, this time being a vigilante who is redeemed in the end.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
The Tinkerer is the main antagonist of the 2009 video game, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2, having assisted Lucia Von Bardas in her plans, and being the true mastermind behind the creation of the nanites that were used during the Civil War, that would eventually become a collective known as the Fold. He was eventually defeated after a control panel exploded in his face.
Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows
The Tinkerer appears in Spider-Man: Web Of Shadows. He is broken out of his imprisonment by Spider-Man so that he could help to build a weapon to defeat simbyotes that were spread across Manhattan.
Later in this series, he planned to make a bomb out of them, but he was thwarted by Spider-man.
In the Shattered Dimensions game, he obtained the Tablet of Order and Chaos in order to make robots, but he was thwarted.
This is a list of Super-villains which Tinkerer helped, updated and created: