Villain Bio: The Terrible Tinkerer

Tinkerer in Amazing Spider-Man #2Tinkerer in Amazing Spider-Man #2

Villain Bio: The Terrible Tinkerer

The Terrible Tinkerer, art by Ditko. Pre-Retconned version.

The Terrible Tinkerer, art by Ditko. Pre-Retconned version.

The Tinkerer is a perfect example of how a villain (or any other character) can be retconned into something very different from the original intent of the writer who created him. In this case, Stan Lee, the Tinkerer's creator, used a common trope (aliens hidden among us), to introduce Spider-Man's first (and, at the time, only) alien foe.  As first presented, the Tinkerer was an alien disguised as a human repairman who was spearheading an alien invasion.  He only had one Silver Age appearance, in Spidey #2.  However, he was later retconned to be, in fact, a real human who had tricked Spider-Man and others into believing he was an alien in order to stay hidden and unknown.  As the retcon goes, the Tinkerer is actually the tech guy/armorer for many supervillains.       As retcons go, this one was actually worthwhile, and helps explain how so many bad guys have their hands on such good technology.  

 Silver Age Appearance(s) of the Terrible Tinkerer (plus his first post-Silver Age Appearance)


1. Amazing Spider-Man #2 -vs. Spider-Man (Note: 1st Appearance is in first of two stories in this issue)



2. Amazing Spider-Man  #160-(1976-After Silver Age)

  While Tinkerer only had one appearance in the Silver Age, he was retconned later to have been human (in ASM #2, he was portrayed by Lee and Ditko as an alien disguised as a human), who had disguised himself as an alien to escape detection.  The retcon, however, also turned him into a significant part of the underground supervillain society in the Marvel Universe.  As it turned out, Tinkerer was the “tech guy” for many supervillains, including Mysterio (he made Mysterio’s suit), Scorpion (made Scorp’s tail), among many others. Other villains the retconned Tinkerer has worked with/for include Hammerhead, Jack O’Lantern, Black Cat, the Beetle, the Owl, the Jester, Diamondback, Whirlwind, Grizzly, and the Latverian government of Countess Luciana Von Bardas, among many others.

Sources on the Tinkerer:


About the Author

Roger Lee

Roger Lee is a life-long comic book and sci-fi aficionado. As such, he fell into the habit of writing about the superheroes and sci-fi scenarios that he reads in the comics and books and sees on screen. Since writings on superheroes need to be shared, he has written for web audiences for years. His writings have appeared on,,, and now in

Be the first to comment on "Villain Bio: The Terrible Tinkerer"

Leave a comment