Episode 27: The Tinkerer & Other Makers

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The Tinkerer: First Appearance Amazing Spider-man #2,
Art Rosebaum: First Appearance Invincible #1
Jim Gambi: First Appearance Flash #141

The Tinkerer: First Appearance Amazing Spider-man #2

This week on The Heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show we’ll look at not one, but three characters, two are villains and one is, well, just a tailor and each comes from a different comics universe. Today we’ll be talking learning about Tinkerer from Marvel U, Arthur Rosebaum from Image and finally Paul Gambi from the DCU who designed costumes for many of Flash’s Rogues gallery. And what do all these characters have in common? They are all either gadget makers or suit makers for several characters in their comic universes.

I’ve always loved the idea of these types of characters, one on the periphery that for the most part aren’t villains or heroes, but support them using the amazing skills that they have. So let’s look at our first character, Phineas Mason, a.k.a The Tinkerer. Now this character did do a stint as an actual villain. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko way back in 1963 and actually first appeared in Amazing Spider-man issue #2. I didn’t realize he character had been around that long. He is an incredible inventor and is able to create fantastic machines, suits and weapons. He doesn’t have any powers, but he is able to create things that are just incredible. So in his first appearance he is actually committing crimes and is not just sitting on the sidelines. He is running a crew of thieves and they are bugging the office of political figures in order to blackmail them.

The odd thing is they he has them all dressed up like aliens. In the end his plan fails and he escapes when he is beaten by Spider-man. But again, there is a strange twist, the Tinkerer leaves behind a mask of himself that Spidey finds. This leaves Spidey to think, what, was he really an alien? But he’s not, he’s just a guy who can make just about anything, and I mean anything.


But Phineas decides he just wants to make things for people and collect the cash so he sets up a workshop that he disguises as an ordinary radio repair shop where he makes a lot of nasty things. Let’s look at a list of some of the items he has made for the villains of Marvel U. He’s made:

  • Mysterio’s suit
  • Vultures suit
  • Scorpion’s tail
  • Rocket Racer’s rocket powered skateboard
  • Diamondback’s new throwing diamonds
  • Grizzly’s new suit
  • Big Wheel’s big wheel
  • And he even rebuilt
  • Spider-man’s Spidey-Mobile

That’s just the short list of everything he’s worked on in the Marvel U, so you can see the Trickster is one of the original Maker’s before that got so big. One of the neat things about the Tinkerer is that he’s not just a genious when it comes to creating things, but he is also a shrewd businessman. For example, when Killer Shrike showed up to pick up his new weapons system he decided he didn’t want to pay, pointed his gauntlets at Phineas and fired. Well, they worked fine, but they fired back at Shrike who was knocked out cold. See The Tinkerer builds in fail safes so his weapons can’t be used on him. Smart.

Art Rosebaum: First Appearance Invincible #1

Next up in our little maker faire is Arthur Rosebaum from the Image Universe. He was created by Robert Kirkman and Bill Crabtree and first appears in Invincible #1 back in 2003. Now Art is more of a tailor who builds and construct suits for a lot of the heroes in Invincible comics and in the general Image Universe. But we mostly see him in Invincible. There is not a lot known about Art, but he is definitely someone that is trusted by the heroes he works with since they go to him in their civies. We see Art in the first issue of Invincible where Nolan Grayson a.k.a Omni Man takes his son, Mark Grayson a.k.a Invincible to get a suit when his powers manifest themselves. For more info on Invincible be sure to listen to episode 17 where we go over the origins of Invincible. Art hasn’t had a lot to do in Invincible for a while but recently we have learned that he is dating Omni Man’s ex-wife, something that Nolan is happy about, because trust me, if he wasn’t, art would be a stain on the rug.

Paul Gambi: First Appearance Flash #141

Lastly we’ll look at Paul Gambi from the DCU who we see mostly in Flash comics. His first appearance was in Flash # 141 and he was created by John Broome and the amazing Carmine Infantino. This was a bit tricky for me, to find a maker in the DCU that creates suits or weapons for several baddies. I was think about Luis Fox, but he mostly makes things for the Bat Family but then I posted something over on facebook asking who is a prolific maker in the DCU, and Shazam, Paul gambi.
So Paul, like Art, is a tailor by trade and he creates and maintains the uniforms of many of Flash’s Rogues gallery. In his first appearance he is discovered by the Flash by accident. While fighting the Top he finds a boy who is delivering a package, when he looks in the box that has opened, he sees a replacement Top costume. He asks the boy where he got the package and is told that the tailor Paul Gambi made it and asked him to deliver it. The Flash decides to investigate and goes undercover to Gambi’s shop. There he asks Gami to make him a super-villain suit. But Gambi and the Top try to capture Barry, but that of course fails, and Gambi is sent to prison. We don’t see him again until Final Crisis when the New Rogues beat Gambi to an inch of his life, leaving him near death in his own shop.

Of all the maker’s I have to say Gambi has the saddest arc, whereas Art is living a pretty good life. The Tinkerer is still around but is still around and building for villains and is actually going to be in the new Spider-Man: Homecoming film and is being played by Michael Chernus. I’m assuming he’s going to be the one we see making the Vultures super-villain costume and gear, and I have to tell you I cannot wait to see this move.