Amazing Spider-Man #160
Issue(s): Amazing Spider-man #160
It's part of an attack by the Tinkerer, in his first appearance since issue #2. Spider-Man's powers are also short-circuited during the fight...
...and Spider-Man has to flee. It runs away when Spidey hides on a police car.
It attacks again later, and this time Spider-Man gets inside and rides it back to the Tinkerer.
The question of whether the Tinkerer is an alien or not is settled: he's not, he just cleverly pretended to be one so that Spidey and others just assumed that he left the planet along with the aliens that were employing him. He's been working behind the scenes, selling weapons to others instead of engaging in any direct crimes. But someone (it'll turn out to be the Kingpin) has hired him to attack Spider-Man directly, and he does so with the Spider-Mobile and a gas that shuts off Spidey's powers.
We again see "Toy", the Tinkerer's young black clean-shaven giant (who is a robot, but that won't be explicitly revealed for a long time).
Spidey fights Toy...
...and the Tinkerer at the most physical we'll ever see him...
...and eventually uses the Spider-Mobile's webbing to wrap them up.
He then returns the Spider-Mobile to Carter and Lombardo at Corona Motors, the people the licensed the Mobile.
Also in this issue, Peter and MJ visit Aunt May in the hospital, and find that Harry Osborn and Liz Allan are a couple.
And JJ is having trouble keeping a secretary.
Even as a joke, we didn't have to see the Spider-Mobile ever again, but it's cool for Wein to bring back the Tinkerer, and as always it's the mix of this stuff with Peter Parker's large supporting cast that gives this book its special appeal, even at a time when the title wasn't at its best.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: Pushing this back in publication time to allow ASM #163-164 to sync up with Marvel Team-Up #52.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (4): showAunt May, Carter, Harry Osborn, J. Jonah Jameson, Joe 'Robbie' Robertson, Liz Allan, Lombardo, Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man, Tinkerer, Toy
Toy was indeed later revealed as a robot.
Another reference to "My Mother, the Car".
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 21, 2011 9:59 PM
Okay it wasn't all Len Wein for sure but I'm glad he dusted Tinkerer off so that eventually he'd be one of the service people for super villains and such.
Posted by: david banes | September 20, 2014 8:22 PM
Further maddening evidence of Marvel's inability to spell the names of its own characters consistently, as demonstrated by Peter's thought-balloon reference to Liz "Allen." And that's from a former EIC--shame!
Posted by: Matthew Bradley | June 23, 2015 11:10 AM
Even though it doesn't happen this issue, I like how they brought back the Tinkerer and made him a behind-the-scenes villain. I think he's weak when he tries to commit actual crimes himself; better he's always in the background building tech and selling it. At least overall, it was worth bringing him back after such a long, seemingly one-and-done appearance (which is more than I can say for, say, the Miracle Man…).
Posted by: mikrolik | October 18, 2015 11:58 AM
The Tinkerer karate chopping Spider-man away has to be right up there with the Puppet Master's kung fu kick to the Vision in terms of "where the frag have they been hiding those skills".
Posted by: kveto | August 10, 2016 3:43 PM
The letters page here has editorial nailing down the idea that the Spider-Sense warns against all dangers, contradicting the way Conway depicted it.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 5, 2017 5:42 PM
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