Spider-Man: Homecoming is a mere two months away from slinging its way into theaters around the world, and now fans have another Spidey morsel to obsess over before the film officially releases. Today, one lucky Reddit user got their issue of the Homecoming-themed Empire Magazine early, and inside was a production still featuring the very first look at Michael Chernus’ take on the villainous Tinkerer.
The still was posted by Reddit user jonman7502 and shows Chernus standing beside the film’s main antagonist, the Vulture, played by Michael Keaton. The pairing is perfect. The Tinkerer is an engineering genius typically employed by supervillains to devise devious gadgets for the purposes of murder and mayhem. Keaton’s Vulture is one of the few Marvel cinematic universe villains who bears no superpowers or devastating genetic mutations. He is simply a man unfortunate enough to have come across a life-changing weapon. It makes sense that he would be allied with the Tinkerer, one of the few human beings clever enough to fix or upgrade the Vulture’s arsenal.
Chernus’ portrayal of the Tinkerer differs greatly from his on-page depiction. In the comic books, the Tinkerer, whose real name is Phineas Mason, is a withered, bespectacled old man. Chernus’ Tinkerer wears bright blue overalls and a head-mounted magnifying tool. Visually, Homecoming’s Tinkerer is a major departure for the character.
Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the Tinkerer first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #2 in 1963. The Tinkerer’s comic book inventions are numerous. He created the suit worn by the supervillain Mysterio and the Scorpion’s mechanized tail. At one point, he was hired by Kingpin to booby trap Spider-Man’s Spider-Mobile after the hero crashed it in the Hudson River. In The Amazing Spider-Man #160, the Tinkerer turned the car into an automated nemesis that eventually caught Spider-Man with its webbing and dragged him back to the Tinkerer.
Homecoming looks to a take a modern approach to the Tinkerer. The film follows up on the events of Captain America: Civil War and sees Peter Parker getting his feet wet in the superhero business. He is pitted against the Vulture, a criminal who happens upon a flight suit and uses it to wreak havoc on New York City.
Debuting in theaters on July 7, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a production of Columbia Pictures directed by Jon Watts that stars Tom Holland as Spider-Man, Michael Keaton as the Vulture, Zendaya as Michelle, Jacob Batalon as Ned, Laura Harrier as Liz Allan, Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, Bokeem Woodbine as the Shocker, Marisa Tomei as May Parker and Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man.