Phin Mason is the secondary antagonist in Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. A close friend of Miles Morales growing up, she went onto becoming the Tinkerer and leader of the Underground, who wage war against Roxxon. She was capable of using powerful programmable matter which power weapons used by both her and the Underground.
Phin grew up with Miles, who considered her to be like a sister to him. She also has an older brother, Rick Mason, another one of Miles' childhood friends, who worked at Roxxon. Though Miles and Phin were inseparable growing up, Miles' move to Harlem led to them growing apart. Later, the death of Rick at the hands of the negligent Roxxon corporation drives her to lead the Underground and wage war against Roxxon, ran by Simon Krieger, in order to take revenge.
Phin was born on 21 February 2002 in Brooklyn, New York. Following the death of her parents when she was young, Phin was raised by her older brother, Rick, whom she was very close to. She was a childhood friend of Miles Morales growing up, who considered her to be like a sister to him.
Phin made numerous inventions, including velociskates and sonar goggles. Working with Miles and with the help of Rick, she created an energy converter that won the award science convention of New York City, leading it to be displayed at an Oscorp Science Center. After being close for a long time, the two enrolled in different schools, with Miles enrolling in the Brooklyn Visions Academy and Phin enrolling in Midtown High School, leading them to grow apart.
Phin later helped her brother sneak into a Nuform reactor and sabotage it, to prevent the production of the energy source that was making people sick, including Rick. Simon Krieger stopped them and murdered Rick, leading Phin to vow revenge.
Phin started developing a new kind of biotech and joined the Underground. Since she was the one responsible for providing them weapons, they started calling her the Tinkerer. In exchange for the weapons she developed, they worked with her to take Roxxon down.Her goal was to get revenge on Roxxon by supercharging Nuform in order to destroy their lab.
In "La Nochebuena", Rio Morales invited Phin over for Christmas dinner with her and Ganke Lee, to surprise Miles. Miles and Phin used the opportunity to reconnect and attempt to reestablish their friendship. Shortly after, in "Reconnecting", they briefly met atop a rooftop and discussed their science project, though both suspected the other was hiding something.
During Rio Morales's campaign event in "Time to Rally", Phin attempted to steal Nuform from a Roxxon transport on Braithwaite Bridge as the Tinkerer, using an Underground attack on Morales' event as a distraction. Before engaging Roxxon security, Miles Morales, as Spider-Man, tried to intervene and stop the battle, before then trying to stop her from taking the Nuform. Miles was unsuccessful, though his biolectric attacks revealed her identity as the Tinkerer to him. Phin then knocked Spider-Man back and escaped.
Days later, in "Underground Undercover", Miles met Phin in a coffee shop, asking to join the Underground as a way to infiltrate the organization. Phin was unsuspecting and allowed Miles to join, though Miles snuck off and donned his spider-suit to take the Nuform. Miles was unsuccessful, and after a choice in "Curtain Call", Phin was close to killing Miles before he revealed his own identity as Spider-Man, causing her to stop at the last minute. This put a great strain on their friendship, as she felt betrayed at him lying to her. Nonetheless, in "Tinker Tailor Spider Spy", Phin reluctantly agreed to meet Miles again at Trinity Church and talk through their plan. Since Aaron Davis had leaked their location to Roxxon, Rhino, now powered by Roxxon's armor, interrupted and captured them both, taking them to a Roxxon lab where Krieger interrogated them. Phin and Miles worked together to escape, but throughout, made it clear she was uninterested in his words after he had lied to her. The two battled Rhino at the end, where Rhino taunted Phin about Rick's death, causing Phin to nearly kill him in rage. When Miles stopped her, this infuriated her further as she turned on Miles, beating him and leaving him, telling him that her family was dead and she had no intention of stopping her plan.
In "The Battle For Harlem", Phin took her Nuform sample to Roxxon Plaza, planning to overload the reactor and destroy the complex. However, as Miles had discovered, Krieger had changed the reactor's specs, meaning that her overloading it would destroy all of Harlem. Phin ignored Miles' warnings, her trust in him eroded after he had previously lied, and battled him in the buildings of the plaza. As their battle continued, Simon Krieger broadcast that he did not care about the reactor going critical as it would look good for the company if they had suffered a terrorist attack. This fueled Phin's anger further and the battle continued, though she eventually saw that it was doing more damage than she had intended and that Miles was right. Miles webbed her to safety after they both fell from a building, and he used his bioelectric powers to absorb the reactor's energy. Seeing Miles would not survive, Phin sacrificed hereslf by using her programmable matter boots to propel herself and Miles high above Manhattan, allowing Miles to safely release the reactor's energy stored inside his body, killing her in the process.
After her death, the Underground kept her technology around and were still active. However, Roxxon were taken down when Aaron Davis turned himself into the police and leaked damning evidence about Nuform indicting Roxxon.
Phin Mason was a young African-American woman with an ivory complexion and curly dark brown hair kept in a ponytail.
Phin Mason, prior to becoming the Tinkerer, was an intelligent and kind person, who wished to make the world a better place. According to Miles, her inventions could have easily made her a "gazillionaire" if she had patented them, suggesting she had nobler intentions. Miles considered her to be a like sister to him, and said they were inseparable growing up. In Miles' flashback during "Like Real Scientists", Phin is shown to have a similar sense of humor to Miles as well as a shared fascination for science, leading to good chemistry.
Following the death of Rick, Phin changed considerably. She was driven by grief and anger, as well as a desire for revenge against Roxxon that consumed her. As the Tinkerer, Phin was ruthless, temperamental, and cold. Though she intended to go through with her plan knowing there would be no casualties in Harlem, she had no qualms with killing Rhino, and would have done so had Miles not intervened. Phin's anger at Roxxon consumes her entirely, as even after Miles tries to warn her about its effects and Simon Krieger tells her that it will only help Roxxon's PR, she nonetheless drives forward unyieldingly with her plan to set the bomb off.
Phin's temperamental nature following Rick's death also leads to major trust issues, driving a wedge between her and Miles. After Miles did not disclose that he was Spider-Man when asking to join the Underground, and after she learned he was lying, she shut him out completely and refused to listen to any warnings he had about the bomb's effect, suspecting those were also lies. Nonetheless, Rick's death also affected Phin in her final moments, as she did not wish to see Miles die the way she had seen her brother die, partly motivating her to sacrifice herself for Miles' sake. This was coupled with seeing the devastation that her bomb would cause, as her intentions were not to kill anyone.
Powers and abilities
Phin was an extremely skilled inventor from a young age, working with Rick and Miles. Among her inventions were velociskates and sonar goggles, which Miles believed she could have profited from had she patented, as well as an energy converter she created with him. Her most potent invention is programmable matter, allowing her to 3D print weaponry, shielding, and enhancements. This powers all the technology used by her as the Tinkerer as well as by the Underground.
As the Tinkerer, Phin is able to hold her own against Spider-Man in battle. This is a mix both of her programmable matter weaponry, as well as a agility and technique in battle allowing her to be on the same playing field. Phin also appears to have strong leadership skills, giving her control over the Underground.
Despite the Ultimate version of Phineas Mason debuted in Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual #2 (October 2006), Ultimate Tinkerer's identity was Elijah Stern, first appearing in Ultimate Spider-Man Vol. 1 #90 (April 2006).
A female version of Tinkerer was created for this game, with some inspiration from Ultimate Tinkerer, such as the grudges towards Roxxon Corporation.