Membership: Quentin Beck (immediately before establishing his Mysterio identity), Charlie (last name unrevealed)
Purpose: Profit (and adventure)
Aliases: Spider-Man mockingly called them "Cheerful Charlies"
Affiliations: Mysterio (Quentin Beck), Tinkerer (Phineas T. Mason)
Enemies: Professor Cobwell, Nathan Lubensky, May Parker, Spider-Man (Peter Parker), Deb Whitman; unidentified US general & colonel, and numerous other unidentified
Base of Operations: Unrevealed;
at least formerly many, if not all, of them were presumably imprisoned;
formerly a base in a movie studio in an unspecified wilderness location;
formerly traveled in an aircraft disguised as a spacefraft;
formerly worked out of the basement of The Tinkerer Repair Shop, presumably in Queens, New York
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man I#2 (May, 1963)
Abilities: The fake aliens did not have any superhuman abilities, although some had some knowledge of stuntwork, special effects, and/or acting.
They had various degrees of fighting skills. Their alien costumes did not appear to offer much in the way of protection from physical injury.
Some apparently enjoyed their role so much that they even acted them out even when they were only around each other.
They also had some experience with disguise (although these may have received these from Mysterio).
Equipment: Some of the fake aliens had hand-held energy blasters (sufficient to overload electric equipment, at least) or bolo-cable launchers.
They used a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) craft disguised as a spaceship.
They had access to various special effects and holographic equipment with Mysterio, and various forms of technology with the Tinkerer, including their Specimen Cage.
They operated out of the basement of The Tinkerer Repair Shop, presumably in Queens, New York; the basement was concrete-reinforced and reminded Spider-Man of a dungeon.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe I#7: Mysterio entry) - <As an effort to learn more of Spider-Man's powers with the plans to replicate them and impersonate Spider-Man, special effects expert Quentin Beck> ...arranged an anonymous encounter with his target.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51 (fb) - BTS / All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#11: Tinkerer entry / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover: Mysterio entry) - Beck approached and allied with the Tinkerer (Phineas T. Mason) and several of his colleagues, including unemployed movie stuntmen and extras (and possibly other special effects experts), in a scheme to plant monitoring devices inside the radios of certain individuals, including scientists and military and government officials, to learn industrial and military secrets.
(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#13: Tinkerer entry) - In so doing they hoped to learn information with which they could blackmail the men (or presumably sell the information).
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51 (fb) - BTS / Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z hardcover: Mysterio entry) - In an elaborate scheme to steal government secrets, Mason and Beck, as a contingency in case of discovery, outfitted accomplices with equipment to impersonate extraterrestrials, the disguises possibly based on actual aliens who had visited Earth earlier.
(All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z#11: Tinkerer entry) - Unaware Beck hoped for direct contact with his quarry and so fully expected Spider-Man’s intervention, Mason warmed to the assignment and amused himself by feigning an alien perspective, speaking of using “important Earthlings” to “attack this unsuspecting planet” even when only in his co-conspirators’ company.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#2 (fb) - BTS) - With the Tinkerer working out of The Tinkerer Repair Shop and charging ridiculously low fees (see comments) for their repairs in order to draw in desired customers.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#2) - Having completed insertion of the recording/transmitting device into Dr. Cobwell's radio, one of the "aliens" delivered it to the Tinkerer when Peter Parker arrived to pick it up for Cobwell. The Tinkerer and the "alien" noted that neither Cobwell nor any of their special customers suspected what they had done to their radios while repairing them; the "alien" added that their plan must remain completely secret until they were ready to strike.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#2 - BTS) - Secretly Spider-Man, Parker sensed strange electrical impulses coming from the machine and discovered "gadgets that no ordinary radio would have inside of them." Seeking to get to the bottom of this, Spider-Man sneaked into the basement.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#2) - As Spider-Man secretly observed, an "alien" noted that they were almost ready to strike; and the Tinkerer and another "alien" monitored images and audio relayed from the television of an unspecified US military general in a meeting with an unidentified colonel. As Spider-Man surmised the "alien" plot, he was discovered by another "alien," who fired an energy blast at him. Warned by his spider-sense, Spider-Man dodged, but had no choice but to enter the room and land amidst the Tinkerer and the "aliens."
Spider-Man initially dodged the "aliens," climbing the walls and clinging to the ceiling -- as the Tinkerer exhorted his allies that "Spider-Man was no ordinary Earthling, and that if he escaped with knowledge of their plans, they were lost -- until one of the "aliens" knocked Spider-Man loose by throwing an inverter mechanism at him. When Spider-Man dropped to the ground, at trio of "aliens" swarmed over him, but he quickly threw them off; however, the Tinkerer then blasted Spider-Man with an unspecified energy weapon, stunning him, and the "aliens" placed him in their "Resisto-Glass Enclosure."
Appreciating that Spider-Man was the only "mortal on Earth" who even suspected their presence there and who knew their master plan, they resolved to kill him by removing the air from his prison. However, as they began to do so, a recovered Spider-Man identified the small holes through which the air was exiting, and he fired a webline to the equipment controlling his prison, causing the cage's floor to pop open. He swiftly overpowered the surprised "aliens," causing one to accidentally fire a blast from his weapon, destroying their control panel and causing a rapidly spreading fire.
Announcing that it would take months to rebuild their control panel and they hadn't the time, a pair of "aliens" suggested they flee. Spider-Man grabbed the Tinkerer as he tried to escape, but, blinded by and choking on the smoke, Spider-Man lost his grip on the Tinkerer and was forced to exit the building.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#2 - BTS) - Amidst their struggle, Spider-Man pulled off the Tinkerer's mask, leading him to conclude the Tinkerer was one of the aliens.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51 (fb) - BTS / Amazing Spider-Man I#2) - Abandoning the Tinkerer to his burning shop, the "aliens" fled to their ship (a VTOL craft disguised as a spaceship), the aliens took off, with one instructing another to push the button that would destroy all of their spy devices by remote control. With this completed, another (Charlie) announced, "We can never return to Earth -- they will be on guard from this day on!"
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51 (fb) - BTS) - Beck told Charlie to can the phony alien talk as there was no one to overhear them now. Beck vowed to defeat Spider-Man.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#2 (fb) - BTS) - Professor Cobwell observed the apparent spaceship fading into the sky.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#2 - BTS) - Cobwell began to tell Peter Parker what he had seen, but then decided it must have been his imagination and decided to get back to work instead.
(Amazing Spider-Man I#160 - BTS) - Years later, when Spider-Man again encountered the Tinkerer, he told Spider-Man that he was "not at all" an alien, and that the mask he had left him holding was "merely a ruse, a simple ploy to deter pursuit that I must say worked exceptionally well!"
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51 (fb) - BTS) - Still seeking the hidden loot of former gangster "Dutch" Mallone (that had been hidden in the home later owned by May and Ben Parker) and unaware that it had been consumed by silverfish bugs, Mysterio recruited some of his former associates (most of those involved in the second plot were also involved in the first plot) in the previous aliens plot and used them in another plot to learn the treasure's location from May Parker. They plotted the capture of May (or possibly Peter?) as "Operation Intercept."
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#50) - As Peter Parker was going to an early dinner with his aunt, May Parker, and her fiance, Nathan Lubensky -- as well as his friend Deb Whitman -- men posing as "aliens" followed them to learn the location of the restaurant to which they were going.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#50 (fb) - BTS) - Wearing human costumes over their alien costumes, the "aliens" overwhelmed the waiters and other staff at the restaurant, cleared it of the other patrons, and put up the "closed" sign on the door.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#50) - As Peter became suspicious of the restaurant's emptiness on a Sunday afternoon and of the appearance of the staff standing by the door, one of the fake staff told him there was a minor delay in the kitchen. Seeing a loose mask edge on the man's neck, Peter rushed forward and pulled off the mask, exposing the man as an "alien." Their nature seemingly exposed, the other fake waiters pulled off their secondary mask, showing their alien masks, and noting that they were far more than human. When another "alien" noted "you" had information they must possess, Peter told the others to leave while he held them off. The elderly and wheelchair-bound Nathan tried to help, using a clearing staff (or whatever you call the things they use to scrape the tablecloth clean of crumbs, etc.), put was punched to the ground by one of the aliens, who told Nathan he could not hope to overcome such as "us."
Wishing to fight back with his full strength, Peter had Nathan flip off the nearby lightswitch, after which he began pummeling the "aliens." However, another of the "aliens" flipped the lights back on, aimed his hand weapon at May, Nathan, and Deb, and called for a cease to the fighting. The "alien" then explained that they only needed information, the secret of "Dutch" Mallone, explaining only that the information was necessary to their plans and that they would obtain it by force if needed.
Seeking to spare May from whatever the "aliens" might do if they learned the loot was gone, Peter told them that he was the only one with any knowledge about Mallone and his hidden loot. The "alien" then fired bolo-cables from his hand weapon that wrapped around Peter, pinning his arms to his chest (although Peter was surprised, as he expected it was some sort of blaster weapon). Warning the others not to follow, the "aliens" then took Peter out of the restaurant; not wanting to endanger his family and friend or the wait staff, Peter went along with them. Their apparent spacecraft, which had been cloaked, then shimmered into view, and the "aliens" took Peter aboard. After which they took off, Mysterio revealed his presence, noting that -- with the techniques learned from his new alien comrades -- he should be able to wrest the information from Peter's mind. In return for their aid in gaining this wealth, he would then help the aliens conquer Earth.(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51 (fb) - BTS) - The craft arrived at Mysterio's movie studio base, and Mysterio and the "aliens" transferred Peter Parker there.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51) - As the "aliens" suspended him from a chain on the cables binding him, Peter Parker told Mysterio that Mallone's loot had been eaten by silverfish. The "aliens" accused Parker of lying, and one of them suggested Mysterio put him through the "psycho-dome" and pull the information from him. A third "alien" proclaimed, "Yes, then you can aid us in the conquest of this world...as you promised!"
As Parker tried to figure out why the aliens needed Mysterio, he was swung around on the cable and exposed to flashing lights to disorient him before Mysterio's illusions seemed to threaten him with various forms of harm. Parker soon realized the illusory nature of the assaults. When he was seemingly threatened by Spider-Man, Parker pretended to pass out from stress; although Mysterio and the "aliens" removed his bonds, Mysterio had the aliens use the "sedator" to prevent Parker from getting into any mischief while Mysterio implemented a new plan of persuading him to reveal what he knew about Mallone's treasure. A pair of "aliens" then carried Parker to a holding cell.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51 - BTS) - To force Peter Parker's compliance, another of Mysterio's agents (perhaps one of the "aliens" out of costume or wearing a human mask over the "alien" costume) abducted Deb Whitman.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51 - BTS) - Recovering, Parker changed into his Spider-Man costume, escaped his apparently unmonitored cell, and explored the base.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51) - As one of the "aliens" listened to Tammy Wynette's "Stand by Your Man" (he enjoyed both types of music, country AND western) and sipped on a soda (or beer), Spider-Man approached and swiftly suspected the truth. Ambushing the "alien" (apparently Charlie), Spider-Man unmasked him, and a frightened Charlie was forthcoming with information, explaining their previous plot; after Charlie revealed that Beck (later Mysterio) was part of the original group, Spider-Man webbed him up and left him hanging (and apparently gagged).
Spider-Man then made his way through the base, surprising and taking out numerous ersatz aliens. Discovering the master control room, Spider-Man learned that Deb Whitman was Mysterio's prisoner.
When Deb explained that she didn't know anything about Mallone or his treasure and that she was just friends with Peter, an "alien" accused her of lying, but Mysterio correctly appreciated that she was too timid to lie.
As Mysterio decided that he could use Deb to force Parker to tell him what he wanted, Spider-Man generated an illusory version of himself that taunted and "dodged" his foes attacks; after a pair of "aliens" took each other out as their stun darts passed through "Spider-Man," Mysterio realized that he was a hologram and that Spider-Man must have gotten to his control room.
(Spectacular Spider-Man II#51 - BTS) - After Spider-Man pretended not to care about Mysterio's threats to Deb, Mysterio fled toward his auxilary control room, but Deb, tired of being treated carelessly, smashed his helmet with a model prop, cracking it and limiting his vision.
Having fled Mysterio, Deb called the police, who traced the call to send men to her, and Spider-Man took out Mysterio.
Comments: Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
Even in 1963, a dime was crazy cheap to fix a radio.
Further suspension of disbelief...using million-dollar equipment to try to steal thousands of dollars...maybe it was hundreds of thousands, but still less than the property, building, ship, holographic technology, etc.
Profile by Snood.
The fake aliens have no known connections to:
Charlie was one of those involved in the original plot involving the Tinkerer. He was the one who made the comment about never being able to return to Earth again, after which Beck told him to knock off the "alien" talk.
He was also involved in Mysterio's plot to obtain the secret treasure of "Dutch" Mallone.
Spider-Man found him listening to American music and drinking a beverage popular in America, convincing him of the farce. Spider-Man then caught Charlie unaware and unmasked him, after which Charlie swiftly gave up everything he knew. Spider-Man then gagged him and left him hanging in a web net.
He's a fan of country music, or at least Tammy Wynette.
--Amazing Spider-Man I#2
Note: I can't tell whether he's drinking a soda or a beer...presumably the former, since he's on the clock...but he's also a criminal...
Presumably an hour after being webbed up, Charlie fell to the ground. Whether he was injured and/or arrested, or if he escaped is unrevealed.
As part of Operation Intercept, one of the ersatz aliens carried a bolo-cable launcher, which he aimed at May Parker when Peter Parker began to take out the aliens after he had Nathan Lubensky turn out the lights.
Believing the weapon to be some sort of energy-blaster, Peter stood down and ultimately told the "aliens" he was the only one who knew any useful information.
The "alien" then used the weapon, wrapping the cables around Peter, who allowed himself to be captured to move the conflict away from his aunt and friends.
--Spectacular Spider-Man II#50
Note: That's a lot of cable coming out of a little hand-held weapon.
Where was it stored?
Maybe some miniaturization or compression...or something?
general and colonel
Among the radios in which the Tinkerer and the ersatz aliens implanted spy equipment was that of an unidentified United States Army general.
Processing the images sent back by the spy device, one of the "aliens" quieted the Tinkerer and another "alien" so he could hear what was coming next.
The Tinkerer noted how clearly they could see and hear, bragging that his devices never failed.
The alien demanded silence so he could remember what was said:
The general called in an unidentified colonel to discuss their plans for the defense of the US' eastern seaboard in case of a surprise attack by any hostile force.
--Amazing Spider-Man I#2
Note: The Official Index to the Amazing Spider-Man confirmed the general and colonel to have been Army.
The attitude of the "alien" in the scene makes me think it may have been Quentin Beck, but we have no way of knowing.
After the Tinkerer stunned Spider-Man in their base beneath the Tinkerer Repair Shop, he was placed into a "specimen cage" to contain him before he revived.
The Tinkerer noted that "nothing that lives can break out of that resisto-glass enclosure."
Deciding to eliminate him so he could not exposre their plot, they then began to pump the air out of the cage.
However, as they began to do so, a recovered Spider-Man identified the small holes through which the air was exiting, and he fired a webline to the equipment controlling his prison, causing the cage's floor to pop open.
The base subsequently caught on fire and everyone fled. The cage was presumably either destroyed or impounded.
--Amazing Spider-Man I#2
Note: If Spider-Man did try to break out of the cage, it wasn't shown on panel. Perhaps with time being tight and him still feeling a little weak from the blast, he decided it might be better to take the Tinkerer at his word and find another way out...which he did.
Resisto-Glass is presumably some form of impact resistant glass (or maybe plastic), but we don't know much more than that.
As they weren't actually aliens capturing specimens of anything, this device was presumably just to use in case anyone stumbled onto their plans...
The specimen cage is also seen hanging behind the Tinkerer in one of the images in the main profile.
The ersatz aliens used a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) craft disguised as a spaceship.
At least in the adventure with Mysterio, the craft had cloaking technology, allowing it to be parked in a vacant lot behind the restaurant.
After the Tinkerer Repair Shop base was discovered by Spider-Man in subsequently consumed in smoke, the "aliens" fled to the nearby ship and departed.
Following Operation Intercept, the "aliens" took Peter Parker back to their ship, which uncloaked and then took off.
Mysterio then confronted Parker, and he was taken back to their movie studio base.
--Amazing Spider-Man I#2
images: (without ads)
Amazing Spider-Man I#2, story pg. 2, panel 6 (upper body, with radio);
panel 7 (face/profile; in Tinkerer's basement base);
pg. 4, panel 6 (with Tinkerer & monitoring equipment);
pg. 5, panel 1 (monitoring General & Colonel);
panel 2 (full body, small);
panel 3 (hand blaster);
pg. 6, panel 1 (three jumping on Spider-Man);
panel 6 (face);
pg. 7, panel 1 (Resisto-Glass Chamber);
pg. 9, panel 1 (ship)
Amazing Spider-Man I Annual#1: Gallery: Tinkerer
Spectacular Spider-Man II#50, pg. 12, panel 5 ("aliens" as waiters);
pg. 13, panel 4 (waiters unmasked as "aliens");
pg. 15, panel 6 (bolo-cable weapon);
pg. 16, panel 4-5 (ship)
#51, pg. 1 (chaining up Peter Parker);
pg. 7, panel 8 (Charlie as alien, listening to music);
pg. 8, panel 2 (Charlie, face);
Amazing Spider-Man I#2 (May, 1963) - Stan Lee (writer, editor), Steve Ditko (artist)
Amazing Spider-Man I Annual#1: Gallery of Spider-Man's Most Famous Foes: Tinkerer - presumably Stan Lee (writer, editor), Steve Ditko (artist)
Amazing Spider-Man I#160 (September, 1976) - Len Wein (writer, editor), Ross Andru (penciler), Mike Esposito (inker)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#50 (January, 1981) - Roger Stern (writer), John Romita, Jr. (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Jim Shooter (editor)
Spectacular Spider-Man II#51 (February, 1981) - Roger Stern (writer), John Romita, Jr. (penciler), Jim Mooney (inker), Denny O'Neil (editor)
First posted: 6/31/2018
Last updated: 6/31/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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