Born Joshua, the person who became the Gadgeteer was a simple janitor who worked for a scientist called Doctor Norton. For sometime, he worked at his laboratory where he helped clean the place up but over the years his genius became underappreciated. Norton simply used Joshua for janitorial duties and often scolded him for not doing his job. At some point, Dr. Norton developed a device known as the Diminishing Ray which was his greatest achievement and planned to show it at a press conference. Joshua, however, decided that he had a enough and planned to adopt a life as a supervillain as well as coined a name for himself - the Gadgeteer. He planned to strike during the conference and confiscate Dr. Nortons invention in order to claim it as hiw own.
Shouting to the crowd "Cheer cheer, the Gadgeteer is here!", he declared himself the "Inventor's, inventor" and the "scientist's, scientist" in an effort to highlight his importance as well as his genius over that of Doctor Norton. Quickly moving, he stole the diminishing ray of his employer and sought to use it for his own means. Once in his possession, he activated another hand held weapon that projected a windy blast around the room and sending the occupants flying back. Through its power, he managed to send all the scientists and reporters flying into another room and trapped them inside of it whereupon he told them that they had just witnessed the inventiveness of the Gadgeteer. It was then that he saw Spider-Man who tried to apprehend him but Joshua managed to quickly jump out of the way after which he used the diminishing ray on the superhero in order to shrink him in size. With the only true threat to him shrunk, the Gadgeteer departed the building through the use of his belt which gave him the capacity to fly through the air.
He later managed to evade the security guards at the science convention by dressing up as a janitor. Once inside, he donned on his Gadgeteer costume and found an isolated store room where he used the minituarising ray to shrink size and thus enter the convention without getting caught. His small size allowed him to go into the hitech computers and use his laser beams to cut through their outer covering and move into the internal circuitry. His plan was simple at this point which was to steal the advanced equipment at the convention and make an entire arsenal of hitech gadgets for his own use. However, the shrunken Spider-Man tracked him down leading to a fight between the two. The Gadgeteer used his lasers to fry the circuits in the computer he was attempting to steal in an effort to kill Spider-Man but this failed. He later procured a small flying ship and attempted to defeat Spider-Man with it. However, Spider-Man used replica Spider-Men toys to cause the craft to crash by throwing webbing on it.
In the resulting confusion, the Gadgeteer quickly attempted to escape and return to his normal size in order to defeat Spider-Man. Just as he activated the beam, Spider-Man jumped in its path and returned to his true size leaving the Gadgeteer shrunken. Joshua attempted to escape but was easily caught by Spider-Man and placed in a box. Taking the diminishing ray and the captive Gadgeteer, Spider-Man dropped the two at Doctor Norton's laboratory. The doctor asked in puzzlement why Joshua did what he did and the frustrated Gadgeteer told Norton that he never listened to him. However, Norton and Spider-Man were unable to hear him as his voice was not loud enough due to his small size.
- This is the only appearance of the Gadgeteer in the cartoon line, presumably he went to jail but that is speculation.
Personality and attributes
In terms of appearance, the Gadgeteer in his civilian garb was that of a short human with a partly bald patch on the center of his head with he long ginger hair. Dressed in his supervillain garb, he wore blue clothing with a tool belt allowing him to hold his various devices. To mask his face, he kept a welding mask to cover his features. By his feet, he wore a pair of dark blue boots.
He had a habit of making mad cackling laughter.
Powers and abilities
Joshua possessed little superhuman abilities and had the same capacity and feats of that of a normal human being. He was somewhat agile and capable of moving quickly as well as out of the way of opponents that tried to jump on him. However, his strength did not lie in his natural feats but rather in his mind which was that of a skilled inventor allowing him to create a number of complicated as well as powerful devices.
By his toolkit, he possessed a wide arsenal of gadgets for use against his enemies. The first was a hand held gun shaped device that projected powerful windy blasts around a room and was capable of throwing grown human beings flying across the environment. He typically used this to trap enemies within a room and lock them in it. In addition, his belt possessed some form of device allowing him to ability to fly across his surroundings. A further tool he had at his disposal included an energy ray that was capable of cutting through walls with fine detail as well as another gadget that can pull objects from a distance.
The most dangerous weapon that he possessed was the device created by Dr. Norton which was the diminishing ray. This shrink ray was capable of decreasing the size of any object - be it inanimate or living. When striking a human being, it shrunk them to the size of two inches tall making them powerless against the Gadgeteer.
- The character only features in the 1981 cartoon series in the episode "The Shrinking Spider-Man".
- Spider-Man: "The Shrinking Spider-Man" (1981)