Ever since scientific pursuits outstripped the power of magic in our pop culture (a phenomenon that Stephen has posited came around the same time as the harnessing of the atom in the late 1940s), the gadgeteer genius has become a staple of our stories.  Tony Stark turned himself into a human tank (in a CAVE, with a BOX OF SCRAPS) while Professor Utonium accidentally (?) created not just life, but superhuman life of immense power.  Indeed, were I in peril, I’d be hard-pressed to choose between the massive alien intellect of The Doctor (“It goes ding when there’s… stuff.”) or the boundless resourcefulness of Professor Roy Hinkley (whose scientific texts hold the key to everything from anthropology to zoology, missing only the chapters on becoming a shipwright), leading us to today’s ‘approved by Phineas J. Whoopie’ query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) would like to point out that, despite his cleverness, Reed Richards has been unable to affect lasting change in the Marvel Universe or revert the one Thing he wishes he could, asking: Who is the cleverest, most-inventive fictional inventor of all?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Thomas Edison. Dude didn’t invent jack. He had a research park where other people invented things, he then took it to the patent office and put his mark on it. To claim he was an inventor is definitely a work of fiction, thus making him the most-inventive fictional inventor of all time.

  2. I’d go with Gyro Gearloose. Despite his numerous, numerous inventions and gadgets, just the sheer genius that created Little Helper is incredible!

    An honorable mention has to go to the [60’s TV] Batman, who not only had the ability to have created the right object for any given situtation (Bat Shark Repellant, anyone?), he also usually managed to have it all fit within a small pounch or cartridge on his belt!

  3. Brenning Dragonbred on

    Gyro Gearloose. Most might remember him from Ducktales, inventing the Gizmoduck suit among various other wacky inventions, but he originally came from older Disney comics. His inventions might not have been reliable all of the time, but they were definitely creative.

  4. I think original english name for that Disney Duckburg inventor is Gyro Gearloose. I go with him. Hes a guy who comes to my mind first when someone says “inventor”. We know him as “Pelle Peloton”

  5. I’m drawn to weird examples like Ash Williams making a fully functional robot hand in a medieval blacksmith’s shop, or blue ranger Billy making a flying car in his garage. But cleverest? Gotta be Trin Tragula, who invented the Total Perspective vortex to win an argument with his wife.

    • Brenning Dragonbred on

      Billy was actually my initial choice off the top of my head. He made the Rad Bug, a mind swap machine, dimensional portal opener and the Rangers communicators, as well as having a known hand in creating the Zeo Zords with Alpha and Zordon as well as a possibility that he created the Phantom Ranger (initially, it was going to be revealed that the Phantom Ranger actually was Billy, but that was scrapped for time constraints). Not bad for a High School kid from Earth.

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