Black History Month Heroes: Lucius Fox in "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight"

Editors note: Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Morgan Freeman comprise the Triforce of Black power in film.

Bruce Wayne: That doesn’t look like a Super Soaker…

When the pinnacle of military technology invented by a Black person is the Super Soaker, any movie that showcases Black inventors creating new weapons of mass destruction that don’t revolve around pressurized water has no basis in reality.

In Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, Lucius Fox is that Black Fictional Hero character that provides Bruce Wayne with the necessary tools to rid Gotham City of evil.

Freeman portrays Fox, a genius that designed the Gotham monorail system (strangely forgotten about in The Dark Knight), the tank-like Batmobile, the Batsuit, and every gadget that Batman subsequently uses. No word on if he also invented the Shark Repellent Bat Spray.

Famous Black inventors are profiled throughout February for the wonderful advances in human thought and innovation they have enabled, though many of these inventions are sadly over-hyped (looking at you George Washington Carver).

As we have learned, the Super Soaker is not one of those embellishments of Black inventions.

There is a reason AP classes, standardized tests and Honors classes are attacked in public schools; they produce an insufficient amount of Black students capable of filing patents or being NASA’s next scientist.

Only through the soothing medium of cinema can Black inventors be found whose fictional innovations tower over the achievement of inventing a device that emits powerful streams of water.

Ultimately the folly of Black History Month is the paucity of actual heroes worthy of researching. Steve Sailer wrote this regarding Batman Begins and Freeman’s role:

Morgan Freeman plays a computer nerd, making him the latest and perhaps least likely in a long line of black male computer nerds in movies (such as Ving Rhames in “Mission Impossible”). But at least that’s better than Morgan Freeman playing a saintly janitor, because here he gets to use his wicked sense of humor.

Stuff Black People Don’t Like hopes that Freeman is one day offered a chance to play a super villain, a role Black people rarely get to play (for reasons primarily having to do with monetary appeal, the same reason why Black professional wrestlers rarely are pushed because they don’t draw money). Blonds have been the bad guy for far too long.

Gotham City is ultimately saved not by a man dressed as a bat, but by the inventions of Lucius Fox that Bruce Wayne has in his arsenal to fight crime. One is forced to ponder this question: crime in majority Black inner cities is horrible (Black-on-Black crime is a plague few seem willing to admit exists), yet only one Black person is donning a mask to fight this menace. Sadly no Black engineer has come forward with inventions that could incapacitate criminals he pursues.

The Wall Street Journal recently profiled a Black hero operating in Seattle named Phoenix Jones. Again, could a Black inventor, like Lucius Fox in Batman, come forward and offer Jones crime-fighting tools so that he doesn’t get his nose broken again?  

That WSJ article stated:

A mixed martial-arts fighter, he broke his nose last month while breaking up a fight, and he says he has been shot and stabbed, too. He often travels with a posse, sometimes carries a Taser nightstick and tear gas, and repeatedly has himself been mistaken for a criminal.

One Friday night, Mr. Jones and several sidekicks—two quiet men called Buster Doe and Pitch Black; a young woman named Blue Sparrow; and a superhero-in-training called Ski Man—spent several hours making the rounds on the streets of Seattle. 

Mr. Jones posed for the occasional cellphone photo with revelers outside night spots in several popular neighborhoods. But, he says, the attention “distracts me from my mission.” 

Outside a bar, Mr. Jones chastised a man for yelling at a downtrodden passerby. 

“Let’s keep it cool; let’s all have a good night,” he said to the man, who quickly backed down. 

From there, Mr. Jones chatted up late-night loiterers in areas known for drug dealing. “Stay safe tonight,” he said. “Stay warm.” 

Later, the superheroes ran after a swerving car, suspecting a drunk driver, but the car raced away and, alas, they can’t fly. Capes, also, are unfashionable in the superhero world: “They get caught on everything,” says Mr. Raven Blade. 

Little crime-fighting took place that night. “That’s the thing,” concedes Mr. Jones. “When there’s nothing going on, you feel pretty silly in this outfit,” he says, referring to his costume, which he says is equipped with the latest body armor.

[SUPERHERO] Phoenix Jones

Detective Mark Jamieson, spokesman for the Seattle Police Department, applauds citizens’ willingness to get involved in their communities and says the department has received 911 calls from Mr. Jones.

But he worries about things getting out of hand. “Our concern is that if it goes badly, then we wind up getting called anyway, and we may get additional victims.

More power to Phoenix Jones, though he fights without weapons created by a Black inventor in a city largely devoid of Black criminality. Let us hope Lonnie Johnson becomes the real life superhero (RLSH) Phoenix Jones’ Q, creating weapons that he can use to fight crime in Seattle. We plan to write more about RLSH soon.

Compared to Black Fictional Hero Lucius Fox, Johnson’s invention of the Super Soaker isn’t much to get wet over. So we challenge Johnson to invent a weapon that Phoenix Jones can use to save the Seattle.

Remember, without Fox Batman was just a rich white boy running around the roofs of Gotham. Phoenix Jones needs a Black scientist to save the day and help him rid Seattle of crime once and for all.



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