Superheroes and secret spies may get all the glory, but it’s really the gadget whizzes behind the scenes that should receive a lion’s share of the credit. These geniuses from pop culture are the masterminds behind the brilliant inventions that help to save the world and defeat the bad guys.
The character Q from the James Bond series of movies is probably the most well-known genius inventor. He saves 007 from peril dozens of times with his innovative use of technology and masterful gadgets. But is Q the most innovative gadget wizard genius? Surely, some acclaim must be given to Shuri from Black Panther and Tony Stark from Iron Man.
It's true that most of Data's innovative inventions do not actually work. His zipline is unreliable, the glaring light from his bully-blinders goes out after a couple of seconds, and his suction-cup belt pulls him in instead of grabbing the desired object. However, the whiz from The Goonies has plenty more inventions stashed in his oversized coat and backpack.
His slick shoes squirt out just enough oil so that when the Goonies are on the run, they successfully slow down the in-pursuit Fratellis. Data may still be in the trial-and-error stage of inventing, but it's safe to say that when he grows up, he's sure to have a lot of his clever ideas expertly perfected.
Lucius Fox serves as the CEO of Wayne Enterprises, but is so much more to both Bruce Wayne/Batman. He has appeared in several different Batman adaptations, including the comics and Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy of films. Lucius is a fixer for Bruce Wayne who helps the billionaire save the Wayne Foundation from financial destruction.
Additionally, Lucius helps develop many of Batman's essentials. He is responsible for designing several of the cool gadgets used by the masked crusader, such as sonar-bat goggles, a grappling device, and an all-around better Batsuit.
Q, which stands for Quartermaster, is the head of research and development for the British Secret Service. The Quartermaster’s super cool inventions are even sometimes the best part of any Bond movie.
Bagpipe flamethrowers from The World Is Not Enough, the Car Invisibility Cloak from Die Another Day, the gadget-rigged Submarine Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me, and the Bell-Trexton Jetpack from Thunderball are just a few of Q’s most innovative gadgets.
The tech genius may have outdone himself with the alterations he made to Bond’s Aston Martin D85 in Goldfinger and Thunderball. The sleek sports car not only looked great, but it also featured everything a spy could ever need, including built-in machine guns, rotating license plates, a passenger seat ejector, and tire slashers.
Tony Stark is one of the most important characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tony and his superhero alter ego Iron Man have appeared in a total of 11 films in the MCU canon, including the rebooted Spider-Man movies and Avengers films. The billionaire is a businessman, but he's also an inventor and serves as his own personal Q. Tony himself created the Iron Man suit, along with super cool gadgets like jet-powered roller skates and an anti-gravity device.
Perhaps Tony's most game-changing invention is the arc reactor, the glowing circle in the middle of Iron Man's chest. It's essentially what makes the human Tony Stark into the superhuman superhero Iron Man. The arc reactor serves as Tony's beating heart and turns his already genius-level intelligence into brain power that can solve and beat any nemesis. It also powers the Iron Man suit.