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.
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.
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.
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.
Shuri, sister to the King T'Challa, is a bonafide genius appearing in the Black Panther comics and movie. The technological gadget wizard is respsonisble for many of the amazing inventions in Wakanda, many of which find uses for the indestructible element Vibranium. She designed several of her brother's devices and his protective suit that can conveniently be stored inside a necklace.
Shuri's most impressive invention may just be the cloak that protects the entire area of Wakanda, a place no one in the outside world even knows exists. The cloak covers the entire nation and ultimately safeguards it from invaders.