The story of Phoenix Jones, Seattle's own superhero, continues to be weird and silly and kind of sad. The superhero was in the news again last week when he assaulted protesters with mace; he claimed he had been 'undercover' at a meeting where the protesters planned to bomb a courthouse and when the police ignored him, he felt the need to take matters into his own hands.
Phoenix Jones is actually Ben Fodor, an MMA champ who seems to have strange issues that drive him to dress up in a Kevlar superhero suit and commit random acts of vigilantism. Some of these acts have been undeniably in the public interest - he stopped a guy from stealing a bus - but some have crossed the line, like when he assaulted a group of people leaving a night club. He's been arrested once, although no charges have been filed.
Fodor is the big public face of the 'Rain City Superhero Movement,' which includes fellow crimefighters The Mantis, The Green Reaper and Midnight Jack. Until now they've mostly dealt with petty criminals, but as Christopher Nolan's movies have shown us, the very presence of superheroes leads to escalation.
Enter: Rex Velvet.
Rex Velvet is the self-proclaimed "People's Villain" of Seattle, and he has begun challenging Phoenix Jones, saying the city is sick of his antics. Velvet has now released two video messages to Jones, with the latest embedded below.
Jones, apparently, isn't concerned. Appearing on Seattle talk radio, he said
“I looked him up. He’s actually just a wedding photographer who made a funny video. If he was a true supervillain I would be more interested because at least I would have something to do. Right now it’s like war of social media and I have better things to do with my time.”
"I have better things to do with my time." Let that sink in, Rex Velvet.
What will happen next? Will Rex Velvet make good on his villainous pledge? Could a chemical accident of some kind actually turn the pranking Velvet into a more dangerous enemy? Will Phoenix Jones be prescribed any medication?