Who is Phoenix Jones?
Meet the real-life, self-styled superhero and founder of the Rain City Superhero movement, Phoenix Jones.
After being stabbed while trying to halt a drug deal, he upgraded his costume of tights and a fedora to his signature black and gold armor set, including a ballistic vest and a ballistic cup, as well as stab-proof plating. As much as one may want to smile at his antics, Phoenix Jones took his vocation very seriously.
Jones would patrol the streets in his suit at night and whenever he saw a crime in progress, he would step in, doing what people failed to do for his son. Typically, Jones would de-escalate the situation before taunting the criminals until they attacked him. He would then fight back in self defense. This is how he was typically described as fighting.
Here you see Pheonix’s original suit. and his own sketches from his more well-known design. “We made our first molds today and tested their strength and bulletproofness. Will post test videos. Each one of the plates you see is a Kevlar composite and is knife and bulletproof as well as many new tech upgrades.”
In November of 2011, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer brought Phoenix Jones to the public’s attention. It wasn’t Jones’ crime fighting that raised the eyebrows of authorities, but his getting involved in more minor misdemeanors, such as drunken belligerency and drug dealing. The police commented at one point as to how lucky it was he had not been seriously injured.
For a year, Phoenix Jones managed to keep his secret identity hidden, until his arrest made it public knowledge. Jones made national news when CNN announced his arrest. According to the report, Phoenix Jones “came up from behind and pepper sprayed [a] group” who “were dancing and having a good time” as they left a nightclub in Seattle’s downtown. Jones explained that he was breaking up a fight.
As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported at the time of his arrest, Phoenix Jones’s real name was Benjamin Fodor, a mixed martial arts champion from Texas. His current record, which is readily available on the official website of mixed martial arts, is nine wins, three losses, and one draw since his 2010 debut as a professional and an undefeated amateur career.
Benjamin Fodor at weigh in
Months later, more details were revealed about the caped crusader. Fodor, a middle child of five, was sent to an orphanage from his infancy until he was five, during which his mother was arrested for dealing drugs out of a pram. From five to seven, he lived with his father, who tried to rob a convenience store while Fodor was in the car: His father was shot and killed in the attempt. Fodor worked with autistic children for a while, but his license was revoked due to the charges. Nonetheless, Phoenix Jones continued his mission in Seattle. This was heavily broadcast and he became a local celebrity. In fact his story had reached so many people that he was able to be involved with likeminded people who also adopted masks and fought on the streets with different gimmicks.
The Rain City Superheroes began to grow, among their ranks was a medic who would patrol the streets and help heal wounded civilians or his teammates. Another was a self-proclaimed ninja who would do reconnaissance, scoping out high-crime areas and recording criminal activities. Police recorded ten citizens patrolling the city in superhero costumes, using the names Thorn, Buster Doe, Green Reaper, The Mantis, Gemini, No Name, Catastrophe, Thunder 88, Penelope, and Phoenix Jones. An 11th person using the pseudonym “Red Dragon” has also claimed to be a member of the group.
The group grew so big and famous that it would seem these fun and useful vigilantes would always be around. But if there’s one thing THE BOYS taught us… Never believe in your heroes.
Everything was going great until the group started inspiring the wrong type of people. The people who were dressing up as vigilantes were now just beating the fuck out of people they assumed were criminals without any trial. Several members were brought in on assault charges for assaulting innocent people who just happened to look sketchy.
Problems with the team coupled with several near-death experiences caused something to snap in Phoenix. He had been a part of some stabbing attempts but his suit protected him from it, and a bullet had barely been stopped by his vest. He even got his nose broken by two men.
Ultimately, Phoenix Jones’ efforts to initiate a league of real-life superheroes never really took off, as further evidenced by Phoenix Jones’s termination of the Rain City Superhero Movement on May 29, 2014. As quoted by KEKB in Phoenix Jones’s eternally capitalized prose:
“REALLY THOUGHT THAT HAVING A LARGE GROUP OF CIVILIAN CRIME FIGHTERS WAS A GOOD IDEA… I WAS WRONG. IT TAKES A CERTAIN TYPE OF PERSON TO DO THIS JOB CORRECTLY, AND UNFORTUNATELY, I HAVE INSPIRED, WORKED WITH, AND EVEN TAUGHT SOME OF THE WRONG KINDS OF PEOPLE.”
Although Phoenix may have been unsuccessful in creating a real-life Justice League, he did find love, and eventually married a fellow superhero called Purple Reign. A victim of domestic abuse, she adopted the superhero persona of Purple Reign “Queen of Seattle.” She would primarily focus on women who were victims of domestic abuse, trying to rescue them.
Just because he terminated the league doesn’t mean that he himself was giving in. He reiterated that he would continue with his patrols while holding himself to the standard that some of his comrades failed to live up to.
Yet, the vigilante life was too much, even for Phoenix Jones. In 2019, he informed NW Nerd of his retirement: ” The shots. The stabbings. The bullets. It wasn’t worth it. No one got it. Maybe I stopped an individual situation, but people were supposed to get better.” He related one incident where, while prowling the rooftops, he saw a mugging, but it took him five minutes to get to the ground. He bought a net gun but trapped himself. The biggest turn away from patrolling, however, was that he no longer felt the need to fight crime and get shot upon waking each morning: “I really don’t feel it.”
Phoenix did not remain retired from the public eye for long. On January 28, 2020, the Seattle Times proposed that Benjamin Fodor, the man who dressed up as a superhero to stop drug dealing from happening in Seattle, was a drug dealer. The two confidential witnesses who told the Seattle detectives said they were shocked that he hadn’t been caught yet.
Even more recently, he became vocal during the protests that arose from the murder of George Floyd, and the creation of the autonomous zone in Seattle. MyNorthwest.com reported that Phoenix Jones was out of retirement. As a Black superhero, and someone who believed that, in his words, “[Black Lives Matter] is a good idea that needs to be pushed in America,” Jones nonetheless felt conflicted about the autonomous zone: “Black lives matter, obviously, everyone agrees with that, but there’s a lot of other stuff in there that’s kind of weird. And then there’s the antifa angle and all these other different things. But no matter what that is, taking over six city blocks is just illegal.”
Perhaps due to such ambivalence, the zone refused, in KUOW’s reporting, to allow superheroes into the zone. Jones’s capitalized response on Twitter was
“NOW ITS NO LONGER A FREE ZONE? FIRST NO POLICE, THEN NO WHITES, AND FINALLY NO SUPERHEROES. GIVE IT A BREAK I PATROL WHERE PEOPLE NEED ME TO BE. JONES OUT.”
And so, the saga of Phoenix Jones continues.
9 Female Rappers from Houston you need to Know THE HIP-HOP INDUSTRY REMAINS MOSTLY DOMINATED BY MEN, but we have seen both Megan Thee Stallion and Lizzo’s recent rises to success. There
Explore Houston’s Hip-Hop History in the new book WELCOME 2 HOUSTON 20 years later, and “Still Tippin’” from the 2005 album Who is Mike Jones? is still a staple in
Tobe Nwigwe Talks Pharrell Collab, Never Writing In Front Of Other Artists And Keeping Family Close Tobe Nwigwe joined the Good Morning H-Town crew and he brought Fat and their beautiful babies along!
NBA YoungBoy’s Mom Talks Viral Life, Slime Effect And Raising A Star Sherhonda Gaulden caught up with Young Jas for a holiday convo, details on her Slime Effect cosmetic line and reactions to
1501 CEO Carl Crawford On Negative Headlines, Upcoming Influencer Movie & Legacy It’s been an eventful year for professional athlete turned music mogul Carl Crawford. He caught up with Good
Tone Stith Talks “B.E.D,” The Song He Should’ve Kept And More Is R&B Dead? Singer/Songwriter Tone Stith tapped in with A G & A Pimp to talk about the state of
TikTok Mama Reveals Her Secret To Social Media Fame A mother of four, Tik Tok Mama became a viral sensation for sharing her messy home life with the world. She