Gazerbeam is a significant late superhero in Pixar’s The Incredibles and his explained background provides some interesting detail to the story. The world of The Incredibles was at one point populated with dozens of powered heroes, one of these was a close friend of the Incredibles family. Gazerbeam, or Simon J. Paladino, was one of the few attendees at Helen and Bob Parr’s wedding and so clearly a close friend at the same level as Frozone. With the superpower of laser vision, Gazerbeam joined the superhero group the Phantasmics and happily found a home, until personality differences forced him out.
After superheroes are sent underground due to public outcry, Gazerbeam conceives of a new career path. Simon Paladino begins campaigning to end superhero erasure and demands Supers be reinstated, while his humorless nature makes him perfect for the courtrooms he’s constantly fighting in. At the beginning of Pixar’s unique film The Incredibles, his face appears on a newspaper Mr. Incredible is reading with the caption “MAN MISSING.” This confuses Mr. Incredible and is another unsettling detail that arouses suspicion about Mr. Incredible’s new contact, Mirage, and the jobs she’s setting him up for. As a proponent of superhero rights, Gazerbeam’s mysterious disappearance is a concern for any Super.
As a vocal proponent for Supers, Syndrome discovers Gazerbeam’s identity at some point and invites him to his island like he does Mr. Incredible. Gazerbeam attracted a significant amount of attention to his human alter ego as a defender of Super rights and his outspokenness put him right in Syndrome’s crosshair. Syndrome’s supervillain goal in The Incredibles is to take out all the Supers and then sell his created powers, so everyone can be super. Once there, Gazerbeam defeats the Omnidroid 4 but is then confronted with the more powerful Omnidroid 5 and is mortally wounded. He manages to escape Syndrome and crawls into a cave before dying.
Over the course of his ordeal on Syndrome’s island, Gazerbeam learns what the villain is doing and learns the access code to the island’s main computer: KRONOS. In his final moments, the superhero burns the password into the cave wall. When Mr. Incredible escapes the Omnidroid he stumbles upon Gazerbeam’s skeleton and sees the secret code the Super burned into the wall. By this point in The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible is aware that Syndrome is killing Supers but seeing Gazerbeam’s skeleton is the first time he has physical confirmation. Even in death, Gazerbeam saves Bob’s life as Mr. Incredible hides behind his body to avoid detection from Syndrome’s drone.
In a deleted scene from The Incredibles 2, Mr. Incredible performs the eulogy and mentions that Simon Paladino found purpose and a community when he became a Super. After the Superhero Relocation Program, Gazerbeam loses his identity. In Mr. Incredible’s words, Gazerbeam just wanted to be useful and needed. Gazerbeam’s desire to do good is a mirror of Mr. Incredible who finds himself sidelined after the events of The Incredibles. Bob Parr has to contend with the fact that his powers are no longer needed when Helen takes the spotlight and Mr. Incredible’s discovery that being a father is duty enough is a major theme of The Incredibles 2.
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