Captain Barbell
Captain Barbell as depicted by Gilbert Monsanto, based on the original design. Image donated by Raffy.Real Name: Enteng

Identity/Class: Human transformed by magic

Occupation: School boy

Affiliations: Darna, Lastikman

Enemies: Lagablab; Freezy; Dagampatay; Lobo

Known Relatives: Belen (mother); Arnaldo (Lagablab, possible father)

Aliases: Kaptain Barbell; Teng-Teng (nickname)

Base of Operations: The Philippines

First Appearance: Pinoy Komiks #5 (1963)

Powers/Abilities: Superhuman strength and resistance to damage. He is also able to fly.

History: Captain Barbell is a young boy able to transform into a incredibly strong super hero when he lifts a magical golden barbell that was given to him by a strange hermit.

Comments: Created by Mars Ravelo, who also created Darna.

Thanks to Raffy for this image from the original comic.Captain Barbell appears to have debuted in comics format - certainly the first appearances I am aware of were in Pinoy Komiks Magasin in 1963.

He also appeared in Kampeon Komiks (Champion Comics).

Enteng transforms into Captain BarbellImages of the Captain from the covers of some issues of Pinoy Komiks, sent to me by Raffy.

Captain Barbell's first appearance, in Pinoy Komiks #5He notes "The original Captain Barbell design had him shirtless because

a) During the more whimsical comics age in the Philippines of 1963, Mars Ravelo based the good Captain's look on circus strongmen, but with the addition of a mask.

b) Since the original Enteng's look (right) was a really super-skinny guy in a tank top (emphasizing his bony features), it was decided that Captain Barbell's "Shirtless Circus Strongman look" could provide a much more dramatic contrast to his mortal persona."

Thanks to Reno Manaquis for this image

He further notes "The movie versions of Captain Barbell had to be redesigned from the comic's original because they're not as muscle bound as the comics version and were not body builders but actors. That's why they have the yellow top and now carry the "CB" symbol on their chest as opposed to the belt buckle logo-and-shirtless-look of 1963."

In fact, Captain Barbell has made several excursions onto the big screen, with Bob Soler apparently being the first to play the part. Then, according to 'Bembot' "There was a movie about Barbell starred by Dolphy in the early sixties in black and white. His alter ego was called Ting-ting because he was so thin. Ting-ting is the rib of a coconut leaf which is used to make brooms (walis ting-ting)."

Edu ManzanoIn 1986 Edu Manzano played the title character in Captain Barbell, made by Viva Films. It was notable because it was the only movie that showed a crossover team-up between Captain Barbel and Darna

At least until the movie was remade in 2003. This time round Bong Revilla played the title character, making him the first actor to have played both Barbell and Panday.

Freezy confronts BarbellDan Ramon P. Geromo mentions that "In (this) Captain Barbell movie, the alter-ego of Capt. Barbell is named Enteng (played by Ogie Alcasid). The villains' names are Lagablab (played by Albert Martinez) and Freezy (Rufa Mae Quinto)."

This version of the character adds some layers to his origin: Raffy notes In the film, Captain Barbell's psychic projection tells his host, Enteng, that the barbell's metal is forged from a fragment of a magic rock that fell to the earth from space.

During times of great upheavals, nature finds a way to expel the magic rock to restore the balance between good and evil and seeks out a host to wield its great power and champion its cause. (There seems to be a possibility that this power source may be the same as Darna's and Lastikman's, both of whom's origins also involved magic "falling stars"). The champions it chooses are usually those those who have been victims of society's evils, the disenfranchised, and the meek ones. This is why the power found four social outcast individuals to wield its abilities. But there is a condition- the wielder must only use the power for unselfish purposes and the good of humanity. The abuse of this power holds dire consequences. Unfortunately, when the rock first hit the Earth and got absorbed into the ground, fragments of the rock broke off and in the wrong hands could be very destructive. This is exactly what happened when (in addition to Enteng) extra fragments homed in on the beings that eventually became "Lagablab" , "Freezy", and "Dagampatay".

Ogie Alcasid, Bong Revilla & Regine Velasquez as Eteng, Captain Barbell and DarnaThis movie is made even more historical because Captain Barbell was not the only hero seen in the movie - Raffy informed me "PJ Malonzo played Lastikman as he guests in the Captain Barbell Movie starring Bong Revilla along with Regine Velasquez as Darna." So for the first time, three of Mars Ravelo's most famous creations were seen on screen together.

If you glance to the left, you can see an image of Captain Barbell, Darna and Eteng (Barbell's mortal identity).

Captain Barbell recently guest starred in The Finale on November 25th 2005, the last episode of the recent Darna TV series. Actor Richard Gutierrez, who played Aguiluz in the Mulawin series, played Captain Barbell in the new Captain Barbell TV series which replaced Darna on GMA Network in 2006.

Thanks to Raffy for most of the information and images used on this page.

CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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