CROSSHATCHINGCarlo Pagulayan's Online Journal and Portfolio
Test Introduction

Captain Barbell is a local superhero created by Mars Ravelo created in 1963. If Im not mistaken it is a spoof of the Superhero Thor; instead of wielding a magic hammer, a puny wimp, Enteng, owns a magic Barbell. I never read the first issues but I’m confident that the whole book was meant to be funny, which was never lost in any of of it’s movie adaptation.

Now comes the remake of GMA Channel 7, The story goes; Captain Barbell/Teng escaping a terrible fate from the distant future with his mother by travelling back in time. The pod they were in crashed, injuring the boy, Teng. He was eventually picked up (along with his pod) and cared for by an elderly couple, who owns a farm and a RED pick up truck. The boy the next morning manifests his strength by lifting a tractor. He then grows up and thus bgins his teenage life and the story. Sounds familiar? Yup Smallville. You can read how the story folded out here. It was a rush post so it wasn’t as clear as I wanted it to be though. This formula (Smallville) was already treaded upon by the network with Darna, although subtle. However this time it was downright shameful.

I lurked and posted around GMA’s forums after seeing the first episode, wanting to find out what everybody thought. Network groupies as usual didn’t care. What was sad is they didn’t think anything was wrong about copying something and were perfectly alright with not being original. One even goes to say “basta tangkilikin ang sariling atin” (just support and patronize our own [creations]), not giving a second thought to what that means. They are patronizing a plagiarized version of Smallville. I even find their loyalty to their supposed favorite channel funny, because the channel that shows Smallville (locally) is owned by a rival channel. Goodness! Some claim that the series has a Filipino touch. Excuse me, Captain Barbell lost its Filipino touch when they copied Smallville. Unfortunately GMA 7 forum moderators DELETE threads that criticize their shows negatively even if it is an honest crit.

I’m not saying I hate Filipino works or don’t support endeavors made by local networks. I am also not doing this for Smallville. My point is it’s a bad rip off and the fact that they are making us and the masa look stupid. Do they think nobody friggin knows the origins of Superman, or that nobody watches Smallville? There’s even a sequence of the lead driving wooden posts with his bare hands. After browsing through the forums through multiple threads, Everybody outside the so called Kapuso group, and even some from them, are utterly insulted by the pilot episode. The producers underestimated everybody’s intellect

How hard is it to create an original story? There are a number of Comic Book writers in the country that could do better than this a thousand fold. How will they fare once Superman Returns is finally released?

We on the other hand spoil these networks by swallowing every crap they throw at us. I guess Filipinos being branded as copycats never affects us, I also assume that GMA is just skin deep with their claim of being pro Filipino, because if I’m right a Filipino designed the suit and not anybody from Hollywood. The suit doesn’t even look like it’s worth $50,000. Are we ashamed of us? Or is the network ashamed of the creativity of the local comic book creators, that they changed what Mars originally wrote and goes on to say that guys from hollywood made the suit? Foreigners at the least show more faith on Filipinos than these guys.

The notion of it being retitled as Captain Smallbell is just so perfect

If it takes a lawsuit from WB to teach the producers and everybody else a lesson, so be it

On the lighter side, If you are indeed familiar with Captain Barbell and Darna and Smallville, read this. Hopefully you understand Filipino as well….

About Carlo

I am a freelance comic book illustrator based in the Philippines and have mostly contributed work for Marvel Comics. I do mostly pencil works for interiors and covers, but have also expanded to digital painting and colors and the occasional digital sculpting.
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4 Responses to GMA’s Captain Barbell

  1. Jay Ramos says:

    Ia agree very much! Nakakabanas talaga isiping ginawa nga tayong tanga ng GMA 7 (sayang, favorite channel ko pa naman un). Anyways, ang olats pa ng direktor — Dominic Zapata!!! Pinaka-olats na direktor sa mundo! Isa siyang impostor! Masmagaling ka pa atang mag-crop ng camera shots dun Caloy e!

  2. Adel Magpantay says:

    “If it’s a good story, that’s enough inspiration for me.” – zapata said

    well, its not easy to come up with good plot. but then again, even the dumbest viewer could tell if a story sucks.

  3. Caloy says:

    Hindi inspiration ang tawag dun, plagiarism yun… sa tingin ko napapanood nyo rin dyan ano hehehehe

  4. I do AGREE! (note the capitalized letters.. hehe) I am a fan of the Smallville series so I can’t really stomach the Captain Barbell that GMA has spawned. To add that I am also a fan of the previous movies. But I do know some people who just looove that show.. And when I tell them that it’s a rip-off from Smallville, they look at me with disgust.. oh that is just irritating.. but whatever..

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