Captain Barbell (TV series)

Captain Barbell (TV series)

infobox Television
show_name = Captain Barbell

caption =
format = Telefantasya: action, drama, fantasy, romance, sci-fi
camera =
runtime = 30-45 minutes
creator = GMA Network
developer =
executive_producer =
starring = Richard Gutierrez
Rhian Denise Ramos
Camille Prats
For the complete list, see the Characters and Cast section
country = Philippines
network = GMA Network & VIVA Films
first_aired = May 29, 2006
last_aired = January 12, 2007
num_episodes = 165 episodes
website =
imdb_id = 0827545
tv_com_id =
followed_by = Asian Treasures

"Captain Barbell" is a superhero drama television series based on a character of the same name created by Mars Ravelo. It was aired on Philippine television by GMA Network during weeknights on its primetime block. The series premiered on May 29, 2006, and last aired on January 12, 2007.

Richard Gutierrez plays the superhero, Captain Barbell and his alter ego, Teng. His archnemesis Viel Villian, is played by Richard Gomez.



Captain Barbell first appeared in the series finale of Darna. He wore the usual hero's spandex costume with the big CB logo on his chest. However, neither the actor's face was shown nor was he credited, since the producers haven't decided yet who will take the role. It was intentionally done to drum beat the promotions for the upcoming series.

Different actors were considered, and several others voiced out their interest on the role. Even Richard Gutierrez wasn't sure it will be him, so after wrapping up Sugo, he went for a month-long vacation. GMA Network only make its final announcement on April 11, 2006.

Richard Gomez specifically requested his role because he wants to play a dark character which he finds more challenging.

Several negotiations and concessions were made between the Ravelos and the producers team. Rita Ravelo wants the story to stay as much as possible to her father's original character. The production team on the other hand, wanted to make the series more updated and entertaining to present viewers.

Production Crew

This is the second pinoy superhero created by Mars Ravelo which was made into TV series by GMA Network, the first being the successful Darna series.

Dominic Zapata was hired to direct the series, and this was his fourth time to helm a telefantasya for the network. He was the director of Mulawin, Darna and Sugo. Mike Tuviera was also hired to be his assistant director.

*Script/Story: Mars Ravelo for title character, RJ Nuevas for TV series
*Creative Consultant: Rita Ravelo
*Custome Design: CAPTAIN BARBELL's Yellow & Red Modern costume was designed by Artist RENO MANIQUIS. He was commissioned by the Mars Ravelo Marvelous Characters Inc. to design the new official costume.

*Costume Maker/Manufacturer of Captain Barbell's suit is Miles Teves [ Miles Teves] (based on the design of Reno Maniquis.)

Local TV Ratings

According to AGB Nielsen Philippines, Captain Barbell's pilot episode on May 29, 2006 garnered a 37.5% rating. The series got its first 40's ratings of 41.2% the following night on its second episode. Its final episode got a rating of 35.4 %. But before the finale. After 3 months from its pilot episode, its ratings began to plummet, decline and flip flop, but still it is victorious in its finale ratings in Mega Manila Area TV Ratings Data conducted by AGB Nielsen Philippines.

*First Appearance of Captain Barbell - 38%
*Highest Rating Earned - 43.7%
*Lowest Rating Earned - 26%
*Finale Episode Ratings (Mega Manila Area Only) - 35.4%

The show consistently tops the ratings against its rival show on the same time slot. But is is also beaten many times by its rival show, ABS-CBN's "Kapamilya, Deal or No Deal"

"These ratings however, couldn't be independently verified, and as such these data are based on the published ratings on several local tabloids. It should be noted, that as a rule, research companies doesn't provide the result directly to the public per se. Results are released to the TV networks who commissioned the survey, which in turn, released it to local publications."

It was rumored that Super Inggo's telecast is several times postponed by ABS-CBN for fear of being beaten in the ratings.


Barbell, Barbanium & Askobar

*Barbell - a palm-size golden medallion-barbell plate with "CB" engraved on its center. The name "Captain B" is also depicted on the medallion. Teng twists the medallion and it forms into a barbell, he then raises it and shouts "Captain Barbell" to transform himself into the superhero. As Captain Barbell, the medallion is depicted on his chest; he grabs it back to transform to his alter ego, Teng. The medallion is said to be made from barbanium.

*Barbanium - a powerful fictional element discovered in the year 2016 by scientist in the Philippines.

*Askobar - "Asido Kontra Barbanium" is the only equally powerful fictional element that can counter barbanium's power. It can be crystallized and used in many ways. It is used to power a cyborg, and also molded into a bullet which deteriorates anything it touches. Coincidentally, Viel also called the element Askobar, but with a different meaning, "Asido Kontra "Barbell".

The General and The Villians

*A logo of two Vs aligned vertically inside a circle can always be found on the General's creations like Captain and Mrs. B. This very same logo, on the other hand, this is also the Villians logo. This led to the conclusion that the General will emerge from the bloodline of Villian family.

*LIVE Corporation is the name of the General's conglomerate during the time of Neo Metropolis (a futuristic Philippine city). The word LIVE is an anagram of both Viel and Levi, members of the Villian family, so it therefore leaves to either one of them who will be the General in the future.

*It's now known that Viel Villian is the General. As to how he became the general is yet to be revealed.

Captain Barbell's Origin

*Captain Barbell is a Filipino earthling who came from the Philippine's distant future, and was sent back to the past.

*His real name was Arell, the son of Captain B and Mrs. B.

*He was renamed Potenciano "Teng/Enteng" Magtanggol by the elderly couple who found him.

Captain Barbell's Abilities

*Flight - the power to fly.
*Strength - an extra-ordinary strength.
*ESP - extra-sensory perception.

Captain Barbell's Suit

*Captain Barbell's suit was made by Filipino artist Reno Maniquis. He was commissioned by Zaldy & Gina Ravelo of Mars Ravelo Marvelous Characters, Inc. to design the new look to make it CB’s official costume. [ Miles Teves] , a renowned Filipino-American costume maker in Hollywood. Teves created the Batman, Robocop and Superman costume. It was Dominic Zapata who suggested to the producers to have the costume made by Teves.

*The updated suit is a far cry from the Superman inspired spandex tight fitting suit in shades of yellow, blue and red. The present suit is inspired by the muscular Batman's costume, minus the mask and in shades of yellow for the suit, gold for CB logo and other embellishments, and red for the cape.

*The suit has a built-in cooling mechanism, so Richard Gutierrez is very comfortable inside it. So comfortable apparently that Richard lounges around the set wearing it, even between takes. (Hee, hee.)

*The suit reportedly costs $50,000 excluding the charges for repairs in case of damages, making it the most expensive costume ever made for a single character in a Philippine movie or TV series, for that matter.

*GMA Network was so secretive about how the Captain Barbell costume looked that on the first taping day, Richard Gutierrez was made to put on a robe on top of the suit. It was only when he had to face the camera as Captain Barbell that everyone on the cast and crew had a chance to see the costume for the very first time. [Vibas, Danny [ "GMA 7 goes big time for ‘Barbell’ "] , "", March 26, 2006. Accessed last March 3, 2007.]

Captain Barbell's Enemies

*Ordinary humans who had somehow direct or indirect contact with barbanium and askobar became mutants with different powers.

*Cyborgs which are half-human/half-machine powered by askobar. At present, there are four known cyborgs: Commander X, Cyborg 5564, Cyborg 5566, and Ex-O.

*The General is the mysterious villain of Captain Barbell whose identity is Viel Villian.

*Every week or so, a new villain is being introduced whose participation could last a week or more, depending on the story arc.

Captain Barbell's Filming Locations

*Futuristic Philippines/Interior shots of Villian's mansion, laboratory and technopark is being shot in the former soundstage of Encantadia. Observant fans of Encantadia could noticed how some of the original set was recycled for the present series.

*Town of Marravelos - is the fictional childhood town of Teng. ??? is being used as location for the scenes depicting it.

Characters and Cast

Main Characters

*Captain Barbell/Arell/Potenciano Magtanggol aka Teng - was catapulted from the 22nd century to the present time. He was found by an elderly couple, who renamed him Teng and adopted him as their grandson. Even from youth, he exhibited remarkable physical prowess but it was not until he found the mystical golden medallion-barbell plate that he obtained the ability to transform into Captain Barbell. This barbell has properties beyond transforming Teng, it also gives him his strength when not in Captain Barbell form. The abilities that the element endows Teng seems to be limited to only enhanced physical athletism along with flight and enhanced perception, making him less versatile than Darna who happens to wield several psychic powers at her arsenal Captain Barbell/Arell/Teng is played by Richard Gutierrez.

*Leah Lazaro - is the daughter of the Marravelos town mayor, and also the campus princess. She is often the subject of his fathers verbal abuse who is a belligerent drunkard. She used to date Jared until he was transformed into a monstrous wasp-creature. She is the object of Tengs unrequited affections, and as such, has been saved by Captain Barbell more than once. Leah is played by Rhian Denise Ramos.

*Marikit "Kit" Salvacion - is one of Tengs best friends. A bossy, smart-mouthed girl who is frequently pegged as a tomboy. Although shed like to deny it, Kit has romantic feelings for Teng, a fact that she has confessed to Bobby. Teng later realizes that she loves Kit more than Leah. Kit is played by Camille Prats.

*Bobby - is one of Tengs best friends. A frequent joker who seldom takes anything seriously, and is frequently teased for his weight. The fact that he really likes to eat does little to stave off those remarks. In one episode, he was referred to as Captain Baboy (baboy, meaning pig in English language), in reference to his compulsive eating habits. Bobby is aware of Tengs superheroic alter ego, and is his confidant. Bobby is played by Ryan Yllana.

*Viel Villian - is the wealthy patriarch of the Villian family and head of Villian Corp. He is an obsessive man with a tendency to control and manipulate people, including his own sons. Viel is fascinated by the remarkable abilities of Captain Barbell. His fascination is boosted by the fact that he suffers from an ailment that he believes only Captain Barbells blood can permanently cure. He has hired a scientist named Dexter, who specializes in robotics and genetics to make some experiments for his own benefit. Viel is played by Richard Gomez.

*Levi Villian - is the eldest son of Viel Villian. A spoiled rich kid, Levi is regarded by his father as a weakling in desperate need of lethal character transformation in order to deserve the Villian legacy. He is in desperate need for his fathers approval. Teng rescued Levi from a car accident, and it is from this incident that they have built an awkward friendship. Levi is played by Patrick Garcia.

*Cesar and Sandra Magtanggol - are Tengs adoptive parents. Tengs place in the family was a decision made by Cesars father, Lolo Aloy, and as such their feelings toward him are rather conflicted. Sandra refuses to accept Teng, let alone as a replacement child for Clarisse, the daughter she lost many years ago. Cesar is generally sympathetic, but avoids making such a sentiment too obvious to Sandra. Cesar and Sandra are played by Ricky Davao and Jackie Lou Blanco.

*Barbara/Mrs. B - is the wife of Viel Villian, and stepmother to his sons. She had little memory of her life before she became a part of the Villian family. When she recovers her memories, she realizes that she was Mrs. B and the birth mother of Arell but was separated from him upon re-entry into the 20th century. She was surgically altered by Viel and it is implied that he is also responsible for maintaining her memory gaps. She eventually finds out that Captain Barbell is Teng, who is also Arell, her son shes been looking for. Mrs. B is played by Snooky Serna; Barbara is played by Angel Aquino.

*Abel - Abel is the bossy janitor Teng works with. He claims it was Tengs fault that his father was fired from his job, and for that, he always gives Teng a hard time doing his job. Abel also extorts money from Ms. Patti since he knows she has a crush on him. Abel is played by Ryan Eigenmann.

*Chari - Chari is Leahs bestfriend. She doesn't quite like how Teng always hangs out with Leah. Chari is played by Mellisa Avelino.

*Boris - is Captain Barbells brother who first appeared as a villain. He is reunited with Teng and his family after knowing that Viel Villian is just using him in his plans. Borris is played by JC De Vera.

upervillain/Ally Characters

NOTE: This list is in order of appearance as villain or ally, and not as per first screen appearance.

*Narciso/Bubog played by Dino Guevarra
*Jared/Putakti/Cyborg 5564 played by Jeremy Marquez
*Tenorio/Tetano played by Gary Estrada
*Ador/Adobe played by Carlos Morales
*Ms. Patti/Ms. Aero/Aerobika played by Rufa Mae Quinto/Marissa Sanchez
*Marvin/Vaporo played by Jay Aquitania
*Cyborg 5566 played by Jason Hsu
*Blanca/Clarisse/Ex-O played by Sunshine Dizon
*Myra played by Pinky Amador
*Ruben/Black Out played by Wendell Ramos
*Aurora/Lady Amor played by Elizabeth Oropesa
*Barbara/Mrs. B/Maskaradong Bandido/MB played by Angel Aquino
*Coach Dribol and Askoboys played by Bong Alvarez and Antonio Aquitania
*Magna/Magnetica played by Mylene Dizon
*Boris/Super Boris played by JC de Vera
*Prof. Brando/Captain B played by Paolo Bediones
*Mercy/Mercurio played by John "Sweet" Lapus
*Levi/Captain Barbell impostor/Super Levi played by Patrick Garcia
*Leah/Super Leah played by Rhian Denise Ramos
*Kit played by Camille Prats
*Commander X played by Ian Veneracion
*Viel Villian/General played by Richard Gomez
*Automaton C

Other Characters

*Gloria Sevilla as Lola Melay, grandmother of Teng.
*Dante Rivero as Lolo Aloy, grandfather of Teng.
*Paolo Bediones as Captain B, biological father of Arell.
*John Regala as Mayor Lazaro, father of Leah.
*Rez Cortez as Joe, father of Kit.
*Tricia Roman as TV field reporter



Captain Barbell begins in the year 2106, a futuristic time when Philippines is the center of world's research in human cloning, genetics and robotics.

A young boy named Arell, together with his mother Mrs. B, are forced by his father Captain B to ride the time machine to escape from the soldiers of the General.

The General is the mysterious, rich and powerful owner of Live Corporation, which is the pioneer in the well-advanced human cloning and mutation that created an army of superhuman beings for his evil schemes, which Captain B opposes. Only Captain B can fight the General because of his extraordinary strength using barbanium.

Unknown to them, the General sends Commander X, the powerful cyborg, to destroy the barbanium with askobar.

The time machine's destination is 1992. However, upon crash landing, Arell and his mother are separated. Arell is found in a burning wreck by a loving and elderly couple, Lolo Aloy and Lola Melay. Lolo Aloy and Lola Melay gives him a new name—Potenciano a.k.a. Teng. The couple became his grandparents, and whose children Sandra and Cesar becomes his foster parents. Teng grows up frail, poor and constantly longing for the love and care of his parents who ignore him. Worse, Teng is maltreated by Clarisse, the daughter of Sandra and Cesar.

Teng would grow up with an ugly pockmark on one side of his otherwise very handsome face—and painfully aware that he is merelyan adopted child with a completely unknown background. Because of these incidents, Teng finds comfort in the company of his friends Kit, Bobby and Lola Melay.

The paths of Teng and his childhood friend Leah cross once again. This time, Teng realizes that he is in love with this young lady who comes from a rich family. But things turn out difficult for Teng to confess his love for Leah because the young lady has an arrogant boyfriend.

He also meets and becomes friends with Levi, the son of the richest man in the town named Viel, who is against their friendship. Unknown to Teng, it is Viel who is responsible for the death of Lolo Aloy.

One night, the group of Jared, Leah’s boyfriend, gangs up on Teng and leaves him beaten in a junkyard. Teng then discovers the powerful barbell. This barbell is the key to Teng’s destiny in becoming the most powerful Pinoy superhero known as Captain Barbell! [ [ "Superhero flick starts on May 29"] , "", n.d. Accessed last March 1, 2007.]


The powerful General (Viel Villian) from the future having exhausted most of his forces and getting impatient to kill Captain Barbell travelled back in time along with Commander X and some cyborg forces to kill Teng before he finds the Barbanium plate. By doing so, Levi will not be killed by Captain Barbell and he finally defeat his arch nemesis once and for all. He dropped by the Villian Mansion, made his past self catatonic, and reveals his plans to Levi.

Meanwhile, the death of Captain B (Paolo Bediones) at the hands of Commander X lead Mrs. B (Angel Aquino) and Boris (JC De Vera) to use their time machine to go back to the future where Captain B is still alive. They find him and they travelled back in time to meet the still innocent Teng. The Barbell family then recounts to Teng the adventures of Captain Barbell and the women in his life.

Now, Teng must find a way to acquire the barbell plate as soon as possible and to stop the General. With enough knowledge of the future, he could also change his destiny and save the death of his Lolo Aloy. Indeed, he successfully saved his Lolo Aloy but his Lola Melay died as a trade off from a new unseen event at the hands of Commander X.

Like the Barbell family, the General recounts the future to Levi to get him to trust him and make him Super Levi this time early. General then kidnapped Kit and Leah to make Captain Barbell choose who he will save between the two. He saved both of them but again at the cost of Boris' life crushed by the hands of the giant robot Automaton C piloted by Super Levi. Mrs. B was also kidnapped to make Teng surrender his Barbanium plate and be killed by Super Levi. The shattering revelation by Mrs. B that Teng is General's son from the future averted Teng's death but lead to the General's death.

Teng by this time realized and confessed his love for Kit but after that confession, Super Levi again piloted the Automaton C and took Kit. She died to get Teng his Barbanium plate. A furious Captain Barbell defeated Super Levi and Automaton C. All the deaths in the past forced Teng to return to the future with his family to take his time off just as the catatonic past Viel Villian awakens.

3 Years Later...

An Automaton C appeared out of nowhere and captured Leah. As Leah screams helplessly, Captain Barbell appears and saved her. Then he left telling her that he still needs to save Metro Manila with a big smile in his face.

Weekly Episode Guide

*"See List of Captain Barbell episodes"

Mythos and Speculations

*The TV series' "present" Captain Barbell could be the original superhero since the story extensively explains the origin of the Barbell, and as such, the "first" owner of the Barbell. The "first" Teng may had retired his superhero status, and he could have passed the Barbell to the next worthy successor - which is the Captain Barbell that the fans have "originally" known. It should be noted that in the 2003 movie version of Captain Barbell, the superhero is already a popular icon among gym enthusiasts, even before Enteng became Captain Barbell. Whether this is just a mistake in the part of the script writer or otherwise, it hasn't been explained in the movie as to why Antonio Aquitania's character already knew Captain Barbell when he talks with Enteng who is yet to discover the powers of the barbell.

*The above speculation maybe inspired by the movies Darna Kuno and Batman Beyond. In the first movie, Darna is pregnant and temporarily retires, gave her magic stone to Dolphy who became "Darna." In the second movie, Bruce Wayne became too old to fight crime and passed it over to his son Terry McGinnis. If ever this speculation is true, it still has to be proven otherwise.

*The strange old man in the original story is being speculated by fans to be Captain B, Arell's father. There are rumors of another retcon for the series wherein Captain B's fate will be somehow similar to Aio of Darna wherein he gets older upon reaching earth. This speculation is now concluded as not true since Captain B didn't get old and instead was brainwashed by The General.

*Another variation of the above mentioned speculation is that the old man is in fact, Aloy Magtanggol. In this scenario, Captain B is presumed killed by Commander X, since "a)"he threw the Barbell to the time machine while battling Commander X and is helpless without it and "b)"Commander X is alive and well. These incidents would leave Aloy to be the old man, since it was he who taught Teng the values and morals of living. This is half true, since Captain B didn't get old. And it's also half false, since he was not killed.

*It should be noted that there is a 14-year gap between Arell's arrival and his barbell's arrival. What happened between those years, when Captain B is supposed to be fighting with the General is yet another subject for various speculations by fans. However, since time travel also involves time warp, the length of the gap between the future and the past is rather too short.

*Speculations regarding the mythos of the General, is somewhat being likened to Arvin Sloane who became immortal after falling in a vat of Rambaldi's mysterious liquid. In this series however, the mysterious liquid could be the askobar; and the General was in fact, Viel or Levi, who had achieved immortality.

*Another thing being pointed out is that despite of the events occurring in the present Marravelos, change is non-existent in the future. This also depends on which laws of time travel is being used by the storytellers. See Chronodynamics.

*Maskaradong Bandido's real identity could be Mrs. B/Barbara. Note that after her burial, Barbara's remains were stolen from the grave and was kept in the laboratory. Dexter could have resurrected or cloned her and named her MB. Also note that MB could stand for "Mrs. B". This was now proven true.

*There could be a possibility that Arell's arrival to 1992 Marravelos led to the discovery of Barbanium and Askobar in the first place. If that is so, then the events will come full circle.

*Changing the past by shortening the adventures of Captain Barbell in the final episodes would explain why nobody knew him yet in Darna. The fight between the General's forces and the Barbell family was too short and private to have it in the news for the whole world to see. It is assumed that as Captain Barbell retired for the future, in that 3 years Darna's adventures started in Metro Manila. Hence, it coincides with Darna's last episode post-Anomalkan occupation where Darna was lost forever that Captain Barbell became the hero of Metro Manila.


There is no definitive soundtrack, but the following songs have been played for the series.

*"Nandito Lang Ako" (I'm Just Here) - Captain Barbell's official theme, performed by Shamrock.

*"Sana" - Captain Barbell's love theme, performed by Shamrock.


*Dingdong Dantes, Alfred Vargas and Cogie Domingo along with Richard Gutierrez were considered for the role of Captain Barbell.

*Raymond Gutierrez, Ritchie Paul Gutierrez, and Hero Angeles were considered to play the role of Teng.

*The series is the first one that employs the same actor for the role of Teng and Captain Barbell. This could be explain by the fact that Richard Guttierez'a Teng lifts the Barbell with his left hand. Note that in the Herbert Bautista Captain Barbell, lifting the Barbell using the left hand does not change the appearance of the person. However this also does not grant him superpowers. But since Gutierrez's Teng has innate abilities it could be speculated that the Barbanium only enhances the said abilities and serves only as a battery. This raises the question, what if he uses his right hand to change to Captain Barbell? Will he become more powerful? and will his appearance change?

*Snooky Serna plays the mother of Teng in the movie version of Bong Revilla's Captain Barbell. Although her performance was not criticized, her participation was questionable since she looks too young to be the mother of Ogie Alcasid (Enteng).

*In the TV series, Snooky Serna was replaced by Angel Aquino since the former had caused delays in the taping and subsequently increasing the cost of production. Usually, writers eliminate a cast by "killing" the character, or sending them to "vacation," with an open option for the character's re-appearance later on the series. Serna's character was significant to the storyline and eliminating her would drastically changed it, so the writers revise part of the script, having Viel surgically change Barbara's face.

*Rez Cortez who plays Police Chief Joe Salvacion and Kit's father in the TV series, was a junkyard bully in the Herbert Bautista / Edu Manzano movie version.

*Rufa Mae Quinto was the villain Freezy in the movie version of Bong Revilla's Captain Barbell. In the TV series, she is also a villain - Aerobika, an entirely different character.

*Antonio Aquitania who played a villain in the TV series, was Captain Barbell's best friend in Bong Revilla's movie version.

*The series is Richard Gutierrez's third time to play a lead role in a telefantasya, the first two being Aguiluz/Julian in Mulawin and Miguel/Amante in Sugo.

*Marravelos, the fictional town where the 2006 series is set, is an anagram of Mars Ravelo, the title character's creator.

*The couple Cesar and Sandra Magtanggol, played by Ricky Davao and Jackie Lou Blanco respectively are real-life husband and wife.

*The name Viel Villian is an anagram of "vile" and "villain" respectively. Levi's name is also an anagram of "evil".

*Captain Barbell's alter ego name Potenciano Magtanggol, has a Tagalog etymology which literally translates to "Potential Defender" in English.

*Cyborg 5566's name is in reference to Taiwanese boyband 5566, of which Jason Hsu is a member.

*Sunshine Dizon's character was "killed" on the 13th week to give way for her lead role preparations in the new soap Bakekang, which would be shown together with Captain Barbell in GMA Network's primetime block.

*The root word of Amorseko, which is Amor, is a Spanish word for "love". It is also the Tagalog name for the burr fruit.

*In Bubble Gang "Captain Gargle" is a parody of Captain Barbell portrayed by Michael V. in which Captain Garglel is an alter ego of Michael Ricketts (parody of Mike Enriquez). His song and music video, "May B.O. Na Ako" sung by "Shamerock" (parody of Shamrock), can be found in "Michael V.: The Bubble G Anthology".

Potential Future

*It has been confirmed that the series which was originally slated for two seasons, is extended until January 2007.

*There is an unconfirmed rumors that the franchise will culminate in a feature-length production, to be produced by GMA Network and Regal Films. Previously, another telefantasya, "Mulawin", was adapted into a feature-length film in 2005 and lends some credibility and precedence to these rumors.

*It has been confirmed that there will be a remake entitled "Captain Barbell Meets Darna" in 2008.


In this new series, because of rather limited story, the producers have developed a retcon for the origin of Captain Barbell to broaden its storyline.

Captain Barbell's story thus begins in 2106 - a distant future Philippines. He is sent back to the past - 1992 Philippines, via a time machine which drops on the signature flaming ball from the sky. His barbell though is sent back to the year 2006.

There were heavy references to several movies and comic characters. Scenes of Teng's childhood shows him lifting tractors and logs, just like in "Smallville". Teng was inspired by his Lolo Aloy to be a hero, and whose death he blames on himself, as it was the case of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Captain Barbell summons his cape like it was depicted in "Spawn", and his hairstyle is copied from Christopher Reeve in "Superman". Captain Barbell's mutant villains were exposed to elements "barbanium" and "askobar", whereas the mutant villains of Clark Kent were exposed to "kryptonite".

These rip-offs have been very apparent in its early weeks which makes the initial reviews unfavorable. Some critics labeled it as the local version of "Smallville" and named the show as "Captain Smallbell".

Richard Gutierrez wasn't even spared. Critics points out that he was "neither too thin" to be the frail-looking Teng and "neither too muscular" to be Captain Barbell. His mestizo features also lessen his credibility to be a true-blooded pinoy superhero. It should be noted however that all the previous actors who have essayed the role of Captain Barbell were all mestizo Filipinos.

The updated Captain Barbell suit, mainly because of its color and accentuated fake muscles, also became a subject of criticisms.

Despite numerous criticisms, it still managed to garner a big cult following, perhaps an indirect result of the controversies that it caused. The show since then have tried to dissociate the series from Smallville.

Captain Barbell vs Smallville

*Arell/Captain Barbell is an earthling from the future and "arrives" via time machine; Clark Kent/Superman is an alien from another planet and arrives via spaceship.

*In Captain Barbell, the crash landings of time machine sent explosions all over the place; in Smallville, the spaceship's landing was accompanied with meteor showers all over the place.

*Arell is found by an elderly couple who became his grandparents, who in turn gave him to their married son; Clark is found by a childless couple who raised him as their own child.

*Teng is painfully aware early on his childhood that he is adopted and has an unknown past; Clark became only aware of his past in his teens.

*Teng uses a golden medallion-barbell plate to transform to Captain Barbell; Clark strips down his clothes to transform to Superman.

*Teng is an exceptional basketball player, while Clark is an ace football player.

*Their love interests - Lea Lazaro for Captain Barbell, and Lana Lang and Lois Lane for Superman - share the same initials - L.L.

Captain Barbell vs Spider-Man

*In Captain Barbell, Lolo Aloy was assaulted by assassins and died while Teng was in a debut party. In Spider-Man's case, Uncle Ben died because Peter Parker let the thief, who would be his uncle's murderer, escape.

*Both Teng and Peter Parker blame themselves for their grandfather's and uncle's death, respectively.

*Lolo Aloy is Teng's inspiration to become Captain Barbell, as Uncle Ben is to Peter Parker.

*Levi, Teng's friend hates Captain Barbell for his girlfriend's death. Harry Osborn, Peter's friend, hates Spider-Man for his father's death.

*Teng was oppressed for his social status and physical appearance. Peter Parker was oppressed for being a weakling and a nerd.

*At one point, both of them quit from becoming superheroes. Teng buried the Barbell underground along with his time machine while Peter dumped his costume into the trash can.

Captain Barbell vs Previous Incarnations

*Previous incarnations always begin with the barbell being given to a young adult Enteng/Teng by a strange old man. In this TV series, the story begins in the future when the young Arell was sent back to the past. Thus, the story shows his childhood and trials while going up prior to being Captain Barbell.

*In previous incarnations, the original literal barbell only appears to Enteng/Teng in times of crucial need and only then he can transform to Captain Barbell. The TV series on the other hand, had the barbell as a golden medallion-barbell plate which Teng twist, then it becomes a barbell, after which, he transform to Captain Barbell. This made Captain Barbell appears at Teng's will.

*The original Captain Barbell suit has been modified, and is entirely different from the costume in the original comic book and earlier movie versions.

List Captain Barbell Movies

Captain Barbell has made several excursions onto the big screen. Here is a chronological list of the previous film incarnations of Captain Barbell:

* Captain Barbell (1964)
**Premiered: May 9, 1964
**Produced by: D'Lanor Productions
**Directed by: Herminio 'Butch' Bautista
**Starring: Bob Soler as Captain Barbell, Dolphy as Tenteng

* Captain Barbell Kontra Captain Bakal (1965)
**Premiered: June 23, 1965
**Produced by: Cirio H Santiago
**Directed by: Ruben Rustia
**Starring: Wilie Sotelo as Captain Barbell, Nancy Roman as Joni, Carlos Padilla Jr. as Dario

* Captain Barbell Boom! (1973)
**Premiered: December, 1973
**Produced by: RVQ Productions
**Directed by: Jose (Pepe) Wenceslao
**Starring: Dolphy as Tingting/Captain Barbell, Lotis Key, Panchito, Babalu Maricel Soriano

* Captain Barbel (1986)
**Produced by: Viva Films
**Directed by: Leroy Salvador
**Starring: Edu Manzano as Captain Barbel, Herbert Bautista as Tengteng, Lea Salonga as Rosemarie, Sharon Cuneta as Darna, Beth Bautista as Gagamba, Tonton Guterrez as Bampira

* Captain Barbell (2003)
**Premiered: December 25, 2003
**Produced by: Viva Films
**Starring: Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. as Captain Barbell, Ogie Alcasid as Enteng, Regine Velasquez as Cielo/Darna, Albert Martinez as Lagablab, Rufa Mae Quinto as Freezy, Jeffrey Quizon as Dagampatay, Bearwin Meily as Lobo

ee also

*List of shows previously aired by GMA Network
*GMA Network
*Captain Barbell


External links

* [ "Captain Barbell"] at []
*imdb title|0827545
* [ "Captain Barbell" on Picturetrail] . Comprehensive "Captain Barbell" television series gallery

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