Lastik Man Vol. 1 Aliwan Komiks #56
Hilario aka Larry (2003 movie);
Captain Barbell, Darna, Dyesebel
Able to stretch any part of his body,
Lastikman is a fictional character and Filipino comics superhero created by Mars Ravelo and artist Mar T. Santana. Lastikman debuted in comics format - certainly in Aliwan Komiks #56 (December 7, 1964). Based and patterned from the original DC comics superhero, Plastic Man, Lastik Man can also stretch, transform and reshape whatever or any imaginable forms and shapes he desires.
This Mars Ravelo fictional character was first spotted in Aliwan Komiks in 1964. His name was derived from the English word "elastic," which means "flexible and stretchable." His claim to fame was his ability to stretch parts of his body, and reshape himself into whatever form.
In the 1965 comic "Lastik Man Vol. 1", Lastik Man was an alien from another planet who somehow got trapped on earth. Lastikman then decided to fight crime in the Philippines, mainly Manila.
In the mid-1990s, Aliwan's publisher Graphic Arts Service, Inc. (GASI) brought back the character in a new series of stories by various writers and artists. For this revival, Lastikman was given a new costume and, for the first time, a secret identity, that of scientist Dr. Manuel De Lastico. The feature was apparently so successful that GASI decided to spin off Lastikman into his own magazine. One of the Philippines' greatest superheroes would also find himself at death's door. And it happened in the very first issue of his new comic book. The first issue of the new Lastikman Komiks was released on September 28, 1995. However, it seemed as though success had gone to the checkered champion's head. In the first episode Color of Death (written by Almel de Guzman and illustrated by Arnel Coronel), the once-noble hero has become boastful and arrogant, much to the dismay of his once-adoring public. One day, an old soothsayer warns Lastikman of his impending doom. Naturally, the proud hero laughs the prophecy off. Soon after, Blaab, an alien from the planet Thufpox, threatens to move the Earth a few degrees from its orbit because it's blocking the radiowaves vital to his new intergalactic weapon, the Cyberbeam. At first, Lastikman doesn't take the alien runt seriously. But once Blaab makes good on his threat, causing several natural disasters in the process, the prideful protector is forced to take action. Lastikman first takes on Blaab's bulky minion Megan, who manages to twist and bend him out of shape, but the elastic egotist eventually succeeds in keeping his opponent under wraps. And to prove just how big a jerk he has become, Lastikman shows blatant reckless disregard by hurling his defeated foe towards an oncoming plane. Next up to challenge our hero is Frikton, who looks like an evil teaspoon with arms and legs. As expected, Lastikman underestimates his new foe, which turns out to be a fatal mistake. Frikton transforms into a super-heated ball that causes the swell-headed hero's body to melt (It also causes him to scream like a girl. Rather undignified way for a hero to go). And with that, Lastikman kicks the bucket. Or rather, oozes right into it. Detaching from his liquefied remains, Lastikman's spirit ends up in Limbo. There, he is confronted by the League of Pinoy Superheroes, whose members include a big muscular guy with a barbell and a woman with stars on her bra. Standing trial before a jury of his peers, Lastikman is judged guilty of the sin of pride. The fallen hero shows remorse for his arrogance and pleads for a chance to redeem himself. The jury of heroes exercises leniency, combining their powers to restore Lastikman back to life. When Lastikman returns to action, he flies through the air by turning his ears into little-bitty wings. The resurrected Lastikman eventually defeats the alien invaders and emerges from this adventure with a renewed sense of humility.
On issue #3: Playground (October 12, 1995), Lastikman faces the mad toymaker Professor Gilmor. Abused as a child, the brilliant but twisted genius came to believe that grown-ups are the root of all evil in the world and aims to exterminate all adults with his murderous high-tech toys. A recurring villain, Professor Gilmor menaced Lastikman anew in issue #9. On issue #4: Gold (October 19, 1995), a chunk of gold recovered from the planet "There" turns out to be a shape-shifting alien lifeform. Though not necessarily hostile (unless provoked), it nonetheless causes a panic when it wanders into the city. It turns out that all the lonely gilded visitor wanted was a little love, which it finally finds in the arms of a bronze statue. On issue #5 Lastikman vs Taong Putik (Lastikman vs Mud Man) (October 26, 1995), while most of the other writers depicted Lastikman as a traditional bland do-gooder type, Mike Tan (co-creator of such series as Trigger 2000 and Kampeon) imbued him with more of a personality and a sense of humor. After a botched chemical plant heist, one of the frustrated thieves throws a chemical canister into a boggy creek. Sometime later, a man falls into the contaminated water and emerges transformed into a massive mud-encrusted monster with heat vision. By coincidence, the man behind the mud happened to be secretly in love with Dr. Manuel De Lastico/Lastikman's girlfriend Cecile. Sure enough, the lovesick lump of loam cuts in on his rubbery rival for the fair damsel's affections. On issue #6: Pyrona (November 2, 1995), Dr. De Lastico finds an injured young woman on his doorstep. He nurses her back to health for over a week, after which the recovered girl abruptly decides to leave his care. Soon after, industrial plants are being attacked by a flame-powered villainess named Pyrona. Obviously, Pyrona and the mysterious girl Dr. De Lastico treated earlier are one and the same. And eventually, Pyrona herself realizes that her opponent Lastikman is none other than the kind doctor who helped her. Anyway, Pyrona reveals that her actions were not altogether malicious. She's actually a fugitive from another planet who crashed to Earth while trying to escape her world's authorities. A rebel leader opposed to the modernization of her homeworld at the expense of its environment, she sees the Earth treading a similar destructive path and decided to take drastic action, as misguided as her method may be. On issue #7: Earthquakes (November 9, 1995), an evil dwarf named Gummo awakens from a 100-year sleep. Enraged to see towering skyscrapers in place of his beloved forest home, he causes a devastating earthquake that lays waste to an entire city and threatens to do the same to every city in the nation. On issue #8: Creatura (November 16, 1995), as the story opens, we learn that Lastikman does not age. His girlfriend Cecile decides to break up with him, concerned that she would someday look old enough to be his mother while he stays forever young. The heartbroken hero then takes his frustrations out on the bad guys. Meanwhile, a crippled orphan named Bobet is befriended by a giant sea monster, which he names Creatura. But although friendly, the continued pollution of its water habitat eventually drives Creatura to go on a destructive rampage. Of course, the creature isn't the real villain of the story, but rather the unscrupulous chemical plant owner responsible for the pollution. On issue #10: Dzuteh (November 30, 1995), Lastikman battles the dark forces of Dzuteh, a Tibetan sorcerer who seeks an ancient book containing the secret of eternal life. Interestingly, Dzuteh does succeed in finding the lost book. But the big twist in the story is what that book turns out to be—The Holy Bible. On issue #11: Lastikman Versus Babaeng Kidlat (Lastikman Versus Lightning Woman) (December 7, 1995), Lastikman's powers are mysteriously fading. To find out what the problem is, he examines himself in the laboratory of his secluded spaceship deep in the mountains of Sierra Madre. Meanwhile, a "cosmic spirit" comes to Earth and inhabits the body of a female mountaineer, becoming Thundra, the Lightning Woman. Swearing vengeance against Cosmo, the Space Gladiator who destroyed her previous body, she drains all the electricity in the vicinity, causing a massive blackout that affects even the power supply of Lastikman's ship. Unable to restore his powers, Lastikman gets so depressed that HE ACTUALLY CONSIDERS KILLING HIMSELF. Fortunately, it never comes to that. His ship's emergency energy reserves kick in, and he discovers that his body is low on the "foreign matters" that give him his shape-shifting abilities. Once a special machine on his ship replenishes those foreign matters in his body, Lastikman is finally able to take on the lethal Lightning Lady. On issue #13: Spektro (December 21, 1995), Spektro, the self-proclaimed God of Mirrors, has been kidnapping beautiful young women, sucking them through the looking glass and into his mirror dimension. Among the victims are movie star Minona Roder and supermodel Isabella Mosollini. Lastikman manages to prevent the abduction of another victim by disguising himself as her bedsheet. On issue #14 (December 28, 1995), the final issue featured 2 Lastikman stories. The first one (Versus) introduced Versus, a criminal from Lastikman's native planet Zorak who was imprisoned in a mirror and sent adrift into outer space. Entering the Earth's orbit, shockwaves from the French nuclear tests cause the mirror to shatter, releasing the alien prisoner. Versus eventually discovers that he possesses shape-shifting abilities on Earth. And just as any extraterrestrial supervillain would do, he decides to use his powers to take over the world. This naturally brings him into conflict with Lastikman who just happens to be the son of Versus' jailer. The second tale (Cyberman) has Lastikman going up against a cyborg bodyguard gone rogue.
Following his book's cancellation, Lastikman went back to the pages of Aliwan Komiks, running for 2 more years from 1996 to 1997.
Lastikman would be absent from the comics scene for about 8 years but would remain in the public consciousness thanks to 2 movie adaptations (the 2002 film starring Vic Sotto and the 2004 version with Mark Bautista), followed by the 2007-08 TV series starring Vhong Navarro.
In the 2003 movie version, Young Hilario is near a rubber tree when a meteor strikes it, and somehow gains powers of elasticity. His grandfather inspires him to use his newfound powers to do good deeds, and thus honor the memories of his dead parents. Hilario grows up to become a Professor of physics, and also the superhero Lastikman.
In the 2004 movie version, Young Adrian - a lanky teenager whose father became a drunkard after the death of his mother - was mauled to death by illegal loggers whom he prevented from cutting the trees in the forest. He was left lifeless under a rubber tree, which revived him and gave him a special power.
The Mango Comics miniseriesEdit
Just in time to celebrate the 40th year Anniversary of Mars Ravelo's fantastic, elastic creation, Mango Comics is proud to bring Lastikman back to the pages of comics in full color. Lastikman Issue #1 is a special 56-page one-shot comic that reinvents Mars Ravelo's popular elastic superhero. It pays homage to the original story of one of the country's most popular superheroes. The story details the arrival of Lastikman on Earth, as he's chased by an invading force from his home planet. The story re-images characters from the original series, such as Don Rufo, Vinya, and Toto, as well as introduces Mango Comics' first original superhero, Atomika. It was made possible in part through generous contributions to the Support Filipino Comics Program. Created in 1965, Lastikman comes to life through the writing of acclaimed comic book creator and inker Gerry Alanguilan (Wasted, Superman: Birthright), the art of two-time National Book Award winner Arnold Arre (Mythology Class, Trip to Tagaytay), and the brilliant colors of the talented Edgar Tadeo (Wolverine, Silver Surfer).
In the 2004 comic, Lastikman crashed on Earth and lost all of his memory. He then decided to fight crime and later in the comic book he found out that he was a lesser experiment of an alien species called Lastomorphs, humanoids with the powers of elasticity.
For the moment, Lastikman's comic book career is once more dormant. But the character remains familiar and popular even to the current generation, so it is perhaps only a matter of time until he comes back for another stretch.