The original Captain Barbell design had him shirtless because :
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.
Since the original Enteng's look 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."
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."
Edu Manzano as Captain BarbellCaptain Barbell has made several excursions onto the big screen:
Starring: Bob Soler as Captain Barbell
Produced by: Premiere Productions
Starring: Dolphy as Captain Barbell/Ting-Ting
Mars Ravelo's Captain Barbel (1986)
Starring: Edu Manzano as Captain Barbel, Herbert Bautista as Tengteng, Lea Salonga as Rosemarie, Sharon Cuneta as Darna, Beth Bautista as Gagamba
Produced by: Viva Films
Directed by: Leroy Salvador
Mars Ravelo's Captain Barbell (2003)
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
Produced by: Viva Films
Directed by: Mac Alejandre
Was the top grossing entry of the 2003 Metro Manila Film Festival with an overall box-office gross of P61.4 million.
Cameo Role Darna (2005 TV Series)'s Historical Finale
Captain Barbell appeared on the historical finale of Darna (2005 TV Series). He played a significant role by helping Darna. But his face was not shown, rather, only the "CB" sign on his chest was focused.
Captain Barbell TV Series (2006)
In GMA Network's 2006 Captain Barbell TV Series, Richard Gutierrez plays both Captain Barbell and Teng (his human alterego).
The TV series was very much different from the original Mars Ravelo story. The concept and setting was change to adopt to modern times, of course with the permission of the Ravelos. However, critics say that the the first few episodes of the series were a rip-off from Smallville. Despite criticisms, the fantasy-drama series adaptation of GMA-7 remains the network's top-rating show in its primetime block.
Captain Barbell (TV Series) is GMA Network's 2006 project after Darna's huge success. Richard Gutierrez plays the Filipino superhero. This incarnation has Teng (Tengteng/Enteng in previous movies) and the Captain Barbell being played by one person, just like Darna. In the Captain Barbell movies prior to the TV series, different actors play Captain Barbell and his skinny human alterego: in the 1986 movie, Edu Manzano plays Captain Barbell while Herbert Bautista plays his human alterego Tengteng; in the 2003 movie, Bong Revilla Jr. plays Captain Barbell while Ogie Alcasid plays his alterego Enteng, while Richard Gutierrez's uncle Jun Soler had comedy king Dolphy to play his alter ego Teng-teng.
In previous Captain Barbell movies, the Barbell which was given to Teng by an old man is the literal barbell that we know. However, in the TV series, the Barbell looks like a medallion with "CB" engraved on it. The name "Captain B" is also depicted on the medallion. Teng twists the medallion and it forms into a barbell, raises it and shouts "Captain Barbell" to change him into the superhero. As Captain Barbell, the medallion is depicted in his chest. To go back to his human form as Teng, he just grabs the medallion on his chest. The medallion is said to be made from Barbanium, a powerful element discovered in the year 2016. Only an equally powerful Askobar can counter its power.