Tuesday, February 28, 2017

DARMO ADARNA: The Reboot

Four years after R.R. Marcelino's Darmo Adarna ended, Pilipino Funny Komiks revived the feature for another run starting with their 641st issue (September 28, 1990).  Released 2 months after the Luzon earthquake (which the first story references), this version was initiated by the Superdog team of writer Christian del Cruz and artist Louie EscauriagaJun Dayo would take over the art chores a few issues later.




From the outset, the new Darmo Adarna was very different from their previous incarnation.  Its young protagonist Darmo (not Dario) did not have the ability to transform into a super-powered teen.  Instead, he rode on a flying bicycle and kept a lunchbox-full of living toy soldiers.


Adarna, however, is still a rooster that transforms into a giant eagle.




Darmo lives with his mother and father in a province that seems to suffer from a serious bandit problem (there had been like 3 random bandit attacks just within the first 15 chapters).



Later on, Darmo encounters a seemingly sinister Indian magician who forces him to assassinate the supposedly-tyrannical King of India on his behalf.  When the boy refuses at the last minute, the whole plot is revealed to be a test, and it turns out that the magician and the king were the ones who had given him his magic toys and Adarna to do good in the world.


Lasting for 81 chapters, ending with Funny Komiks #723 (April 24, 1992), the new Darmo Adarna's adventures were never as interesting as the originals.  But it wasn't even the worst interpretation of the characters.  No, that would be this one...


In 2011, ABS-CBN's fantasy anthology TV series Wansapanataym did a very loose 2-part adaptation of Darmo Adarna that departed even farther from the source.  No super-powered boy, no giant bird.  Instead it had actor Jake Cuenca as an overweight loser who is magically transformed into a muscle-bound hero, basically a male version of Darna.  There's still a magic rooster in there somewhere, though.  Because apparently, you can do Darmo Adarna without the giant bird, but there should always be a magic rooster.  Okay, then.

COVERS







Sunday, January 1, 2017

TSUPERMAN: New Year's Evil

A happy 2017 to everyone!  And we kick off the new year with--yep, Tsuperman again.

From Pilipino Funny Komiks #394 (January 3, 1986), Tsuperman introduces readers to some of the villains that he was slated to face in the coming year.



Of the villains presented here, only Electrico and Golax were actually able to appear before the series was abruptly cancelled later that year.

Friday, December 30, 2016

One-Shot Wonders: SANTA CLAUS GANG

When a gang of armed robbers spread some holiday fear, they end up on Santa's naughty list.  And he doesn't play nice.

From Super Action Komiks #176 (December 27, 1988), written by Arnold Mercado Pajaron and illustrated by Angelo Ty Dazo.





Saturday, December 17, 2016

SANKARSAN: Return of the Super Jedi

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, comics cost 1 peso and 50 centavos.

When last we left Sankarsan the Super Jedi, his mother Rukmini was abducted by the galactic emperor Hiranyaksa, who had declared Order 66 on all Jedi in the galaxy.  In episode 2: The Encounter! (Speed Komiks #56, August 30, 1986), Sankarsan heads to the imperial planet of Patalaloka to rescue his mother, but finds that the emperor is a lot more powerful than he expected.




But before Hiranyaksa could finish off our hero, Rukmini steps forward with a startling revelation: "Hiranyaksa, YOU are the father!"

"Search your feelings, you know it to be true!"



In spite of this, Sankarsan resolves to defeat his father for the sake of the universe.  In preparation, he trains to further develop his Jedi powers, losing an eye in the process.  Father and son have their Final Encounter in Speed Komiks #59 (September 20, 1986), engaging in a climactic cosmic duel that seems more Dr. Strange than Star Wars, though perhaps a bit more gruesome and apocalyptic than either.




Saturday, November 19, 2016

TSUPERMAN vs THE WOMAN IN BLACK

So, here's another Tsuperman post (what can I say, I like the guy).  Most of his stories are usually done-in-one 2-pagers, but he did have the occasional multi-part adventure.  This first one, from Pilipino Funny Komiks #385-88 (November 1-22, 1985), pits the dynamic driver against a shape-shifting vampiress-witch.









Monday, October 31, 2016

DEATHSTORM


Created by writer/artist Gilbert Monsanto, Deathstorm appeared in all 24 issues of Wrestle Warriors Komiks (published by Infinity Publishing Inc.) in 1993.  Like the other mainstays of that magazine, the character was based on a popular pro-wrestler of the time, namely, WWE Superstar The Undertaker.



DEATH IS ONLY THE BEGINNING


Outworld is an afterlife dimension where the spirits of slain warriors convene to engage in never ending battle with each other.  It is also here where the celestial being known as Deathstorm stands guard over the Sphere of Infinity, which maintains the balance between good and evil throughout the universe.


When Deathstorm's power-hungry brother Zafla attempts to steal the Sphere, it breaks into several fragments which are then scattered across the Earth.  Deathstorm travels to the world of the living, inhabiting the body of a human named Jonathan, in order to recover the lost pieces and make the Sphere whole again.













DEATH
The physical embodiment of death itself, who guides Deathstorm in his quest.





















DEWINA
Deathstorm's gypsy ally and keeper of Pandora's Box.








HATE
Skull-faced, axe-wielding vigilante who possesses a fragment of the Sphere.

















DOCTOR VOODOO
Deathstorm's evil brother Zafla, who has taken the human form of a voodoo sorcerer.
 

























RESURRECTION

Deathstorm rises once again, alongside other Monsanto creations, in the 4th issue of Metropolitan, currently running online via the Rambol Komiks Magazine Facebook page.