Image from Video 48
Created by the self-proclaimed "komiks king," the controversial Carlo J. Caparas, and the Colossal Artist Steve Gan, Ang Panday ("The Blacksmith") tells the story of Flavio, the heroic blacksmith who forges a dagger from a crashed meteor. The dagger can transform into a magic sword, which he uses to fight the forces of darkness, led by the diabolical Lizardo.
The legendary series began in the pages of Pilipino Komiks in 1979. You can read the first 2 chapters of Ang Panday here and its 14th chapter here.
The video below is an overview of the series, including a dramatization of Panday's origin featuring the original comics' artwork. The first part of the video sort of gushes on co-creator Caparas, so CJC-haters may want to skip to the 2:24 mark.
Ang Panday was first adapted to the screen in 1980. The original film topbilled Fernando Poe, Jr., who also directed it under the name Ronwaldo Reyes. He would go on to helm and star in a total of 4 Panday films, each one a blockbuster in the annual Metro Manila Film Festival held every December. The other entries in the series are Pagbabalik ng Panday ("Return of the Blacksmith," 1981), Ang Panday... Ikatlong Yugto ("The Blacksmith... Third Chapter," 1982) and Ang Panday IV Ika-apat na Aklat ("The Blacksmith IV The Fourth Book," 1984).
Image from Simon Santos' FPJ site
Many of FPJ's classic films are currently available on DVD, including his earlier black-and-white pictures, but oddly enough, his Panday quadrology, to many his most popular series of films, remains unreleased (not legally, anyway, if you know what I mean), which is a shame. Sure, they're still shown on television every once in a while, but that just won't be enough for fans, I think.
Right now, the only other Panday movies out there on video are the 2009 remake starring Bong Revilla (which is okay), Joey De Leon's 1993 spoof Pandoy, Ang Alalay ng Panday ("Pandoy, The Blacksmith's Apprentice") and the TERRIBLE CJC-directed Jinggoy Estrada-starrer Hiwaga ng Panday ("Mystery of the Blacksmith," which is so bad, the Joey De Leon spoof is actually the better film).
Ah, well. Thank God for You Tube. Enjoy Flavio's greatest hits...