(2004 movie version)
Lastikman is another of Mars Ravelo ’s creations that dates back decades, in this case to 1964.
There are more recent versions – including a one-shot comic, another movie and a TV series. This profile is based on the 2004 Lastikman: Unang Banat movie (from the DVD with English subtitles).
The Unang Banat does have some differences from more traditional versions, particularly within his origin.
- Real Name: Adrian Rosales.
- Known Relatives: Pablo (Father, deceased), Butil (younger brother), Garoy (older brother).
- Group Affiliation: None (Isang Lakas in some takes of the character).
- Base Of Operations: Manila and nearby provinces.
- Height: 5’6” (1.67m). Weight: 120 lbs. (54 Kg.).
- Eyes: Brown. Hair: Black.
Powers and Abilities
Lastikman was given the ability to mimic the form and elasticity of rubber. He can stretch and reshape his body in any way he desires.
He usually retains the checkered colors of his costume in whatever shape he takes. Yet he can change from his costumed incarnation into his normal human self with any clothes at will, and apparently could look like anyone he desires.
A bunch of episodes from the 2008 Lastikman TV series — which is different from the movie we’re covering here — are on YouTube, if you want.
It’s all in Tagalog and — foiling my hopes — the AI subtitles are unavailable as of this writing, but it you want some visuals it has ’em.
Adrian Rosales was born to humble origins in a small barrioIn a Filipino context, a rural neighborhood. in the provinces outside Manila. His father was a drunk working on a fruit and rubber plantation.
While Adrian seemed content with this simple life, his father perceived this contentedness as laziness.
He constantly berated his lack of ambition, saying that Adrian wasn’t as strong as one brother or as smart as the other and would never amount to anything.
This constant barrage on Adrian’s ego left him plagued with self-doubts. He lacked any real skills for a future and couldn’t bring himself to admit his love for his best friend, Lara Manuel.
I shall be… that hero!
Then one evening Adrian encountered illegal loggers. These were trying to cut down the oldest trees on the plantation. Full of heroic dreams, Adrian rose to the occasion and challenged the loggers to a fight.
He quickly realized that not only was he outnumbered, but he was severely physically outmatched.
He tried to run away. Unfortunately for him, the loggers easily overwhelmed him.
They gave him the beating of his life, leaving him for dead under a rubber tree.
The birth of a pliable protagonist
Luck was with Adrian, however. A shooting star hit the tree, animating it and giving it seemingly mystical powers. The tree, apparently thankful for Adrian’s attempts at defense, picked the young man up and covered him in sap.
The tree shared a portion of its own essence through this sap. This allowed Adrian to quickly heal his injuries, waking unharmed the next morning.
Adrian soon discovered the tree also passed on special abilities. These made his body stronger and gave him the elasticity and flexibility of rubber. With his newfound powers, Adrian took the identity of Lastikman!
This is a job for Lastikman!
He began taking on bullies in whatever form they took, fighting for those who couldn’t fight for themselves. Lastikman became well known in the barrio, and even in Manila, as a true hero!
Feeling empowered for the first time in his life, Adrian began to admit his feelings to Lara, even going so far as confessing his secret identity. She didn’t believe him, since she had a crush on the green and black checkered hero.
Even his father didn’t believe his own eyes during a drunken stupor when he saw Lastikman transform into Adrian after a night of crime-fighting. Chalking it up to an alcoholic delusion, he decided to give up drinking.
To start over, the family decided to move to Manila. Lara was moving there too to continue her studies.
Lastikman makes new enemies
Lastikman’s adventures soon brought him into conflict with other super-powered beings.
He encountered a werewolf, Taong Aso (literally “man-dog”), who had been on a cannibalistic killing spree across Manila. Taong Aso was attacking Lara’s cousin, Marites, when Lastikman intervened.
Taong Aso was about to win the fight, thanks to his sheer strength under the light of the full moon. However, another arm stretched out and yanked him into a pile of wood, driving a piece through his chest. Thinking Lastikman had struck the blow and grievously wounded, Taong Aso ran away.
Lastikman discovered that one Lastika had saved him. But they argued over the necessity of lethal force. Adrian had promised himself (and the tree) that he would only use his powers to help people.
Lastika revealed that she had been empowered in much the same way as Lastikman. She and her daughters had been attacked by an angry mob accusing them of witchery. After killing her daughters, they left her for dead under the same tree.
She had saved Lastikman to ask him to join her on her quest for vengeance. She believed with their combined powers, they could take over the country or even the world.
After a debate over morals, Lastikman refused and Lastika escaped into the night.
Like father like son
Meanwhile, the monstrous Taong Aso managed to get home. He told his son Reden of his fight with Lastikman.
Coincidentally, Reden was Adrian’s boss at the coffee shop where he’d been working at since coming to Manila. Reden had initially resisted hurting people as a predator despite his father’s insistence that humans were merely food.
The next full moon, however, his father ignored his wound and went out to hunt. He sought easy prey in the form of a young girl. However, while he was slaying the girl, her cries attracted an angry mob which went after Taong Aso.
In his weakened state, he could not defend himself and was slain.
Blaming Lastikman for his father’s demise, Reden secretly followed the rubbery wonder until he spied him transforming into Adrian. Reden determined that since his father was taken from him, he would even the score by killing Adrian’s father.
With great power comes greater angst
Adrian’s father survived this ambush thanks to the timely intervention of Lastikman. But the wounds were too serious, and he fell into a coma.
Adrian maintained a vigil at the father’s bedside, but his brothers blamed him for not being there – since he couldn’t be found as they and Lastikman rushed their father to the hospital.
Furthermore, Lastika was committing crimes to call Lastikman out. She went so far as to impersonate Lastikman and rob a bank.
As Adrian was commenting to himself that he’d never do something like that, his brothers began to harangue him. But his father awakened.
He told Adrian that he should leave and take action, as people were relying on him. Mr. Rosales had realized that his drunken vision was not a hallucination after all. He also told Adrian how proud he was of him, and of all his boys.
As his father lay dying, Lastikman rushed off to face Lastika in a final shape-shifting showdown.
Lastika gained the upper hand through sheer viciousness and a willingness to endanger bystanders. But as she seemed ready to strike a final blow, Lastikman noticed her standing in a pool of alcohol and/or oil.
He desperately reached for an electrical box as a weapon, drawing mocking jibes from Lastika. As rubber is insulated against electricity, so were they. But the sparks from the electrical box lit the liquid on fire and Lastika melted in Wicked Witch fashion with a final desperate gasp.
Afterwards, Adrian finally admitted his feelings to Lara. He tried to tell her once again that he’s Lastikman, but was forced to rush off as a building collapsed.
In his mad dash to save the day, he didn’t notice Lara smiling after him and saying simply, “I love you too, Adrian.”
While Lastikman can choose to look like anything in his imagination, he usually has a green and black checkered costume and a mask with a pointed nose.
This color scheme is compulsively included in any form he assumes.
Lastikman is basically a teen who greatly enjoys his powers. He loves to catch bad guys and to protect those who can’t protect themselves.
He certainly feels the responsibility of the powers he has been granted, and has his angst-ridden moments where his choice to become a hero weighs on him.
However, he sees his powers mainly as a blessing and opportunity to make a real difference. He relishes the chance to prove himself to the world.
“Alam ko, sa ‘yo nanggaling ang kapangyarihan ko. Alam kong ikaw ang nagligtas sa ‘kin. Nagpapasalamat ako sa ‘yo. Makakaasa ka na gagamitin ko ang regalo mo sa ‘kin. Sa mabuting paraan lang. Maraming salamat sa ‘yo.”
(I know that my powers came from you. I know that you are the one who saved me. I am grateful to you. You can trust that I will use your gift to me only for good. Thank you very much.)
Lara: “Bale crush ko na ulit si Lastikman.” (So Lastikman is my crush again.)
Adrian: “Yun ang the best !” (He’s the best.)
Lara: “Ikaw ang the best.” (You’re the best !)
Adrian: “Ako ? Bakit ?” (Me ? Why ?)
Lara: “Kasi napakasupportive mo. Kahit na crush ko si Benjie OK lang sa yo. Ngayon na crush ko na ulit si Lastikman, OK din sa ‘yo.” (Because, you’re very supportive. When I had a crush on Benjie, It was OK with you. Now that Lastikman is my crush again, that’s all right with you too.)
Adrian: “Ah, Lara, may ipagtatapat sana ako sa ‘yo eh.” (Ah, Lara, I have something to confess to you)
Lara: “Ano yun ?” (What’s that ?)
Adrian: “Ako si Lastikman.” (I’m Lastikman)
Lara: “Talaga ? Sige ako na rin si Darna !” (Really ? Then I’m Darna.)
The iconic take…
The Unang Banat take on Lastikman garnered some praise, but has also faced considerable criticism that the character seemed more like Spider-Man than the Lastikman Filipinos know.
In fact, the Unang Banat version could serve as an angsty side-kick to the more traditional Lastikman, if someone wanted to go that route.
The classic origin of the character is as a half-breed alien called a Lastimorph who crash-landed on Earth. Lastikman gets his powers from his alien heritage rather than a mystical rubber tree.
While his behavior is more erratic, he is quite intelligent and catches on to Earth culture and language very rapidly.
He makes up one third of the Philippines’ “big three” super-heroes along with Darna and Captain Barbell. As such, he can serve in a leadership position despite his more comedic streak (which didn’t come through as much in this version, either).
The iconic Lastikman is known in part for his detective skills, but is often a comedic character due to his early misunderstanding Earth culture and his memory loss from his life before his crash.
He can also be very creative in using his powers (such as stretching his nose to gain a superhuman sense of smell).
DC Universe Adaptation
(This section proposes ways of using this character in DC Universe stories).
Lastikman was given his powers by an animate tree while he was on the verge of death (or perhaps even dead). Thus, he could easily come into contact with Swamp Thing through use of his powers creating a resonance within the Green that pulls Swamp Thing to him sometime when the mighty green goliath needs to create a new body.
Marvel Universe History
(This section proposes ways of using this character in Marvel Universe stories).
In trying to understand what has happened to him, Lastikman seeks out Reed Richards, only to find that he is away from the planet dealing with some cosmic crisis.
Naturally, it’s then that Galactus returns to Earth to have a meal, confident in the fact there’s no one on the planet with Reed’s mental capabilities ready to use the ultimate nullifier with him. Sue and Ben convince Lastikman to take on Reed’s identity for a while, forcing him to face down Galactus.
In time he must face Doom whose current plans would thwart Reed’s predicted stratagems, but somehow seem to fall prey to Lastikman’s erratic plans and behavior.
Misc. Universe History
(This section proposes ways of using this character in other fictional universes).
This version of Lastikman could be used as the more traditional one’s sidekick. Just rename him Lastikboy or Lastiklalaki.
If you decide to do this, have a portion of Lastikman’s ship be the “shooting star” that hits the tree which in turn imbues Adrian with his powers.
Of course, you could simply use him as-is and drop him into just about any superhero universe, if you’re looking to populate Asia with superheroes.
DC Heroes RPG
Tell me more about the game stats
Lastikman (movie version)
|Dex: 05||Str: 03||Bod: 05|
|Int: 04||Wil: 03||Min: 04|
|Inf: 04||Aur: 03||Spi: 04|
|Init: 013||HP: 050|
Stretching: 08, Self Manipulation: 07, Chameleon: 07, Lightning Immunity: 07, Jumping: 05, Omni-Arm: 05, Regeneration: 05
Bonuses and Limitations:
Jumping is Contingent Upon Stretching.
Area Knowledge (The Barrio and Manila), Language (Tagalog native), Local Hero (The Barrio and Manila), Luck.
Attack Vulnerability (Fire, -2 CS), Age (young), Dependents (brothers), Secret ID, Enemy (Lastika), MIA towards checkered patterns.
Thrill of Adventure.
The iconic take…
If you want a more iconic approach to Lastikman, increase all his action attributes and his Strength by 2 APs. Give him Detective of 06, and increase Self Manipulation to 11.
He also should gain a Minor Psychological Instability (Amnesia) and/or Traumatic Flashbacks of his life before coming to Earth.
Additionally, he should have at least 80 working HP and the Leadership advantage, as a much more established hero (or the Innocent drawback if you’d prefer to portray him shortly after his crash landing).
Source of Character: Lastikman: Unang Banat (a pun that can mean First Strike or First Stretch) movie starring Mark Bautista as Lastikman.
Helper(s): Lorie Vallejo (for translation help), pinoysuperheroesuniverse and internationalhero for notes on other versions of the character.
Writeup completed on the 31st day of August in the year 2011 by the Gregorian reckoning.