Posted April 30, 2012 by Jerald Uy in Comics

A God in a Wheelchair: BATHALA


Wheelchairs and superheroes don’t usually go together unless you’re a telepath or a computer whiz. Enter Bathala, an armored superhero who also happens to be a differently abled man, Michael Divinahustisya. Flipgeeks talked to its creator John Felix Zamar, in the middle of his preparations for Summer Komikon, about his motivations in penning “Codename:Bathala.” The 31-year old graphic artist also disclosed his dream of  teaming-up  his character with an Image character.


In a nutshell, what is “Codename: Bathala” all about?

“Codename: Bathala is a comic book that follows the adventures of Captain Michael Divinahustisya as the armored adventurer, Bathala. He obtained the Bathala armor that grants him the powers of flight, speed and energy projection during an assault at his work place.

During the same attack, a lot of other technology that could be used as weapons were stolen, armed with the armor he swears to bring all of these potentially dangerous objects back.


What pulled you into creating “Codename: Bathala” ?

I created the Bathala character way, way back during high school. Almost everyone I knew was reading comic books and I discovered thru Alamat that you could create your own as well. I was really into Rob Liefeld then and everything I created were supposedly tied in with the government and overly accessorized. So I decided to make super heroes.

Back then he was a gung ho air force pilot that leads a team of other super powered personnel from other branches of the military. I dusted him off to join Gilbert Monsanto’s Bayan Knights initiative.


Bathala is a differently abled person. What difference does it make that a guy who’s supposedly stuck in a wheelchair gets to fly as opposed to a physically abled man wearing the suit?

One thing I changed with my original concept was his situation. Before he lost the use of his legs, he was at the top of the world, he had a great career, he was young and he believed he can do anything he set out to do. He was idealistic and he gave up that life and went home to join a branch of the military that’s not particularly well equipped.

After his accident, he lost some of the luminance to his character; he became this brooding, dark man who more than before is determined to be independent. The armor repurposed his life; he believes that it gives him worth.

Though what made the armor chose him among others that were like him before? It’s something I’d be exploring in the book. As a differently abled man he appreciates the power more, more than flight and the other trimmings, just the ability of mobility is a god send.

I see this as a story about second chances. But some second chances sometimes don’t work. Without spoiling too much, how dependent would he be to the armor that doesn’t only let him relive his ability to walk but also give him the gift of flight?

The origin of the armor, his disability, his personal conflict with his accident and his sense of responsibility will be a factor in this story. Michael is going to be a herald of change for himself, for his surroundings and for those that will come in contact with him. How? Hopefully I can finish this story and you read for yourself.


What will readers expect in the next issues?
I’m committed to introducing Bathala to the readers first. Let them know his motivations, let them see his base of operations, introduce them to the city he calls home and let them know who his allies and foes are. What to expect? In one word, action, sometimes senseless but I hope it would be entertaining.

Do you have any dream team-up for Bathala?

No team ups for now, I’d like to keep everything in-house first. All though he would be regularly teaming up with some of the Bayan Knights heroes as he is associated with one of the teams in that universe.

In another dimension though, I’d love Bathala to have an adventure with Youngblood (laughs).

Is there anything you would like to say or promote? Some shoutout to your friends?

I’d like to invite everyone to attend Komikon, I believe there’s something for everybody there who love comics. You may hate what I’m selling but I’m sure somewhere there you’ll find something more to your tastes. Oh also if you can buy Digmaang Salinlahi, it’s my other book and it’s already in its 9th year. Don’t worry about the bulk of issues already released, I’m doing it in such a slow pace you can still catch up.

Thanks John! For those who’d want to check more of “Codename:Bathala” and his works, head to www.facebook.com/CodenameBathala.


Jerald Uy