More agile than a turtle, stronger than a mouse, nobler than a lettuce, his coat of arms is a heart… It’s the Crimson Grasshopper!

El Chapulín Colorado is a superhero parody created by Roberto Gómez Bolanõs (also known as Chespirito). It was part of the Mexican television comedy series El Chavo, that ran originally from 1971 to 1980 and had hundreds of episodes. The show aired across Latin America and Spain. It still does in Brazil, where the character is also known as Chapolin, Vermelhinho and Polegar Vermelho.

For a long time (before the internet) I assumed that the CH on his chest standed for Cucaracha Hombre. But no, the CH (like the S on Superman or the first letter of any other superhero that use a letter for symbol) is a digraph that was treated as a single letter in spanish. It really stands for Chapulín, a kind of grasshopper commonly used for food in certain areas of Mexico.

He had a set of super equipments/gadgets: Chipote Chillón (in Brazil known as Marreta Biônica, a red and yellow squeaky hammer that could allegedly pulverizes his enemies and return to his hand with a whistle), Antenitas de Vinil (Anteninhas de Vinil, antennae on the top of his hood that granted him the ability to detect criminals or danger, decode and translate languages and secret codes, and many other things), Pastillas de Chiquitolina (Pastilhas Encolhedoras, special pills that reduce the hero to 8 inches tall for around 10 minutes), La Chicharra Paralizadora (Corneta Paralisadora, a bicycle horn that could freeze any targeted person or object in the mid-air when sounded once, freeing the target when sounded twice).

He had also some fighting skills, mostly similar to Mexican wrestling, but they were actually of little or no use whatsoever, considering his reduced strengh and extreme cowardice and clumsiness. I think his only real super power was the ability to appear out of thin air when anyone cried Oh! And now who will be able to help me? (in Brazil: Oh! E agora quem poderá me ajudar?).

el-chapulin-colorado