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Marian Rivera as Darna
Written by Loren   
Tuesday, 04 August 2009

Through GMA 7, DARNA will fly again to be palyed by the most bankable female star, Marian Rivera

As the month of August nears, the most-awaited return of the original Pinoy superhero Darna is coming soon.

Darna was the brainchild of komiks (Filipino colloquial for comicbooks) legend Mars Ravelo (October 9, 1916-September 12, 1988).

Originally, Darna was known as Varga. Ravelo wrote and illustrated Varga for Bulaklak, appearing first on the magazine's No. 17, Vol. 4 (July 23, 1947) issue. A falling out with some of the magazine's editors caused him to resign from Bulaklak and transfer to Pilipino Komiks, where he re-launched his superhero. Ravelo renamed her Darna, anagram of the superhero's mortal alter-ego Narda. Darna's adventures in Pilipino Komiks began on the No. 77 (May 13, 1950) issue. Another komiks legend, Nestor Redondo, illustrated Darna this time.

There were claims that Darna was a copy, or less-charitably, a rip-off of William Mourton Marston's Wonder Woman, who first appeared on the No. 8 (December 1941) issue of All Star Comics. But people who have spoken with Ravelo personally claimed that the Filipino comic’s legend based Darna on his own mother who raised him single-handedly.

They also claimed that Ravelo's inspiration for Darna's heroic qualities came from his childhood fascination with Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's Superman (first appearance on Action Comics, No. 1, June 30, 1938). The Pinoy superhero's ability to change from Narda to Darna, was inspired by C.C. Beck and Bill Parker's Captain Marvel (first appearance on Whiz Comics, No. 2, February 1940), who changes from the young boy Billy Batson to Captain Marvel by shouting, Shazam!

Darna became such a hit among Filipino komiks fans, mainly the masa of society, that by 1951, actor-director-producer Fernando Poe Sr. directed and produced the film version of Darna for his Royal Films outfit. Darna, the movie, was a smash hit.

The first actress who played Darna was 1950s movie queen Rosa del Rosario. And with its come back, Darna will be played by Filipina Marimar, Marian Rivera with Mark Anthony Fernandez and other stars of GMA 7.

Darna is truly a hit to all Filipinos since, it is the only local superhero that has been played a total of 14 times in movies, four times on TV, thrice on stage and twice in TV commercials. [via]

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