About Darna

Darna is a Filipino fictional superheroine created by Mars Ravelo and Artist Nestor Redondo. Darna has been around since 1950 and is said to be the beauty who bears the allure of Venus, the glory of Apollo, and the strength of Samson. According to Manila Times, Darna is a cultural icon born at a time when the Philippines was struggling to come out of the devastation of World War II. She serves as a slave to a country looking for champions

In 1947, the heroine was originally known as Varga and debuted in Bulaklak Magazine # 17, Volume 4. After some misapprehensions with the Editor of the said magazine, Varga was now changed to D-a-r-n-a which is based on the name of her alter-ego "Narda" spelled in reverse and not after the Adarna bird of the Philippine Mythology, a common misconception. The new character was re-launched on May 13, 1950 in #77. According to Ravelo's daughter, the Philippine superhero was based on images of Superman as his father saw in comics brought to the Philippines by U.S. soldiers. Since then, she has become a Philippine cultural icon and the most popular character among Ravelo's creations.

Early Years of (1947)

Regardless of the heroine's many incarnations, the story begins with a village girl named Narda who finds a small white stone, a tiny meteorite from outer space. Narda swallows the stone and shouts "D-a-r-n-a!" she becomes a mighty warrior ready to defend Earth from evil forces.

In 1947, writer Mars Ravelo and artist Nestor Redondo created a superheroine for Bulaklak Comics named Varga. She was first introduced in Bulaklak Magazine Vol. 4, #17 on July 23, 1947 and became quite popular with the Filipino readers. Her alter-ego was a little girl named Narda and the writer got the name from his childhood playmate.

Varga fought and stood up for the weak, she had great strength and courage to battle common criminals as well as evil in superhuman form. She was both written and illustrated by her creator whose artistic style resembled the cartoons of Max Fleischer Studios in the early 20th Century.

Golden Age (1950)

After two years, writer Mars Ravelo decided to leave Bulaklak Comics due to some disagreements with the Editor. He still continued the superheroine but with a new name. He changed it to D-a-r-n-a because Varga belonged to Bulaklak Comics under contract.

It was re-launched and rebooted on May 13, 1950. The concept of Ravelo's beloved superheroine remained the same under a new artist, Nestor Redondo. Redondo's artistic style was more illustrative and realistic compared with Varga which Mars Ravelo wrote and drew himself. The breath-taking adventures was first serialized in the pages of Pilipino comics #77, which pitted her against the sultry snake goddess, Valentina. The hero quickly continued her popularity among Filipino comic book readers.

The story begins with a village girl named Narda. She and her younger brother, Ding were orphans and were only raised by their grandmother. Narda love's to sing and Ding plays the harmonica very well. Sometimes Narda and Ding go from house to house and sings for the money to help their grandmother to support their daily needs.

When Narda saw a falling star that landed near her when she was playing hide and seek with neighborhood children, she immediately picked up the object and discovered that it was a beautiful white pebble engraved with the word D-A-R-N-A. When she heard that her friends were already looking and calling her name, she kept the pebble in her mouth because she was afraid that her newfound object might be taken away from her. The pebble came alive and went down to her throat which made her dizzy as she fainted.

When she woke up, her grandmother and Ding were relieved that she was alright. They asked her what happened and she said that the last thing she remembered was accidentally swallowing the white pebble she found. As she described the stone, she mentioned that it has an inscription there. Her grandmother asked her what it was, and as she answered D-A-R-N-A, there was a slight explosion afterwards. In the mist, a tall, warrior woman appeared and she introduced herself as the heroine of Planet Marte. She stated that her mission is to rescue the good and battle the forces of evil to save the Earth. But Narda's grandmother and brother were more concern to where their little girl's gone, she explained that she will return when she calls her name back.

Immediately after she called Narda's name, another blast was made, the smoke cleared, Narda was back and the legend of the hero began. Since then she has been a constant protector of the innocent and helpless from a variety of threats and villains.Her main enemy was Valentina, goddess of the snake. She also fought Armida, the Hawk Woman, in her early years. Narda was a separate character from the heroine. When the little girl swallowed the stone the fist time, she never removed it anymore and was already absorbed into her existence like a pill.

Silver Age (1973)

In the Silver Age era of the superhero, the movie "Lipad, D-a-r-n-a, Lipad!" (1973), played by the lovely Vilma Santos, made a new version of the story.

In this time, Narda was a teenager in her late teens. She discovered the magic stone after the event of a falling star landed near her home one night. She discovered that the magic pebble gave her superpowers that made her a heroine. She and her brother were the only ones who knew the secret and their grandmother was not aware of it in this version. Narda herself becomes a hero and were not two different characters. She was also not from Planet Marte but was just a champion warrior of the forces of light.

Everytime she turns back to her mortal self, the magic stone reappears in her mouth and she takes it out and hides it until she needs it again. Everytime the need arises, she has to swallow the pebble again and say her name to transform.

Modern Age (2003)

The Modern Age version began with the release of Mango Comics 3 part mini series. This new version was what GMA Network ultimately used for the highly rated TV Series starring Angel Locsin. This is the first live-action adaptation of the hero that faithfully adapted the Mars Ravelo's original story that she was from the planet Marte.

As the origin goes, the planet Marte is under attack by the evil Queen Braguda and her evil race, the Anomalka. Caught by surprise, Adran realizes that Braguda is desperate to possess the power of the Adranika and that she will stop at nothing to acquire it. Adran entrusts the mystic white stone to the care of Aio who is given the task of finding a worthy being who will inherit it. Braguda destroys the planet Marte but not before Aio is able to make her escape towards the planet Earth. But her escape does not come unnoticed and soon Braguda herself is in hot pursuit of Aio. As Aio reaches the Earth's surface, her ship is disabled by Braguda and crashes as the magic stone falls out of the ship where it is later discovered by young Narda.

Narda soon meets Aio who tells her to keep the stone because she is worthy of this gift and that when the right time comes, she will receive the calling. Some years pass and after helping an old woman beggar, secretly Aio, Narda finally receives her call, a telepathic message. The voice says that Narda is the sole inheritor of Adranika's mystic power and that she has been chosen to be the world's protector. The word calling her name magically appears on the white stone and she is instructed to swallow it and speak the word afterwards. Narda follows and shouts D A R NA !!!.

Superheroine's Costume

Her costume consist of a skimpy red two-piece outfit, with a star on each side of her brassiere, white lace cloth that falls between her legs, manacles on her wrists, golden belt and a pair of red boots. She also wears a red helmet with a ruby encrusted in the golden winged medallion.

Super Powers and Abilities

Powers are similar to Superman, include flight, super strength, super speed and near-invulnerability and indestructible to all man made weapons. Her skin has a high level of invulnerability because of her race. Her psionic abilities also allow her to exercise limited psionic influence or telepathy. In the 2005 TV series, it added the power of heat vision. Her powers can only be activated once she swallows the white stone and shouts the name then comes back to a mortal state when she utters the name Narda.

Weapons Used

The ruby encrusted in the winged medallion on the heroine's helmet also augments her psionic abilities, allowing her to emit a powerful concussion blast. The medallions that make up her belt can also be used like throwing stars. In the 2005 TV series, she also has heat vision, lent by the ruby. In the TV series, she uses her bracelets, similar to Wonder Woman's to deflect bullet impacts since impact also hurts. Narda transforms into a hero, and vice versa, by shouting out their respective names. First, however, Narda has to swallow the white stone, which conveniently comes out of her mouth every time the heroine changes back into herself.

Appearances in Other Media


· Darna, 1951
Played by: Rosa del Rosario

· Darna at Babaeng Lawin, 1952
Title's English Translation: Darna and the Hawkwoman
Played by: Rosa del Rosario

· Si Darna at ang Babaeng Impakta, 1963
Title's English Translation: Darna and the Evil Twins
Played by: Liza Moreno

· Isputnik vs. Darna, 1963
Played by: Liza Moreno

· Darna at Babaeng Tuod, 1964
Title's English Translation: Darna and the Tree Monster
Played by: Eva Montes

· Si Darna at ang Planetman, 1969
Title's English Translation: Darna and the Planetman)
Played by: by Gina Pareno

· Lipad, Darna, Lipad!, 1973
Title's English Translation: Fly, Darna, Fly!
Played by: Vilma Santos

· Darna and the Giants, 1973
Played by: Vilma Santos

· Darna vs. The Planet Women, 1973
Played by: Vilma Santos

· Darna at Ding, 1980
Played by: Vilma Santos

· Darna Kuno, 1979
Played by: Brenda del Rio

· Bira, Darna, Bira!, 1979
Played by: Rio Locsin

· Darna, 1991
Played by: Nanette Medved

· Darna, Ang Pagbabalik, 1994
Title's English Translation: Darna, The Return
Played by: Anjanette Abayari

TV Series

· TV Series, 1977
Played by: Lorna Tolentino

· The TV Series, 2005
Sponsored by: GMA-7
Played by: Angel Locsin


· Cartoon TV Series, 1986
Sponsored by: GMA-7

Stage Play

· In 1997 By Ballet Manila starred Lizza Macuja