Darna is a fictional character and superheroine created by Filipino komiks (Philippine colloquial term for comics) legend Mars Ravelo. In her more popular incarnations, she is a warrior from outer space manifesting herself through a girl from Earth, named Narda.
Darna was originally known as Varga and first appeared in Bulaklak Magazine, Volume 4, #17, on July 23, 1947. Ravelo had differences with the editors of Bulaklak Magazine and Varga's name was changed to "Darna". The character was re-launched on May 13, 1950. Nestor Redondo drew the first Darna.
Since then, Darna has become a Philippine cultural icon and the most recognizable character among Ravelo's creations.
Regardless of her many incarnations, the 1950's origin of Darna 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 "Darna!" - becoming a mighty warrior ready to defend Earth from evil forces.
Darna's powers include flight, super strength, super speed and near-invulnerability. In the 2003 retcon, the latest releases of the comic, this is due to her psionic background. Thus a form of telekinesis enhances her speed and strength and allows her flight. 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. For weapons, the ruby encrusted in the winged medallion on her helmet also augments her psionic abilities, allowing her to emit a powerful concussion blast and the medallions that make up her belt can be used like throwing stars (shuriken). 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 Darna, 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 Darna changes back into herself. However, it was not so in her comic incarnations (see below).
Contrary to what some Filipinos may believe, Darna was not named after the magical Ibong Adarna (Adarna bird), which appears in a Philippine epic of the same name. In Bulaklak Magazine, Narda was already established as Varga's mortal identity. "Darna" was simply an anagram of "Narda". Also, see
Some may point out that Darna is very similar to (or less charitably, is a rip-off of ) Western superheroes, particularly Wonder Woman.
Aside from the bullet deflection misconception (perpetrated by the Viva Films movies), Darna's similarity to Wonder Woman is superficial, if anything. Besides the fact that super strength, flight, and super speed are common and hardly unique powers among superheroes, the character has several differences with her purported source material. She has always possessed the power of flight from the very beginning (as Varga in 1947, and as Darna in 1950), while Wonder Woman only gained the power to "glide on the air currents" in the 60's and the real power of flight in the 1987 relaunch of her title.
She does not require bracelets to deflect bullets with, because they already bounce off her body (like Superman). It seems that only Viva Films' rendition of Darna copies Wonder Woman, because they have her deflect bullets with her bracelets. It should be noted that bullets also don't kill Wonder Woman if hit directly unless the force is stronger than human technology or weaponry. Her bracelets are used for style to demonstrate superhuman reflexes and deflection of any form of projectile not just bullets, and she's nearly as durable as Superman. Strength levels are also different, Wonder Woman is multiple times stronger than Darna being one of DC Comics' character who helped move the earth's moon using brute strength. Also, Darna is not nor has she ever been an "Amazon princess". She is an "Adarna Warrior" from an alien race called Adranika from the Planet Marte (a.k.a. "Nibiru").
Darna's chief inspirations did not include Wonder Woman, but were rather Superman and Captain Marvel, whose comics Ravelo regularly read.
According to confirmed sources, the reason why Mars Ravelo chose to create a female superhero rather than a male one was because Ravelo grew up with an absent father; thus, he never had a father-figure and he considered his mother as his biggest hero growing up. His mother represented Darna and young Mars Ravelo represented kid sidekick, Ding.
Body - ML Box Set Invisible Woman
Boots - XMC Storm
Head/Hair - ML Elektra (hair was partial resculpted)