Most of us know that Darna was based on Wonder Woman, but did you know that she was really based on Superman?
Darna was created by one of the most successful Filipino comic artists. Originally called Varga, Darna began as a super heroine concept before Worl War II. Ravelo thought of creating a female counterpart of Superman because he believed in the concept that the US is “male” and the Philippines is “female. As inspired by Superman, Ravelo originally referred to his superheroine as “Kamangha-manghang Dilag” and combined the superhuman qualities of Superman with his own.
Varga first appeared in Bulaklak Komiks No. 17, Vol 4 9 (July 23, 1947). Ravelo left the publication in 1949 and joined Pilipino Komiks on the same year and rebuilt Varga to Darna. The character later appeared in Kenkoy, Liwayway and Kampeon Comics and eventually got her own title as well as a series of movie and TV adaptation.
Since then, Darna has become a Philippine cultural icon and the most recognizable character among Mars Ravelo’s creation.