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Darna Sightings in Pinoy Comics

Darna, GMA 7’s latest fantaserye (no, I didn’t see it - I don’t watch TV much and I’m not really a Marian Rivera fan anyway, heheh…), has been gaining a lot of buzz lately. With that, I suddenly felt like sharing a few recent sightings of Darna in the medium where she first appeared - that of Pinoy Comics.

As of the moment, I can think of two specific titles where our premiere Pinay super heroine has appeared as of late. The first one, quite appropriately, is her own Darna comics - a 3-part mini-series released by Mango Comics back in 2003. The comic book was in English and I think that was intended to reach readers, both local and international.

Artwise, I’d say I’m totally amazed. You can’t go wrong with  any of the 3 top-notch artists Mango picked for the project namely Ryan Orosco ( issue #1 pencils), Lan Medina (issue #2 pencils) and Gilbert Monsanto (pencils for issue #3 and inks for issues #1 to 3). Each one gave their best and made sure the book looked really great. The way the comic was colored also deserves some praise. It really complimented the line arts. Both the color and the artworks simply show that, as one reader commented, “homegrown is world class.”

Storywise, I wish I could say I’m equally impressed. Of course, I loved the conflict in the part where Narda spoke with Darna expressing her difficulties of being the latter’s vessel. I thought that was interesting. But other than that, nothing much stayed with me. Yes, its a good story but it just wasn’t enough to blow my socks off. Hopefully, the guys at Mango comes back for more.

On the other hand, I’d bet those who have been reading Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo’s hit indie comics called Trese could easily guess where I’m taking this discussion now. I’m now talking about my most favorite Trese story so far and its called “Our Secret Constellation.” Its’ a touching tale that just strikes the inner emotions even a tough guy can be turned to a little child - a weeping little child at that - after reading the story. Ah, the genius of Budjette and Kajo!

What does this have to do with Darna?.. Well, to avoid spoiling details for non-readers, let me just say that there is - no, there are - some familiar characters in this horror-detective story as Alexandra Trese together with the Kambal tries to track a mysterious creature wrecking havoc on the city. As you can see on the panel below, we’re talking about a guy here so don’t make the mess of making wrong guesses here. Heheh..

In addition, there’s also Trese Book 2’s “Embrace of the Unwanted.” Now here’s Jeremy holding two figures which looks like.. hhmm.. a cross between Wonder Woman and Darna :D

trese 2

That’s it for now. If you know of any other recent komiks appearances, share it here in the comment section. Just in case. Heheh.. Ciao for now!

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11 Responses to “Darna Sightings in Pinoy Comics”

  1. rhardo says:

    bought the first issue… first local comics i saw worthy of an international exposure.

  2. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Rhardo, I couldn’t agree more. This - and Mango Comics’ Lastikman - rocks! Hhmm.. I wonder whats their next release. Haven’t heard much about them lately.

  3. hungrynez says:

    Watched the premier of Darna. It was cool fast paced one. But didn’t watched since then. I like their concept with their intro.. Started with comics. It was the coolest part of the premier, I guess.

  4. jtmtzrwj says:

    Nabasa ko din yung sa TRESE. WTF moment.

  5. Mark Rosario says:

    @ hungrynez, so who looks more Darna? Angel Locsin or Marian Rivera?.. I never had the chance to compare. :D

    @jtmtzrwj, same reaction here. Decribing Budjette Tan as brilliant or as a genius is really not enough. The guy’s beyond awesome!

  6. Ida says:

    This was the comic series I won at the Komikon last year! :D If you remember. Haha!

    Unfortunately, I still haven’t had a chance to read it. Grr… Ugali ko nang mangolekta ng libro at komiks tapos hindi ko muna babasahin tapos makakalimutan. But now that you reminded me, maybe it’s time to finally read it. :)

  7. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Ida, sana me next part pa to. With the recent Darna hype, Im sure madaming bibili nito.

  8. Ida says:

    Yes. I do wish that people would go beyond what they see of Darna on TV and in movies and see the original material.

    It’s the same thing I say about Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah when I found out that a lot of people were dismissing it as the “gay version of Darna”, and gaya-gaya lang ‘yung pelikula. And of course I had to tell them, “It’s completely different! Read the original material!”

  9. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Ida, very true. Speaking of the original material, I think its time the TV and the movie studios turn to the new generation of comics for inspiration. I think Budjette and Kajo’s Trese comics would rock, whether as a film or as a TV series :)

  10. Adam says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I’m an expat who first discovered Darna when I came to the Philippines about 6 years ago. The Mango comic was my first real exposure to the character (besides a few youtube videos), and I have to say it was impressive. As you mentioned, the story could have had more to it, but it was a great introduction. I just wish they published more.

    Naturally, I’m currently hooked on Trese and can’t say enough about how well done the series is. It could easily hold its own against anything DC has produced in the Vertigo line.

    Zsa Zsa is another fascinating character. I’ve now had friends translate for me in every media she’s been in (including the stage musical, which was the best). I love how she is the ultimate expression of Ada’s idealized form just like Captain Marvel is the expression of Billy Batson’s idealized form, or Darna the ideal of Narda.

  11. Mark Rosario says:

    @ Adam, thanks for the awesome insights. Yeah, I still think Mango needs to come up with new issues. Many talented local writers and artists would kill just to write or draw a Darna story, I’m sure.

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