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Wonder Woman and Darna.

So last Thursday, we were able to see Wonder Woman at Limketkai Cinemas, @ Cinema 1. Before that, we were greeted by the hymn of POGS. Playing repeatedly so many times in the span of like half-an-hour. I have not written a proper review of Wonder Woman yet on Letterboxd as I get worried that whatever I will say would just be a repeat. I was initially weary about Gal Gadot’s casting at first as she was known for the Fast & Furious movies. I had hopes for this movie more than what I can glean from the critics/fans I encounter online. Her performance in the critical miss Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was enough for me to make me see the movie. Good thing, POGS got this fundraising activity for I am currently out of new money from the stint of the summer classes. Have not even tried the new Director’s Club and the Megascreen, much less the regular cinemas at the new SM Downtown Premiere.

So before that, I readied myself by watching the multiple different Mars Ravelo adaptations. Especially with what Filipinos declare as the counterpart to Wonder Woman, Darna. She is more like an example of Captain Marvel/Shazam than Wonder Woman. It is like Mars Ravelo seem intrigued by this superhero. Captain Barbell is a more explicit version if only because they are both male and the name is too close. Even Kapitan Boom is another Captain Marvel-inspired hero. Tiny Tony on the other hand is a mixture of Ant-Man and the Atom. Dyesebel may or may not count as a hero, as her movies tended to be a love story between her and the human Fredo. The closest thing they did to make her part of a hero ensemble is giving her powers for the 2014 incarnation of the character on TV portrayed by Anne Curtis. She is known as a viable endorser and sometimes acceptable acting but boy does she try to sing. Wonder what future historians or archaeologists will say about our culture whenever they attempt to understand our lives in the late 20th to early 21st century.

Just like Wonder Woman, there have been plans by ABS-CBN before to make a shared universe of superheroes. (And that was even before they got the rights of the major heroes like Darna and Captain Barbell. They got Lastikman though.) They sorta have a Darna, but with the original name of Darna however they drastically changed it in a way to make it a different hero. Still got the Captain Marvel vibe though. I don’t know if they are pushing through with that now that they have cast the new Darna with the presence of Liza Soberano. It would have been called Isang Lakas, they might have gotten this idea because team-ups are a regular feature of the major comic books in the United States. If they did push through, it may have even came out before Marvel’s The Avengers back in 2012. One thing that I notice is the lack of a Batman-type character. The one who is non-powered.

I tried all that I can to find copies of the movies online but to no avail for some of the titles. Some are even technically lost, cannot be restored to a better version. Cannot be made to BluRay or something. Such as the first Darna film by Vilma Santos. Sure, there are copies available on VHS, VCDs, whatnot. But restoration need the original or copies of the film negatives or something. This makes me sure about the future I want to take after graduating from college. I read about the various archiving societies. Even plan to visit the Video 48 store. There is just so many activities in the center of the Philippines. I feel like I am just stuck in a promising yet still developing part of the country.

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