Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah comic book version 1/2

Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah

(Ze moveeh and musical)


Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah was created in part as a loving spoof of Darna and Wonder Woman. It started in a graphic novel called Ang Kagila-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Zsazsa Zaturnnah (The Spectacular Adventures of Zsazsa Zaturnnah) that has gathered quite some acclaim, won several awards, and has even become required reading in gender studies classes at the University of the Philippines.

It then went on to become a gender-bending comedic musical called Zsa Zsa Zsaturnnah ze Muzical before finally becoming Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh. It has similar cult appeal (and themes) that the Rocky Horror Show has in the US, except it pays homage to the super-hero as opposed to the scifi/pulp genre.

The primary source for this is Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Ze Moveeh (which is also a musical) but since the plot is the exact same with some slight nuances and differences, the other versions informed me bits and pieces about the characters.

It should be noted that I haven’t seen any version of this in English (though the villains speak in English) but I do have friends who have translated phrases and discussed portions of the plot with me.

In the movie she is played by Zsa Zsa Padilla, the singer/actress the character was named after. Ms. Padilla is known as “The Divine Diva” in the Philippines.


  • Real Name: Adrian “Ada”.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed Itay or father (deceased zombie), Aruba (niece).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Manila and surrounding provinces.
  • Height: 5’4” Weight: 120 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Red (reddish brown as Ada).
  • Other distinguishing features: Zsa Zsa has an exaggerated womanly figure that’s actively commented on by the characters in the story.

Powers and Abilities

When Ada, a gay man, swallows the mysterious pink stone, he is transformed into a spectacular woman with an outrageous figure and incredible powers.

She is super-humanly strong and agile. She can leap great distances, but can not fly. She can also deflect bullets and energy attacks away from herself and sometimes back on the attacker using her hands and/or energy fields (emanating primarily from her “shock absorbing” chest).


(Adapted from IMDB’s synopsis for Ze Moveeh)
Ada (short for Adrian) is a lonely gay man in Manila. After a heart wrenching breakup he takes his beauty parlor and his niece, Aruba (who only appears in the movie version), to the provinces to start a new life.

One night while singing in the shower, a strange pink meteorite pierces the thin roof to his abode and hits Ada on the head. The meteorite has the word “Zaturnnah” etched on it.

Adrian’s best friend and assistant, Didi, is a fan of Darna comics. He believes the stone will give Ada super powers, and convinces him to swallow it. He does so, and after shouting, “Zaturnnah!” he turns into a beautiful woman whom Didi gleefully names Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah!

Zsa-Zsa Zaturnnah (Zsa Zsa Padilla) pouting

Together Zsa Zsa and Didi go out to explore her newfound powers, which include super strength, super jumping, and a strange energy imbued in her ample bosom. On their way back home, they discover one of their neighbors, Dodong (whom Ada has a crush on, but is reluctant to approach) being robbed by three muggers.

Zaturnnah easily defeats them, and Dodong is amazed by her prowess and beauty, but she and Didi quickly leave.

Such heroic

The next day Didi gives Ada a hand made costume for Zaturnnah, and just in time! A giant frog attacks the town, and, after swallowing the rock again, Zaturnnah is able to defeat it to the delight of the entire barangay (neighborood or town).

Watching from above in her spaceship is Queen Femina Suarestella Baroux and her henchwomen, the Amazonistas from Planet Xxx. They are planning on taking the land for their own unstated purposes. After seeing Zaturnnah in action they decide to test her to see if she is worthy of joining them. Femina decides to send more challenges.

Zsa-Zsa Zaturnnah (Zsa Zsa Padilla) grabs a tree trunk

Later that night, the town is attacked by zombies, and Zaturnnah comes to the rescue. While battling she discovers her (Ada’s) dead father, and even though she pleads with him to accept him/her for who she is, he rejects her.

Zaturnnah then gathers all the townspeople in the local church and arms them with holy water, and they all face the zombies and destroy them.

Amazonistas attack

The next day Queen Femina and the Amazonistas land on Earth and begin turning the local men into women. When Zaturnnah confronts them, they tell her that the women on their planet had been enslaved. They were all but wiped out by the warlike men, who wouldn’t even allow them to speak. But they fought back and are now dedicated to eradicating male oppression throughout the galaxy.

Zaturnnah vows to battle them to the death in a climactic battle. After a long fight where they have Zaturnnah all but defeated, the Amazonistas offer her one last chance to join them. Zsa Zsa coughs up the rock, turning back into Ada, and confronts the aliens with their hypocrisy of becoming just like the men they had defeated. The Amazonistas seem confused as to where this man suddenly appeared from.

Queen Femina starts to yell at her underlings, “Attack! That’s really…” when Ada throws the rock into her mouth. She ends up swallowing the rock and finishing her sentence by shouting the name of her foe “Zaturnnah!” turning her into a man.

The sight of a male-form from their home world triggers internal programming in the Amazonistas, forcing them to capture him and return home, leaving Earth alone. Dodong, having witnessed all this, takes Ada back home to rest.

Ada decides it’s time for him to return to Manila alone, but Dodong stops him and confesses his love. Together they all return home, but while singing karaoke in their new beauty shop in Manila, a strange pink object falls from the sky, piercing the thin ceiling and hitting Ada in the head…


Zsa Zsa is a voluptuous woman with a huge quaff of bright red hair and a killer body. Her femininity is as exaggerated as her strength. Considering the brightly colored hair and somewhat skimpy costume Didi created for her, she might look like a bad drag queen if she weren’t so obviously a woman.

One thing to note that in a world where no one looks like comic book women she does (with the proper proportions) and this is actively commented on and joked about throughout the story.


Ada is deeply troubled by the abuse he received at the hands of his father (who used to dip his head in pig swill whenever he did/wore anything effeminate). Initially in the story, it is stated that he has been through abusive relationships in the past and is trying desperately to come to terms with who he really is.

Ironically, it’s due to a previous abusive relationship and a dislocated jaw that allows him to swallow the large stone. His chance to live as a real woman is his greatest dream and he delights in every aspect of being a woman.

At first, Zatunnah is somewhat frightened of fighting and using her powers, but grows to love it as much as her newfound femininity. By the time she fights the Amazonistas, she has grown slightly cocky and hurls taunts and insults (along with Didi) to goad them into fighting rather than standing around and talking.

Zsa-Zsa Zaturnnah black and white comic

By then end of the story Ada is quietly confident. He has realized that he is everything that he’s meant to be and is comfortable with that, no longer feeling like he needs to seek his father’s approval and perhaps even having found true love.

Ada is effeminate and homosexual. But he’s not as outlandish as his assistant Didi who feels as comfortable in women’s clothing as men’s and often wears his long hear in pig-tails. Ada wears pinks and bright colors along with the occasional scarf, but for the most part isn’t completely “flaming.”

However, once he transforms into Zsa Zsa, she is as bold and outrageous as she feels.

If playing Ada, try to play it as real as possible. As Zsa Zsa cut loose and be as outlandish as you want!


“Ang taray na ng lola, sa akin ang korona. Tingnan nyo, babae na ako !” which roughly translates to: “Mama’s got a brand new bag ! Give me a tiara ! Look at me; I’m a real babe now !”

“Dapat siguro akong mag-concentrate para lumitaw ang kapangyarihan ni Zaturnnah… lakas ng katawin… talas ng isipan… at tibay… ng dibdib !” which sounds much like a local vitamin commercial and means: “I must concentrate to release the power of Zaturnnah… a strong body… a sharp mind… and sturdy chest !”

DC Universe History

Zsa Zsa could be dropped into the DCU completely as is and have a wonderful time. As usual, South East Asia is sparsely populated with supers and she could easily exist there without changing anything in the DCU proper.

Alternately, being a part of the “bakla” or gay culture and Filipino, San Francisco would call out. In fact, if Ada and Dodong eventually wish to get married, that would be a perfect excuse to bring them to the US.

Wonder Woman is sent on a diplomatic mission to Southeast Asia along with Supergirl. Along the way, they get into a scuffle that ruins their hairdos. In desperate need of a make-over they hear that the beauty spas in Manila are absolutely heavenly and decide to check one out for themselves. It just happens to be the one run by Ada.

Right as Ada is pampering them, some giant creature or natural disaster begins to happen. Without missing a beat, Ada tells the ladies to sit still under the dryers and transforms into Zsa Zsa to handle the ruckus. Then they give the ladies a massage (Didi might discuss using a jackhammer until Ada decides to transform) administered by Zsa Zsa.

The ladies come back to their mission, completely renewed and aglow, encouraging other Leaguers to check out this amazing spa. It might be the only spa in the world where super-heroines can get pampered and let someone else handle saving the world for a while.

It might even be just as interesting and appropriate for Ada to open a new spa using the natural volcanic springs in the area just to discover it’s actually a Lazarus Pit.

Marvel Universe History

Much like the DCU, Zaturnnah could exist in the Marvel U as is without any real changes.

If you wanted to tie her to the more mainstream characters, have Ada migrate to the US and get pulled into the 50 State Initiative. It would be interesting to have Ada develop a crush on one of the straight super-heroes (like Wonder Man) who is attracted to Zaturnnah.

If you like situational comedy elements in your game or interesting romance subplots, this could be quite entertaining. Judging from his interactions with Dudong, he might be quite shy to date a straight hero even if that hero’s showing active interest in Zaturnnah.

You could run the spa situation like the Wonder Woman and Supergirl example above. Only the likes of Jean Grey would realize that this is because their host, Ada, would madly transform and rush off to deal with any threat that might arise to disturb his guests.

For example, if Storm were visiting and Juggernaut showed up, trying to catch her with her guard down, he’d have to go through Zaturnnah to disturb her. Ada’s spa would become the talk of the super-heroine community.

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah

Dex: 08 Str: 17 Bod: 10 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Beautician
Inf: 07 Aur: 06 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 023 HP: 080

Invulnerability 14, Jumping 08, Reflection/Deflection 09, Running 07, Sealed Systems 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Reflection/Deflection is only usable against attacks Zsa Zsa is facing or that she can reach with her hands.
  • Reflection/Deflection is based primarily on an energy field around her chest and arms so it only provides partial coverage and could be bypassed with a trick shot (or overwhelming attacks from all directions).

Acrobatics: 08, Artist (Singer): 06, Martial Artist: 12, Military Science (Field Command): 04

Confidant (Didi), Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (the province), Luck.

The barangay (neighborhood/village) priest (High), Gossip community (High).

MIA (Dodong), Alter Ego (Controllable), Distinct Appearance (Zsa Zsa has inhumanly bright red hair), Secret ID, Traumatic Flashbacks (seeing Ada’s father), Dependent (Aruba), Loss Vulnerability (a sharp blow to the stomach could force Zsa Zsa to cough up the stone and turn back into Ada, typically a trick shot that must do at least one RAP of damage but a GM could choose to have this happen if Zsa Zsa is stunned with a melee attack).

Humor, but could cross over much like Plasticman.

Zaturnnah’s Alter Ego

Ada lacks the physical skills and powers of his super heroic identity and is much less sure of himself. However, over the course of the movie, he works through quite a few personal issues and gains confidence.

By the end of the movie, his Influence and Spirit increase by 1 AP and he gains the Iron Nerves advantage. He possesses all the same advantages as Zsa Zsa except Local Hero, especially Luck.

Adrian “Ada”

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 02 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Beautician
Inf: 04 Aur: 03 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 012 HP: 020

Artist (Beautician, Singer): 06, Weaponry (Throwing rocks): 05

Zaturnnah’s/Ada’s Sidekick – Didi

Dex: 02 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Thrill of Adventure
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 04 Occupation: Beautician
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 002
Init: 008 HP: 015

Artist (Beautician, Sewing, Singer): 05

Expertise (Comic Books), Gift of the Gab, Scholar (Filipino pop-culture, taunts), Schtick (Taunting).

By Adam Fuqua.

Source of Character: Comic, movie and theatrical musical of the same name.

Helper(s): IMDB.com , Wikipedia, Paul Catiang & Dante Gagelonia (for translating help), Darci.