Darkwing Duck

From Academic Kids

Missing image
TV_darkwing_duck_on_bonkers.jpg
The character of Darkwing Duck as seen on the series Bonkers.

Disney's Darkwing Duck is a Disney cartoon show that ran from 1991 to 1994 (often inside The Disney Afternoon), featuring an eponymous superhero anthropomorphic duck with the alter ego Drake Mallard. Owing much to the tradition of The Shadow and Batman, the only people who know the hero's secret identity are his adopted daughter Gosalyn Waddlemeyer Mallard (mistakenly referred to as his niece in recent Disney information sources), his sidekick Launchpad McQuack (originally from Duck Tales), Gosalyn's best friend Honker Muddlefoot, and in later episodes, Darkwing's girlfriend Morgana Macawber. The show is set in the fictional city of St. Canard.

Much like Inspector Gadget, the show's hero often demonstrated a large degree of clumsiness and lack of common sense, and owed much of his success to a more competent assistant (in this case his adopted daughter). Darkwing is also known for his tremendous ego. However, unlike Gadget and similar cartoon heroes, Darkwing could actually be extraordinarily competent once he put aside distractions and focused completely on the case. This moment of transition would mark the start of each story's climax, and was almost invariably signaled by Darkwing's catchphrase (featured in the show's opening theme), "Let's get dangerous!"

In some episodes, Darkwing is sent on missions as a freelance agent of S.H.U.S.H., a covert crime fighting organization that is so secret, nobody knows what the acronym stands for. His S.H.U.S.H. missions most often have the aim of thwarting various evil schemes of the Fiendish Organization for World Larceny (or F.O.W.L.).

Darkwing's main weapon of choice in his crime-fighting escapades is his "gas gun", which fires a variety of different gases at his opponents. His main forms of transportation are the Thunderquack, a small airplane-like vehicle that he depends on his sidekick to fly, and his motorcycle, called the Ratcatcher.

When not fighting crime, Darkwing Duck's alter ego is Drake Mallard, whose occupation is never given. This has lead to inquiries by some fans as to how Darkwing makes any monetary income. Although in the first episode it is shown that Darkwing lives in his Bridge Tower lair, and gets a home and an alter ego only after adopting Goslyne Mallard. This hints perhaps that he for some reason, may not truly even need his alter ego for anything more than giving Goslyne some semblance of a normal life.

Contents

Origins

There are at least three completely different accounts given through the series regarding Darkwing's origins - all three of which contradict each other. Some of the accounts seem intentionally over the top, and given Darkwing's little ego problem its not hard to imagine that perhaps he overexaggerates his true origins. As there is no one true story depicting how he came to be, most just shrug it off saying that it adds to his character's mystique and charm.

Entrance

Darkwing is a big fan of dramatic entrances; they usually involve mysteriously appearing in a cloud of smoke, and almost always include some version of the following speech:

I am the terror that flaps in the night,
I am the [noun] that [verb]s your [noun],
I am DARKWING DUCK!

The metaphor in the middle line often consists of Darkwing comparing himself to something annoying, such as "I am the bubblegum that sticks in your hair", or "I am the termite that devours your floorboards." Others tend to make very little sense, such as "I am the ABC that floats in your soup." As with Darkwing's crimefighting abilities, they tend to be somewhat lame before "Let's get dangerous," and devastatingly effective afterward (in an example of the latter, the image conjured by the middle line of his intro is so disgusting it stuns two henchmen long enough for Darkwing to reach them and knock them out).

Other characters

  • Herb and Binkie Muddlefoot (Honker's parents)
  • Tank Muddlefoot (Honker's brother)
  • J. Gander Hooter (director of S.H.U.S.H., a reference to former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover)
  • Dr. Sarah Bellum (S.H.U.S.H. scientist, whose name is a pun on cerebellum)
  • Agent Vladimir Goudenov Grizzlikof (S.H.U.S.H.'s top agent)
  • Gizmoduck (Launchpad's old friend and Darkwing's rival super hero, also originally from Duck Tales)
  • Neptunia the Fish Queen
  • Steggmutt the Dinosaur
  • Posiduck (when Darkwing Duck is galvanized his positive half is known as Posiduck)

Villains

  • NegaDuck (Darkwing's evil counterpart)
  • Megavolt (Lord of Electricity)
  • Dr. Reginald Bushroot (Master of Plants)
  • Quackerjack (a vicious jester with a weird obsession for toys)
  • The Liquidator (a watery villain)
  • Steelbeak (chief agent of F.O.W.L.)
  • Eggmen (F.O.W.L. flunkies)
  • Ammonia Pine
  • Ample Grime
  • Moliarty
  • Tuskernini
  • Dr. Slug (who never appears in an episode in any major capacity)
  • Splatter Phoenix
  • Taurus Bulba
  • Hammerhead Hannigan
  • Hoof and Mouth

Trivia

  • This show was inspired by two episodes of DuckTales, entitled Double O'Duck and The Masked Mallard. The original concept had Launchpad McQuack as the star.
  • There was also a Darkwing Duck video game released by Capcom on the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Game Boy. Another game was also made for the TurboGrafx-16.
  • The character of Darkwing Duck also appeared occasionally in the series Bonkers.
  • One of the greatest upsets to fans of the series is that one of the last aired episodes, "The Steerminator", leaves at a cliffhanger ending complete with "To be Continued". Originally meant to be resolved in Season 4, the series was unfortunatly canceled before this could happen. The resolution to this episode seems doomed to be left eternally unsolved.
  • There is an episode of this series that has been banned from television. The episode Hot Stuff is about Gosalyn wanting magical powers like Morgana. She is unable to attain them at the speed she desires, and, becoming impatient, opts instead to sell Darkwing's soul to the devil in order to attain this power. She does this by accident of course, but the very fact that a Disney-related show had any reference to Satan (and was even allowed to air a few times) is unusual.

See also

External link

Template:Imdb titlede:Darkwing Duck

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