The crimebots are robotic police officers introduced to St. Canard by the Quackwerks Corporation. They are marketed as a benevolent force that will protect the population against the many ill-meaning elements making the city unsafe with more efficiency than the police, SHUSH, and Darkwing Duck have ever been capable of. This is true, but omits their additional purpose as enforcers for a shadow dictator, their core creator Taurus Bulba. After Launchpad McQuack took over as CEO from Bulba, they were reprogrammed to support society first and be a protective force second. Along with this functional change they were renamed herobots.
The basic idea behind the crimebots was conceived by Taurus Bulba as part of his larger plan to take over St. Canard in a way that would allow him to operate in anonymity. To develop the idea and build the first working versions, Bulba messed with the consciousness of several civilians with the technical know-how and instilled in them a need to pick up project to provide St. Canard with one coherent defense force. One of these people was Maury Thwackstein, who would later become very skeptical of the crimebots' purpose and suspect foul play. Thwackstein became crucial to uncovering the plot behind the Quackwerks Corporation and the crimebots, resulting in the removal of Bulba as CEO in favor of Launchpad McQuack. Launchpad arranged for the crimebots to receive a new programming that emphasized service work over military purpose, although some of their old coding was left to be called upon in case of emergency.
The crimebots are highly effective robots with unjammable systemsand more laser capacity than they'd ever need. They also possess flight, have four arms, and can join their energy fields to create a net that shortcircuits or neutralizes anything that comes in contact with it.
Boom! Studios comics
In the early days of the Quackwerks Corporation, the crimebots aren't on anyone's radar. Negaduck finds out about Darkwing's civilian identity during this era and attacks the Mallard residence one day. The crimebots come in action against him, chasing him off and showing the city their order-keeping potential. The whole ordeal leaves Drake with an identity crisis that leads to him retiring Darkwing, kicking out Launchpad, and breaking up with Morgana Macawber. Negaduck escapes the crimebots thanks to Magica De Spell and goes underground.
A year later, now as an employee of Quackwerks, Drake Mallard sits in on a meeting regading an upcoming upgrade of the crimebots. Losing his cool for a moment, he loudly objects to the upgrade, pointing out how it is unnecessary with all the villains cajoled in civilian roles and how St. Canard has become dependent on those robots when previously the people could handle their own safety perfectly well. No one is interested in what he has to say, though, and so another same-old day at the office comes and goes. A change springs forth when he comes home. Honker is illegally downloading for him and Gosalyn, which draws the attention of the crimebots. They break into the Mallard residence and arrest Honker, sentencing him in one go to an indefinite period of time in the Quackwerks Detention Camp. Drake tries to protect the boy, but an electro-attack puts a stop to that effort. As Drake considers filing a complaint, Gosalyn brings him his old Darkwing Duck costume and proposes a more hands-on approach. As Darkwing infiltrates the Quackwerks HQ to get a few questions answered, the Fearsome Four reunite and take on Quackwerks in their own way, namely by destroying the company's property. The destruction of Clint Wacky's Wacky Wonders draws the attention of the crimebots. The robots surround the four villains, but one makes the mistake of commenting on the absence of Negaduck. Quackerjack, traumatized by his former leader's destruction of Mr. Banana Brain, rips it apart with his bare hands and recreates Mr. Banana Brain from the mangled metal and wires while his teammates handle the other three. For a good while after that, all the Fearsome Five gets to do is deal with more waves of crimebots. Darkwing, meanwhile, comes into contact with Maury Thwackstein, a member of the original crimebot design team. He has been suspicious of the Quackwerks Corporation for a good while and voluntarily hands the security codes of the crimebot production hub to Darkwing. This allows the crimefighter to continue his research, but does not protect him from registering as an intruder once inside the facility. All the crimebots far enough in the production process to respond come after Darkwing. He is saved by the timely arrival of Launchpad and Gosalyn who come crashing through the roof in the Thunderquack. Launchpad gets them out of there and it takes a while before the crimebots can organize hunting party. The Thunderquack's flight through the city draws the attention of the Fearsome Four, who give chase in their own flight-capable vehicle. The crimebots catch up and a wild chase ensues with crimebots going after both planes for unauthorized use of the air. Three crimebots eventually join forces and generate an energy triangle in the planes' paths. It shortcircuits the vehicles and knocks the passengers occupants out cold. All seven are brought to the office of the CEO, who is none less than Taurus Bulba. It takes all seven to fight back, but they succeed. Through a series of coincidences, Gosalyn becomes the new owner of the Gizmosuit, naming herself Gosmoduck, and is pleased to discover that the suit can override the crimebots' programming with ease. Bulba is defeated, but Quackwerks and all of its property has become too big to eliminate. Through political intervention, Launchpad is assigned to fill in for Bulba. He is expected to find a proper balance between the corporation and the city.
As per his orders, Launchpad launches a reprogramming operation that is to update the purpose of the crimebots from unimaginative law enforcers to robots capable of a variety of tasks who can still jump into action if the city needs them. The reprogrammed crimebots are renamed herobots an army of alternative Darkwings. Recognizing this as a crisis Darkwing Duck alone can't possibly handle, Launchpad calls on the herobots' dormant original programming to save the city from the new threat. Launchpad personally leads them into battle from within the Thunderquack. The herobots do good work, but the flaws in their old programming show when a group of them encounters Darkwing Duck and doesn't distinguish him from all the other Darkwings they've been ordered to capture. Gosmoduck and Honker have to take them out to protect the crimefighter. The rest of the herobots are ordered out off the streets when the Darkwings collectively stop their attack and are discovered to have been under mind control all this time.and they are put to use for such jobs as cook, gardener, and personal injury lawyer. Ironically, Darkwing finds himself overwhelmed by all the villains rushing back to the spotlight and starts missing the extra manpower the herobots had to offer. Things go from bad to worse when St. Canard becomes overrun by
To mentally torture Darkwing, Suff-Rage makes him think he goes through a variety of forms as she questions what his biggest fear in life is. At the guess it is being a drone, his shape is represented by a herobot. With help, Darkwing breaks out of her hold and defeats her. Suff-Rage had meant to become mayor, but her plot and defeat lead to Launchpad being elected instead. The actual herobots have to come in action shortly after to clean up the mess he's made of the city.
Joe Books comics
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