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Darkwing Duck (character)

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Darkwing Duck's Heroic pose

Darkwing Duck is a crime fighter, hero, and freelance agent of S.H.U.S.H. He fights crime with his sidekick Launchpad McQuack and some times with his daughter Gosalyn and her genius friend Honker Muddlefoot. Darkwing Duck's secret identity is that of Drake Mallard and lives at 537 Avian Way St. Canard with Gosalyn and Launchpad.

Origins

Drake Mallard has been born and raised in St. Canard, living in a house and going to a school, Paraducks where for a time he was in Ms. Boriscowski's class, Ghoul of My Dreams that over the decades have been replaced with a garage. He appears to have been a child in the early sixties, making him in his 30s during his Darkwing Duck days. As a child, he was weak and fearful, but good-natured and already a fan of comic books. He especially admired the comic hero Superpig, who has a whole array of special abilities. A lesser element in his youth was his classmate Lamont, the younger brother of a merciless criminal known as the King. Lamont forced Drakey into the gang and he would've become a criminal with them if not for the arrival of Darkwing Duck and Gosalyn from the future. Drakey was disappointed that his future superhero self has no superpowers, but Darkwing's training and support did wonders for his self-confidence and skill. As a team, the three got the King and his gang arrested, after which Darkwing and Gosalyn went back to the future and left the honor of the arrest to Drakey. Because Drake is somewhat forgetful, though, the details of these events became lost to him Paraducks by the time he finished high school. Clash Reunion It is presumably after his encounter with his future self that he took up training from various sources. He joined the Junior Woodchucks for a time and held on to the guidebook well into his crimefighting career. Brawl in the Family From his great-great-aunt, who was a sideshow contortionist, he obtained lessons that would prove useful during many encounters with villains. Calm a Chameleon He also learns both mental powers Water Way to Go as well as inner strength techniques from Tibetan yogis during his childhood. Dances with Bigfoot It might be around this point that he takes an interest in his family history, which features many heroes. Inherit the Wimp

By the end of high school, Drake enjoyed acting as detective, unaware his fellow students were bothered by his desire to make a case out of everything. He was exemplary enough, though, that Mrs. Waddlesworth entrusted the class to him when she had to be elsewhere for a bit. Drake was bullied a lot, mostly by Ham String and his even more terrible girlfriend Preena Lott. One other student who also suffered indignities was Elmo Sputterspark, whose fate would eventually play a huge role in Drake becoming Darkwing. Hours before prom, Elmo was working on an experiment when Ham and Preena came in and tied him to his machine that induced static in people. They left him to his fate, which resulted in his electricity-based mutation and his turn to supervillainy under the name Megavolt. Megavolt's first course of action was revenge. Drake tried to stop him as himself at first but was easily knocked aside. Looking for an identity to work under so he'd have the advantage of being taken seriously, he dressed up in what he found backstage. After a little brainstorming, he chose to name himself Darkwing Duck. His battle with Megavolt ended in the first victory Darkwing Duck could claim. Clash Reunion

It is presumably after this that Darkwing learned such skills as Micronesian breath control, Dirty Money Ancient Carpathian bone dislocation, Fraudcast News a breath trick to escape binds from a conscientious contortionist in Constantinople, Adopt-a-Con and travelled to China to receive Quack Fu training from Goose Lee, Kung Fooled as that would explain some of what happened in the next ten years before Darkwing became a big name by defeating Taurus Bulba Darkly Dawns the Duck and why the Drake Mallard identity never comes up between them. While an effective teacher, Lee never respected Darkwing for his inability to master the Belly Bounce and this further motivated Darkwing to become a crimefighter to prove himself. Kung Fooled He also picked up various advanced science skills along the way. Slime Okay, You're Okay While never letting go of his comic book heroes, Darkwing's interests broadened to spies from the big screen, such as Derek Blunt, a S.H.U.S.H. agent in real life. This could be what inspired him to establish or accept contact with S.H.U.S.H. and become a freelance agent. In Like Blunt The Merchant of Menace S.H.U.S.H. added him to their payroll and in addition to money Darkwing Duck editorial provided him with gadgets, among which the Ratcatcher. Playmates Toys files Darkwing worked alone for at least a year Darkly Dawns the Duck and fought Steelbeak, Ammonia Pine, and Megavolt during this time, as he had to introduce all three to Launchpad McQuack when he later accepted him as sidekick. Darkwing sought publicity with his feats of heroism already, but only a few news sources reported on him. Big channels assumed him to be something fake, like a promotional stunt. A Duck by Any Other Name

How Drake's parents factor into this is unclear. During his solo days, Darkwing had his living space within Darkwing Tower and was focussed exclusively on his superhero identity. Either the relation has become bad or they're dead. It wasn't until he met and adopted Gosalyn Waddlemeyer as well as met and hired Launchpad McQuack that he made room for a civilian identity in his life again to provide Gosalyn with a steady homelife. Darkly Dawns the Duck The three of them came to live on 537 Avian Way, next door to the Muddlefoots. Despite that Drake looks down on them and is regularly bothered by their neighbor-y ways, it wouldn't be out of the question that their limited intelligence was a factor in picking 537 Avian Way to keep his double-identity unlikely to be discovered. The brains of the Muddlefoots, youngest child Honker, became Gosalyn's best friend and either that friendship or those brains brought him into the Darkwing fold. A Duck by Any Other Name

Alternative origins have also been proposed.[1] One of these Darkwing's purported origins is "The Secret Origins of Darkwing Duck", in which both Darkwing Duck and Negaduck both came from a doomed planet in a tale paralleling the origin of Superman. Darkwing acquired his mask, gas gun, and combat training from a variety of sources who figured that they "could come in handy some day". Among numerous other pop culture references in the episode, he receives martial arts training in a monastery inspired by David Carradine's Kung Fu. This episode takes place in the future and is told in a series of flashbacks by a museum janitor, who looks suspiciously like an aged Darkwing Duck, relating the story to two children who look like descendants of Honker and Gosalyn. Given the nature of the story - particularly since the narrator often seems to be uncertain of the story himself - and the revelation a few episodes later that Negaduck hailed from a parallel dimension, this episode is more than likely a tongue-in-cheek parody, not meant to be taken seriously. Even the title is a comic book reference, nodding towards the DC magazine Secret Origins, which chronicled the beginnings of DC heroes.

"Darkwing Doubloon" is a period episode taking place several centuries in the past (Darkwing himself says 300 years) and featuring the entire Fearsome Five and the Justice Ducks as pirates. The continuity problem posed by such an episode is rather glaring, but the episode does not actually claim to portray the truth - merely a tale told by Darkwing of "another masked Mallard who fought for justice 300 years ago", which may or may not have some basis in real history. Three of Darkwing's ancestors have appeared in the present day of the series, so the idea that Darkwing Doubloon is related to Darkwing Duck by blood is not impossible. This story of a remarkably similar ancestor fighting for justice in the days of the pirates parallels that of The Phantom.

One episode {"A Star is Scorned"}, in which Darkwing is almost replaced by Bushroot as the hero, shows that Darkwing and the other characters are actually actors employed by the Dizzy Studio. However, this episode ends with a short framing scene showing Drake and Gosalyn turning off the TV, indicating that all of the episode's previous events were merely part of a show that they were watching. In addition, a previous episode ("Twitching Channels") stated that an overlander TV producer (in the "real world") discovered Darkwing's adventures through the use of a helmet; although the helmet was destroyed, it's possible that Darkwing and the others found some other way to maintain contact with the real world.

Darkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck is portrayed to be a good crime fighter and hero at times hindered by his arrogance and ego. His competence varies from episode to episode but when he finally hits his stride and focuses, the cases are always solved. One example of this is his fight with Taurus Bulba. Darkwing Duck was forced to use all his energy and resources in order to stop his most dangerous enemy. When he defeated Bulba, Darkwing was shown to be very heroic. Darkwing's main weapon of choice in his crime-fighting escapades is his gas gun, which functions much like a grenade launcher. It fires grenades with a variety of different gases (smoke bombs, laughing gas, tear gas, etc.), as well as some more direct offensive weapons (including boxing gloves and cartoon bombs). It also has a retractable line and grappling hook for transportation purposes, and can fire other random objects that are loaded in its barrel. He invariably employs various other weapons and gadgets though many do not work as intended. His main forms of transportation are the Thunderquack (a small airplane-like vehicle shaped like Darkwing's head that was built by and is piloted by Launchpad) and his motorcycle, called the Ratcatcher (a name shared with an obscure Batman villain, maintaining the theme of superhero homages and parodies).

In some episodes, Darkwing is sent on missions as a freelance agent of S.H.U.S.H., a covert crime-fighting organization that deals with criminal activity that the normal authorities cannot handle, though he is not officially employed by them. Darkwing's 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.) and missions can be sent to him covertly via a messaging system called the Flashquack, which is a miniature Thunderquack.

While he is known (to an extent) as a hero in St. Canard, he frequently deals with citizens misunderstanding him. Numerous episodes bring up the fact that he's very unpopular, due to his intimidating tactics and dark appearance, to the point where the episode "Let's Get Respectable" was devoted to making him over as a more likable hero with nicer language, a brighter costume, and flower petals instead of smoke and gas. Once it interfered with the episode's case, however, the makeover quickly ended. In some episodes, people fail to recognize Darkwing, and at times, do not even know who "Darkwing Duck" is. This lack of popularity and recognition often clashes with his inflated ego.

Personality

Darkwing often demonstrates a lack of common sense that is hampered by his tremendous ego. However, unlike Inspector Gadget and similar cartoon crimefighting archetypes, Darkwing is actually extraordinarily competent as a superhero - once he puts aside distractions and ego and focuses completely on the case. This moment of transition was marked by Darkwing's catchphrase "Let's get dangerous".

Darkwing's career choice seems to be, in part, be motivated by a general desire for recognition. But he still possesses a strong personal sense of justice which shows by his willingness to risk his life for the common good and the protection of innocents.

When it comes to romance, Darkwing has a type. While not hesitant to comment on women that catch his eye, his biggest reactions have been for Morgana Macawber, Trudi, Femme Appeal, and Sharee Rock, all tall and conventionally beautiful women with an air of mystery or danger to them.

Weapons

Darkwing Duck's main weapon is his trusty gas gun. His gas gun can also shoot a variety of items such as a grappling hook with line, and different gases such as smoke bombs, laughing gas, tear gas, etc.

Darkwing Duck also has an small airplane named the Thunderquack and a motorcycle called the Ratcatcher. Both are modeled after the shape of his head.

Abilities

Despite a large degree of clumsiness, Darkwing is an expert in martial arts and generally quite proficient in physical combat; he employs several techniques he has developed on his own including the satirical but effective "double reverse, paddle drop, boom, boom kick" and his "patented flying web kick". Even though he is referred to as a "superhero" (by himself and other citizens), Darkwing has no true superpower. Instead, he relies on his weapons, finesse, and intellect to solve crimes and stop villains. While he is shown to be a struggling hero at the beginning of the series he later becomes a popular and well known figure in St. Canard.

Secret Identity

When not fighting crime Darkwing spends his time as his alter ego Drake Mallard, Gosalyn Mallard's adopted father. Most of the show is based on their father-daughter relationship. Darkwing and Gosalyn forged a close bond in a short period of time because they were so much alike. Drake Mallard has no occupation outside of Darkwing Duck and he receives payment for it from S.H.U.S.H.. Darkwing Duck editorial The only people who know Drake's secret identity are, of course, Gosalyn, his sidekick Launchpad McQuack and Gosalyn's best friend Honker Muddlefoot. In later episodes, Morgana Macawber, with whom Darkwing has an on-again-off-again relationship, also discovers his secret identity. Drake and Gosalyn Mallard, along with Launchpad McQuack, live at 537 Avian Way, St. Canard, located in the fictional state of Calisota, the setting of other Disney cartoon cities. The first episode shows that Darkwing lives in his lair in the Audubon Bay Bridge, he purchases a home and starts using his alter ego again only after adopting Gosalyn Waddlemeyer. This hints that he, for some reason, may not truly even need his alter ego anymore and only uses it to give Gosalyn some semblance of a normal life.

Despite this, Darkwing has been seen going out of his way to protect his secret identity from being discovered. Drake does not seem to act any differently as Darkwing, yet even those close to him, such as his next door neighbors the Muddlefoots, cannot tell they are one and the same. He has even dressed up as Darkwing Duck while attending a Halloween party, with many patrons stating he was too short to pull off being Darkwing Duck convincingly. However, Launchpad, Gosalyn, and Honker, who have no alter egos, are all often seen with both Darkwing and Drake, yet no one questions this. Megavolt once claimed to know that Gosalyn and Launchpad are "the Darkwing Duck fan club" while holding them captive. Duck Blind Since Gosalyn actually does run a Darkwing Duck fan club, Cleanliness is Next to Badliness it seems many villains simply see her and Launchpad as normal people who frequently follow Darkwing around and do not make the connection between Drake and Darkwing. This is supported by Darkwing's tendency to be a bit of a glory hound. Gosalyn also makes an effort not to refer to Darkwing as "Dad" when she follows him around crimefighting, although she occasionally does. Whiffle While You Work Launchpad almost always calls both Darkwing and Drake "DW". However, since Drake's middle name is never revealed to the audience, one can assume that the characters might think that Launchpad is merely calling him by his first and middle initials, which isn't unusual and thus wouldn't bring up any tough questions. It is also worth stating that Negaduck, being the Darkwing of an alternate dimension, would know of Darkwing's true identity and relationship to Gosalyn but never seems to use this information against him, although one possible reason for this is that he may not have decided to start using his alter ego again after adopting "Nega-Gosalyn" (Bushroot's Negaverse counterpart says that "Negaduck" is her guardian as opposed to "Drake Mallard", implying that he may not use his secret identity at all) and it just never occurred to him that Darkwing might have. In the current comic series Negaduck realizes that Darkwing uses the Drake Identity when Launchpad is seen coming out of a laundromat with two different pairs of Darkwing's clothes. Negaduck uses this information to launch an attack on Drake at his home causing him to temporarily give up being Darkwing for Gosalyn's sake. He later takes up his dual identity again when he discoverers Taurus Bulba's plans involving the company Drake now works for.

Darkwarrior Duck

Darkwarror Duck was a twisted dictator version of Darkwing Duck who appeared only in the episode "Time and Punishment".

Darkwarrior6

As opposed to his trademark opening and blue smoke, the new DW uses red smoke and his opening is much more scary.

Darkwarrior Duck wears a much more threatening looking costume than his former Darkwing persona. He still has his signature hat, and cape, but now wears a (jump-suit like) purple costume with a dark belt, dark boots, large black gloves and heavy, spiky armor over his shoulders. His belt has a satchel on it for his former gas gun.

His mask is also black now, and when he wears it his eyes glow red. Though this seems less like some form of technology and more of a way to visualize his insanity, since his eyes are normal the first time he sees Gosalyn even with the mask on.

Darkwarrior has a legion of flying robots at his disposal, a large tank (presumably in place of the Ratcatcher), the Thunderwing (loaded with guns and missiles), and his former gas gun (now a handheld missile launcher).

While Darkwarrior can, technically, still be considered a good guy, he is very different in his crime fighting style than his old self. He whole-heartedly believes in the use of lethal force, does not give criminals a trial and freely deals out death to those he deems to be evil. A sharp contrast to Darkwing's non-lethal style. Darkwarrior also sees every crime equally as heinous, right down to tearing off the 'do not remove under penalty of law' tag on pillows.

Goslyn returned home and it is assumed that the time line Darkwarrior was from now never existed.

Arachno-Duck

Arachno-duck

Arachno Duck

In the episode Aduckyphobia, Darkwing Duck is bitten by a mutated spider and grows 4 extra arms, giving him six. Having been mutated, Darkwing is compelled to adopt a new persona, Arachno Duck.

Darkwing's extra arms seem to have a mind of their own, especially number six. Darkwing is also able to shoot webbing from his mouth.

Dark-Wolf Dog

In the episode Monsters R Us, Morgana's father turns Darkwing Duck into a werewolf after Morgana's family realized that Morgana is dating a "normal". After being cursed, Darkwing calls himself, Dark-Wolf Dog.

Darkwing is seen using his dog-like behavior.

Demolition Duck

In the episode Jail Bird, in an attempt to get to prison, Darkwing Duck becomes Demolition Duck.


References

  1. Tad Stones, the main brain behind the series, has repeatedly noted that he favored fun and incidental stories over continuity adherence. It's because of this the alternate universe episodes exist and with them alternate origins, not to mention that all the possibly-fact sources of Darkwing's history aren't actually meant to be put together. Sources for this include The Tad Stones Interview at Animation World Network and Flapping Terror's Exclusive Tad Stones Interview

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