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Time and Punishment

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Darkwing Duck
Season 1, Episode 52
Air date February 27, 1992
Written by Dev Ross
Production # 4308-070
Episode Guide
Quack of Ages
Stressed to Kill

One of the most mature and grim Darkwing Duck episodes ever broadcast, "Time and Punishment" explores how grief beyond measure can lead into madness, and also works the mechnics of time travel to show how one event can lead the entire world astray.


Megavolt and Quackerjack, using a larger version of Quackerjack's Time Top, escape into the future to retrieve high tech weapons and toys. Along the way, they accidentally kidnapped a sulky Gosalyn Mallard, who is dragged along with them into the far future of St. Canard.

While they are in the future, the evil duo and the little girl witness a far more malicious version of Darkwing who calls himself "Darkwarrior", harassing a pedestrian and sending him to prision for simply jaywalking before leaping into a huge tank and rolling away. Shortly thereafter, Darkwarrior's robot enforcers impound the time top for illegal parking, and then imprison Megavolt and Quackerjack.

Gosalyn manages to escape and makes her way to Darkwing Tower within the Audubon Bay Bridge. Once there, she finds it largely abandoned, occupied only by an older version of Lanchpad, who reveals that Darkwing went mad with depression when Gosalyn went missing; believing she had run away because he did not allow her to help him that night against Quackerjack and Megavolt (in fact she fell into the timestream).

One night, he came across someone who was in need and reminded him of Gosalyn. Rediscovering his purpose, he became a much more public menance and deadlier than many of his foes such as Steelbeak and NegaDuck. However simply defeating the supervillain menace of St. Canard is not enough for Darkwarrior; and he becomes a militaristic dictator, declaring martial law over St. Canard. He would punish anyone for minor offenses. Launchpad is no longer a sidekick to him because Darkwarrior accused him of being too soft on crime after he said criminals should be arrested before they were sent to the electric chair.


Darkwarrior's Thunderscud

Gosalyn convinces Launchpad to help her find Darkwarrior and talk some sense into him. Eventually she determines the best way to get his attention is to deface his prized statue, now a massive monument in the center of the city. When he encounters Gosalyn while patrolling in his modified and beweaponed Thunderquack, DW tries to reconcile with her. He also, benificently, only sentences Launchpad to life in prison because obviously he is not a criminal mastermind. He fashions a suit of armour similar to his own for Gosalyn so she can help him patrol the city and rid it of crime. Gosalyn was unhappy with Darkwarrior's extreme views on crime fighting and was not impressed with the armor as she could hardly move in it. When she protests his twisted views after inadvertantly revealing the presence of the evil duo and the time top, and demanding that the three of them be returned to the past to set things right; he has her arrested and sent to prison, declaring she had gone bad.

In the meantime, Darkwarrior seems finally to go completely round the bend, determning to use the power of the Time Top to completely rewrite history in his own image, plotting to go back in time to the beginnings of law enforcement in ancient Babylon, or even further, to when the first proto-duck left the oceans. this pointedly contrasts with Gosalyn's desire to use the time top to simply go back and stop herself from disappearing in the first place.

Gosalyn leads Lanchpad, MegaVolt, and Quackjack in a prisionbreak so she can return to her own time and prevent the dystopian future of Darkwarrior ever occuring. When she tries to save Megavolt and Quackerjack from being killed by Darkwarrior, he points a version of his gas gun in her face. Gosalyn notes she's not afraid of it; but seemingly incredulous, he replies that hasn't used a gas gun in years, promptly changing it into a very lethal missile launcher. He again turns against her, noting that all her past attempts to misbehave were signs he should have realized about her being a bad egg from the start. He is about to use his weapon to execute her but then resists the impulse, saying that he just can't do it: underneath it all, Gosalyn is still his baby girl, revealing that there is still a caring father deep inside of him. He is quickly knocked out by Launchpad allowing Megavolt, Quackerjack and Gosalyn to return to the present, apparently preventing the Darkwarrior timeline from existing.

Once in the present, Darkwing's shadow terrifies Quackerjack and Megavolt into feinting away. He finds Gosalyn within the time top and immediately grounds her for a month because she has disobeyed his order to stay in the Ratcatcher, which she gleefully accepts as a just punishment compared to the tyrany of Darkwarrior.


  • As an in-joke there is a street sign named after Frank Miller, author of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns which inspired several of the elements in this episode.
  • DarkWarrior Duck appears in the Darkwing Duck comic story arc Crisis on Infinite Darkwings, written by Ian Brill and drawn by James Silvani, as one of the multiple Darkwing Ducks of other dimensions that were brought to St. Canard by NegaDuck and Magica DiSpell. On a side note, he is also the only Darkwing that did not need to be brainwashed by Magica in order to be abducted from his home dimension.
  • During the episode, set presumabley ten-to-twenty years into Darkwing's Future, several characters reference Gosalyn's apparent lack of aging, assigning it to her growth being stunted by all the junk food she consumed as a kid. (typical Disney message fulfilled)


  • DarkWarrior Duck is most likely a reference to or parody of the future Batman portrayed in The Dark Knight Returns, where an older and embittered Batman viciously and ruthlessly deals out his own brand of justice to evildoers.
  • The Dark Knight Returns would later again be homaged as the title to Boom Studio's run of comics "The Duck Knight Returns"
  • There are also elements of the hyper-violent Judge Dreddcomic, particularly in the body-armor, robot enforcers, and heinously overblown criminal charges DW hands out as a one-man judge, jury, and executioner. While Frank Miller was name-dropped in the episode regarding Dark Knight Returns, No aspect of Dredd was.
  • Steelbeak, Ammonia Pine, Liquidator, Bushroot, Tuskernini and Lilliput make a brief cameo appearance during Launchpad's flashback. The episode shows them smashed by a large Ducksmasher (anvil), and it is alluded that they did not survive.



DarkWarrior: (In a tank and through loudspeaker) I am the terror that hunts in the night!
Gosalyn: (On rooftop) Dad?
DarkWarrior: I am the jackal that gnaws at your bones!
(Jaywalker tries to slink away and DarkWarrior Duck fires a warning shot)
DarkWarrior: I'm not finished~! I am DarkWarrior Duck! Maybe a year in the pen will teach you to use a crosswalk...(venomously) jaywalker!
Gosalyn: What'd all these people do to get locked up?
Launchpad: Ah, the usual stuff. Traffic violators, lawyers, plumbers, rude supermarket clerks, cartoon producers.
Gosalyn: (Points to an old lady in a rocking chair) Who's that?
Launchpad: Mrs. Mildew. She flunked DW in penmanship.
Gosalyn: Well, at least he has some sense of justice left.
Megavolt: Let me out. I'll make him sizzle like spit on a griddle.
Quackerjack: Ooh, aren't we sounding folksy.

Megavolt: But traveling through time could put a hole in the space-time continuum, wreak havoc with history, inalterably change the past, present, and future forever! Actually, it sounds kinda fun.

Darkwing: You should have been home in bed hours ago.
Gosalyn: And walk out on The Viper Zombies from Wormwood Creek movie marathon? Not in this universe. Heck, I wouldn't miss the scene where the chainsawing cannibals beg for mercy from the slimy mutant slugs.
Launchpad: Uh, gee, this popcorn isn't half as tasty as it was a second ago.

Gosalyn: You haven't even asked why I haven't grown. Darkwarrior: I assumed it was the junk food!

Gosalyn: Now, what's going on around here? The city looks like it's just been washed and waxed, the streets are deserted, and Dad's acting like Nobrain the barbarian. Boy, I slip away for a couple of decades, and the whole town goes down the tubes!

Gosalyn: And I used to gripe when he sent me to my room.

DarkWarrior Duck: I am the terror that hunts in the night. I am the jackal that gnaws at your bones.

Darkwing: I am the batteries that are not included.

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