Tuesday Toonsday: Get to Know the Characters of Darkwing Duck

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Darkwing Duck – The title hero who is “the terror that flaps in the night” and patrols the streets of St. Canard on the lookout for crime. He’s aided in his heroism by a variety of gadgets and vehicles, often with duck-related names and appearances. An average citizen by the name of Drake Mallard by day, DW’s true persona is the arrogant fame-hunting crime-fighter whose ego is kept in check by his allies Launchpad McQuack and Gosalyn Mallard.

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Launchpad McQuack – Ported over from DuckTales, Launchpad is DW’s biggest fan and stoic sidekick in crime-fighting.  Creator of the duck-billed jet Thunderquack, Launchpad is also DW’s pilot, mechanic, and engineer. He has a strange habit of crashing through walls and piloting/driving backwards.

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Gosalyn Waddlemeyer/Mallard – Orphaned at a young age, Gosalyn crossed paths with Darkwing Duck when the caped hero investigated the murder of her famous scientist grandfather. She was then adopted by Drake Mallard and often joins his crime-fighting adventures as  “Yucky Duck”, the “Crimson Quackette”, and eventually the “Quiverwing Quack.” The spunky, energetic 9-year-old is quite capable at handling herself in a fight, even as her adopted father tries to keep her out of harm’s way.

Other Allies:

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Gizmoduck / Fenton Crackshell – Also brought over from DuckTales is this character who acts as Launchpad’s best friend and Darkwing Duck’s rival superhero. Though Gizmoduck tends to steal the spotlight from DW during their crime fighting,  the two learn to work together against villainous team-ups.

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Morgana McCawber – A villainess magic-wielder who eventually reformed her ways to join Darkwing Duck’s crime-fighters. This occasionally scatter-brained magician also happens to be DW’s girlfriend.

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Neptunia and Stegmutt – The two final members of the Justice Ducks. Neptunia is a mutated fish humanoid who also reformed her villainous ways and is now a self-proclaimed protector of the sea. Stegmutt was originally a duck employed as a janitor who was turned into a dinosaur humanoid by the mad scientist Dr. Fossil.

The Villains: The Fearsome Five

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Negaduck – Darkwing Duck’s evil doppelgänger who is the polar opposite of the crime-fighting hero, down to his differently colored costume. Voiced by Jim Cummings, who also voices the title character, Negaduck often impersonates DW in order to smear the hero’s good name and perpetrate crimes. It was eventually revealed that Negaduck was actually an inversion of Darkwing Duck who hailed from the Negaverse, a nightmarish version of St. Canard. Negaduck is the leader of the Fearsome Five.

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Dr. Reginald Bushroot – A scientist who sought to fuse plant and animal DNA to allow people to feed themselves through photosynthesis. The experiment turned him into a half-duck/half-plant humanoid who now has the power to control plants. Sadly, his condition makes it difficult for him to make friends or develop romantic relationships. He’s accompanied by Spike (a dog/Venus Flytrap), and Posey, a vampire potato.

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The Liquidator – Formerly a dog humanoid named Bud Flud (yeah) who was a sleazy bottled water salesman, he was turned into a water monster after he fell into a vat of a competitor’s water laced with a corrosive chemical. He can control water and change his form and is accompanied by his two female advertising mascots. Since he’s composed of water, he doesn’t play well with the next member of the Fearsome Five.

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Megavolt – A rat humanoid and high school nerd, Elmo Sputterspark gained electrical powers when one of his experiments was sabotaged. His rivalry with Drake Mallard / Darkwing Duck has its roots in high school, where they first clashed during St. Canard High’s senior prom. The psychotic master of electricity commits crimes that result in “liberating” light bulbs and electrical appliances.

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Quackerjack – An insane toy-maker who wears a harlequin jester get-up, Quackerjack creates toys to cause havoc and commit crimes. While his main toy of destruction is mechanical chattering teeth, he’s rarely seen without his toy sidekick and explosive device Mr. Banana Brain. Other Quackerjack creations include Terror Teddy, Crying Crissy Doll, and Mr. Trivia Buff.

There are plenty more characters, heroes and villains alike, throughout Darkwing Duck’s 90 episodes, but these are the ones who show up most often. We’ll talk about them and more in our next episode of the Saturday Mourning Cartoons podcast.