|"I am the terror that flaps in the night,
I am the peanut butter that sticks to the roof of the mouth of crime,
I am Darkwing Duck!"
Darkwing Duck, a spin-off from Disney’s hugely successful DuckTales, took the noble premise of cartoon superheroes like Batman and Superman, then turned it on its head.
In the vast reaches of the fictional metropolis of St. Canard, where evil lurked and crime ran rampant, there was only one chance for the future. By day, this great, feathered hope was known as Drake Mallard, a mild-mannered working duck. But by night, when his services were needed most, he turned into his crime-fighting alter ego, Darkwing Duck.
Like Batman and Superman, Darkwing was destined to fight the forces of evil and restore order to civilization. But unlike Batman and Superman, the superhero thing didn’t come naturally to Darkwing Duck. A rather ill-fated (and all around hapless) superhero, Darkwing was helped in his efforts by his adopted daughter Gosalyn, her friend Honker Muddlefoot, and personal pilot Launchpad McQuack. While Darkwing and Launchpad believed themselves to be the saviors of duckkind, they couldn’t have done it alone. Like Penny and Brain in the Inspector Gagdet cartoons, the resourceful Gosalyn and the intelligent, perpetually congested Honker were usually the true heroes.
The oversized ego of Darkwing Duck was often humbled by his rival, Fenton Crackshell, better known as Gizmo Duck. Both were in competition to defeat such criminal masterminds as Megavolt (an electrically charged rat), Negaduck (who was like a Bizarro Darkwing), and Bushroot. Perhaps worst of the arch-villains was Steel Beak, leader of F.O.W.L. (the Fiendish Organization of World Larceny).
Over the course of its lengthy run, Darkwing Duck proved to be as popular as its parent program. The show debuted on The Disney Channel in April 1993, then moved to a much wider audience that fall when new episodes appeared both on ABC's Saturday morning lineup and in weekday syndication as part of the Disney Afternoon. Whatever the location, time, or station, you could rest assured that when Darkwing Duck was around, there would be no fowl play in ducktown.