Darkwing Duck is an American animated television series produced by The Walt Disney Company that ran from 1991–1995 and 1996–1997 on both the syndicated programming block The Disney Afternoon and Saturday mornings on ABC. It featured an eponym superhero anthropomorphic duck with the alter ego of Drake Mallard (voiced by Jim Cummings). It is the only direct spin-off of DuckTales.
Darkwing Duck is about the adventures of the titular superhero, aided by his sidekick and pilot Launchpad. In his secret identity of Drake Mallard, he lives in an unassuming suburban house with his adopted daughter Gosalyn, next door to the bafflingly dim-witted Muddlefoot family. Darkwing struggles to balance his egotistical craving for fame and attention against his desire to be a good father to Gosalyn and help do good in St. Canard. Most episodes put these two aspects of Darkwing's character in direct conflict, though Darkwing's better nature usually prevails.
Darkwing Duck was initially developed as a spin-off of the very successful DuckTales series. Darkwing Duck entered production roughly one year after DuckTales ended. Darkwing Duck was inspired by two specific episodes of DuckTales, Double-O-Duck and The Masked Mallard. The original concept had Launchpad McQuack as the star. Instead, Launchpad appeared as Darkwing's sidekick in the finished product. Gizmoduck, a character from the final season of DuckTales, also appeared in a handful of crossover-themed episodes. The name "The Masked Mallard" became an epithet often used to refer to Darkwing himself.
Where most prior Disney Afternoon series featured at least some characters from classic Disney animation, Darkwing Duck featured a completely original cast. Even the DuckTales characters it reused had no counterpart in early Disney shorts or even the Carl Barks Disney comics. It was the also first Disney Afternoon cartoon to emphasize action rather than adventure, with Darkwing routinely engaging in slapstick battles with both supervillains and street criminals. While conflict with villains was routine in earlier Disney Afternoon, actual fight scenes were relatively rare.
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