One of the running themes of the show is that Dark Is Not Evil. Darkwing being the prime example, but Morgana is also a "night person". It might not occur to the viewer how much they wanted to drive that theme home until he/she realizes that some of the villains are the other half of the analogy: Megavolt, one of the most dangerous criminals in St. Canard, is constantly surrounded by light and Negaduck's costume is bright yellow and red. (His cape is black, but it's lined with bright red.)
Quackerjack is a clown who makes lethal toys. Steelbeak wears a black and white suit while presenting himself as suave, charming. The Frequency Fiends were all manifestations of some part of Gosalyn's personality who were associated with some form of energy (heat, light, radio). The original Negaduck transformed into a monster of crackling electricity. Of the heroes or associated friends/family/allies, Neptunia and Stegmutt are both reformed mutants, Morgana's family are hostile but become friendly to "normals." The Dark Is Not Evil and Light/Bright Is Not Good motifs do recur across the series.
The color schemes of the villains also enforce this, almost consistently averting Primary-Color Champion. In addition to the aforementioned Negaduck, Megavolt's color scheme is red, yellow and blue, Quackerjack is half-red, Liquidator is blue, Ammonia Pine is red and blue, and Taurus Bulba predominantly red. Ironically, the straightest example of a Secondary Color Nemesis, Bushroot, is also the least evil.
Darkwing's Hero with Bad Publicity status. In the pilot, he botches his attempt to stop Taurus Bulba's henchmen from stealing the Ramrod weapon and is blamed by the police for theft. Bulba rolls with this to get DW arrested by said police and out of his hair. Most superheroes would try to clear their names after this. But Launchpad inadvertently busts through the prison wall before he can bail DW out legally, and Bulba and the Ramrod explode before DW can turn them in and exonerate himself. So as far as the police and St. Canard populace know, Darkwing masterminded the theft of a top-secret military weapon and is a fugitive at large.
Another running theme of the show is that Reality Ensues at crucial times. By no means has Darkwing ever been painted as a perfectly Lawful Good crimefighter; in fact, he's had to address sensory deprivation (which isn't fun at the start) and juggling his crimefighting with being a single adopted parent. Oh, and Gosalyn's motivations for following in his webbed footsteps aren't entirely a case of Hero Worship.
Also a strong theme with Gosalyn: in addition to sharing her adopted father's massive ego, she's got quite the beak for money; in several episodes, she tries to cash in on whatever the current situation is, whether by hawking "official" merchandise to Darkwing's fan club, or discreetly trying to scoop up the bribe money Darkwing just refused to take from Bushroot. She's not very altruistic, but she does have an admirable profit motive.
When this troper discovered that Magica Despell was going to be a antagonist in the 2011 comic book this just hit him... throughout her appearances in comic and animation history, she not only targeted Scrooge but Donald, Daisy, the Nephews, even Gizmoduck. But there was one Duck protagonist she NEVER antagonized at the time... DARKWING! now that she fought Darkwing then that should be crossed off the list.
Launchpad is a much better pilot in this series and doesn't crash-land nearly as often as he did in DuckTales (1987). However, if you recall the last episode of DuckTales, "The Golden Goose," he managed to make a perfect landing while attempting to crash on purpose. It would appear that by the time Darkwing Duck began, Launchpad's finally learned how to land.
Take the hilariously absurd concept of everything in Darkwing's universe being made up of "posi-trons" and "nega-trons" as seen in the episode "Negaduck" and you come to realize that even if NegaDuck is not exactly the same character as the Negaduck from that episode, of course he would act nearly the same: the properly integrated Darkwing Duck is a good guy, so he has more posi-trons than nega-trons. In the Negaverse, the ratio of posi-trons and nega-trons in every single inhabitant is flipped, and therefore all of the nasty traits we see in Negaduck are predominant in NegaDuck as well.
Gosalyn and Nega-Gosalyn also present another interesting aspect of this cosmology: while the ratio of posi-trons to nega-trons determines a lot of your behavior, it doesn't necessarily determine your morality. Prime Gosalyn actually has slightly more nega-trons than posi-trons, which is why she's such a Bratty Half-Pint, whereas Nega-Gosalyn has the exact opposite ratio, which is why she's such a well-mannered Girly Girl. Both are good girls because it's possible to turn both positive and negative traits to good purposes, in keeping with the Light Is Not Good and Dark Is Not Evil lesson this cartoon is teaching us.
The reason why Drake Mallard's money tree had withered and died in "Easy Come, Easy Grow" by the time the police came around to arrest him for counterfeiting? As Bushroot and any other competent gardener or farmer could tell you, too much fertilizer at a time can be deadly to plants; and he dumped a whole bag of it on that poor tree!
One of the greatest problem in superheroes stories is Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?, but the very first episode of the show justifies why: Darkwing is shot many times, while distracted, and once even point-blank for good measure, and he just easily dodges each of them. It showed that nothing that simple would actually work, and much over-the-top schemes would have been necessary to deal with him.
By narrating the plot of "Night of the Living Spud" to a group of Boy Scouts (or are they Junior Woodchucks?), Darkwing revealed his Secret Identity as Drake Mallard, didn't he? Actually, no — at no point in Darkwing's story do we see Drake Mallard changing into Darkwing Duck. In the story as told, Drake's merely the neighbor of the Muddlefoots, who sees them leave to go camping (establishing why they're there when the monster catches them), and then sees the strange news report that segues into Bushroot's latest crime spree and Darkwing Duck first getting involved. After that, he's never seen again, nor does Gosalyn ever address him as "Dad." In Darkwing's version, Drake is merely an innocent bystander used to provide exposition via what he observes, not an important character like Darkwing, and an in-universe listener who knew nothing about either of them would never make the connection.
The members of the Fearsome Five are all foils to Darkwing and his main family/team.
Negaduck = Darkwing (Duh — The Leader of the group; Large Ham; annoyed over their reputationsnote Darkwing because he's not Public Defender #1 and Negaduck because he's not Public Enemy #1)
Megavolt = Honker (genius; scientist; socially awkward geeks prior to heroic deeds; somewhat down-to-earth; often works with )
Quackerjack = Gosalyn (energetic, practical jokers; childish mentality; have codenames starting with Qnote Quiverwing Quack and Quackerjack (which probably isn't his real name); like playing games)
Bushroot = Launchpad (The Woobie; generally defensive rather than offensive; nice guys on both teams)
Liquidator = Morgana (originally a corrupt businessman/woman; extremely powerful; became a superhero/supervillain due to interactions with Darkwing)
Also, the same could apply to the Justice Ducks, with Megavolt being Gizmoduck (Gadgeteer Geniuses), Bushroot being Stegmutt (products of experiments gone wrong), and Quackerjack being Neptunia (defenders of toys/sea beasts).
Launchpad's Big Eater characteristics were probably intended more as a joke, but think about his height and musculature. How much food would it take just to maintain that build, in addition to any calories he burns crimefighting?
The Devolution Device used by Dr. Fossil which turns people into dinosaurs makes sense to a certain extent: in this universe, most people are anthropomorphic birds, and birds evolved from dinosaurs (although not the species seen in this show).
In "All's Fahrenheit in Love and War", Darkwing makes many more yelps of pain while in the super-heated gold vault than Launchpad does. Of course — Launchpad is wearing boots, while Darkwing's feet are in direct contact with the hot floor!
In one episode it's mentioned that they've tried and failed to give Megavolt the chair. This is just meant to be a little joke, but in order for him to get the chair wouldn't he have had to commit murder?
Considering how this show has no qualms about directly referencing death, that was probably intentional.
Treason is also punishable by death, so maybe Megavolt was a double agent for an enemy government.
There are some implications that the justice system in that universe applies the chair willy nilly...which isn't so comforting either, when you think about it.
Another example: in one episode, it's revealed that a certain video game's main character is created by having a person actually teleported into the game. Of course, later in that episode, Darkwing is accidentally teleported in, and promptly discovers that even if it is a game, he can be injured and feel pain. What does the poor main character go through whenever the player loses?
"Extinct Possibility": Darkwing is encased in amber after being sent to the age of Dinosaurs, encased with his eyes wide open.
Splatter Phoenix has the ability to bring paintings to life. When she dies, she melts just like her other paintings. Maybe this isn't the real Splatter Phoenix, the original was actually murdered by the painting of herself and she took her place...
Whatever Bud Flood was putting in his competitors' water supplies was also what made him the Liquidator. Drinking that Grimy Water he was making might've had far worse consequences than just getting a bad taste.
Which is very obvious considering that the bottle of this substance had a skull and crossbones painted on it.
The fact that Negaduck is the guardian of his universe's Gosalyn. In-universe as well, just considering that idea was more than enough to convince Darkwing to stay and free that world. It's honestly Fridge Horror imagining what Darkwing was thinking!
If Paddywhack did pull Gosalyn into his box and try and teach her to be a prankster like him, does anybody want to imagine what the Monster Clown would have done to her?
In the Bad Future of "Time and Punishment" (and the Alternate Universe of the comics), where did Negaduck go? Where did the other heroes of St. Canard, including Morgana, go? Why did the democratic government allow one man to have totalitarian control of a city inside their borders, Josef Stalin style, without trying to take him out? Just how much power did he amass?
As if all this weren't horrific enough, the "Campaign Carnage" arc from the comics has Darkwing imagine creating a police force wearing Darkwarrior-style outfits to keep anyone from losing someone the way he lost Morgana. Gosalyn isn't Darkwing's only trigger. There may be universes where Gosalyn had to watch her dad descend into He Who Fights Monsters territory after something happened to Morgana or Launchpad.
Also about "Time and Punishment", after Gosalyn disappears, Darkwing lapses into catatonia, becoming completely unresponsive and only "doing" anything when Launchpad physically manipulates him. If Launchpad hadn't been there, Darkwing might have died of self-inflicted dehydration and starvation. (Of course, given what happened, some people might say that would have been the better option...)
Furthermore, the appearance of Darkwarrior in the comics proves that that world did not get fixed when Gosalyn got back to the present. One has to wonder what kind of rampage Darkwarrior might have gone on when he woke up from being knocked out and discovered Gosalyn was gone again...
In the second arc of the Boom Studios comic book, an unknown presence that later turns out to be Paddywhack eats people that are near the ocean alive. Paddywhack gets defeated, but it is never explained what happened to his victims. This is made worse because nobody expresses concern for their whereabouts at the end of the arc.
Ordinary Guy's life. Is it any wonder he snapped and became villainous? He is the only one without superpowers living on a planet where everyone has superpowers, and they constantly save him from everything, not allowing him to do his life freely. Now that Darkwing Duck taught them about villainy and that Ordinary Guy was defeated, there's a possibility he's going to become their punching bag.
The Brainteasers love to eat metal or rather force their hosts to eat metal. All the metal in their bodies will poison and kill them, and that's assuming that the host didn't puncture his/her stomach by eating nails or something. One can only hope that being controlled by these aliens somehow makes the host immune from the harmful effects of ingesting metal.
Since there was no mention of any ill-effects on any of the characters it can be speculated that they absorb the metal immediately.
It is implied in "You Sweat Your Life" that Tank Muddlefoot cut off his grandfather's leg when he was an infant. Considering how often he picks on his brother Honker without being reprimanded by his parents, one must wonder what other despicable things Tank might have gotten away with.
Doctor Slug is Public Enemy Number 1, in front of Negaduck, since we've never seen him as any form of recurring villain, who knows what horrible things he has done to be able to surpass Negaduck in criminality?
In the one episode that he appeared for a few seconds he was shown as bloodthirsty enough to try to use a buzzsaw on DW and LP.
Well, more like a Fridge Tearjerker, but in "Crash Reunion", it's established that Megavolt's real identity, Elmo Sputterspark, hasn't been seen ever since around his senior prom. One just has to imagine just what his loved ones have been going through all this time...
In "Disguise the Limit", Darkwing turns himself into Negaduck to figure out where he is and goes after Launchpad and Gosalyn with a burner. Everyone involved was very lucky that he didn't catch them before the transformation was undone, or the psychological results could have been catastrophic...
In "My Valentine Ghoul", Negaduck states that he was gonna use the money he would get from the diamond scheme for a thermonuclear warhead. Just what was he going to use it for?
The idea that Stegmutt was turned into a dinosaur and apparently now is unable to return to his original duck form (though he seems to have calmly accepted his fate). Also it has been speculated that his low intelligence is due to his transformation into a stegosaurus (a species known for having a brain the size of a walnut). That makes it all the more horrifying when you really think about it.
"When you're Drake Mallard, what kind of job do you have?" "Yeah, how do you pay your bills?"
How about "How can you manage to hold down a (presumably) eight-hour-a-day job and a (presumably) eight-hour-a-night crimefighting gig while also getting (presumably) eight hours of sleep (at some point?) and raising a ten-year-old kid??"
Seeing as how DW is routinely shown testing out gadgets and weapons supplied by SHUSH, it's likely he's "officially" listed as a professional gadget-tester, and paid accordingly.
It's pretty much confirmed in the comic series—Drake and Gosalyn had been living off of Darkwing's SHUSH stipend, and when it ran out, Drake got a full time job at Quackwerks.
Launchpad lives with Drake, and is seen with him constantly in public. Then as Darkwing, he's still there as his sidekick (and Launchpad doesn't wear a mask or disguise). Yet no one seems to have put two and two together. As of Comic #3, NegaDuck FINALLY put two and two together after noticing Launchpad coming out of a laundromat with two different pairs of Darkwing's clothes...
But as a Evil counterpart from a Mirror Universe, shouldn't he already know this?
Not necessarily. There may have been Nega versions of Launchpad, Gosalyn, and Honker that NegaDuck tried to make as his own "family" that didn't work out so well from that old episode, but they never knew who NegaDuck really was. And besides, he DID say that he was watching the Mallard household for months after he saw Launchpad, presumably to make sure he was on to something.
But that still doesn't make sense. NegaDuck apparently lived in the same house as Drake in the Negaverse, which either means "Drake Mallard" isn't just an identity but truly who they are outside of the mask, or...it's just an amazing coincidence of epic proportions. And he even used Canard Tower as a base of operations, didn't he? Seriously, the fact he didn't know just doesn't make sense at all.
Negaduck didn't use his real identity at all, so he didn't think Darkwing bothered with it either. When he realizes this isn't the case, he zeroes in on the Mallard house almost immediately and watches for months.
Yeah, but you'd think he would at least check on that little possibility. Especially since Darkwing headed for the very house he lives in, in his own dimension, which is occupied by Good Gosalyn in the Negaverse...who is explicitly said to be Negaduck's ward. Plus, Evil Launchpad heads there as well, so...yeah. Still a plot hole.
It's just being assumed that the Nega-Audubon Bay Bridge tower is Negaduck's actual base. It might be more of a private getaway and prison for those times when you want your enemies tortured to death in a quiet intimate gathering instead of the usual big productions in the castle downtown. Especially if he wanted Nega-Gosalyn to have that as the last thing she sees while suffocating to death in the same room as the horribly-mutilated corpse of the good version of himself. As far as the Avian Way address? Sounds reasonable that he'd have at least Nega-Launchpad there ... and picked it out for its neighbourhood, especially given who lives next door. (Which makes you wonder why Darkwing picked the house he did. I'm working on explaining that; keep an eye on a favoured Fan Fiction site, of course!)
"Drake Mallard" was DW's original identity before becoming Darkwing; as DW's Mirror Universe double Negaduck's original identity should be Drake Mallard as well.
As Darkwing's Mirror Universe counterpart, NegaDuck truly is Darkwing's opposite in much the same way the Star Trek mirror characters were the prime universe characters' opposites: in some, but not all aspects. In the aspects where they're not opposites, Darkwing and NegaDuck are in fact exactly the same; and one of those aspects is that Darkwing had an obsessive attention to detail that allowed him to track a small and needlessly complicated clue to NegaDuck's lair... while overlooking the big black Fearsome Five flag NegaDuck had hoisted over the same building. The reason NegaDuck failed to realize where Darkwing Duck lives as a civilian? Both ducks are bound by the same Rule of Funny, and they both have the tendency to overlook the screamingly obvious while searching for an insanely complicated solution from an obscure clue.
For that matter, shouldn't Liquidator know DW's secret identity? His origin episode ends with him as a statue in Drake's lawn.
In Liquidator's case he may have seen it as insult to injury. I.e., Darkwing pours cement into him to stop him from kidnapping a girl, and the girl's father finds the statue and uses it to improve his garden. As for the key question, a villain refers to Launchpad, Gosalyn, and Honker as Darkwing's fan club. So it's not a big stretch for people to think Drake's roommate spends his free time following Darkwing to watch his exploits. Gosalyn even forms a true fan club at on point so it's not a big stretch.
Speaking of which, has the prison staff just been letting NegaDuck keep his mask on in jail? You'd think at some point they would have removed his costume and seen Drake Mallard's face.
So what if they do? He's not Bruce Wayne (or Scrooge McDuck), he wouldn't be a famous figure in their world. Nothing says Drake Mallard is someone who'd stand out in a crowd. Accounting for the show's loose continuity, when Negaduck breaks out of jail and there's a manhunt for him, they wouldn't know to look for Drake Mallard unless Negaduck called himself that when in custody. And even if they noticed Drake Mallard and saw how he looked just like the infamous Negaduck, would they really assume they're the same rather than just coincidentally looking alike or at most being relatives?
They don't for the same reason that the villains are all wearing their costumes in prison in Batman '66
In the second part of "Just Us Justice Ducks", Negaduck says that the Fearsome Four can run the city and in exchange he will keep the stolen money. When they get mad and question him on why he gets to keep all of the money, he threatens them with an active chainsaw. The others being afraid make sense, but why was Liquidator scared of a chainsaw considering that his entire body is made of water?
Because Negaduck is just that scary.
Pollen is the plant equivalent of sperm. So when Bushroot does his dandruff attack does that mean he's basically masturbating at whoever is the recipient?
In "Dead Duck", Darkwing's death was just a dream, but that means Megavolt was never defeated.
Negaduck has his own Gosalyn who is sweet and nice. How is she still alive?! Negaduck HATES sweetness.