- "I am the terror that flaps in the night! I am the winged scourge that pecks at your nightmares! I am Darkwing Duck!"
- ―Darkwing Duck[src]
Drake Mallard is the not-so-mild mannered alter-ego of St. Canard's resident superhero Darkwing Duck, and as such, the main character of Disney's 1991-93 television series Darkwing Duck. He is also the adoptive father to the orphaned Gosalyn Waddlemeyer. He can be considered to be originated from various comic book heroes and was voiced by Jim Cummings. He has been described as a cross between Batman and Donald Duck.
- "Let's Get Dangerous!"
- ―Darkwing Duck
Drake, in his youth, was a Junior Woodchuck, as he still makes use of his "Junior Woodchuck Guidebook." At least three episodes of Darkwing Duck attempt to tell the origin of D.W.: the first "The Secret Origins of Darkwing Duck" relates a pseudo-Superman tale which is basically just hyperbole. The second, "Paraducks" relates how Darkwing, himself, traveling back in time, was the inspiration for young Drakey Mallard to dream of becoming a superhero one day. Thirdly, in "Clash Reunion," a teenage Drake saves his school from his classmate Elmo Sputterspark (the person who eventually became the villainous "Megavolt"), and makes his debut as St. Canard's Defender of the Night, Darkwing Duck.
Darkwing's costume consists of a fedora with an oversized brim, a mask, a cape, and a long sleeved coat over a turtleneck. The vast majority of his outfit is in shades of purple, with the exception of the turtleneck which is a teal color.
Abilities and Equipment
As a non-powered superhero, Darkwing utilizes a variety of gadgets in his fight against crime. His most used weapon is his gas gun, which not only fires gas, but a variety of weapons. It is also designed to function as a grappling hook. For transportation, he will either use the Thunderquack, a duck head-shaped plane built and piloted by Launchpad, or the Ratcatcher, his motorcycle.
While having no superpowers, Darkwing is still a toon, and seems virtually indestructible: he often gets defeated in a painful way, get crushed, flattened, even blown away by explosions, but always rises back. He isn't unstoppable however, as he sometimes needs to wear bandages after being seriously injured. Darkwing suffers several injuries in a slaptsick manner through each episodes.
Darkwing is an expert in martial arts, despite a large degree of clumsiness. It is mentioned that he was trained in Quack Fu by Goose Lee.
In "Going Nowhere Fast", due to the effects of Negaduck's Particle Accelerator, Darkwing Duck temporarily gained the power of super speed, which caused him to age rapidly the more he used it, which could be reversed but running in reverse.
Darkwing is known for his rather large ego, and can initially be mistaken for a bumbling superhero. However, when pushed, as symbolized by the utterance of his catchphrase, "Let's get dangerous," he can become very competent, proving his skill. He usually works alongside his sidekick, Launchpad McQuack. He typically works at night, appearing with smoke effects and a unique introductory statement. As a hero, Darkwing is often forced to balance his desire for fame with his desire to be a father to Gosalyn and do good in St. Canard.
As a civilian, he is known as Drake Mallard, and he lives in the suburbs with his adopted daughter, Gosalyn Mallard, and his sidekick Launchpad McQuack. His next door neighbors are the dimwitted Muddlefoot family, who, except for their younger son, Honker, Gosalyn's best friend, who also knows of his identity, ignorant of his double life as a superhero. The sorceress Morgana MacCawber is a reformed criminal who has become the object of Darkwing's affection.
Interestingly, the pilot shows that Darkwing had given up his civilian identity in favor of full-time crime-fighting. At that point, he lived in a secret lair at the top of a bridge. Darkwing's return to a civilian alter-ego was fueled by his adoption of Gosalyn.
Darkwing has appeared in various comics bearing his name. Around the time of the show's premiere, a four-issue miniseries, based on "Darkly Dawns the Duck", was published by Disney Comics. Like the TaleSpin comic book before it, the mini-series was intended to spin off into a regular publication, but the implosion of Disney Comics prevented that. After that, Darkwing stories were regularly featured in the magazine Disney Adventures from November 1991 to January 1996, as well as Marvel's Disney Afternoon comic book.
In 2010, Darkwing appeared in a new comic series, which opened with a 4-issue arc titled "The Duck Knight Returns". In the series, Drake has apparently quit the superhero business, for a cubicle job at the Quackwerks company which produces robotic police enforcers, and he is no longer speaking to Launchpad, ever since an incident where he accidentally lead Negaduck to discover his identity. But then returns to hero work when finding that things aren't as they seem at Quackwerks and some of his old enemies start working together again. After defeating Taurus Bulba again, who was revealed to be behind Quackwerks all along in a scheme to control the city, he returns to the public spotlight again.
Darkwing Duck, is one of the main characters that help Donald and the rest of the staff of House of Mouse from the bad guys.
Though generally a lone hero, Darkwing occasionally works with other heroes. He sometimes serves as the leader of a network of superheroes called the Justice Ducks comprised of Launchpad McQuack, Stegmutt, Neptunia, Morgana McCawber and Duckburg's own defender, GizmoDuck. Occasionally Darkwing serves as a secret agent for the government agency known as S.H.U.S.H. Director J. Gander Hooter, Agents Double-O-Duck (Launchpad McQuack), Feathers Galore (double agent), Vladimir Goudenov Grizzlikof, Dr. Sara Bellum and "Dr. G." (Gyro Gearloose), are all members of this secret organization, where Darkwing even serves as the leader of the Darkwing Squad (Darkwing Deer, Darkwing Dodo, Darkwing Donkey and Darkwing Dog).
Darkwing's most famous arch-nemeses are Megavolt, Bushroot, Quackerjack and the Liquidator, as well as the villainous alternate-reality incarnation of DW, Negaduck. They usually work separately, but the first four along with Negaduck are known to group together in a group known as "The Fearsome Five" with Negaduck serving as a leader. In the Darkwing Duck comics, Negaduck would not included in the group and Quackerjack would take over as leader as the group of villains would be known as "The Fearsome Four".
Steelbeak, Ammonia Pine, Ample Grime, and the henchmen known as Eggmen all serve as agents of the nefarious F.O.W.L. (Fiendish Organization for World Larceny), an organization headed by Dr. Nogood. Taurus Bulba was even resurrected by F.O.W.L. to become a cyborg. Other notable adversaries of Darkwing include Splatter Phoenix, Tuskernini, Jambalaya Jake, Lilliput Gooney, Fluffy, Anna Matronic, and Professor Moliarty. In the 2011 comic book series, Darkwing would also face off against classic Disney villains Magica De Spell, the Beagle Boys, and The Phantom Blot.
Following the premiere of his series, Darkwing made semi-regular appearances at the Disney theme parks. He was most prominently featured in the Disney Afternoon-themed stage show at Mickey's Starland from 1991 through 1996. He also made a guest star appearance in the Disney On Ice show Double Feature... Live!, in which he rescues Daisy Duck from a gangster named Ice-Head Harry.
Darkwing still makes occasional rare appearances at Walt Disney World at Disney's Animal Kingdom and, when it was still open, Mickey's Toontown Fair. Darkwing and Launchpad served as "training characters" for cast members in the walk-around character departments.
Heroes and Allies: Darkwing Duck | Launchpad McQuack | Gosalyn Mallard | Honker Muddlefoot | Tank Muddlefoot | Herb and Binkie Muddlefoot | Gizmoduck | Morgana McCawber | Neptunia | Stegmutt | J. Gander Hooter | Derek Blunt | Vladimir Goudenov Grizzlikof | Comet Guy
Villains: Negaduck/Negatron | Megavolt | Liquidator | Bushroot | Quackerjack | Steelbeak | Taurus Bulba | Hammerhead Hannigan | Hoof & Mouth | Tantalus | Clovis | Tuskernini | Dr. Fossil | Phineas Sharp | Professor Moliarty | Ammonia Pine | Paddywhack | Lilliput Gooney | Jambalaya Jake | Gumbo | Bug Master | High Command | Major Synapse | Hotshot and Flygirl | Splatter Phoenix | Camille Chameleon | Anna Matronic | Isis Vanderchill | Johnny T. Rex | Fluffy | DarkWarrior Duck
Locations: St. Canard