DARKWING DUCKMedium: TV animation
Produced by: Disney
First Appeared: 1991
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Darkwing Duck, who appeared as part of the two-hour syndicated "Disney Afternoon" block of weekday children's shows from 1991-95, is a superhero with
style, panache, pizzazz, and a colossal ego. But he usually succeeds in protecting the thriving metropolis of St. Canard, providing both laughs and thrills along the way.
His hour-long opening show, "Darkly Dawns the Duck", first aired on The Disney Channel on April 6, 1991. In it, the self-styled "Terror that Flaps in the Night", who had hitherto acted alone, suddenly acquired a supporting cast — an adopted daughter, Gosalyn, and an inept sidekick, Launchpad McQuack, who had earlier served as Scrooge McDuck's pilot on DuckTales. The regular half-hour series started Sept. 7 of that year.
Voice actor Jim Cummings, who provides vocal characterization for Darkwing (as well as his alter ego, Drake Mallard), lists among his credits such diverse characters as Zummi Gummi and the 1990s incarnation of Warner's Tasmanian Devil. Terence McGovern (who did various voices in the Star Wars series and in the 1980s incarnation of Mighty Mouse) does Launchpad's voice, just as he had earlier done in DuckTales, and Gosalyn is voiced by Christine Cavanaugh (Chuckie Finster in Rugrats and Dexter in Dexter's Laboratory).
Cummings also provides the voice for one of the series' recurring villains, Negaduck, Darkwing's evil counterpart from an alien dimension. Other regular bad guys include Steelbeak, voiced by Rob Paulsen (Yakko Warner in Animaniacs); Megavolt, voiced by Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson, Earthworm Jim); and Reginald Bushroot, half plant and half duck, voiced by Tino Insana (uncles in Pepper Ann and Bobby's World).
Darkwing Duck quickly developed a following, and was renewed for a total of 90 episodes. The last one aired for the first time in 1993, although the show continued, in reruns, to be a part of the Disney Afternoon for another two years.
Today, Darkwing Duck continues to flap in the night, with reruns airing regularly on the cable station Toon Disney.