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The Two Launchpads: Everything you didn't know about Darkwing Duck


Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of Darkwing Duck, a beloved animated series from the Disney Afternoon syndicated block that ruled the '90s. What began as a James Bond spoof episode of DuckTales morphed into a superhero parody with an identity of its own. Darkwing Duck was simultaneously a humorous take on Batman, the Green Hornet, the Shadow, and more pulp comic book heroes, and his adventures took place in the city of St. Canard, which was an obvious riff on Gotham City.

As a tenuous connection to DuckTales, Terry McGovern reprised his role as Launchpad McQuack, the faithful sidekick to Jim Cummings' Drake Mallard/Darkwing Duck. But did you know that there are supposedly two Launchpads?

This isn't directly supported by the show itself, but Darkwing Duck creator Tad Stones has gone on record as saying that DuckTales and Darkwing Duck do not share continuity with each other. He went on to indicate that Darkwing's Launchpad couldn't possibly be the same one from DuckTales. For one thing, Launchpad was actually a good pilot on Darkwing Duck!

Stones' claims are somewhat contentious among Darkwing Duck and DuckTales fans, who largely prefer the idea of a shared universe. Ironically, this was all sorted out in the 2017 DuckTales reboot. Within that world, Darkwing was a fictional character and Drake Mallard was simply the actor hired to star in the grim and gritty reboot movie. However, Launchpad and Drake bonded over their shared love for the Darkwing stories; that's why Drake has adopted the Darkwing Duck persona as his own, and he's a recurring character on the series.

But could this possibly lead to Darkwing Duck once again having a TV series of his own? Time will tell.

For more Darkwing Duck facts and memories, check out the latest episode of SYFY WIRE's Everything You Didn't Know!