Classic 1990s cartoon series “Darkwing Duck” celebrates its 25th anniversary this month and the show’s creator Tad Stones recently spoke with Heat Vision about the show’s history and impact.
It’s during the talk that he made a surprising revelation – turns out that despite many people labelling the series as a spin-off of “DuckTales,” most notably for its inclusion of that show’s regular Launchpad McQuack, it is not. In fact, the two shows exist in two separate universes:
“Because Launchpad appeared in DuckTales and we used Roboduck as the Superman character, the hero who gets all the glory as opposed to Darkwing, fans try to connect the two realities. They are two different universes in my book. We work in the alternate Duckiverse.”
The show had its roots in “DuckTales”. An episode featuring Launchpad as a spy was the catalyst for Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg to ask Stones to take a stab at a potential series based on that premise. It didn’t work and was rejected, but he was asked to try again.
That’s where the superhero version came in, along with the inclusion of the relationship between Darkwing and his daughter, something that people come up to him to this day and tell him was the most important element of the series.
One thing that wasn’t? Continuity. The show purposely ignored continuity which yielded multiple origin stories within the series:
“It drives fans crazy, but I was not a huge fan of continuity. I grew up with Silver Age continuity with the comics. Yeah, I know Lois Lane doesn’t know Clark Kent is Superman. She suspects something. Jimmy Olsen’s his pal. He went to high school with Lana Lang. The basics everybody knew. But there was really no arc or change. Every time you picked up a comic, you knew where you were starting.”
“Darkwing Duck” ultimately ran for three seasons and 91 episodes, wrapping its run in 1992.