"A Brush with Oblivion" is a season 2 episode which debuted on November 23, 1991. It introduces Splatter Phoenix and is one of only two episodes to feature her.
The Mallards and the Muddlefoots are at the St. Canard Museum to attend an exposition and contest of their children's art submitted for School Day at the Museum. When the chief curator goes to judge the paintings and everyone watches him, Honker spots a most curious phenomenon. Inside a painting at the other side of the room is a woman walking around. She sees him and Honker runs back to his mother to ask for help. She, as well as the curator, just tells him to be quiet and mind the contest. But as Honker can't keep his eyes off the painting, he is the only one to see the woman emerge from it. He tries to stop her as she steals a precious golden Egyptian statue from its casing, but she jumps into another painting, The Persistence of Memory. When the crowd notices the statue is gone, Honker is at first accused, but Drake points out he does not have the statue on him, so he is not the thief, but the chief witness. Everyone demands that Honker tells what he saw, but Honker hesitates, aware they won't believe a word of it. When he's forced into speaking, he is accused of lying by all but Gosalyn. The Muddlefoots theorize that she's less than a stellar influence on him and leave for home.
Honker is grounded until he stops lying, but Gosalyn zip lines into his room and busts him out to go to the museum and prove him honest and to prove he's not a liar. They encounter the woman, Splatter Phoenix, in another painting and she steps out, tired of Honker's meddling. The two children make a run for it, but Splatter Phoenix paints a lasso and captures Gosalyn. Because Gosalyn gives her a big mouth, she opens up an abstract painting and locks Gosalyn away in it. Honker tries to get help from the chief curator, but he merely calls the guards on Honker himself. Running back, Honker finds Gosalyn trapped and promises to go get her dad.
Meanwhile, Splatter Phoenix also leaves the museum to find her fence and sell the statue she stole earlier. He is willing to pay far less than what she wanted and on her enquiry if she then should steal the Mona Lisa to get any big cash, he responds positively.
Honker reaches 537 Avian Way and is still not believed, but with Gosalyn missing, Drake has no reason not to at least follow Honker back to the museum. To his and Launchpad's absolute horror, they find that the boy had been telling the truth all along and that Gosalyn is stuck. They spot Splatter Phoenix in the museum and confront her about both Gosalyn and the stolen artifact. Splatter Phoenix flees, creating doors only she can get through and painting banana peels on the floor to thwart her pursuers. Deciding it's no use, Darkwing opts to take the painting with Gosalyn home until he can save her. When the curator walks by, naturally he assumes Darkwing tries to rob the museum and calls the guards, forcing Darkwing to prioritize Splatter Phoenix again. They just prevent her from stealing the Mona Lisa, but when she escapes into a Cubist painting, they are forced to follow after her.
Inside the painting, Splatter Phoenix sics two monsters on them. As the heroes struggle to survive, she explains that her art was rejected because it was too experimental. She kept going anyway and developed the technology to alter or exchange reality with her brushes and paint. Without funds, however, her work won't generate more results and that's why she's after the Mona Lisa. She leaves the two to fend for themselves and Darkwing manages to use his gas gun to defeat the creatures. With Launchpad, he travels from painting to painting to Gosalyn and frees her from the upper layer. Honker points them in Splatter Phoenix's direction and the painting-bound three run after her into the landscape of the painting Gosalyn made for the art contest: a struggle between two dinosaurs in a vulcano-rich scene. Splatter Phoenix simply jumps back into reality, but she blocks the passage and brings the painting alive. Honker decides to go after her alone, but before he can climb into the latest painting she's chosen as hiding place, the curator apprehends him and calls the cops. The Muddlefoots have to bail him out and he's grounded even worse than before. He asks Tank to help him escape to save the Mallards and Tank does so, though with the intent to get Honker only in worse trouble.
At the museum, Splatter Phoenix has had her fun with her victims and throws turpentine on the painting. Honker fails to save them and confronts Splatter Phoenix when the curator walks by and drives Honker into a corner long enough for her to steal the mouth of the Mona Lisa. She demands a ransom be paid within 24 hours and leaps back into The Persistence of Memory. The chief curator is horrified and lets Honker go, who follows after the villain. He finds The Persistence of Memory to be her hideout and steals one of her brushes. Splatter Phoenix attacks him, but the mouth protects Honker long enough that he can escape. Against all odds, Darkwing, Gosalyn, and Launchpad enter The Persistence of Memory, having suffered nothing worse than loss of their color. Honker hands them the brush he stole so they can restore themselves. Splatter Phoenix tries to make a run for it in the meantime, but the mouth draws attention to her. The reunited quartet follows her through two more paintings, the latter in which Splatter Phoenix draws a bomb and Honker lights the fuse with a painted-up bow-and-flaming-arrow. The explosion knocks everyone out of the painting. Darkwing and Launchpad arrest Splatter Phoenix as the Muddlefoots come rushing in looking for Honker. The mouth of the Mona Lisa takes his side and insists he is not a liar before returning to its rightful place.
- "Hey, Honker can't lie! I tried teaching him, but the lessons never took."
- — Gosalyn on Honker.
- "Honker, it's just not like you to lie, but until you stop, I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ground ya. No going out to play, no television, no food, no water, no sunlight, no-"
- "What? Oh, yeah, alright. Well, I... I guess we'll still feed ya. Ha ha! But otherwise, you're grounded up something fierce and that's that."
- — Herb's and Binkie's parenting skills.
- "My Dad always thinks I'm lying. Of course, he's usually right."
- — Gosalyn on Drake's parental sixth sense.
- "Eh, what can I say, sweets? If the neo-postmodernist backlash hadn't anchored pre-antirealism in its wake, you'd be sitting pretty."
- — Art fence on his rates.
- "Mr Mallard! The thief painted a rope and caught Gosalyn and it stuck her to the painting! Boy, even I don't believe this!"
- — Honker throws his accusers a bone.
- "I am the terror that flaps in the night! I am the tube of Cadmium Yellow that is impossible to open! I am Darkwing Duck!"
- — Darkwing Duck.
- "The verisimilitude of my endeavors is far beyond the grasp of your petty, little, bourgeois minds."
- "Well, hey, uh, stealin' is stealin'."
- "You may bamboozle my less than literate friend, but I'm another matter altogether."
- "I'll bypass that blind spot if you'll confront the fact that I operate far above society's simplistic roles."
- "Well, hey, uh, stealin' is stealin'."
- — Splatter Phoenix out-dictionaries Launchpad and Darkwing Duck.
- "That door's not real, DW!"
- "No, but the pain I'm experiencing is!"
- — Launchpad and Darkwing.
- "The only way to help Gosalyn — and avoid a stiff prison sentence for myself — is to catch that villain!"
- — Darkwing's concerns.
- "Now, on to my enormously inventive and fertile, but alas, equally unrecognized felony phase."
- — Splatter Phoenix.
- "Hey you! Put my kisser back on my kisser!"
- — Mona Lisa's mouth
- The painting Gosalyn stares at early in the episode takes and rearranges elements of Pablo Picasso's 1937 painting Guernica. The horse's head is from Head of a Horse, also from 1937.
- The paintings Splatter Phoenix travels through throughout the episode are American Gothic (1930), The Persistence of Memory (1931), Washington Crossing the Delaware (1851), a Cubist painting by Georges Braque, a painting by Piet Mondrian, and lastly one by Jackson Pollock.
- "Duckelangelo" refers to Michelangelo, a sixteenth century artist. The pun "Mooselangelo" was used in "High Wave Robbery".
- "Rotten Rembrandt Robber" is an insult based on Rembrandt, a seventeenth century artist.
- The statue's casing isn't drawn into the scene when the chief curator notices it is gone.
- Splatter Phoenix's name isn't mentioned until Honker all of a sudden knows it past halfway the episode. Prior, she is simply called "the lady", "the thief", and "the villain".
- The museum is closed. Why does the chief curator not find Splatter Phoenix's presence odd?
- Splatter Phoenix's torso is drawn white instead of black when she jumps out of the hole and moments later the "1" on Gosalyn's shirt goes missing when she gets her colors restored.
- Darkwing's Cubist model is reused in "Paint Misbehavin'".